The random cornstalk growing in the middle of a soybean field—sickly, yellow, stunted, unwanted, the result of a lost seed, clearly unaware that corn is So Last Year?
Don’t feel too bad, cornstalk. Soon, someone’s gonna harvest all those beans, too.
Modern medicine can do two heart transplants on a guy and do them so well that he can finish in second place in the world’s most difficult golf tournament.
But show them a kid with mental health challenges, even minor ones, and they’re like, hell, I dunno, what do you think we should try?
A few troofuses
- It’s always a bit weird to get back to the regular stream of posting after a Chicagoish weekend—partly due to stage fright from all these new people (hi!), and partly just recognizing that the thing is over and here we are, back with our mundanity for another 11.75 months or whatever.
- I vagueblogged about my work situation last week. Over the weekend I caught some of you up on what is happening. Since then (like, in the last two hours) there have been favorable developments. Unfortunately, I can’t talk about it in public for a little while longer. But things are looking way up from where they were last week. More to come, promise. It’s good.
- You can’t spell “crush” without “chsh.” Sorta. Don’t judge my spelling right now.
- California, here I come. 46 hours from now we depart* for Santa Monica and Malibu. I will be in the shade of palm trees and dipping my toes in salt water soon, and my past experience informs me that these things fix just about everything that ails me.
* note to bad guys: armed house-sitter protocol will be in effect.
I am drawn to apocalyptic fiction and fantasy, as recently alluded. Particularly the human side of it.
It started with reading Nevil Shute’s On The Beach in high school. The premise is that a massively nuclear WWIII has wiped out the northern hemisphere, leaving Australia and New Zealand unscathed. Unfortunately, the radioactive fallout is working its way there and they know the end is coming soon. The story follows a few months in the lives of people there as they prepare for the inevitable end in their own ways. Heartbreaking. There’s no happy ending.
And then in college I discovered one of my desert island books, The Stand. I’m sure I read it the first time on a two-day bender, straight through, without sleeping, showering, or eating anything that didn’t come in shrink wrap. While I love the book as a whole, it’s really the first half where Captain Trips works its way through the population, killing everyone, and the way the survivors coped that gripped me. It was heartbreaking, and if you consider the first movement of the book by itself, there’s no happy ending.
Movies, too. The other night, when I should have been sleeping, I got sucked into Contagion. It was on TBS, so they stretched it into about 4.5 hours. I love Soderbergh, and they actually filmed some of it in my office. Look for a brief shot of an abandoned trading floor, and a fancy conference room with this weird, fake grass on the table. But that’s not what got me. It’s how people bonded together, or didn’t, as the world appeared to be ending. And even lesser movies have had the same effect on me, like Deep Impact. (We can forget about Armageddon, though, except for any scene involving Liv Tyler.) Same deal: even though the apocalypse wasn’t total and there were plenty of survivors, you’d have a hard time arguing those are happy endings.
I get sucked in every time, like a bug to a black light.
In each of those stories, there is a point where a few elites know the truth before the masses do. There’s usually an effort to conceal the information, but it’s futile. At some point, enough people are dropping dead and the truth is plain to see. That usually goes badly for those elites. Either there’s backlash from the mob, or they get sick, too. Not a happy ending.
Tuesday in my head
Oftentimes when I’m alone in a contained crowd—on this train, in a bar, at the store—I game out what would happen if the group of strangers I was with at that moment were somehow suddenly, permanently isolated together. Say, transported via a wormhole, or maybe the only survivors of an instant cataclysm. In a flash, we are the last people on the planet, and we have to decide how (or if) we are going to survive together. What kind of leadership structure would emerge? Who’d be in charge? Anyone here know how to raise food or hunt? Who’s going to be my friend? Who might kill me for sport? What about a possible mate? Anyone know medicine? Who looks like they know how to weld, or repair masonry? Am I a burden or an asset here?
That’s how I brain.
I’m currently in possession of two gigantic secrets. (Not about anyone here.) I’m money with secrets; I never tell. But damn if it isn’t killing me to not be able to talk about them. Both are the kind where something huge might happen and those are the kind you really want to chew on in detail with other stakeholders. Alas.
Last night we came up with what would be the literal worst job in the world (for me): reading and reviewing or summarizing business books. I’d rather clean a pig truck with my tongue.
Don’t say, “I’m not jamming you with this,” when you are, in fact, jamming it so far up my ass that it is impinging upon my optic nerve.