Posts Tagged ‘Ambrose Bierce’


SUCCESS, n. As commonly conceived in the United States, the transformation of oneself from productive worker to parasite. The greater the degree of parasitism, the greater the degree of success. See also “Parasitology” and “Hedge Fund Manager.

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— from The American Heretic’s Dictionary (revised & expanded), the 21st-century successor to Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary. (The link goes to 50 sample definitions and illustrations.)

American Heretic's Dictionary revised and expanded by Chaz Bufe, front cover


prayer

PRAYER, n. 1) A form of begging, unusual in that it’s often practiced as a solitary activity. When practiced in groups, it is normally referred to as “worship.” 2) A humble supplication, the premise of which is that the omnipotent, omniscient creator of the universe will benefit from the guidance of the humble supplicator.

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— from The American Heretic’s Dictionary (revised & expanded), the 21st-century successor to Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary. (The link goes to 50 sample definitions and illustrations.)

American Heretic's Dictionary revised and expanded by Chaz Bufe, front cover


Ambrose Bierce

“When the anointed minister of Heaven spreads his palms and uprolls his eyes to beseech a general blessing or a special advantage, is he the celebrant of a hollow, meaningless rite, or the dupe of a false premise? One does not know, but if one is not a fool one does know that his every resultless petition proves him by the inexorable laws of logic to be one or the other.”

–Ambrose Bierce, Selected Works


THANKSGIVING, n. 1) A day on which thanks are given that one’s bloated, python-digesting-a-deer feeling will soon pass, and that the day will not recur for another year; 2) A five-course family feast consisting of tension, boredom, anger, recrimination, and guilt, held under the pretense of picking over the carcass of a murdered bird.

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— from The American Heretic’s Dictionary (revised & expanded), the 21st-century successor to Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary. (The link goes to 50 sample definitions and illustrations.)

American Heretic's Dictionary revised and expanded by Chaz Bufe, front cover


"Hell" graphic by J.R. Swanson from "The Devil's Dictionaries"

HELL, n. A place of everlasting torment, much like the United States during an election year.

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— from The American Heretic’s Dictionary (revised & expanded), the 21st-century successor to Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary. (The link goes to 50 sample definitions and illustrations.)


AGNOSTIC, n. 1. An atheist who craves social acceptance; 2) A person who feels superior to atheists by merit of his ignorance of the rules of logic and evidence.

(Adding weight to the second definition, Pew Research Center just released a poll showing that agnostics were two-and-a-half times more likely than atheists to hold at least one irrational new age belief [“new age” being pronounced as a single word starting with “s” according to Penn & Teller] — in spiritual energy; psychics; reincarnation; and/or astrology. Agnostics were only slightly less credulous in this regard than Christians.)

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— from The American Heretic’s Dictionary (revised & expanded), the 21st-century successor to Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary. (The link goes to 50 sample definitions and illustrations.)

American Heretic's Dictionary revised and expanded by Chaz Bufe, front cover


graphic by J.R. Swanson

FREE ENTERPRISE, n. A system in which a few are born owning billions, most are born owning nothing, and all compete to accumulate wealth and power. If those born with billions succeed, it is due to their personal merits. If those born owning nothing fail, it is due to their personal defects.

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— from The American Heretic’s Dictionary (revised & expanded), the 21st-century successor to Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary. (The link goes to 50 sample definitions and illustrations.)

American Heretic's Dictionary revised and expanded by Chaz Bufe, front cover