Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Nose of the Mind

Is there such a thing as a universal catch-all response to any question? Frank Key reckons that Elberry’s phraseI know people in Finland” has a claim to that status.

Meanwhile, in the anti-poetry thread David gives us the apparently non sequiturial but in fact profound aphorism "Strategic management scholars are the unacknowledged legislators of the world."

Father Ted, I seem to recall, answered all questions of religion put to him by his parishioners with the phrase, "That would be an ecumenical matter."

And on the religious theme, who can ignore the claims to universal applicability of "I’m the Bishop of Southwark, it’s what I do"?

Personally I think it’s overambitious to expect just one phrase to cover every eventuality (as a youth I invested too much faith in Paul Newman’s insouciant line in, I think, Hud: “It don’t make no difference to me”, which got me into lukewarm water with a few authority figures). Under interrogation, one needs a small stock of responses with just enough plausibility and absurdity to put the questioner off his stride.

As ever, we can turn to Boswell’s Johnson:

He entered upon a curious discussion of the difference between intuition and sagacity ; one being immediate in its effect, the other requiring a circuitous process ; one, he observed, was the eye of the mind, the other the nose of the mind.

So the next time you make some perfectly reasonable claim, such as that poetry is rubbish or that hamsters are evil, and some oik pipes up rudely with “How would you know?”, you can reply: “I know it through the nose of my mind.”

If the oik is obnoxious enough to suggest that there is no such thing as the nose of the mind, you can politely suggest he avails himself of a copy of Boswell’s Life Of.

If he further claims that it doesn’t matter who came up the damn 'nose of the mind' because the expression isn’t in the public domain, you can beam serenely and exit with the line: "That, my friend, is the public’s fault, not mine.”

15 comments:

malty said...

Behaviour is a mirror in which everyone shows his image.

Some people keep knocking on the wall with a hammer and imagine they are hitting the nail on the head every time.

Goethe, after a blazing row with the missus.

Gaw said...

I hope you realise you have released into the blogiverse a weapon of frightening irrefutability. I hope it's never used on you...

malty said...

"I thought you told me that I had to use my own initiative"

worm said...

what does the nose of your mind look like?

Mine looks like alex fergusons

Peter Burnet said...

Evidence! I want evidence that the nose of the mind exists! And make no mistake, when I say evidence, I mean first-order evidence.

Brit said...

Worm: like Noseybonk's.

Sophie King said...

When confronted by whingeing you can always point your gun and say, "Deserve's got nuthin' to do with it". (Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven.)

malty said...

Can ones mind sneeze, drip or be an indicator of ones alcohol consumption or grow as we tell porkies? can it be tapped knowingly, indicating that we fully understand, can it be poked into someone else's business. Could this hooter of the grey matter be prosthetic or M Jackson like, surgically enhanced. Could the minds conk smell trouble a mile away or a brewing storm.
If our minds are sprouting eyes and noses, what next, belly buttons?
buttocks?

worm said...

“I know it through the nose of my mind.”


“I speak it through the mouth in my buttocks.”

David said...

Just when I think I've got body-mind duality licked, you go and introduce body-mind-body triality. Does my mind's nose have a mind of its own?

Peter Burnet said...

I think it does, David. It snorts, therefore it is.

worm said...

and in the nose filled minds of others,

I stink, therefore I am

malty said...

Sinus in my minds eye be, aquiline the shape I see, hairs protrude both left and right, running at the very sight, Roman kink shows in the light. Drops it needs to sooth its ache, keeps the snot away from steak, Brit the origin of this tale, his caught in the door and he doth wail, we bloggers though have nerves of steel, our hooters are our Achilles heel.

Brit said...

Wonderful, Malty. It reminds me of the spoken word passages that pop up on Moody Blues albums.

karim said...

Very thoughtfull post . It should be very much helpfull

Thanks,
Karim - Positive thinking