Do You Feel Lucky?

(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Monday, June 01, 2015

In Many Cases #1: The Exceptions

In many cases, you find the exceptions will guide you on what to do for that particular instance. Typically, the particulars themselves are peculiar to the particular case, which is partly why they're called that. In a case like that, trying to go by a general (let alone an absolute!) rule, you're liable to throw your hands up and wave them only this time, you won't be faking it: you will in fact just not care, at that point. Because: why bother? When there's no way to judge right from wrong using your own mind, and previous experience, as compared against whatever general paradigmatics you've picked up on your own hook by listening to idealists and other absolutist assholes and salting to taste?

Especially if your taste tends to take more than a grain, or if you like me have been characterized (wrongly) by others as a "salty dog," by the time you may find you end up with more salt on your plate than suet you're liable to reconsider your whole line of thinking. And then what do you turn to to guide you?

The exceptions.

I mean - usually, you will. Not in every case, but you can't go far wrong or you look like an asshole. People will be pointing you out when you turn the other way, saying things like "sotto voce" and indicating in as many ways, hey, that's the fucking guy. He went far wrong.

Fact is, once you've got a reputation for acting a certain way, people aren't going to credit your exceptions very much. And that's where they go far wrong, but sadly, as a total fucking hypocrite you're in no shape to call them on it.

I think that's probably a pretty rough-hewn yet nonetheless kind of sort of decent take on the overview, for something as tough-to-get-ahold on as the exceptions in any given case, and in particular, how they stand in relation to the established norms and observed to be generally valid generalizations. The "forest for trees," if you will but remember, though - consider the exception! But don't take exception. Don't take it. Take it into account, yes! You have to, or else, well, we've already covered the risk picture on that one. You look like an asshole, and taking exception isn't going to change anybody's mind on that score. So don't.

I suppose if you have to, due to your own rough-and-trouble hand-hewn hardscrabble principles on the matter in question, then you're pretty much stuck. You'll have to take exception no matter how good my advice to the contrary clearly is, because its your principles at stake. You're beholden to them like nobody's business, pretty much, or else everybody's going to look at you and say "How does he sleep at night?" Principles, baby! That's how. But as long as you have no principles, sure, in that case take whatever exception seems worth the risk of looking like an asshole.

With principles, there's really nothing much you can do but follow them in every case regardless of exception. You have no choice - nobody wants to risk looking like a moral coward or worse - an intellectual.

This has been the first installment of our new, soon-to-be-recurring feature, "In Many Cases!" In which we will attempt to type things that seem related in some way or in any event, relatable, to the phrase itself. Here, we went the exception route - and can you blame us?

Nope. Not hardly.

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