This page is purely the thoughts of the author(s). May this be a breeding ground for discussion, debate and new ideas.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Ink Man.

Inspired for the 2009 Tongue & Ink Conference, this guy became a series of fliers, which I know I have somewhere...

Cracked Soup

On a sunny day, a highly-educated, white, mid-height, average-looking woman walks into a suburban diner. The diner is clean, brightly lit from the many windows, and there is a diverse demographic of people filling about three-quarters of the total available tables, booths and stools at the counter. The bear-like build of the second-generation Greek owner stands behind the counter that separates the relatively open floor plan from the kitchen, wiping dishes dry with a dish towel. He chats with two well dressed white women slouched over their cups of tomato soup.
The highly-educated woman smiles at the owner and grabs a table that is almost dead center in the middle of the open floor space. The woman does not know the owner well, but she’s been to this diner more than once. Among other things, she likes the open floor plan, the brightly lit atmosphere and the tomato soup.
It is lunch time, and the woman wants to order food before going back to work. She goes up to the counter with her medium to small-sized vinyl purse with a metallic clasp in front. The owner sees her and puts down the dish he was drying. “Hello, how can I help you today?”
“Hi there, I’m thinking I would like a cup of that tomato soup. I’ll take a side salad with it, with French dressing.”
“Would you like anything to drink with that?” The owner asks.
“A cup of coffee and some water would be very nice.”
“Any dessert?”
The woman smiles again. “No thank you, I’ve got to watch the sugar intake while at work. Otherwise, your scones do look lovely.” She gestures with a nod of her head over to the small plastic casing filled with assorted fresh-baked pastry on top of the counter to her right, past the two women sitting on the stools. The women smile back.
“Well then, you should come back after work and treat yourself. Too much work and not enough treats makes for a hard week during such rough times. It’s part of why I reduced their price.”
“That’s part of why I came in. You have extremely affordable rates. It’s definitely appreciated.”
“Thank you. It’s all I can think of to do to keep business going. Business isn’t just about the money for me, it’s about what I can do to make someone’s day a little nicer. I often find I get more out of talking to people than I do with the process of making sure I stay solvent.” He sadly chuckles.
The working woman seems warmed by his comment, and gives him an appreciative smile.
The owner goes back to the cash register at his right and totals the order. “All right. The total is $6.22.”
“Like I said, very reasonable.” The woman unclasps her purse and picks through its meager contents to find her pocketbook. She pulls out three bills from it, one five dollar bill and two one dollar bills. She hands them to the owner over the counter, and he rings open the cash register with a mixture of automated beeps and the metallic ca-junk of the drawer being released into the owners’ gut.
The owner places the bills in each pile of like bills in the drawer, and pulls out three quarters and three pennies. With a smile, the owner then hands the change to the woman and says, “Your order will be out soon.”
The woman smiles back and closes her purse. She turns to go to the table she had marked with setting down her coat across the back of a chair. The spring air was chilly enough even with the bright blazing sun to need a coat when going outside. Yet the woman was quite comfortable inside.
However, once she gets to the table, she is aware of how much she needs to use the lady’s room. She had just drunk an entire twenty-ounced bottle of Aquafina before coming to the diner. So before sitting down, she figures she should have enough time before the food comes to go to the restroom. She sets her purse down on the chair and turns to the direction of the restrooms, in the far left corner of the counter.
Once she comes out of the restroom, the owner comes up to her and says, “Oh, I’m glad you’re still here. I saw your purse laying out and I wondered where you had gone to.”
The woman replies, “I was just in the washroom.”
“As we were saying during the hardness of these times, it’s good to look after one another when things and money are so precious.”
The woman looks at the owner with an air of caution. “I’m a little bit surprised to how concerned you are about me leaving my purse unattended for such a short period of time just because it’s pretty obvious to other people around if someone were to take it.”
“Yes, this is a public place. But I nor anyone else is required to look after other people’s property. I just brought it to your attention out of concern for your property and wellbeing.”
The woman shifts her weight, standing in her high heels that still only bring her up to being six inches shorter than the owner. “Yet there’s no one in here that seems remotely suspicious as to whether or not they would need money enough to steel something in an open public space. I appreciate the sentiment behind your concern, but it’s highly unnecessary.”
As the woman talks to the owner, a man comes into the diner. He is white, thin and wearing a slightly-worn leather coat with well fitting jeans. He looks over at the counter and sees no one there but the short Hispanic cooks near the back. The only waitress he sees is completely across the room talking to already-seated customers. Yet right in front of him is the woman and the owner. The man recognizes the owner as part of the diner when he sees the owner’s paper hat covering the bald spot in the middle of his thick black hair as well as the green order pad and pen sticking out the front right pocket of the owner’s slightly-stained apron.
The man waits behind the woman, who is starting to get a little more annoyed with the owner. “Part of the economic problems we are dealing with is couched in public trust. If I can’t trust that a place like this is safe not just for my purse but for me, then why should I go out at all?”
The man looks to the table with the woman’s coat and purse. He only caught the word “purse” because he was trying to see if one of the cooks would look his way. The man goes over to the table and picks up the purse, going over to stand right behind the woman and tries to get her attention. But the woman is listening to the owner. “Of course my place is safe! But it’s only when I know the people who come in here. I don’t know everybody here, and I don’t know you as well. How am I going to know what you’re thinking?”
The man figures it would be better not to butt into the conversation at this point as the woman and owner raise their voices. The man scratches his head. The one waitress that was out on the floor has disappeared, and other people have entered the diner and have seated themselves. The place is almost seating capacity.
So the man decides to leave. The owner sees the man walk away, but instead of seeing it as someone he didn’t help, the owner sees what is in the man’s hand. The woman’s purse. “You see!? There is someone with your purse in hand!” He raises his voice to the man, who is almost out the door, “Stop there! Hold it!”
The owner moves towards the man, but the man doesn’t like the way the owner is talking to him, so he leaves more quickly and smirks at the owner. The owner is taken by surprise. With a disconcerted expression on his face, he looks for the woman to tell her off but also to tell her he’ll call the police. But the woman has already snapped up her coat and quickly follows the man out the door.
The man walked quickly, and he is already half-way down the block. He finally realizes when he’s about to shove his hands in his leather coat’s pockets that he has the purse in hand. The feeling of dread washes over him. He has the urge to drop the purse, but it feels as if it is glued to his hand. The woman comes up yelling for him to stop, but there is no malice behind her yell since she sees the man has stopped and is staring at her.
He asks shakily, “Is this yours?”
“Yes.” She puffs out after running in heels on the rough patches of uneven, split concrete that line the sidewalk. She puts her hand out for the purse, and he quickly gives it to her.
“I really didn’t know what had happened, I heard you talking to the owner, and I tried to get your attention to ask if it was yours. I didn’t realize I had left with it, and that’s why the owner was yelling after me… That makes more sense now…”
The woman smiles and hugs the man. The man now dons a completely bewildered expression on his face. He’s not used to so much interaction in a public place. What seemed normal to him was how the other women at the counter had been staring vapidly ahead while they ate their soup, and the waitress hadn’t even noticed him. Yet then the owner was belligerently yelling first at this woman, and then at him. The man only wanted a simple transaction of getting a cup of soup to go. Not the shot nerves which were making him shake like a leaf, and under low blood sugar too.
The man’s arms are up in the air for his defense in the middle of the woman’s hug, but he finally uses them to push her away. “I didn’t do anything. I don’t know why you people are crazy enough to be acting out like that. Just leave me alone. You have your purse. Go back to your place and just leave me alone.”
The man turns away from the woman’s dazed expression and walks down the street towards the 7-11 to go get a Campbell’s cup of soup.

The Office Furniture Mythology

(Entries of Record by the Underlings)
Kathy Elrick (contributor)

about the following entries: This work is a compilation of contributed
observations by the cautious, wide-eyed innocents who have been
shackled to office work because of their breeding to think rather than
to act up in violent retort.  While often silent to their supervisors'
mimicked bureaucratic questionnaire that feigns resemblance to a once
human curiosity sparked inquiry, these workers keep track of their
observations which the gnomes (mostly) would rather be kept outside the
notice of human authority.
These incomplete entries concern the
inner workings of office/administrative atmospheres, detailing the
actual, and slightly mythological, context which explains how the old
and superstitious world works in the new mechanized office culture.
Like anything forwarded in a random office FW email, none of this can
be proven.  But often rumors of the legitimacy of these instances can
be spotted in the cases of the overworked and underpaid student
assistants and interns.  Whether or not such speculation and
superstition should be ignored is up to the reader of these entries.

Lipschitz Krawley (Paper shredder in Graduate Studies Office)
the reincarnated Forest Kraken (eater of Colossal Pulp)

Krawley was a great creature of the forest,originally a mountain-like
creature with cracks of earth for a mouth, who devoured trees for their
possession of tree goblins, nasty hellion creatures who live within the wood.
Lipschitz Krawley has been reincarnated for the same purpose in this
compact box, eating the tree goblins still remaining in paper, now
squished into a 2-dimensional sheet of 8x11, still ready to cause
mischief and fear.  Paper cuts mainly.  If you listen closely, you will
hear the screams of the goblins as the paper crinkles into the mouth of
the beast, and the appreciative gurgling hum of Lipschitz Krawley’s
satisfaction as the paper disappears into the inner chambers.

Flimitz Krawley (Paper shredder in the Registrar)
reincarnated Forest Kraken, cousin to Lipschitz Krawley

grinding of it's teeth against the brittle smashed compost of tree
goblin bones.  The opening of its chest to find the plastic bag that
has replaced its innards, defiling the lost memory of the greater
intestinal being that was the internal workings of the Krawley clan.
Tying a knot at the top of the bag, you continue to smash down the
goblins who fill it.  The hum of the beast as it gnashes apart the
paper-lings reminds you it is still alive, albeit contained besides
you.  Flimitz is dependent on you for it's continued quest, the
sentence bequeathed to it by the god that salvaged the rampaging forest
krakens as they died of starvation from the tree goblin's blight and
thinning from modern man, the god known as Zerox, fellow to Janus and

Goblin scribes (printers)

Common to most
offices are the magicked Gutenberg boxes which imprint upon the mangled
and pressed carcasses of tree goblins.  The products of these boxes
hold properties of many types:  stories, laws, the very essence of
human knowledge, binding the tree goblins to their fates as 8x11
mummified artifacts.  The magicked boxes are vivified with the electric
air of Mercury, the messenger.  It is with these goblin carcasses which
Mercury communicates to the humans about what the divine have decreed,
and the Muses freed from the hearts of men.

Bhafari snakes. (Corded Phones)

to desks these dangerous beings are obsolete connectors to the networks
of the netherwerks, managed by a Medusa-like incarnation of the goddess
Lethe.  Dial tones, lost connections, static and oblivion are her area
of expertise.  Her office can be found in the void just past the office supply storage closet of Abyss.

The absence of mini-fridge gnomes (why the lights went out in the frigid-air territories)

is a long story which I am only starting to unravel about the
intermingling world of the gnomes and the office atmosphere.  This
particular quick installment looks at the reason for the absence of
lights in the majority if not all mini-fridges to be found in offices,
as compared to these fridges' larger cousins of regular 6" size. 
suggestion that these fridges are portals to the cold territory of the
gnomes is obvious.  No human understands how these portals work
exactly, but there was supposed to be lights in the smaller fridges.
But because of their frequency in areas where there have been clashes
between these gnomes and their previous kinsman, the carpet scrubbing
gnomes (which will be mentioned later) who frequent the more traveled
areas of the office, the mini-fridges became abandon trails which are
supposed to be unwelcoming to the carpet scrubbing gnomes.  In this
sense, the cool natures of the fridge gnomes produced a wall to the
friction produced by their former kinsman.

Carpet-Scrubber gnomes

are the kinsmen of the mini-fridge gnomes.  They were former
mini-fridge and large fridge gnomes who were disgruntled with the cold
portals and wished to remain within the usual office atmosphere, thus
willing to clean floors.  Both kinds of gnomes are quick to work with
the various forms of water and earth, and can manipulate these office
tools to their advantage.  So these gnomes are able to work the carpet
shampooers when no one is asked to shampoo the rugs, or has not done so
in a while.  These gnomes are notorious for their spontaneity, as well
as for their mischievous deeds, such as making empty envelopes left in
the lower drawers be glued shut, or making copy paper left on the floor
move to other spots, or become damp.

Frederick, the dead carcass of the closet roach
(the memory of infestation, preserved with the gentle lint spun cobwebs and demur dust bunnies)

The battle of the muffin crumb
were enough roaches to feed upon the splendor that in reality was more
than a mere crumb, it was a full out mound of muffin that had been
disregarded by accident of its previous claimer.  The young roach-let
gangs called in all their kin to join the feast in the coming night of
the closing closet door. 
However, one of their kin was unwise,
and went towards the horizon that lay at the edge of night that oversaw
the inner space of the closet world.  This roach-let, seeing what lay
outside the cave, gave reason for the large being that might have more
muffins to gasp in horror and outrage.  "Shit."  Was the last thing
tiny Roceeda heard before being smooshed with a Norton's copy of
Shakespeare Entire Collection.  The being spread the dawn of doom to
the community which had gathered first in feast, now scattering in
Sometime within the week as the mound had been taken away
and the scene had become a perpetual source of fear to the community,
their fears were finally realized that fateful true night.  The light
switch outside the closet brought the beginning of the apocalypse for
this community with the man who bore the sign of "Orkin" on his
breast.  The community stood their linoleum however, which made the
Orkin man admit the need for back up.  This cell phone call was a
battle cry to the roaches, a sure sign of their impending demise of
their communities within the building that the little Frederick as a
young roach-let had come to know and love.  With the certainty of a
godlike power imbedded in that canister brought in by the 2nd Orkin
man, the holocaust descended upon and between the crevices where
community staid, ending the lives of dozens which so recently neared a
hundred in so short a time.  But Frederick was frozen in this state, as
reminder of time gone
by, the remnant of gourmand appreciation in the midst of the folly of the unwise.

Tree Goblin Mausoleums (Filing Cabinets)

Billboards on the file cabinets, displaying the scripture on the tree goblins, their mortuary and simple mausoleum, capitalist style.

Tinfoil Toad/Reptile

odd looking thing that remains in the tower of frigid air, that palace
of piece-mail meals which remain somehow even when the thoroughest
clean has been done - it's almost as if it is a chameleon that blends
into the thermometer or ice trays, the odd statue that no one wants to
see the core of.  Yet it glimmers and grins out at the unsuspecting
passer-bys, having evaded the death of consumption by humans, even if
it is an inner host for mold and other spore creatures.

The Small Bird Valets -

hold the spots for cars, standing there as markers.  They direct
traffic from the curb, hence curbside service.  And they know the town;
they can get that "birds-eye view" of the town to get you the best spot
for your purpose.  They see you coming, and they will direct you
accordingly.  They don't move unless they have to, and they can keep
eye level with the driver, or otherwise they are easily out of sight -
mainly because they have flitted off to the next driver's side.

Mercury on the Boulevard

badminton, confusing the valets.  You see Mercury brandishing a racket
and hitting to the wind which catches up the little plastic birdy, but
the birds are not amused and somewhat disgusted.  They stand next to
the discarded shuttlecocks, a comparable height, before the steam from
the grates often picks it up and brings it back to the wind for the
next round.

Tea Pirates and Plastic Spoon Thieves

bandits blend in like the chameleons of the fridge - they are every
where and no where all at once.  They are the every worker, they are
the CEO.  These thieves are Hobbesean free riders who think that any
odd budget will allow for some wiggle room of a single serving or a
disposable item.  Pilfered tea is their horded treasure.

The Institutionalized Gateways...

on the fritz, or computers emitting the sounds of their insanity?  It's
hard to tell, but the beeps keep coming from computers that shouldn't
be on, and no one is quite sure which computer its' coming from.  It's
hard to tell, but this also could be a terror-tactic coup of the
computers, not merely viruses sent out by some generated computer hack,
but the computers denying their status as slaves to the Man.  It's
rumored they have absconded with electronic records from the Second
Wave Women's movement.  The beeps continue.

The Goblin Boxes of Gore

discarded bank boxes in the empty cubicles over near the storage
closet, where only a few people in the department ever pass by, is the
refuge of these stores of old files.  These boxes have been moved
around, bashed, taped, and marked dozes of times.  No one notices the
way the lids have curled under the heat register, as well as the odd
markings which have been appearing on them, as if the goblin's cousins
have taken over the corpses of cardboard for the sake of making a
message.  Red marks which appear to be nothing more than Sharpie run
off looks as if it had dripped down the side of a few of the boxes, the
mechanical blood of the possibly repossessed unattended stacks.  Also,
these boxes seem to be multiplying without the notice of any of the
workers, spreading to portions of the cubicles under the desks, trying
to take root and regrow in their more natural form.  The water pipes
aren't too far off...

Late Office Hours

The air
from the heat registers numbs the feet, making it impossible to move
from the desk.  The odd personality quirks burrow deeper into the
workaholic mindset of the people remaining, creating hallucinations of
paranoia in each ledger entry made, the tri-mark of Hypnos, Manea and Kronos.  The dark atmosphere
outside creates a false sense of security in the glow of the florescent
lighting, while the fairies and gnomes start their conversations with
the spirits of the tree goblins.  Flashing lights on the phones of
abandon cubicles are like the sounds of trees falling in the forest
with no one around...

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Work in Progress: Black Coffee.

"black coffee." 

Please don't ask it.  I know you're going to ask it, but please, don't.  "You sure you don't want cream?"  At least she didn't just ask if I wanted cream. 

The slight alteration puts her as new, but not in-experienced.  She did look up when she was writing down something on her pad, that I really hope wasn't the inversion of my very simple order, "coffee, black."  I really don't care, but I figure I'll at least answer her, since she is staying for an answer rather than a person who seems like she would be waived off.  She's not a speedy person, but she's not dumb. 

"No, thank you."  I continue to look at my mug, half asleep myself.  It's only 6am.  I don't do 6am.

She smiles that white Protestant morning smile that's not cheesy, but not quite awake.  She wears it better than the cheap looking pink cardigan that all the waitresses wear, regardless of whether you're white, black or latina.  I never see Asian waitresses, or men in general out on the floor.  The only men are the Hispanics cooking in the back, grunting out their rapid fire Spanish to the whoosh of the hot flames in front of them on the grill.  It's only 6am, and they already look like they've sweat off a layer of skin.

I go back to staring listlessly.  I turn my attention to the porcelain sugar packet box in front of me.  There's a slight lip to it, jutting petitely outward.  It makes me think of the cousin to a common soap dish, like one I saw at this old lady's house, I think it was the aunt of a friend.  I don't know why I remember that, but I pick up the small sugar china.  I guess the only Asians come in pre-fab form here.  I look at the underside and see it is indeed from China.  Although, I would think so is the ink on the sugar packets.  Laced with lead... Or so the TV tells me.  They don't have TV in here, thank God.  That's why I came here to get my coffee.  Nothing but the coffee.  Black.

The waitress comes back, parallel to me behind the counter.  A safe place, and she's armed with the over-used coffee pot.  The lines that used to measure amounts or have directions or whatnot are warn off, but still match the obtuse orange of the plastic spout.  She keeps a placid smile on her face, possibly because I'm not rowdy, and I'm not demanding.  Or possibly because she thinks I'm pleasant looking.  I watch the vapors of the scalding hot coffee rise in front of the reflection of my face in the mirror.  A shaven, dark-and-slightly-long haired, white man stares back at me, not unpleasant. 

The fact I was shaven was thanks to their bathroom, here at the diner.  I came from a night out with women who thought I was exceptionally pleasant, and I reciprocated the kindness.  I'm still wearing my nice button-up, going-out shirt that doesn't fit the work-place I'll be heading to after this.  I have a change of shirt in the trunk of the rental car.  I'm visiting the Loop office, but I've been here before.  To this diner even.  This is the first time I've seen this waitress.  And it will probably be the last.

She comes back after taking the order of another man down the counter from me.  "You know what you want?  Or do you need another minute to look at the menu?"  She asks me, a little more lively now.  The man must have cajoled her a little.  I just look up, too tired to give her the same. 

The menu she's referring to contains all the breakfast items known to a good middle American diner.  Yes, Chicago, but still not quite in the city, a small place outside of O'Hare.  I'm originally from the Suburbs, but I live out East now.  I never knew Chicago this well until I left it.  I don't really want breakfast, but I say, "Yeah, just give me a minute.  I'll take some more coffee though."  I try for a half smile in my still half-asleep mode.  She doesn't even double-take the speed at which I gulped down the first cup before she pours me a second.

"Sure thing.  Just let me know when you're ready."  She says, and gives me a vamped up version of her first pleasant smile.  I think that was supposed to be a flirt.  I take a sip to let it register.  Yeah, this will be my last time here.  Not because of her.

It's Sam.  The buddy of mine that used to be a part of the company out East, but then moved for the company's section out here, but he's leaving them too.  This time it's for academia.  He finally found a teaching job.  Cheap, but supposedly what he wants to do.  He'd always be talking about how much he loved politics and teaching civics lessons to kids, college aged.  He didn't mind the Idol-worshipers he had in class, he said they're the reason he's going back.  The righteous fuck.  I don't get it, they're less motivated than the interns we get for our company.  At least the company puts some fear into these kids to get them out of their consumer-addicted mentality to realizing they aren't going to make shit until they're at least my age with the minimal ambitions they have.  They need to get some ambition, you can't just buy it with the money you get from a part-time job.  It's the hell that the part-time job puts you through to earn it.  I look down into my empty mug.

Her name's Darlene, the waitress behind the counter.  Thank God there's a counter between us, something to lean on while I try to get a grip on being back in town.

I had a wish to make my life more than it was.  Has been.  yeah, that's me, not a has been, but I have been.  What does that even mean?  In a time frame.  That's it, life is supposed to pass you by on this linear, continual moment.  Perpetual.  You try and out run it, but it catches up to you, like Alice in Wonderland, the second time round.  You run so fast and never get anywhere, but then when you stand still, you're continually moving.  It's an entire mode of being, this pace.  It's not time, it's a speed.  The acceleration of this time isn't really time, it's a measurement of being.  We think that time is all knowing, that it watches us, it designates our lives, like Mussolini, making the trains run on time.  But instead we are run by our own desires, our own thoughts, our own whims.  I take a sip of coffee. 

What if we don't have to play by time?  What if instead play by our desires, make time irrelevant, and instead just take the opportunities whenever they come - I know, people talking about timing in that.  Kairos, in the Greeks.  It was the moment that all things came together a certain way, balanced.  But it wasn't just time, it was momentum, it was situational, it was prioritized by what you were looking for.  The topic, the common ground.  A plateau even.  This place where you deal your deed, you do your thing, you have your moment of Zen - you get it all - all the information that was ever relevant came to you on this table-top, this chess board, this space of being -

I'm left with the momentary image of the importance of that moment of epiphany over my egg white omlette, the dawn that had been so brilliant out the window just a moment ago fading into a gray morning.  It's 7:30.  Time to work.

The Simply Sweet Absurd

(Munch, munch, munch.)
I hate my life.  (Munch.)
I can't stand my job. (Crunch.)
I hate that I can't stop eating.  (Aomm. Munch, crunch, munch.)

I feel unable to do anything that would give me pleasure.(Oo, a big chocolate covered nut. Numm.)
I am powerless to change anything for myself or to help people. (Smack the lips.)
I don't know what to do with my life, but sit here and eat at my desk at work. (Yummy.)

Could I change? (Inhaling a breath, pausing mid-crunch.)
What would I change and what would I change to?  (Takes hand out of bag of choco-snax to put a artificially sweet finger on the chin.)
I guess I could encourage others not to eat so much, and maybe talk about why we hate our jobs.

(looks down at the bag.)

Nah, I do that anyway.  How is that different than any other day?  (shoves a hand in the bag and takes out a palm full of snax.)

Beware the Pretty Fascist.

Structure as they see fit.
Cunning on the prowl.
Ambition exposed.  
Their judgment is fierce,
but oh, what beautiful Eros.

They lay down the law,
and we want to lay with them.
We are their laymen.
They are our deepest desires, our fires of lust grown flaming,
Propaganda's sweet face, and our sense of aesthetics is engorged.

And they have their way with us, but never in a way we see fit,
continually we're kept in suspense under
their direction - we want them;
but to gain their love or approval, we kill ourselves
and not in our satisfaction, but rather from their gross desire.

This is the realpolitik of sex -
we sweet maids want our Machiavel.
the head of Hobbes' leviathan,
oh that monster machinist...
Oh to be the country they master,
if only in the most wicked wet dream.


Quiz-Show Philosophy

Who needs the college degree
when you have quiz shows?
The fancy letters behind your name,
perhaps the prestigous school association?

Just get on that quiz show
and your notoriety will shoot higher
than any academic conference could hope
with the common household.

Grandmothers will love you for your wit
more than the twits in competition
for your tenure-track spot.
Instead, compete with the jocks, the airplane pilots and the college students
in the carnivalesque race of your life!
Topsy-turvey fame, nothing as you knew it, the scandals from the tabloids
will make you wrought with interest - for the valiant home-town star!  For that guy at the office!
Go for the jackpot!  We know you can do it!  All our hopes and dreams are pinned on you,
our lucky star.

But these hopes are the philosophy of those same grandmothers
who watch to learn, when school was barred for them.
They feel they're too old, or the schools too highfalutin.
But TV quiz shows?  What trivia!  What fun! 
The thrills when they get something right, and the dejection when it's wrong.
It's this kind of iconoclastic framework that they participate in, they are drawn to
because the schools are nothing
but trivia to them,
not worth the time slot.

Calling Out Narcissists

Self reflection and internal dialogues,
normative judgments of agreed upon social hierarchies
which you self categorize in your own head.
Stop it.


Not that you can, or that anyone else can.
You are at least aware of this internal dialogue,
or even when you talk to yourself out loud sometimes
in public.

But when you realize how safe your devolved liberalism doctrine is
(thank you Descartes for the excuse to think)
in your own head, why would you want to go outside
to argue your point?  You are already right, either way you look at it
between you and yourself.

There is no reason
to try and have a debate with someone else

Why are you poking me?

Like I was musing before to myself, You...
Politics, religion, real discussion,
is best kept up for Yourself. 
Well I mean, myself. 
I do like to discuss it with me, I am my own best conversant.

is with you? 
What do you want?  Stop poking me.

Fine.  What are you saying to me?
You like to debate too? 
Real debate.  You couldn't handle real debate.
No, I'm not being snottish, I just know that you'd
punch me in the nose for some of the things that I

Try you? 
What are you talking about?
As if you'd understand why I think the way I do...

Do I understand it, you ask?
let me think about it
before I get back to you...