Thursday, October 22, 2009

Parable #3

The Parable of the Stoners

Once there was a homeless, unemployed guy named Al who moved into the apartment of a guy named Doug, who let Al live there rent-free. Doug said to Al, "Feel free to use any of my crap you see lying around. You can even dip into my stash if you want to. But if you so much as touch my Walkman, I'll kill you."

During the day, when Doug was gone, Al killed time with Doug's videogames and records and VHS tapes, but he eventually got bored with nothing to do all day long. So Doug hooked Al up with this chick named Edie who decided to crash at the apartment too.

One day, a dude named Stan came over when Doug was gone and Al was sleeping on the couch. Stan said to Edie, "You should totally listen to Doug's Walkman." When she said that Doug told them not to, Stan said, "He won't do anything. It's a demo of his solo stuff. You totally have to hear it."

So she listened to Doug's Walkman and gave it to Al when he woke up. The music was so funny to them that they knew they couldn't look Doug in the face when he got home. When Doug did get home, they tried to hold in their laughter, but they couldn't. "You assholes have been listening to my Walkman, haven't you?" Doug said.

"Stan told us to," they said. So Doug pushed Stan over and kicked him in the side. Then Doug said to the couple, "All right, you guys are out of here. I guess you'll have to follow your loser boyfriend around, huh Edie? And as for you, bro, I guess you'll have to, like, get a job and stuff."

After they left, Doug put a padlock on the door so they wouldn't break in and take his stash.


I believe the moral of this story is obvious.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

They Might Be Giants: Here Comes Science

When I was a kid in the 1980s -- willing and wanting to believe in pretty much anything, from ghosts to centaurs to Robin Hood to the angel Gabriel -- I never doubted one thing: science is real. I never had a problem with that concept. Some things can be believed or imagined or wished for, while other things can actually be proven. Easy enough for a small child to understand.

Apparently, many adults today (and, as a result, their children) don't care much for science, don't "believe" in it--as if it's a belief system and not a method that helps us understand the way things actually are. I don't feel like I have an accurate sense of how rampant this fact-hating phenomenon is, but what I do know is that I have DVDs of Walt Disney movies and TV shows from the 1940s to the 1960s that discussed and taught things like evolution and the Big Bang to an audience of millions of average American children and families without apology. Well over fifty years later, however -- in an age that you'd imagined would have progressed even further -- the band They Might Be Giants feel compelled to make a children's record that attempts to, in the long-awaited words of our president, "restore science to its rightful place."