Saturday, July 18, 2015

Desiderata Errata

Someone on my social network recently shared the Zen Pencils' Desiderata strip and it seemed a little outdated and overtly optimistic. I took a stab at getting the updated and corrected version.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
or risk sweat patches and body odour.
Remember what peace there may be in silence,
and the data charges you would save on,
if you stopped streaming music to your phone all the time.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with the members of the local law enforcement.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
avoid being witty;
people get offended easily nowadays;
hence which you will be destroyed on Twitter.
Listen to others,
especially the dull and the ignorant;
their feedback is most likely going to be the market response.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they can be even more unpleasant,
as if it was possible,
when drunk.
If you compare yourself with others,
and if they are richer,
try and expand the criteria,
to include things like family time.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans;
find scapegoats for your failures.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
sycophancy can take you a long way;
politicking will take you further.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
E-mail leaks and phone taps are easier than you think.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
the world has much worse,
which is far more deserving of that honour.
Many persons strive for high ideals;
few achieve.

Be yourself,
it's all that you can do.
But to look cooler, casually drop song lyrics when you spot an opening.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love.
But don't skimp on the lawyer doing your pre-nups;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
people can turn into assholes 

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
you need your eight hours every night.
Gracefully surrender the things of youth,
especially that hairstyle;
it needs more hair than you have left.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
The stock markets are going to crash multiple times in your lifetime,
and there is nothing you can do about it.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Because those who do end up living within their means,
and their lives are boring.
Be gentle with yourself,
physiotherapists charge a lot;
their mental counterparts, even more.

You are a child of the universe,
as is everybody else;
which is why the`universe can't give you the personal attention you want.
You have a right to be here.
If you have your documents in place.
Or know someone high enough.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
This hasn't been a series of mishaps;
this was how it was supposed to be.

Therefore be at peace with God.
Not that He cares;
one less to worry about for Him,
He will think to Himself; good riddance.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your neighbours;
particularly with the apartment above yours.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
the world isn't as rosy as some poets make it out to be.
Life, in fact, will progressively get worse;
then you will die.


  1. I don't know if you've read the Sunscreen speech (once attributed to Kurt Vonnegut), but I suspect it owes much to Desiderata, and can be looked upon as a sassier remake of the original. Worth a gander, in case you haven't seen it already.

    1. Mary and I share some common concerns. I never get these 'do one thing that scares you' level advice though. What sort of a childhood must a person have to gather fears in such abundance.