Life is full of ridiculous obstacles to ordinary pleasures.
Here’s another didactic little story. There are these two guys sitting together in a bar in the remote Alaskan wilderness. One of the guys is religious, the other is an atheist, and the two are arguing about the existence of God with that special intensity that comes after about the fourth beer. And the atheist says: “Look, it’s not like I don’t have actual reasons for not believing in God. It’s not like I haven’t ever experimented with the whole God and prayer thing. Just last month I got caught away from the camp in that terrible blizzard, and I was totally lost and I couldn’t see a thing, and it was 50 below, and so I tried it: I fell to my knees in the snow and cried out ‘Oh, God, if there is a God, I’m lost in this blizzard, and I’m gonna die if you don’t help me.'” And now, in the bar, the religious guy looks at the atheist all puzzled. “Well then you must believe now,” he says, “After all, here you are, alive.” The atheist just rolls his eyes. “No, man, all that was was a couple Eskimos happened to come wandering by and showed me the way back to camp.”
—— David Foster Wallace
This is the comencement address he gave to the graduates of Kenyon College in 2005. Please, Read the Whole Thing. Just for me.
_ I wanted to buy one of these when I was a kid. I couldn’t afford it.
Ten Ways to Create a Plot Twist
Then and Now
Barak Obama, 2008– Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth.
Jay Carney, White House Spokesman, 2011– He is working very closely with his senior economic advisors to come up with new proposals to help advance growth and job creation. He is working with members of Congress to help advance growth and job creation. And he will continue to do that. There are things that Congress can do now to create jobs, and they should; there are things that Congress will be able to do when they return from recess to help create jobs and spur growth, and they should. And he looks forward to working with Congress to do that.
There is no silver bullet and I have not heard one proposed by anyone in Washington or beyond that there is a silver bullet to help our economy grow faster or create jobs.”
They say that cabbage first sprang from the sweat of Jupiter, some drops of which fell on the earth. That bit of Rabelaisian trivia is not helping me enjoy my coleslaw at all.
TED talk – Jill Bolte Taylor’s stroke of insight
Jill Bolte Taylor got a research opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: She had a massive stroke, and watched as her brain functions — motion, speech, self-awareness — shut down one by one. An astonishing story.
Working for a rise, better my station
Take my baby to sophistication
She’s seen the ads, she thinks it’s nice
Better work hard – I seen the price
Never mind that it’s time for the bus
We got to work – an’ you’re one of us
Clocks go slow in a place of work
Minutes drag and the hours jerk
“When can I tell ’em wot I do?
In a second, maaan…oright Chuck!”
Wave bub-bub-bub-bye to the boss
It’s our profit, it’s his loss
But anyway lunch bells ring
Take one hour and do your thanng!
What do we have for entertainment?
Cops kickin’ Gypsies on the pavement
Now the news – snap to attention!
The lunar landing of the dentist convention
Italian mobster shoots a lobster
News Flash: Vacuum Cleaner Sucks Up Budgie
—-The Clash, Magnificent Seven