A chicken and an egg are lying in bed. The chicken is leaning against the headboard smoking a cigarette, with a satisfied smile on its face. The egg, looking a bit pissed off, grabs the sheet, rolls over, and says “Well, I guess we finally answered that question”.
I felt a small surge of accomplishment when I finally got all my boxes of all my nonsense from the old place to the new place. But then I looked around and realized … wait a minute, I don’t want any of this. Who will come and take it away?
The good news is that I have told myself that I will never buy anything besides food and drink ever again. Which, if I remember correctly, is what I told myself the last time I moved and the time before that.
So, in other words, there are two words to describe moving: rectum sucking. (that’ll give us google love) Surveying the awkward layout of my new, cramped room cluttered with boxes of papers and thrift store threads, I was thinking to myself just how much rectum it sucked when I noticed the corner of a blue sheet of paper sticking out of one of the boxes.
A blue book. These things were legendary in college. I still remember sprinting to the campus bookstore three minutes before a final exam, fumbling around in my backpack for the 54 cents that they charged for three of them. I remember scribbling for two hours straight until my hands cramped up so bad that my fingers were permanently stuck together in that Italian gesture of “Ima gonna sticka my hand up your asshole Luigi!”
But I couldn’t, not for the life of me, remember what I actually wrote in any of those little blue books. So I opened it up and started to read.
In London, 1903 Leon Trotsky, leader of the Mensheviks, put forth his theory of substitutionism. The theory was a critique of Lenin’s political philosophy, which Trotsky said started with all of Russian society in which the working class was most important. Of the working class, Lenin only wanted what he called “true revolutionaries” which he would represent as supreme dictator. Trotsky called this perilous substituting a recipe for disaster and warned that Lenin’s “democratic centralism” would not allow for political factions to form or any sense of plurality and therefore would not truly represent the people’s will.
Say what!? I kept reading on, in awe, that these words were written by … me. What in the hell was I trying to say? Or was this just complete bullshit … did I have no clue what I was talking about? Even for BS, it was still bad.
On the inside cover, in red: “97% A.” It was only slightly comforting to know that my T.A.’s were as oblivious as I was. But what really frightened me was that, just five years later, I had no recollection of anything I had written. Not Trotsky’s substitutionism, not Kornhauser’s “mass society,” not Lenin’s New Economic Policy, nor Stalin’s liquidation of the Kulaks.
And so, my folded blue book in hand, useless shit scattered all over my room, I couldn’t help thinking, what the hell is the point of all this? Not just the paycheck after paycheck spent on Levis and overpriced CD’s, but also all the classes, all the books, all the recycled New York Times.
I asked Dave – now a scientist at a biotech company – how much of his college education he actually uses at his work. His answer: “anywhere from 1 to 5%”