TAZ TALKS – The Totally Awesome Retard

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There has been some confusion about TAZ TALKS versus TED TALKS. Actually, it’s pretty easy to tell the difference. TAZ TALKS feature intellectually challenging explorations of innovative ideas that boldly address the pivotal issues of our age, and ages to come.

TED TALKS, by contrast, are Tony Robbins infomercials for NPR listeners.

Hope that clears it up.

What follows is a transcript of Taz Talk #2 – presented by Taz Mopula at the Aspen, Colorado Airport Hilton on March 17, 2009.

Life Is Good When You’re A Totally Awesome Retard 


Ann Landers, Pema Chödrön, and Dr. Ruth Westheimer walk into a bar. The bartender says, “Help yourself.” True story.

TV was once exciting. Every new technology shows promise before plummeting to meet the level of its user.

Technology has democratized the tools of creativity, resulting in a tsunami even more cretinous and loathsome than anticipated.

Our ability to broadcast the wretched detritus of daily life is no argument for doing so; restraint is increasingly precious.

Humans can repair mechanical problems; but machines cannot repair human problems, only manifest them in new forms.

If technology makes our lives any more convenient, even breathing will become too much of an effort.

We think of the world as a dangerous place and realize too late that we are the most dangerous part of it.

I avoid all political discussions because the doctor told me to reduce my daily intake of anger and stupidity.

Common good must take precedence over all else: obstinate adherence to partisan ideology for its own sake is treasonous.

The problem with Democracy is that it allows absolutely everybody to participate; fortunately they don’t.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me every day and you’re ready to run for office.

The real tragedy of political correctness is that it has given lying a bad name.

You have the right to remain silent, and listen. Might be advisable to exercise it before they take that one away, too.

You can’t fool all of the people all of the time; but why would you even try when they’re so eager to do the job for you?

Never confuse fame with artistic quality, or wealth with value. Society gets what it wants, not what it needs.

For today’s artist, reality is an unsatisfactory inconvenience desperately in need of digital enhancement.

No one goes to school to become an artist; you go to school to avoid becoming an artist.

Why pay to exercise in a gym when you can enjoy an exercise in futility for free whenever you like?

Clever is a poor relation of smart, and a bitter enemy of wise. The inevitable consequence of knowledge is humility.

Whales and polar bears, yes; but you will never find intellectual sloth on the endangered list.

Should you meet someone who claims that visualizing a thing makes it so; tell them to visualize being flattened by a bus.

If you want to find your bliss, get yourself some blisters.

Exorcize your demons; don’t exercise them.

It’s not that I don’t love you, I do love you; I just don’t love you enough to lie to you.

Thank you.

Published by Alistair McHarg

Alistair McHarg was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, moved immediately to Edinburgh, and three years later moved to Amsterdam. At 6 he settled in Philadelphia and for 16 years was confused by Quaker education; Germanton Friends School and Haverford College. A Master of Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Louisville nudged him even closer to unemployability. Convinced at an early age that fate had chosen writing as his calling, Alistair followed a characteristically slow and circuitous path. He has found work as deck hand on a Norwegian tramp freighter touring South America, Bureau of Land Management Emergency Fire Fighter in Alaska, guide at a Canadian wilderness survival camp, truck driver crisscrossing Colorado's continental divide, and inner city cabbie. Alistair has been arranging words on paper for a living since 1983.