Sunday, August 13, 2006


A truism is not exactly a statement of fact. It is “a claim that is so obvious or self-evident as to be hardly worth mentioning” (according to Wikipedia.)

Years ago, I saw an exhibit by Jenny Holtzer at the Guggenheim museum in New York. She uses space to write out her “truisms”. The word (“truism”) itself, as well as her statements, stuck with me.

Some were, indeed, hardly worth mentioning:
A name means a lot just by itself
A relaxed man is not necessarily a better man
Disgust is the appropriate response to most situations
Every achievement requires a sacrifice
It's not good to operate on credit

Some made me think:
Ambition is just as dangerous as complacency
A strong sense of duty imprisons you
Categorizing fear is calming
Men are not monogamous by nature
Sacrificing yourself for a bad cause is not a moral act
You are the past present and future

Others I agreed with:
Abuse of power comes as no surprise
A little knowledge can go a long way
A positive attitude means all the difference in the world
Action causes more trouble than thought
Ambivalence can ruin your life
If you live simply there is nothing to worry about
Ignoring enemies is the best way to fight
It's better to be naive than jaded
It's just an accident that your parents are your parents
Murder has its sexual side
Raise boys and girls the same way
When something terrible happens people wake up
Wishful thinking is not effective
Worrying can help you prepare
You are a victim of the rules you live by
You owe the world not the other way around

Others I disagreed with (and was so disturbed she’d consider them truisms):
Crime against property is relatively unimportant
Decency is a relative thing
Enjoy yourself because you can't change anything anyway
Everything that's interesting is new
Morals are for little people
Exceptional people deserve special concessions
Loving animals is a substitute activity
Money creates taste
To disagree presupposes moral integrity
You must have one grand passion
Your actions are pointless if no one notices

Luca asks why I am including entries that are not strictly about food in this blog.

Because they are food for thought.

We both agree this is a truism.

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