Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Energy Equals Mass Times the Speed of Light Squared

I failed only two classes in my educational history. The second failure was First Aid, my last quarter of college. It's OK to laugh, just don't break a bone and expect me to help you.

The first failure, however, was more significant. I failed AP Calculus, my senior year of high school. You may say to yourself, "Aw, Calculus is hard, no wonder you failed." That, however, was not it. See, just to get to calculus by the 12th grade means that A) you don't fail classes, and B) math is probably not insurmountably hard for you.

The problem was that by my senior year, I had become a disaffected disillusioned slack-ass fuck-about. No, it wasn't drugs. I just had better things to do with my time than math homework, and I held the class too long to drop it.

Up to that point, I had excelled in math. I loved it. Geometry! Trigonometry! Physics! But then, came the big fat red F, and my math career was over.

In college, standardized placement tests allowed me to waive any math pre-requisites for Statistics. So my only hurdle was going to be my general ed science credits. Amazingly, at Cal Poly, a school known for its math and science, they offered non-mathematical Physics for soft-headed poli-sci majors, like me!

That was how I found my way into a Physics class room with 50 sexy Asian women, and me. I was, no lie, the only man and the only Caucasian, other than the professor, in the room. It was a blast! We talked logically and intuitively about physics concepts without calculations. We crashed things. We blew shit up. We traded Hello Kitty stickers...

This class appealed to me, though, because it allowed me to think heavy ideas without the burden of formulaic notation. It is that idea, that you have to describe something to death to grasp it, that has frustrated me about so many things my whole life.

Music: Harmony, melody, and rhythm - these are parts of song!

Literature: Let's see, the pigs are an analogy for the socialist conundrum, while the farm horse was a metaphorical Christ figure sent out to the pasture, symbolizing man's struggle, ect...

Philosophy: Well, the German transcendentalists stand in stark contrast to the inductive process of the Greek Sophists, blah, blah blah...

Look, I deconstruct movies, and books, and music, and speeches, and art, and food recipes in my head all day long: You clap with the drums, and sing with the lyrics; Anakin was a dual Christ/Satan figure, and the Force more resembles Buddhist philosophy than Christian; the State of the Union was a series of non-committal fundamentalist code words without any clear policy statement or supporting data...

However, I don't have to hinder the process by labeling the pieces that I pick apart. That just causes distraction from the natural exercise, while I try to remember American literary motifs from Mr. Wilson's 11th grade lit class...

"Goddamn it Brian, What the FUCK are you getting at?" You may ask.

Well, let me tell you. I ♥ Huckabees. I watched it tonight for the first of many times, and it left me with that same indescribable tingly intellectual numbness that I had after watching Lost in Translation. The movie was a cross between Zero Effect, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, Being John Malcovich, and Rushmore. It was either about the nothingness of everything, or it was about the everytingness of nothing. It's about the process of intellectual breakdown (not to be confused with psychotic or emotional breakdown.) It's about figuring out that you world view is not so much wrong, as it is just not right, and doing it without lables.

The movie itself is imperfect, but it struck an existential chord. I won't try to label the elements of my analysis, because that would suck the joy out of it. Each of the characters is a living representation of his or her own philosophical pigeon hole. Yet, as the movie points out, they, like we, are all connected.

Or, as the movie also points out, perhaps nothing is connected, our existence is transitory at best, there is no meaning to it all, and we will all be forgotten by the cold dead universe when Earth falls into the Sun. In which case, this blog has no purpose, and you can just go fuck yourself (But go rent this movie first...)


  1. You lost me at "Goddamn it Brian, What the FUCK are you getting at?"

  2. words, words, words....all i hear is the teacher on peanuts.

    of course, i'm strung out on cold medicine (practically a crime when pregnant) and speaking of which, so pregnant that about all i can concentrate on is "somebody get me some food and don't touch me." at least the burger king post, while disturbing, was about food.

  3. Wow, that post really sucked. That was soooo not what I was trying to say. I guess they can't all be winners. I'll try to make up for it tonight.

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  5. Brian Smith10:42 AM

    I was able to drop calculus one day before the deadline. I was failing too. However, I had the mental acuity to drop that stupid class before it tarnished my GPA.
    I relate all of my sucess in life to that singular decision and for that reason I will always be superior to you. My physics experience involved an Armenian girl named Christina. Good times

  6. Brian Smith: I blame you for most of the distractions that led to my failing calculus. Sure, Tom and Dave had their part, but being the one who sat next to me in Mr. Krimmel's class, I mostly blame you.

  7. I failed Latin and French - was does that say about me?

  8. ...That you don't have much of a knack for romance languages

  9. I came top in biology though.....
    who needs to talk?, I can find much better things to do with my mouth

  10. Anonymous4:52 PM

    Huh, I actually want to see the movie now. But, maybe that is just because somehow Lisa has made this all about blowjobs (or something).

  11. Brian,

    Today I went out and bought a copy of the movie just for you. It was 6000 dong, or about $0.40.

    I actually splurged and got about 20 movies and dropped a whole 8 bucks.

    Then I went and got my 8 year old kid a Prada book bag for $7.00 and a few nice Omega watches for about $30 each. I got two new ones and two 1950's vintage ones. The vintage Omegas are sweet.

    They had some really nice Gucci bags for $6.00. I don't do Gucci, but they were really really nice, so I got a few.

    All that shopping made me tired so I dropped $4.00 on a two hour massage and some nice tea at a spa.

    God I love communism. Communist countries have the best shopping.

  12. Letus know when you actually purchase a human being. Then I'll be impressed.

  13. For bargain shopping in people, Jakarta. Hands down. Two-three weeks shipping to get them to Hawaii, then you can buy paperwork that lets them fly to the mainland.

    Or you can ship them all the way to the mainland if you want.

    West Coast, easy to bring them in through Mexico, or believe it or not, Longview, WA.

    But there is this whole "sell your soul" thing in human trafficking that I don't go for.

  14. A 42 on my first college Calculus test was my rude awakening that a career in Biology would not be in my future.

    All these years later, I still wake up in a cold sweat that I only have a few credits left until graduation and realize that I am signed up for a math course but had no idea. Blech.


Be compelling.

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