“I can do no wrong, for I do not know what it is.”

There’s a lot more to Mark Twain than dry wit and folksy Americana.  There are depths of cynicism and bitterness to be plumbed.  Samuel Clemens looked around him and saw a world where none were righteous, hypocrisy was the order of the day, and God was chillingly elusive.  He joked about it.  His jokes have endured, in part, because of the weight behind them, and the truth in them.  In his darkest moods, his vision of the world was grim indeed:

“Life itself is only a vision, a dream.  Nothing exists save empty space and you, and you are but a thought.”

Unlike Clemens, I believe in God.  I believe in goodness, too.  He’s right about us being a worthless, greedy lot, though.

Sam Clemens is a hero of mine, and a fine example of the kind of cynicism I’m talking about.  Seeing himself surrounded by a world of darkness, he worked to shed light on it.


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