Sunday 6 November 2022

Contradictions 10

Every proverb has an equal and opposite counter-proverb. 

Silence is golden, but nothing comes to the dumb, and those that ask don’t get. 

Grasp life with both hands, but gang warily.

Example is better than precept. We live by laws, not by examples.

You learn from your mistakes, but credit lost is like a broken glass. (One mistake may louse up your whole life. You knew that.)

Tell truth and shame the devil./Honesty is the best policy./Speak fair and think what you will./Who knows not how to dissemble, knows not how to live.

There’s no such word as can’t, but it’s hard to cross the sea in an eggshell.

Where there’s a will there’s a way, but will is no skill.

Even when unattributed, all encountered in the wild. 

Have conniption fits about the removal of Edward Colston’s statue, but refuse to return the Parthenon marbles to Greece.

If Lady Penelope can talk to Tracy Island through her teapot, why does she use a mechanical bell to summon Parker?

In an economy that depends on firms selling products to consumers, moan at length about advertisers who know too much about us and track our every keystroke. 

Complain that Halloween and Christmas are carte blanche for retailers to cash in. Despise people who make their money from “trade”. Conveniently forget that the UK became rich by basing an empire on global trade.

Agatha Christie was so popular she can’t be any good; how did such a bad writer become so popular? (Her books also manage to be both timeless and dated.)

Mixed toilets are not a danger to women, and their fears are just paranoia. Also, men need single-sex facilities.

Looks don’t matter, but there’s a massive weight-loss, fitness and beauty industry.

In the 60s and 70s we were told “make-up is bad for your skin”, also “make-up is essential to protect your face against the elements”. (We stopped routinely wearing foundation and powder in the 90s and we seem to have survived.)

70s feminists claimed looks don't matter – but you should deliberately avoid makeup and wear unflattering clothes.

T*RFs are a threat to democracy. They must be silenced!

We have to ban these people because they are part of cancel culture.

We’re a nation of animal-lovers, but we turn a blind eye to cruel factory farming.

You weren’t raped, you didn’t fight back. You fought back – now you’re the abuser.

Moan about people panic-buying petrol, and then moan because you’ve got no petrol.

If truth is relative, the idea that truth is relative is relative.

How can schools turn out “rounded individuals” if all change comes from within?

Our parents bought expensive butter, and then shouted at us if we wanted to eat any. But they wouldn’t buy margarine because it was “common”.

In the 70s and 80s we accepted that therapy “changed” you. But at the same time we were told “there’s no point having the nose job or moving to another country – you’ll still have the same personality”.

The most important thing is to have a good ego, and then you don’t need an operation. (Enormously rich plastic surgeon) 

We wring our hands over the epidemic of loneliness and the rise of single households, but the smallest portions or ready meals are “for two”.

All our behaviour is unconscious and automatic, but you have to have executive function and concentrate on what you’re doing. You also need to show up on time and do the job properly and remember to give X the message and fold letters into three and not make a mistake... In fact if you lack executive function you need drugs to make you normal.

Everything's possible, but you should be happy with what you’ve got.

You have to say you want to be different, while being exactly like everyone else.

Make sure that Riley stands out – and also blends in. (Inside Out)

Don’t think about what other people are thinking about you, but first impressions count.

Live the dream, you can have anything you want as long as you want it enough, but don’t over-challenge yourself.

They tell you to follow your dreams then arrest you for it. (@fionayamamoto. A man was arrested for pretending to be a ghost in a Portsmouth cemetery.)

Don’t compare yourself to others*, but we should all try to be top of the class.

It’s normal to pretend you want to be extraordinary, while conforming.

They tell you to be an individual, but want you to conform down to the smallest detail.

Dream big – but set yourself achievable goals.

Lying is wrong, but everybody tells ten lies a day.

If children need role models, why do we tell them not to copy other people?

People tie themselves in knots explaining that “stand tall, speak up, learn ten conversational openings” is not incompatible with “be yourself and be spontaneous”. Be your best self!

There are no social rules any more - what about queueing and correct use of the checkout divider?

We have to say there isn’t a class system any more before we criticise the neighbours' accents, curtains, reading matter, favourite supermarket...

Fashion writer Laura Craik said she cut her hair in a bob after she had her first child because she felt it was age-appropriate. (She grew it again.) But there are NO social conventions.

Never think about yourself, but also take a long, hard look in the mirror.

You must never be self-conscious, but always be self-aware.

How can people say “be yourself” while also using the words “social pressure”?

Autistic people have no theory of mind? But you just told us not to think about what others are thinking about us.

(Usually regarding a social situation/interaction/relationship) People: "You need to try harder." Also the same people: "You're trying too hard." (@hi_its_annaleah)

We’re always told to stay present and mindful, so why bother setting goals(@HeardinLondon)

London has a large immigrant population that causes no trouble, but other places with fewer immigrants suffer from their presence.

A point I've raised before whenever columnists have said "We all need to tolerate right-wing bigots and have a wide circle of political beliefs among our friends" - what, so my gay friends and friends of different ethnicities must also, by extension, love them unconditionally? (@23Daves)

I see we have a new type of Schrodinger's immigrant: Those who are simultaneously stealing houses from ordinary British people AND living in hotels. (@garius)

No matter how often I see it, the assumption that it is vital for the UK to have immigration control over EU citizens, but outrageous/ spiteful etc for UK citizens to face immigration control going to the EU, floors me. (@StevePeers)

Why are white women celebrated when they fake tan, but I was bullied for being brown? (Asks Laila Woozeer in the Metro)

It must be particularly infuriating to be forced to damage your hair by straightening it if you want a job that pays a living wage, because natural black hair is "unprofessional", while simultaneously seeing white rich kids damaging their naturally straighter hair because dreads/afro is "trendy". (Lena Thane-Clarke)

How a country can have a shortage of migrant labour and also too many migrants is a mystery. (@Life_Disrupted)

If there's one thing that enrages the right wing more than refugees coming over here and not learning the language and trying to fit in... its refugees coming over here and people helping them to fit in and learn our language. (@mrgrahamreed)

Four years after Ireland overwhelmingly voted in favour of freedom of speech and removed blasphemy from our constitution the Irish government is introducing secular blasphemy laws to criminalise speech.

The messaging that men should express their feelings is somewhat contradicted by negative or outright hostile responses when men honestly talk about their problems. (@VeteranGamerUK)

Christians on Twitter are literally like "we can't just FORGIVE our DEBTORS". (@TylerHuckabee, after President Joe Biden suggested student debt forgiveness.)

Mahmoud Abbas is the racist leader of the Palestinian Authority. In classic irrationality this racist denies the H0locaust whilst saying Israel has committed "50 Hol0causts” against Palestinians. (@leekern13)

So hang on a minute, universities cannot ban any speakers because that would be woke and students need to hear from a wide range of voices, but government should ban critics because government doesn't need to hear a range of voices? (@DavidHenigUK)

What do we want? An end to cancel culture! When do we want it? After the Daily Mash, protests and other things we don't like are cancelled! (@SpeakingSatan)

The tabloids think Harry and Meghan are too visible at the Jubilee. The same tabloids also think they're too standoffish and not participating enough. (@edwinhayward)

LOL at old Etonian criticising the left for “only talking to each other” and “not understanding the people.” (@MissEllieMae)

There’s a lot of comic book fans that love stories about superheroes that fight for truth and justice, but harass “social justice warriors”. (Amy Dentata)

[Victorian gentlemen] had a huge amount of 'sympathy' for 'the weaker sex' but treated 'ladies' like helpless dolls and working-class women like drudges. (@IainSankey)

In the same breath the Postmodernists say there are no labels and no boxes, they also say things need to go into the "correct" box. (@OGrunen)

“We oppose vaccine passports. It’s about freedom and civil liberties,” say Tory MPs who were happy to vote to effectively ban protest and allow the removal of citizenship without notice. (@davidschneider)

So this week I did an interview with a woman who had breast, lip and butt implants and a lot of lipstick, makeup, earrings and tattoos. She is antivaxx because she doesn't want to put unnatural things into her body. Discuss. (@ArthurCaplan)

People will literally tell you to move out of the blue state where you grew up and all your friends and family live and decry people's lack of rootedness within a span of two hours. (@Historycourses)

* King Solomon (c. 990 BCE – c. 931 BCE)

The White Queen (pictured) used to believe three impossible things before breakfast every morning.

More here, and links to the rest.

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