Asher Black: Asher's Maxims

Asherisms: For Asher Black, maxims are a way of storing his voluminous thinking on any given subject via easy-access file labels in the soul. He's been writing them since 1992, when he read Kahlil Gibran's aphorisms in Sand and Foam, and he was spurred on a bit by Oscar Wilde. Some of his maxims are personal, and some are about the world, life, the universe, writing, love, pain, monsters, and nearly anything else he encounters. Some are things that go into making characters and stories and should be considered merely speculative and not taken too seriously.

Asher's Maxim 747

Culture is active. Cliché is template.

Asher's Maxim 746

Don’t confuse culture with cliché. They are mutually exclusive.

Asher's Maxim 745

An infant has power over others. He has merely to raise his voice and people jump or come running.

Asher's Maxim 744

Power over others is a weak man’s power.

Asher's Maxim 743

Power defies intention. When deliberately sought, it’s simulation.

Asher's Maxim 742

Creation requires pain. Anyone tells you otherwise is copying, not creating.

Asher's Maxim 741

All is not each. Conflating these concepts results in confusion.

Asher's Maxim 740

It’s the night of day that blinds us to the night of all else.

Asher's Maxim 739

Time leaves when we’re not looking.

Asher's Maxim 738

At times we are scavengers looking for the obvious.

Asher's Maxim 737

A snack as either a dessert, to be had rarely or on special occasions, or else something that grows out of the ground.

Asher's Maxim 736

Mancaves make good relationships.

Asher's Maxim 735

There’s a difference between a thing that costs more than it ought and a thing that costs more than it’s worth.

Asher's Maxim 734

The loudest person at the party stays the latest.

Asher's Maxim 733

What if the hardest people to be with are the most worth it?

Asher's Maxim 732

The stories we tell repeatedly shape the expectations we live with daily.

Asher's Maxim 731

The assumption that conflict originates in misunderstanding, madness, or malice undergirds the delusion that truth cannot withstand honest disagreement.

Asher's Maxim 730

Making stuff up is not a form of opinion.

Asher's Maxim 729

The distance between innocent and not guilty is equal to that between innocence and forgiveness.

Asher's Maxim 728

A final judgement is a postulate since, without an ultimate reckoning and vindication, the cosmos is absurd.

Asher's Maxim 727

If an earthworm knows God is there, that doesn’t mean it knows you and I are.

Asher's Maxim 726

To regard a thing as at once symbolic and really present requires a particular mode of perception, even if that mode can never be fully active in another context.

Asher's Maxim 725

One cannot legislate immunity or guilt, only a failure to account for it.

Asher's Maxim 724

Never ague with someone who can’t distinguish a question of fact from a matter of opinion.

Asher's Maxim 723

Socialism is the Scientology of politics.

Asher's Maxim 722

The tyrannies of children are simply more transparent than those of their elders.

Asher's Maxim 721

The post-civilized will eventually ruin anything.

Asher's Maxim 720

Kids create tyrannies – if not around appearance, then around thought.

Asher's Maxim 719

Revenge is best served in advance.

Asher's Maxim 718

No one can tell you who you are, but no one should try to figure out who they are without a friend.

Asher's Maxim 717

Projects get done by relentless consistency—by making small increments non-negotiable, and seizing quantum opportunities when available.

Asher's Maxim 716

I used to think the most valuable thing I have is my freedom; but more valuable than that is knowing who I am.

Asher's Maxim 715

Vice is when we try to fill a need illicitly, because it’s not getting filled otherwise.

Asher's Maxim 714

It’s inconsistent for people to want all the wrath and rage of the Old Testament but not all the rules.

Asher's Maxim 713

I don’t approve of revenge, so when I engage in it, I’m proactive about it.

Asher's Maxim 712

Being happy and being content are different things; I’m much happier not deciding I’m finished already.

Asher's Maxim 711

To win a game you hate, you have to create your own rules and define winning as your own enjoyment.

Asher's Maxim 710

If you want to actually enjoy yourself at a cocktail party, give everyone permission to let their guard down.

Asher's Maxim 709

The cliquish person is the least comfortable and most out of place of everyone in the room.

Asher's Maxim 709

Social situations are a process of uncovering what another person really geeks out about.

Asher's Maxim 708

When there’s posturing, bluster, and one-upsmanship at a social gathering, just bring up art.

Asher's Maxim 707

An art studio is made of time.

Asher's Maxim 706

Saying “like” in every other sentence is contrary to New York values. New York is direct, not circuitous; it doesn’t pad things.

Asher's Maxim 705

The sin in my generosity to the poor is that I’m buying an avoidance; I’m paying the fear that an anguished person will want to be my friend.

Asher's Maxim 704

I don’t judge myself by what little I give but by the generosity I withhold.

Asher's Maxim 703

The problem with average people of high intelligence is feeling they have more license to blend bias and conjecture with reason.

Asher's Maxim 702

The problem with evolution is evolutionists; they share too many cultural assumptions with their opponents.

Asher's Maxim 701

I’d rather a thoughtful creationist than a knee-jerk evolutionist.

Asher's Maxim 700

Every criticism one can level against the average person is summed up by shitty music.

Asher's Maxim 699

Contradictions are not a sin; they’re evidence of experimentation.

Asher's Maxim 698

I’m not a workaholic; I merely over-deliver.

Asher's Maxim 697

If it weren’t for intellectual dishonesty, some people would have no intellect at all.

Asher's Maxim 696

Those who do well on standardized tests are more likely to follow directions because, in order to do well on standardized tests, you have to follow directions.

Asher's Maxim 695

I don’t imply things; I say them.

Asher's Maxim 694

I’ve no animosity toward any gender, race, class, or sexual orientation, but I find all caricatures offensively tedious.

Asher's Maxim 693

The belief that everyone deserves an opinion on everything destroys the prerequisite distinction between matters of opinion and questions of fact.

Asher's Maxim 692

For most men, God is the terror of the ego engulfed in endless wishing after an artificial world.

Asher's Maxim 691

A man who tells his girlfriend everything IS the girlfriend.

Asher's Maxim 690

Intrinsic to the ape, notably the human ape, is the capacity to rebel; it is an essential adaptation to a fallen cosmos.

Asher's Maxim 689

I hack everything I wear; if you can’t find the ‘screw you’ to convention in it, it just means my work for the day is subtle.

Asher's Maxim 688

The most important distinction between man and boy is that man has settled on the things about himself that don’t change and is committed to those with the confidence of hard-won self-knowledge.

Asher's Maxim 687

People with no regrets have either lived too little or are too morally insensitive to know what to regret.

Asher's Maxim 686

When the world is the object of focus, things are always as bad as they seem.

Asher's Maxim 685

The extortion of our industry, stripping of our liberties, and despoiling of our neighbors, are each predicated on the collusive evangelism of those who say it’s not nearly as bad as it seems.

Asher's Maxim 684

I’m not intentionally larger than myself. I think I just actually am the larger self.

Asher's Maxim 683

Being a writer is the opposite of being passionate for words; a writer murders and eviscerates his drafts, casting phrases into oblivion regardless of their beauty.

Asher's Maxim 682

Honing our survival skills conditions us to live in the worst possible circumstances; we need to hone the skills it takes to thrive.

Asher's Maxim 681

The acquisition of civilization makes me both a traditional conservative and traditional liberal, rather than the left or right wing product of a post-civilized milieu.

Asher's Maxim 680

Pages are bricks, and a manuscript is built one brick at a time.

Asher's Maxim 679

Current events are an essential fuel for fiction.

Asher's Maxim 678

The worst thing to do with an unfinished draft is re-read it.

Asher's Maxim 677

When you set to writing long form, you see how fast you are galloping toward death.

Asher's Maxim 676

If you intend to sit down to work on a novel several times a week for many months, you have to love what you’re making.

Asher's Maxim 675

Concealing actual thought has been the sine qua non of my public persona; so, it was more than necessary that my actual one should not.

Asher's Maxim 674

I choose relationships according to what’s innate in me, you choose on what’s innate in you and, if we’ve chosen each other, that’s the basis of our different expectations.

Asher's Maxim 673

The basis of one’s friendships isn’t chosen; it’s determined by innate personality; for me, it’s shared goals.

More from Asher Black

The Ashernet

Visit Asher's Other Haunts

Thanks to all 5500 (approx) Twitter followers. Maxims, ramblings, insights, and random ideas expressed are those of the author and not any agent, publisher, or bookseller.

Subscribe to Asher Black's email list. SPAM free.

Please enter your name.
Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.