Mar 302010
 

I’ve culled through the original contest post for legitimate entries. By “legitimate,” I mean not quotations from other writers or lines stolen from Jonah. I also, regretfully, eliminated my own entries. Here is the list so far (let me know if anyone feels unjustly left off). Entries are now officially closed. But some of you voted before some of the latest entries came in. See below or check entries and comments on the original contest post.

Please feel free to cast votes for your favourite in the comments section (no secret ballot); I’ve decided there will be two winners, one chosen by the judges, and one chosen by readers. Read the entries carefully; some of them are actually multiple entries. Anyone who cares to can vote; this isn’t restricted to students or former students.

Some rules of the road: 1) Don’t vote more than once. You can enter more than once, but you can’t vote more than once. 2) Check to make sure you know what an aphorism is before your vote. (I know, I know–I’m a pedant.) 3) You can change your vote as long as you make it clear that this is what you’re doing. 4) You can add supporting commentary to your vote. 5) Make sure you are clear in your comment/ballot which aphorism you are voting for.

Here’s a running tabulation of results as of 5pm, April 8

Lucy! (my dog) An aphorism is 2 votes (a third vote, from Gary’s son, is in dispute because he didn’t actually vote himself; also Gary wrote [somehow channeling my dog, I guess] the aphorism and voted for himself–not necessarily against the rules; also Robin, who voted for it, is uncertain if it is an aphorism–as usual the People are a fractured and disputatious lot)

Michele Irwin For Bard 2 votes

Axelrod  Donne… 2 votes

Axelrod When you wish 1 vote

Axelrod There is nothing quite 1 vote

Lucy! (my dog) An aphorism is 1 vote

dg

———————————–

Talk is cheap — because supply exceeds demand.

Steven Axelrod

March 15, 2010 at 4:05 pm Edit
———————

This is from a story I wrote last semester…

The are three kinds of people when it comes to this
war: those who think we can do nothing right, those who think we can do nothing wrong, and those who have actually experienced combat and no longer believe in concepts like right and wrong.

rjfarrell28

March 15, 2010 at 6:19 pm Edit
—————————-

The most curious cat has no interest in the price of dog food.

Steven Axelrod

March 15, 2010 at 6:29 pm Edit
———————–

From one of my stories:

Essays are fictions, in which writers efface themselves, pretending they are not there, perhaps even believing it. Ideas are an essay’s themes, used to produce the illusion of substance; facts are the details the story teller selects to give the impression of reality. Its plot is the progression of its argument, which, as in fiction, moves to the consummation of some desire, or the destruction of another.

Gary

March 15, 2010 at 6:47 pm Edit
——————–

Beware the aphorism: a leading cause of spontaneous aneurysm.

Jake

March 15, 2010 at 9:32 pm Edit
—————–

Aph or isms – take your pick.

Julie Larios

March 15, 2010 at 10:45 pm Edit
—————–

Women soften men’s souls, without true love music would be about violence and brutality and a bunch of idiots whacking each other with clubs.

Madeleine (age 11)

Madeleine

March 15, 2010 at 10:46 pm Edit
——————-

From my upcoming book:

For all the things we say to our children for their own good, very little good ever comes of it.

Robin

March 16, 2010 at 1:28 am Edit
———————-

An aphorism is a neatly phrased declarative sentence that we could have done without.

David Helwig

March 16, 2010 at 8:08 am Edit
——————

Dear Sirs,

Kindly accept my submission of “For Bard: An Aphorism” to your prestigious contest.

I realize that perhaps it falls a little outside your stringent guidelines in terms of actually being an aphorism, but I trust that you will be impressed enough with the fine use of alliteration, rhyme, and meter to slip it through onto the short list.

I anxiously await your response.

“For Bard: An Aphorism”

Forsake not my love for suspect art
For ’tis less vain by far,
To leave the flames of fame unfanned
Than be left alone with self in hand.
Michele Irwin

——————–

Words are the tools by which writers erase the line between themselves and the world.

Cheryl Wilder

March 16, 2010 at 8:46 am Edit
——————-

My place of employment is a circus show of the illiterate.

Kate

March 16, 2010 at 11:11 am Edit
——————-

While a competitive runner, I developed the theory that long distance running is comparable to life in that both are roughly 95% boredom and pain punctuated by moments of transcendence. As I became a wiser person and a better runner I refined this theory with the following postulates:

• The more moments of transcendence one accumulates, the less trying the painful parts are.

• The more one runs (or lives) the more the transcendence fuses with the boredom, so that repetitive acts – the endless repetition of one foot in front of the other, both literal and figurative – become transcendent acts in themselves.

• This theory applies to most other disciplines, including but not limited to writing, meditation, child-rearing, and sex.

johnproc

March 16, 2010 at 12:12 pm Edit
——————

fiction writer must observe like a scientist and lie like a baptist.

Julie of Musketaquid

March 16, 2010 at 1:12 pm Edit
—————-

Swimming is like writing. To swim is to dream, to dream is to make love — or write.

Julie of Musketaquid

March 16, 2010 at 1:13 pm Edit
——————

A loss of face requires more than plastic surgery to fix.

Natalia Sarkissian

March 16, 2010 at 1:31 pm Edit
——————

Sometimes silence is the best thing I’ve heard all day.

Cheryl Wilder

March 16, 2010 at 2:34 pm Edit
——————

“Every cloud has a silver lining” — yeah, it’s called rain.

Steven Axelrod

March 16, 2010 at 3:32 pm Edit
——————

When you wish upon a star, nothing happens — at least, so far.

Steven Axelrod

March 16, 2010 at 3:34 pm Edit
————–

In America we have the perfect combination of economic systems: capitalism for the poor, and state socialism for the rich.

Steven Axelrod

March 16, 2010 at 3:59 pm Edit
——————-

The flattery of a fool — as meaningless as the nutrition facts on a candy bar wrapper

Steven Axelrod

March 16, 2010 at 4:00 pm Edit
—————

When writers can think of nothing to say, they type “What is truth?” and leave the room without waiting for an answer and head for the bar to spend the afternoon pontificating on truth and writing.

hathaway

March 16, 2010 at 5:12 pm Edit
————

Dream girls don’t go to the bathroom.

Steven Axelrod

March 16, 2010 at 7:23 pm Edit
——————

From my novel-in-progress:

Memory is a strange servant of the imagination.

Vanessa Blakeslee

March 17, 2010 at 8:24 am
————-

Zoloft does more than Nietzsche could
to make you feel neither bad nor good.

hathaway

March 17, 2010 at 4:08 pm Edit
—————–

Happiness is getting drunk on clean living.

Madeleine

March 17, 2010 at 10:27 pm Edit
——————-

Once pockets did jingle, but now empty houses ring and phones bleat like suddenly seized mice.

hathaway

March 17, 2010 at 4:43 pm Edit
—————

Wag your tail, something might happen. Usually it does. — Picadou, pug

C.M. Mayo

March 18, 2010 at 3:08 am Edit
——————

Cats are Dog’s idea of free entertainment. If I were a person, I would like to watch Roller Derby.
– Picadou, pug

C.M. Mayo

March 18, 2010 at 3:09 am Edit
——————

Aphorism, schmaphorism. Bring on the chopped liver.
– Picadou’s New York cuz

C.M. Mayo

March 18, 2010 at 3:10 am Edit
————-

If you’re Caesar, you don’t worry about tweezing your nose hairs.

C.M. Mayo

March 18, 2010 at 8:45 pm Edit
——————

You can tell a lot about a marriage by the hair growing in the husband’s ears.

C.M. Mayo

March 18, 2010 at 8:46 pm Edit
—————-

Procrastination is coming up with aphorisms involving nose hair for someone else’s blog.

C.M. Mayo

March 18, 2010 at 8:48 pm Edit
——————

In the egg of procrastination, there is the yolk of fun.

C.M. Mayo

March 18, 2010 at 11:02 pm Edit
————-

The yolk of fun can be fried, which is good if you’re hungry, but bad if you’re a chicken embryo. Not that I give a wuf about chicken embryos. Bring on the chopped liver!!
–Picadou’s New York cuz’s girlfriend

C.M. Mayo

March 18, 2010 at 11:17 pm Edit
———————

An aphorism is a blue dog tripping through the snow.

Gary

March 19, 2010

______________________

Quoting other people’s aphorisms is like wearing a death mask to eat bagels.

C.M. Mayo

March 19, 2010 at 10:27 pm Edit
———————

Like certain bagels, death masks can be unexpectedly appealing. Mostly, though, they’re tough to chew.

C.M. Mayo

March 21, 2010 at 12:21 am Edit
—————-

If you’re so smart, why are you rich?

Why do the righteous rage?

Why live as if you’re already dead? Plenty of time for that is coming right up.

“What’s love got to do with it?” Always a rhetorical question.

hathaway

March 22, 2010 at 3:38 pm Edit
——————

Everyone in journalism has written thirty pages of a novel. Except for the ones who have only written fifteen.

Steven Hart

March 23, 2010 at 8:03 pm Edit
——————–

No matter where, how, or why someone is born, each individual arrives to this planet with an inherent value as a human being. That value, if it were necessary to put a number on it, is worth one for everyone, for as long as they live. It is people’s opinion turned into judgments what gives the illusion that some are worth more or less than others.

Tomás

March 23, 2010 at 11:05 pm Edit
——————

Drowning men don’t complain about smog.

Steven Axelrod

March 23, 2010 at 11:52 pm Edit
——————

There is nothing quite so arrogant as the humility of a priest.

Steven Axelrod

March 23, 2010 at 11:53 pm Edit
———————

God smiles on you, like a coyote smiles at a house-cat.

Steven Axelrod

March 23, 2010 at 11:54 pm Edit
——————–

The perfect compromise leaves all parties equally unhappy.

Steven Axelrod

March 23, 2010 at 11:55 pm Edit
———————-

Three inviolable facts of human nature: everyone wants a car and driver; everyone loves Italian food; and everyone thinks they can write song lyrics.

Steven Axelrod

March 24, 2010 at 12:06 am Edit
—————–

Caught by the easy social graces and the toxic charisma of the most dangerous people among us, we skitter like insects on the surface tension of their charm, ignoring the dark fathoms of calculation, the Lake Bikal of mendacity, below.

Steven Axelrod

March 24, 2010 at 12:11 am Edit
——————

Donne was wrong: every man is an island, and without that saving strand of water between us we would all go mad.

Steven Axelrod

March 24, 2010 at 12:11 am Edit
—————–

People who live in glass houses understand the greenhouse effect.

Steven Axelrod

March 24, 2010 at 12:12 am Edit
——————-

Never tell an aspiring screenwriter to to get his hopes up: it’s one of the few cheap thrills you can get in Hollywood.

Steven Axelrod

March 24, 2010 at 12:16 am Edit
——————

Humility is sanity.

Gary

March 26, 2010 at 4:59 pm Edit
——————-

Alternately:

Sanity is humiliating.

Julie Larios

March 28, 2010 at 4:07 am
——————-

Nobody said sanity was necessarily a good thing.

Gary

March 28, 2010 at 12:19 pm Edit
———————

Every aphorism has its opposite.

Except that one. Every opposite doesn’t have an aphorism.

Is that an aphorism?

Gary

March 28, 2010 at 1:13 pm Edit
—————–

“A mapped world is always small.”

Nina Alvarez

March 29, 2010 at 11:48 pm Edit
—————-

Writing, like sex, seems to make sense when you’re drunk, but it always gets complicated the next day if it’s any good.

Gwen
March 30
———————–

Just because you like to dance doesn’t mean you’re good at it.

Gwen
March 30
——————————

Fuck the ineffable.

Gwen

March 30, 2010 at 11:18 pm Edit

——————————-

Ineff the fuckable.

Gary

March 31, 2010 at 3:49 pm Edit
—————————-

Ultimatums: a woman’s favorite form of gambling.

Steven Axelrod

March 31, 2010 at 2:47 pm Edit

————————-

  12 Responses to “The First Ever Numéro Cinq Aphorism Contest–the People’s Choice Ballot”

  1. I’m voting for Axelrod…his repeated entries (saturate the market, right?) wore me down. I vote for the arrogance of a humble priest one.

    My second place vote (I know it doesn’t count) would be for Caesar’s nose hair.

  2. An aphorism is a blue dog tripping through the snow.

    I love this one, but give the prize to the one who inspired it and deserves it, Lucy.

  3. I vote for Michele Irwin because it states on the contest page that wit and arrogance would be appreciated and Michele Irwin’s aphorism is quite witty and is so arrogant that the rudeness of it is clearly vague.

  4. i vote for steven axelrod : When you wish upon a star, nothing happens — at least, so far.!!!!!!

  5. My vote goes here:

    Donne was wrong: every man is an island, and without that saving strand of water between us we would all go mad.

  6. I vote for Michele Irwin’s entry too, because of its wit, playful arrogance, and invention. And I like its clearly vague rudeness too!

  7. I’m voting for Steven Axelrod too, clearly a talented, witty, arrogant 😉 and inspired writer of aphorisms. The Donne one gets my top vote (although I liked the glass houses/greenhouse effect one too).

  8. My vote goes to young Madeleine’s “Happiness is getting drunk on clean living.” Her aphorism shows an intuitive sense of “balanced antithesis” as well an innocence and knowingness at once.

  9. I vote for Axelrod’s “The most curious cat has no interest in the price of dog food.”

  10. My son votes for the dog.

  11. I’m very fond of “An aphorism is a blue dog tripping through the snow,” EXCEPT I think it’s a metaphor instead of an aphorism, but even so, it’s the one I can’t get out of my mind.

Leave a Reply