April 13, 2010
 

Desiderata, "Interneterata" & Love on MadAve

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Desiderata: Good advice in bad times.

2009 was a love-challenged year. Like every other business sector, there were lots of tears and jobs lost on Madison Avenue. Yet love still goes on, even in the face of economic decline.

If there ever was a work of art that illuminates what is needed in these troubling times, it is Terre Haute, Indiana lawyer, Max Ehrmann's "Desiderata." According to Wikipedia, "Desiderata" (Latin for "desired things", plural of desideratum) is an inspirational prose poem about attaining happiness in life.

In the spirit of laughter and fun-making, at the end of this poem we also list Interneterata, a digeratian spoof on Mr. Ehrmann's work. It's important to find good-natured laughter almost anywhere. There is no question that Max would have agreed!

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Copyright 1952.

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Interneterata

Go placidly amid the spam and waste,
and remember what peace there may be in a decent firewall.
As far as possible without surrender
never run untrusted executables.
Post your comments quickly but clearly;
and read the others,
EVEN THE ONES IN CAPS, and the ignorant;
we too were noobs once

Avoid trolls and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the forums.
If you compare yourself with others,
make sure they've got less posts than you;
for always there will be greater and lesser members than yourself.
Enjoy reading news sites as well as your blogs

Keep interested in your own myspace, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your ebay affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for prompt delivery;
and everywhere life is full of fast payers.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign Wikipedia credentials.
Neither be cynical about social networking;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is actually a pretty cool technology.

Take kindly the counsel of the moderators,
gracefully surrendering to their wishes.
Nurture strength of hosting to shield you in sudden slashdotting.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of FUD and hype.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be careful what you click.

You are a child of the internet,
no less than the TBLs and the ESRs;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the web is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with W3C,
whatever you conceive It to be,
and whatever your language and protocols,
in the noisy confusion of code keep compliant with your standards.

With all its spam, privacy policies, and broken links,
it is still a beautiful net.
Use Firefox.
Strive not to be hacky.

Here are some of our editors' other favorite works to read aloud as you cobble around the fireplace with some Hot Cider Rum Punch!

How Do I Love Thee?
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

The Passionate Shepherd To His Love
by Christopher Marlowe

Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day?
by William Shakespeare

She Walks In Beauty
by George Gordon, Lord Byron

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