Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Comprehension: The Equipment of the Human Mind Vs. The Problems of the World

The human mind is a worktable, about four feet in length. Some superior intelligences are about six feet long. One time I was cornered by a culture critic at a benefit dinner who might have been six and a half feet. Regardless, all human minds are three feet in width.

On the table are a hammer, a chisel, a saw or two (depending on the versatility of your studies), sandpaper, screws, nails and sundry items. You can build things with these. You can fix things with these. Most people will also use these to break things in half and bang on them.

Altogether, this 4x3 table with various utilities is your mind. When ready, you drop the problems of the world on it.

When this happens they rip the roof off of your garage and drop a sperm whale on your table. It is not a miniature sperm whale, nor a baby sperm whale. It is a full adult female, hurtling down on your table-mind. The sperm whale here represents all the problems of the world, but they are complex and so it is difficult to anatomize what organ represents what problem. It would be silly to assign poverty to the liver or overpopulation to the reproductive organs. However I believe we are all silly and tired enough to agree that taxes are the blowhole. It is such a large thing that you cannot see if the problems of the world were dropped upon you by a skyhook or a crane. Your 4x3 (or if you’re lucky, 6x3) worktable is crushed beneath the whale.

I’ve thought it over with my roughly 3.5x3 mind, and the only flaw I see to this metaphor is that in real life you don’t get to set up your table before they drop the whale on it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Counter est. March 2, 2008