Si Non Oscillas, Noli Tintinnare
Today, I leave Chicago. That may come as a surprise to some of you, as I hadn’t exactly broadcast my arrival in the Windy City to begin with. Nevertheless, I’ve been here for a decent bit, but now it’s time to head back east.
Unaffected by the move, of course, has been the tag line “Si non oscillas, noli tintinnare,” emblazoned upon The Highly Official Weblog since first emerging in February of The Year of Our Lord, Twenty-Aught-Seven. But why did I ever choose that particular shibboleth in the first place? Well, two reasons: 1) it’s Latin, and most people assume anything written in a dead language is somehow of great intellectual value; 2) despite the apparent highbrow overtones of the phrase, the English translation is rather subversive—“If you don’t swing, don’t ring.”
And from whence did such learned inspiration spring? Why from none other than Hugh Hefner. Back in the early days of Playboy, Hef surveyed his empire from atop 1340 North State Parkway, right here in Chicago. Naturally, he had a doorbell, but to save himself the bother of determining which potential Playmates were products of a Classical education, Hef had the above phrase embossed on a brass plate over that very doorbell. Below, the exterior of the famous Gold Coast donjon; although one can no longer find warrens of Bunnies there, one can at least buy a condo in the original Playboy Mansion.
Thank you, Hef, and thank you, Chicago. Now it’s off to New York to begin an exciting new chapter of my life.