The Art of Tetman Callis

Some of the stories and poems may be inappropriate for persons under 16

The Art of Tetman Callis header image 1

We can come up with an example

June 21st, 2018 · No Comments

“Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent. Selected from the rest of mankind, their minds are early poisoned by importance; and the world they act in differs so materially from the world at large, that they have but little opportunity of knowing its true interests, and when they succeed to the government are frequently the most ignorant and unfit of any.” – Thomas Paine, “Common Sense”

→ No CommentsTags: Politics & Law · Thomas Paine

Choose your poison, it chooses you

June 20th, 2018 · No Comments

“Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a Government, which we might expect in a country without Government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest ; and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in every other case advises him, out of two evils to choose the least. Wherefore, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expence and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others.” – Thomas Paine, “Common Sense” (emphases in original)

→ No CommentsTags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution · Thomas Paine

From the specific to the general

June 19th, 2018 · No Comments

“The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind. Many circumstances have, and will arise, which are not local, but universal, and through which the principles of all lovers of mankind are affected, and in the event of which their affections are interested.” – Thomas Paine, “Common Sense”

→ No CommentsTags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution · Thomas Paine

Knowing the difference

June 18th, 2018 · No Comments

“A long Habit of not thinking a Thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of Custom.” – Thomas Paine, “Common Sense” (emphases in original)

→ No CommentsTags: Politics & Law · Thomas Paine

Keeping and bearing

June 17th, 2018 · No Comments

“The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The balance of power is the scale of peace. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside. And while a single nation refuses to lay them down, it is proper that all should keep them up. Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them; for while avarice and ambition have a place in the heart of man, the weak will become a prey to the strong. The history of every age and nation establishes these truths, and facts need but little arguments when they prove themselves.” – Thomas Paine, “Thoughts on Defensive War” (emphases in original)

→ No CommentsTags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution · Thomas Paine

Can you hear them calling

June 16th, 2018 · No Comments

“Do you think that your fathers are watching? That they weigh you in their ledgerbook? Against what? There is no book and your fathers are dead in the ground.” – Cormac McCarthy, The Road

→ No CommentsTags: Cormac McCarthy · Lit & Crit

It’s nothing personal

June 15th, 2018 · No Comments

“People were always getting ready for tomorrow. . . . Tomorrow wasn’t getting ready for them.” – Cormac McCarthy, The Road

→ No CommentsTags: Cormac McCarthy · Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

Here it comes again

June 14th, 2018 · No Comments

“Maybe you should always be on the lookout. If trouble comes when you least expect it then maybe the thing to do is to always expect it.” – Cormac McCarthy, The Road

→ No CommentsTags: Cormac McCarthy · Lit & Crit

Not a robot, usually

June 13th, 2018 · No Comments

“A person who had no one would be well advised to cobble together some passable ghost. Breathe it into being and coax it along with words of love. Offer it each phantom crumb and shield it from harm.” – Cormac McCarthy, The Road

→ No CommentsTags: Cormac McCarthy · Lit & Crit

Now is a good time

June 12th, 2018 · No Comments

“There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one’s heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.” – Cormac McCarthy, The Road

→ No CommentsTags: Cormac McCarthy · Lit & Crit

Some kind of justice

June 11th, 2018 · No Comments

“In the history of the world it might even be that there was more punishment than crime.” – Cormac McCarthy, The Road

→ No CommentsTags: Cormac McCarthy · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

All the time in the world

June 10th, 2018 · No Comments

“The last instance of a thing takes the class with it. Turns out the light and is gone. Look around you. Ever is a long time.” – Cormac McCarthy, The Road

→ No CommentsTags: Cormac McCarthy · Lit & Crit

Going all goo-goo eyed

June 9th, 2018 · No Comments

“Dignities and high sounding names have different effects on different beholders. The lustre of the Star and the title of My Lord, over-awe the superstitious vulgar, and forbid them to inquire into the character of the possessor: Nay more, they are, as it were, bewitched to admire in the great, the vices they would honestly condemn in themselves. This sacrifice of common sense is the certain badge which distinguishes slavery from freedom; for when men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.” – Thomas Paine, “Reflections on Titles” (emphases in original)

→ No CommentsTags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution · Thomas Paine

That’s not entertainment

June 8th, 2018 · No Comments

“Litigation is not a game. It is the time-honored method of seeking the truth, finding the truth, and doing justice.” – Judge Roslyn O. Silver, United States District Court for the District of Arizona, Haeger v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (2012)

→ No CommentsTags: Politics & Law

How they roll

June 7th, 2018 · No Comments

“Shattering those who answer innocently, is the tyrant’s way of easing his embarrassment.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, Part I (from Goethe’s Faust, trans. Walter Kaufman)

→ No CommentsTags: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

You take the high road

June 6th, 2018 · No Comments

“You would get along, dear couple?
Learn from us the art;
If you want to keep love supple,
You only have to part.”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, Part I (from Goethe’s Faust, trans. Walter Kaufman)

→ No CommentsTags: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe · Lit & Crit

A ring of power

June 5th, 2018 · No Comments

“I am sure, deep in his bag the poorest wanderer
Keeps some remembrance that gives pleasure,
And sooner starves than yields this treasure.”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, Part I (from Goethe’s Faust, trans. Walter Kaufman)

→ No CommentsTags: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe · Lit & Crit

And diamonds are a girl’s best friend

June 4th, 2018 · No Comments

“What good is beauty, even youth?
All that may be quite good and fair,
But does it get you anywhere?
Their praise is half pity, you can be sure.
For gold contend,
On gold depend
All things. Woe to us poor!”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, Part I (from Goethe’s Faust, trans. Walter Kaufman)

→ No CommentsTags: Economics · Johann Wolfgang von Goethe · Lit & Crit

Foiled again

June 3rd, 2018 · No Comments

“I now curse all that would enamor
The human soul with lures and lies,
Enticing it with flattering glamour
To live on in this cave of sighs.
Cursed above all our high esteem,
The spirit’s smug self-confidence,
Cursed be illusion, fraud, and dream
That flatter our guileless sense!
Cursed be the pleasing make-believe
Of fame and long posthumous life!
Cursed be possessions that deceive,
As slave and plough, and child and wife!
Cursed, too, be Mammon when with treasures
He spurs us on to daring feats,
Or lures us into slothful pleasures
With sumptuous cushions and smooth sheets!
A curse on wine that mocks our thirst!
A curse on love’s last consummations!
A curse on hope! Faith, too, be cursed!
And cursed above all else be patience!”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, Part I (from Goethe’s Faust, trans. Walter Kaufman)

→ No CommentsTags: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe · Lit & Crit

The bass notes

June 2nd, 2018 · No Comments

“I am too old to be content to play,
Too young to be without desire.
What wonders would the world reveal?
You must renounce! You ought to yield!
That is the never-ending drone
Which we must, our life long, hear.”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, Part I (from Goethe’s Faust, trans. Walter Kaufman)

→ No CommentsTags: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe · Lit & Crit

Willing to make a deal

June 1st, 2018 · No Comments

“Who holds the Devil, hold him tight!
He can’t expect to catch him twice.”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, Part I (from Goethe’s Faust, trans. Walter Kaufman)

→ No CommentsTags: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe · Lit & Crit

Restless through and through

May 31st, 2018 · No Comments

“Deep in the heart there dwells relentless care
And secretly infects us with despair;
Restless, she sways and poisons peace and joy
She always finds new masks she can employ:
She may appear as house and home, as child and wife,
As fire, water, poison, knife—
What does not strike, still makes you quail,
And what you never lose, for that you always wail.”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, Part I (from Goethe’s Faust, trans. Walter Kaufman)

→ No CommentsTags: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe · Lit & Crit

It burrows eternal

May 30th, 2018 · No Comments

“Hope never seems to leave those who affirm,
The shallow minds that stick to must and mold—
They dig with greedy hands for gold
And yet are happy if they find a worm.”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, Part I (from Goethe’s Faust, trans. Walter Kaufman)

→ No CommentsTags: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe · Lit & Crit

Yep

May 29th, 2018 · No Comments

“I have, alas, studied philosophy,
Jurisprudence and medicine, too,
And, worst of all, theology,
With keen endeavor, through and through—
And here I am, for all my lore,
The wretched fool I was before.”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, Part I (from Goethe’s Faust, trans. Walter Kaufman)

→ No CommentsTags: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe · Lit & Crit

Odd lot, they

May 24th, 2018 · No Comments

“The Germans are really a strange people. With their profound thoughts and ideas, which they seek everywhere and project into everything, they make life harder for themselves than they should.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, May 8, 1827 (from Goethe’s Faust, trans. Walter Kaufman)

→ No CommentsTags: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe · Lit & Crit

That’s why it dosn’t make any sense

May 23rd, 2018 · No Comments

“The more incommensurable and incomprehensible for the understanding a poetic creation may be, the better.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, May 8, 1827 ( from Goethe’s Faust, trans. Walter Kaufman)

→ No CommentsTags: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe · Lit & Crit

They’ll do you in

May 22nd, 2018 · No Comments

“A life chequered with uncommon varieties is seldom a long one. Action and care will in time wear down the strongest frame, but guilt and melancholy are poisons of quick despatch.” – Thomas Paine, “Reflections on the Life and Death of Lord Clive”

→ No CommentsTags: Lit & Crit · Thomas Paine

Not free from responsibility

May 21st, 2018 · No Comments

“There is nothing which obtains so general an influence over the manners and morals of a people as the Press; from that, as from a fountain, the streams of vice or virtue are poured forth over a country.” – Thomas Paine, “The Magazine in America” (emphasis in original)

→ No CommentsTags: Politics & Law · Thomas Paine

It’s almost a business model

May 20th, 2018 · No Comments

“The wisest assemblies of men are as liable as individuals, to corruption and error. The greatest ravages which have ever been committed upon the liberty and happiness of mankind have been by weak and corrupted republics.” – Thomas Paine, “A Dialogue Between General Wolfe and General Gage in a Wood Near Boston”

→ No CommentsTags: Politics & Law · Thomas Paine

Try that on for size

May 19th, 2018 · No Comments

“Christians are taught to account all men their neighbours; and love their neighbours as themselves; and do to all men as they would be done by; to do good to all men; and Man-stealing is ranked with enormous crimes. Is the barbarous enslaving our inoffensive neighbours, and treating them like wild beasts subdued by force, reconcilable with all these Divine precepts! Is this doing to them as we would desire they should do to us? If they could carry off and enslave some thousands of us, would we think it just ?—One would almost wish they could for once ; it might convince more than Reason, or the Bible.” – Thomas Paine, “African Slavery in America” (emphasis in original)

→ No CommentsTags: Politics & Law · Thomas Paine