How can it be that you talk to someone and it’s done in a second? But it IS done in a second — it’s done in a second and 34 years. It’s done in a second and every experience, and every movie, and every thing in my life that’s in my head.
Serious v Solemn
Be serious, it says. What it means, of course, is, be solemn. Being solemn is easy. Being serious is hard. Children almost always begin by being serious, which is what makes them so entertaining when compared with adults as a class. Adults, on the whole, are solemn. In politics, the rare candidate who is serious, like Adlai Stevenson, is easily overwhelmed by one who is solemn, like Eisenhower. That’s because it is hard for most people to recognize seriousness, which is rare, but more comfortable to endorse solemnity, which is commonplace. Jogging, which is commonplace, and widely accepted as good for you, is solemn. Poker is serious. Washington, D.C. is solemn. New York is serious. Going to educational conferences to tell you anything about the future is solemn. Taking a long walk by yourself, during which you devise a foolproof scheme for robbing Tiffany’s, is serious.