On Keeping Your Opinions to Yourself

My brother will be looking for a job soon, and so far he’s ignoring my advice to clean up his Facebook profile. The problem isn’t wild party pictures, he’s quite the diligent student, it’s his wild political views. My philosophy is that when you’re selling something, including yourself, you should be as inoffensive as possible. Posting extreme political beliefs guarantees you’ll alienate a big part of your market.

So when I recently ran across this quotation from Mark Twain, I smugly noted that he agreed with me:

Sane and intelligent human beings … carefully and cautiously and diligently conceal their private real opinions from the world and give out fictitious ones in their stead for general consumption. — Mark Twain in Mark Twain in Eruption: Hitherto Unpublished Pages About Men and Events
This year is the 100th anniversary of Twain’s death and his autobiography is hitting stores November 15. According to the publisher, Twain left strict instructions that the book “remain unpublished for 100 years [so that] he would be ‘dead, and unaware, and indifferent,’ and that he was therefore free to speak his ‘whole frank mind.'”

In other words, you can think of AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARK TWAIN as a 100-year-old version of Twain’s uncensored Facebook page (although I’m guessing it’s better written than the average Facebook page).

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