Stubbornness Is A Disease

Just like alcoholism, anorexia, and yes, pregnancy, stubbornness is a disease.

The first symptoms of it are often displayed at a very young age, but one must be careful not to misdiagnose what might just be a moment of quite natural and health childish egoism. When symptoms persist into “of-agedness,” however, it becomes clear that what is taking place is most unhealthy.

Subjects display extreme unwillingness to change position on even the most trivial matters of debate, often becoming irritatingly unreasonable and strongly defying logic, group consensus, and other practical matters. They irrationally cling to the first thought that enters their diseased minds, even when contrary evidence is presented from a reliable source. Changing the mind of one afflicted with stubbornness is often an exercise in futility and frustration, but this hardly means it is not worth a try.

Diseased individuals appear as normal in nearly every other way (though often possessing of a particularly distracting, and therefore infuriating, identifying feature such as a somewhat beakish nose). Therefore, it is not easy for friends and family of the afflicted to recognize that many of the most infuriating, mean, and stupid things she does - actions commonly associated with “assholes” or “bitches” - are not, in fact, under her control.

Stubbornness has no cure, but its symptoms may be treated as they occur, with varying degrees of effectiveness. Studies have found that the best way to deal with a Stubborn - as those with this condition are known - is by leveling a sharp blow to the face using a fist, or some other heavy, blunt object (a simple carpenter’s hammer is desirable to this end, though take care not to employ its forked end too frequently). Repeated doses are often quite necessary and/or desirable, and there should be no fear of over-medicating in this way.

Until the disease of stubbornness is no longer passed down genetically (or acquired through social conditioning - there is still a debate about its origins in medical circles), the insidious nature of this disease will plague mankind in all walks of life. Our best defense, therefore, is a good offense, and this means taking the initiative to seek out and medicate those afflicted with the disease. Do not hesitate to take drastic prescriptive measures, even if the subject protests, (and she shall quite mightily at times).

She knows not what is good for her. She has a disease. Her faults are not her own.

It is all for the best.

Fear Of Death

Fear of death is the motivation behind all human achievement, invention, and behavior.

All consumer products are an attempt to cheat death, to prolong life, to increase the quality of the limited days we spend on Earth.

We search for ways to keep our cities clean, and ways to decrease the amount of physical effort necessary to perform common tasks. Drugs, air conditioning, faster systems of transportation, cryogenics - humanity strives toward the immortal. We fight and fight and fight every single day to somehow change our supposed destiny.

When others die, we feel weak. When they conquer disease, it is as though we had ourselves.

When a child is born, though, we taste forever. The biological thread ties our life with theirs, and in our dreams we imagine them growing old, making miraculous discoveries, and drinking the sap of the Tree of Everlasting Life.

But we share this same connection with all of life - with our neighbors, with the lakes and forests, with the grizzly bear and the chickadee. Immortality is all around us - it is nature. Everlasting life can be found in the links between all things in the universe. It exists in the atoms constantly moving, constantly being exchanged. It exists in the space between the atoms - and the great mystery of what we can’t see. It exists in the way another is changed physically, chemically, intimately, every time you speak, every time you move, every time you think.

What if you could live forever?

What if you already can?

UPDATE: My mother emailed a great response that very much deserves to be tacked on to this post.

She writes:
Imagine a world where love (not fear) is the motivation behind all achievement, invention, and behavior.

What a different day you would greet each morning if you chose what you do because of love, not fear...
My mom totally gets it. Right on.

Change Is Good

This post is not promoting a Bank of America service that helps you save money.

Nor is it an advertisement for an inexpensive chicken sandwich.

It is also not about a new blog layout, or a lengthy diatribe about how great life is even though everything that seems it could go wrong does, or pizza toppings, or anything of the sort.

It’s not about politics, or quantum mechanics, or taste, or fashion, or switching from Mac to PC (lord, no!).

It is not about language, or friends, or careers, or religious beliefs, or family shakeups, or the weather, or death, or transferring schools, or downloading music, or channel surfing, or the new set of stoplights that might never get installed because a town likes being a small, simple place.

This blog post is not about grammar, or language, or spelling, or literature, or mathematics, or Philip Glass, or an investigation into cultural differences in color recognition.

It’s not an announcement of anything new for Frivolous Motion. I’m not changing the blog. I’m not changing jobs.

I’m not (lord, no!) getting married or having kids.

This blog post is just business as usual. Life as usual. Just a tiny celebration of the world and its dynamism. A way of saying thank you, life, for being so unpredictable.

And to ask a question:

What’s new with you, lately?

The Plague Of The Theatre

Why does theatre suck?

Why is it still hanging on for dear life despite predictions about its demise since the advent of the moving picture?

Why are old plays performed more frequently than new plays (and given much more funding)?

Why do people get paid to call themselves “Prop Mistresses”?

Why do actors rarely use their actual props and costumes prior to the week the show opens?

Why are theatre-people afraid to hear the name Macbeth uttered before the curtain goes up?

Why does it take three people to press a button to run a lighting cue, and why can’t the one who physically touches the button see the stage?

Why do people continue to practice the art of bullshittery by calling themselves dramaturgs?

The answer to these questions, and the reason theatre is so out of touch, fighting for money, and typically not worth attending:


tra·di·tion [truh-dish-uhn] -noun
  1. the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, esp. by word of mouth or by practice, and followed faithfully for no good reason - often to the absolute detriment of civilized society and the natural order.
Even so-called “experimental theatre” falls into the tradition crap trap. It’s just so disappointing.

By the way, if you’re thinking, “Well, the reason they do things like they always did is because certain things just work,” you are wrong. They don’t. Theatre is still dying a slow, painful death. And whether it finally passes in my lifetime or the next doesn’t remove the fact that it is this way of doing things “as they’ve always been done” that is killing it. Just because it worked before doesn’t mean it works now. If a musician insisted on selling his albums only on 8-track cassettes, he would be laughed at. If a filmmaker used equipment that was introduced at the dawn of the 20th century, his work would fail to meet the standards of a contemporary film business, and an audience accustomed to high-definition digital content with brilliant surround sound, color, contrast, and fidelity. If a poet wrote sonnets...okay, she would probably be extremely successful, but poetry is pretty awful (and not especially financially lucrative), one must admit.

Tradition is an evil killer - a plague of the world of art-making. Masterpieces are deadly illusions - we worship them in a vain attempt to pretend to be smarter and more cultured than the rest of our friends and family. I really, really, really, really don’t want to see another version of Hamlet, or Antigone, or The Glass Menagerie ever again. There is nothing important or particularly special about these works except that they are old and “were popular in their day,” which is not enough to make me care about them over the work of someone who is still living. And it is certainly not enough to make them the least bit relevant.

If a monkey with a word processor and enough paid overtime could eventually come up with the exact words of Shakespeare (yes, this is mathematically possible), you kinda sorta have to take things just a little bit less seriously.

I mean, think of it: There is a huge, ongoing controversy about who actually wrote Shakespeare’s plays. What if he was actually an overweight female cyber-elf with three arms, seven microchips to replace heart and brain, and no eyes or mouth, who just so happened to get dropped in Stratford-upon-Avon by a rabid alligator stork from Outer Space as part of an ingenious plot to destroy Earth?

Which absolutely begs the question:

Was Hamlet mad, or did he just feign madness?