A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003 :::
Fat Kids...Mildly Inebriated Locksmiths, and Why You Have To Wait for Them...Drunken Fat Kids Having Sex...Just Another Day Among Us Fallen Huperchildren

Final day of semester, so lots of busy doings. Some quick thoughts.

Conservatives Get on the Right Side. Not so long after A Mind That Suits complained that conservatives were entirely wrong-headed to sneer about a supposedly specious "fat epidemic"--when a trip to the average mall should convince any rational person that there is indeed one--the National Review had a cover story on that subject, by a public health specialist, no less, and then there is this article from today's Daily Standard. So the snickerers are probably getting silenced on that one. Now, about mall sprawl...

So That Explains That. An early night last night, so a stop into the old pool hall promised not to keep A Mind That Suits up past his bedtime. The bartender on duty is a bright fellow educated in England who bartends for extra cash, and probably to avoid spending money going out. And he has a buddy who is most emphatically not an intellectual, though he is a very companionable fellow. In fact, he is an on-call locksmith. He explained the finances of it, and it does not seem to be a way to rake in the cash, but is reliable. But locksmiths are not always so, as was proven very quickly. He was on call until 11, and the phone rang promptly at 11 with one last call. He deliberately waited until he felt ready to listen to the message, and when he heard what it involved--someone had been robbed, and needed their house rekeyed--he sat for a good while longer deciding if he wanted to call in. Rekeying can take anywhere from a few minutes (for an aparment) to the entire night (for a house.) And then he finally concluded it was better to knock back a couple and call it quits. While the locksmith service sat twiddling its thumbs so they could get back to the homeowner who was twiddling his. A Mind That Suits knows a lot about the service business (being a captain in his spare time for the most prestigious catering company in Your Nation's Capital), and this had a logical ring to it. But he will remember not to get his hopes up the next time he needs a locksmith at 11:30 at night, which he prays is not going to happen, or at least not going to happen very soon.

When words matter. A Mind That Suits is adamant in saying that kids "act up" and not "act out."What's the difference? "Acting up" is an objective description of the behavior, and includes a broader range of actions than does "misbehaving." "Acting out" implies that the speaker understands why the youngster in question is acting the way he or she is, and that there is some root cause which the speaker, being, of course, trained in all the latest psychobabble, can bring to light and use to help control the youngster.

What it leaves out is that "acting up" may not have a root cause other than the sheer joy of making adults miserable, particularly adults who always talk in that overly precise way of social workers. One of my favorite examples of things unearthed by social scientists diligently trying to explain the obvious came from a Harvard Public Health School study of undergraduate drinking at the University of George in lovely Athens. It seems the kids have achieved something like professional status, and so the earnest reformers set about finding "why" the kids drank excessively, again, obviously, with the not so hidden intent to get a grant to "address" the problem. And what, according to those on whom the future of Knobbed Whelk Commonwealth rests, is the main reason they get plowed on weekends? "To get drunk." About 62% gave that reason.

Which is about the same percentage of college kids who have unprotected sex, among those who have sex regularly. It's tempting to see a high correlation between the alcohol and the consequence-frought coupling, which may be true, except for the correlation between alcohol and masculine frustration, about which A Mind That Suits is about to whip out one of his favorite Shakespeare quotes. What is true is that there is no way to make safe and rational that which is intrinsically irrational and dangerous, no matter how large your grant.

And so we leave the final words today to the Porter from Macbeth, one of Shakespeare's most effective bits of stagecraft, mixing the metaphysical with a crowd pleasing bit of commedy. The drunken porter, you see, has the stage to himself for a while imagining that he is the Porter of Hell, and describing at hysterical length those he must admit. But the point is, by murdering Duncan, Macbeth has in fact turned the Castle into a kind of hell.

But enough of metaphysics. Let's bring on Shakespeare's leer.
The Porter has to admit MacDuff, who will later lay on, but in a different sense. ("Lay on, MacDuff, and curst be he who first cries,"stay, enough.") And they have the following exchange.

Porter: Faith, sir, we were carousing til the second cock; and drink, sir, is a great provoker of three things.

MacDuff: What three things does drink especially provoke?

Merry: Merry, sir, nose-painting, sleep, and urine. Lechery, sir, it provokes, and unprovokes; it provokes the desire, but takes away the performance: therefore, much drink may be said to be an equivocator with lechery: it makes him, and it mars him, and disheartens him; it sets him on and it takes him off; it persuades him, and disheartens him; makes him stand to, and not stand to; in conclusion, equivocates him in a sleep, and, giving him the lie, leaves him.

Fallen Huperchidren? This blog maintains an unswerving dedication to the strictest standards of diversity. Following friend David's suggestion that "women" should be "woperchild," A Mind That Suits will from now on only refer to Huperchildren. "Humans" has the dreaded word "man" in it, so should be "huperson," but that contains the dread word "sons," and so any feeling person must say "huperchildren." It's obvious. Trust A Mind That Suits. He knows these things.

Have a good one.

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 12:16 PM



Post a Comment


A Related Website on Christian Spirituality
The Fullness of Him
The Easiest Way to Keep Up With the News:
Best of the Web
Links to Web Friends
One Good Turn
A Dog's Life
Power Line
Rambles and By-ways

What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Powered by Blogger