Saturday, May 17, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: “Everyone understands English if you speak it slowly enough.” –B.J. Hunnicutt, M*A*S*H

“There’s a very stupid part of the brain that thinks anything it’s learned must be known by everyone else. This same part thinks all observations and judgments it has passed must be known and held as true, in explicitly or in secret, by everyone else. Maybe they’re in denial over our truths, but they know. I call this the ‘Hunnicutt Effect,’ after a fictional character that made fun of the phenomena by indulging in it for a moment. The effect is highly active in teenagers and Philosophy majors. The teenager will pass judgment, belittle those who go against the judgment, change the judgment unannounced to anyone, and then belittle those new trespassers who more than likely agreed with him yesterday. It is up to you to have realized when their favorite TV shows have gone stale.

“But the teenager is merely the hyperbolic model for the Hunnicutt Effect. All people perform this idiocy, as though there is a psychic network that would update each human being of the absolutist opinions of all the others each time they change. This American soldier speaks English slowly thinking the Middle Easterner knows the language but is dimwitted. That Physics major scoffs at you for not recognizing the third law of thermodynamics. It’s probably an unobserved contributor to a lot of traffic accidents – you knew she was going to turn there even if her blinker wasn’t on, didn’t you?

“It comes from the normally unconscious selfish belief that the world really is here for you, and everybody’s been following you all the time, merely pretending otherwise, even though they all that you know that they know. It’s the force at work when a 9th grader tells his teacher that she knows what he meant even if his essay on World War 2 was unclear (and it was). It’s the force at work when two debaters perpetually condescend at each other. It’s why I can’t watch most debates in the first place – because even if I had the opportunity to follow these people’s lives all the time, I’d decline.”

Friday, May 16, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Roger That, OR, An Ununderstanding

Roger never understood other people. Of course, everyone doesn’t understand others in some way. Roger’s way centered on sirens. Sirens depressed other people; it made them think about muggings, rapes and murders. A siren meant someone’s house was on fire to them. This was foolish to Roger. Something terrible was always happening in this overpopulated world. Someone was always being attacked or watching his house burn, and such things happened long before the siren was invented. To Roger, a siren meant someone cared enough to go chase down the mugger or help put out the fire. The siren meant someone still cared enough to help. That’s why, when Roger retired at 68, his first new hobby was working part time as a dispatcher.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Kinds of Writers who are Never Rejected by Publishers

-Children of the owners
-People who don't submit stories at all

Don’t give up.

(But also, don’t send writers unsolicited fiction)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Oblate Trouvé

[SAMID sits in a pink pinstripe suit; SPIDER sits next to him in a spandex superhero costume; ARYANA sits in a fur bikini; DARKLOSS SOULRIPPER VON ALUCARDIA sits in Renaissance-era clothing and a puffy cape so massive ARYANA can barely fit in the booth next to him. SAMID is making a circle with his hands and holding it up for everyone to see.]

Samid: It's properly round, like...
Darkloss: But the world isn’t perfectly round. It isn’t a sphere. It’s an oblate spheroid.
Spider: What the Hell is that?
Aryana: It’s the cubit zirconium of shapes.
Darkloss: It’s a spherical shape, but not perfectly round. A little broader in the middle.
Spider: It’s a fat circle?
Samid: [His hands fall to the table, his imaginary planet shattering on the two-dimensional plane of ply wood] Yes. The earth is a fat circle.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Come In, Number Two

Compared to humans, the antennas were simple. They were made of less complex materials and had a far less complex design. The humans built antennas, tall and numerous, setting them up in vast arrays to share ideas, notions, words, pictures, sounds, data – whatever humans were interested in. As far as the humans were concerned, the antennas didn’t mind at all. Even suggesting that antennas could have an opinion was laughable information to humans. Even suggesting humans could have an opinion was laughable information to what using them as antennas, in a low-budget information array called “earth.”

Monday, May 12, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: The Straw Man Doesn’t Giggle

"The whipping boy is the cornerstone of our political discourse. I am in no way speaking against this profession. I’m merely suggesting that if we're going to employ whipping boys I think we should at least show the compassion to hire masochists so that they'll enjoy the work. The initiative will create more jobs in our economy as well, as we'll need a special janitor to mop up whenever the whipping boy enjoys our justice too thoroughly.”

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Bathroom Monologues: Modes of Moderation, OR, Alley-oop from Mark Twain

“You think these things are good for you, but everything is dangerous. The sun will give you cancer. Water will drown you. Why, these shortbread cookies you got at the store probably have enough chemicals in them to tear apart you kidneys in a few years. The key is moderation. Everything in moder… gosh these are good cookies. Can I have another? As I was saying, everything in moderation -- especially moderation.”
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