Morality Is All in the Point of View

Added on by C. Maoxian.

The other day my Twitter buddy @PlanMaestro tweeted this quote which intrigued me:

“If you make people think they’re thinking, they’ll love you; but if you really make them think, they’ll hate you.”

I asked him the source and he replied "Don Marquis," whom I'd never heard of, so I wikipedia'd him and learned that he was a turn of the century writer and contemporary of Mencken's.  This led me to buy a book, The Annotated Archy and Mehitabel, a collection of columns mainly written by Marquis's muse "archy," a free-verse poet reincarnated into the body of a cockroach.  One hundred years later archy's observations remain funny and revealing.

Here's archy's column from November 12, 1917:

boss my interest in science

is keen but my

sympathy with scientists is

declining very rapidly the 

more i see of them the less i

want them to see

me i heard a couple of

entomologists talking the

other day you want to be sure

and get over to the brooklyn

museum on thursday evening he said

there is going to be a 

lecture on a new

kind of killing bottle good

said the second one i will 

surely be there if there is

anything that is needed for 

the cause right now

it is a new killing bottle i

looked at him and he

seemed a kind hearted man too

just thoughtless likely

i thought what is sport to

you old fellow is

death to us insects morality

is all in the point

of view if the cockroaches

should start killing the 

humans just to study them there

would a howl go up from 

danville illinois to 

beersheba palestine even germans

are not gassed for study but

only in the way of

business and battle many would

think twice about stepping 

on a pacifist who would

send any number of potato bugs

to their funeral pyre without 

remorse justice as maurice

maeterlinck points out is not

inherent in the universe and what

man has put there he 

uses when he uses it at all

strictly for his own

purposes the world is so sad that

the only way to live

with it is to laugh at it