In two completely different contexts today, the book I'm reading about sick humor (Tony Hendra's Going Too Far) and the opening of yesterday's The Rick Emerson Show, I've run into National Lampoon's 1972 parody of the Desiderata:
Go placidly amid the noise and waste, And remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof. Avoid quiet and passive persons, unless you are in need of sleep. Rotate your tires. Speak glowingly of those greater than yourself, And heed well their advice, even though they be turkeys. Know what to kiss, and when. Consider that two wrongs never make a right, but that three do. Wherever possible, put people on hold. Be comforted that in the face of all aridity and disillusionment, and despite the changing fortunes of time, There is always a big future in computer maintenance.
Remember The Pueblo. Strive at all times to bend, fold, spindle, and mutilate. Know yourself. If you need help, call the FBI. Exercise caution in your daily affairs, Especially with those persons closest to you - That lemon on your left, for instance. Be assured that a walk through the ocean of most souls Would scarcely get your feet wet. Fall not in love therefore. It will stick to your face. Gracefully surrender the things of youth: birds, clean air, tuna, Taiwan. And let not the sands of time get in your lunch. Hire people with hooks. For a good time, call 606-4311. Ask for Ken. Take heart in the bedeepening gloom That your dog is finally getting enough cheese. And reflect that whatever fortune may be your lot, It could only be worse in Milwaukee.
You are a fluke of the universe. You have no right to be here. And whether you can hear it or not, The universe is laughing behind your back.
Therefore, make peace with your god, Whatever you perceive him to be - hairy thunderer, or cosmic muffin. With all its hopes, dreams, promises, and urban renewal, The world continues to deteriorate. Give up!