Tuesday, October 30, 2007

words to (in)action

Just writing. No thoughts as I type. We’ll see where ADHD takes us.

Basketball season started tonight. I detest basketball. It isn’t the game, per se, it’s the players. Just a bunch of highly focused egomaniacs. Too much money and too little brains. I remember a comic 20 or 30 years ago that did a bit about alternative careers if sports or acting was not available (read, "income greatly disproportional to effort). He was an impersonator-type guy – did Kirk Douglas saying, “You want fries with that?”

So LA is probably going to get Joe Torre. That’s a good thing. They’ll get Don Mattingly in the deal. One manager for 4 years or so, then another for 10 of more. You’re welcome. It’d be nice if Marino Rivera went, too. Stocking the left coast with some good Yankee talent. Somebody somewhere is turning in their grave as the Bronx Bombers start to shift talent to the Brooklyn Dodgers. Somebody somewhere is also paying off an old debt. Muscle memory kicks in a bit because I lived by SF for so long. We used to sit in the stands at Candlestick and taunt Tommy Lasorda. We hated LA. But SF sucks. And I warmed up to LA when they warmed up to Pat O’Reilly. NY and LA seem to have this symbiosis that I can accept.

Enough sports.

I was drifting around the net and found something called The Ultimate Final. A lot of the other stuff on the page was hit or miss, but this bit was humorous …


Read each question carefully. Answer all questions. Time limit: 4 hours. Begin immediately.

History. Describe the history of the papacy from its origins to the present day, concentrating especially but not exclusively, on it social, political, economic, religious, and philosophical impact on Europe, Asia, America and Africa. Be brief, concise, and specific.

Medicine. You have been provided with a razor blade, a piece of gauze, and a bottle of Scotch. Remove your appendix. Do not suture until your work has been inspected. You have fifteen minutes.

Public Speaking. 2500 riot-crazed aborigines are storming the classroom. Calm them. You may use any ancient language except Latin or Greek.

Biology. Create life. Estimate the differences in subsequent human culture if the form of life had developed 50 million years earlier, with special attention to its probable effect on the English parliamentary system. Prove your thesis.

Music. Write a piano concerto. Orchestrate and perform it with flute and drum. You will find a piano under your seat.

Psychology. Based on your knowledge of their works evaluate the emotional stability, degree of adjustment and repressed frustrations of each of the following: Alexander of Aphrodites, Ramses II, Gregory of Nicea, Hammurabi. Support your evaluation with quotations from each man's work, making appropriate references. It is not necessary to translate.

Sociology. Estimate the sociological problems which might accompany the end of the world. Construct an experiment to test your theory.

Engineering. The disassembled parts of a high-powered rifle have been placed on your desk. You will also find an instruction manual, printed in Swahili. In ten minutes a hungry Bengal tiger will be admitted to the room. Take whatever action you feel appropriate. Be prepared to justify your decision.

Economics. Develop a realistic plan for refinancing the national debt. Trace the possible effects of your plan in the following areas. Cubism, the Donatist controversy, the wave theory of light. Outline a method for preventing these effects. Criticize this method from all possible points of view. Point out the deficiencies in your point of view, as demonstrated in your answer to the last question.

Political Science. There is a red telephone on the desk beside you. Start World War III. Report at length on it socio-political effects, if any.

Epistemology. Take a position for or against truth. Prove the validity of your position.

Physics. Explain the nature of matter. Include in your answer an evaluation of the impact of the development of mathematics on science.

Astronomy. Define the universe. Give three examples.

General Knowledge. Describe in detail. Be objective and specific

There’s another line on the site that I am going to use sometimes: The more you run over a dead cat, the flatter it gets. Words to live by. It’s followed (in the Corporate America section) with, There is always one more imbecile than you counted on. Man, ain’t that a statement we’ve all proven out countless times.

One final bit from the Laws of Combat, but could just as well be in the Corporate America section: If the enemy is in range, so are you.

So I’ve been trying in some ways, marginally so, without much diligence, perspective, or commitment, to put things into perspective in my life. It’s tiring, even debilitating, to go from one fire to the next. There must be some respite out there. Planning, anticipating, avoiding the easy problems would change so much. Ah, fuck it. It’s tough being us, eh?

I need to stop writing now because I feel a bad flip coming. Look out, fire in the hole!!!

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