Expanding the Limits of What is Considered Stupid

January 31, 2008

found wanting

First say yes, then say no; good plan, no go, but a rotten they dress in flummery, the sight of their planning worries me.

The Confucian Odes
(trans. Ezra Pound)

is updated on Thursdays.


For sale: one slightly altered version of the Bible. Includes the Ten "Suggestions" also Cain merely shortsheets Abel's bed, Nicodemus gets it right away and Judas gets 35 pieces of silver. Other minor changes. $45OBO. Box 666.
Too cold for you? Why not visit Aruba? Not enough money? Does that make you sad? Why don't you do something about it? Not enough energy? Paucity of ideas? Too damned lazy? Sick of questions? Why not stop reading?
For rent: beachfront property in Iqaluit. $1/day. Available January through March. Box 550.
Tired of itchy dry skin? Voible's Derma-Moistener makes dry skin moist within seven minutes or your money back. Box 55. (we make no claims about the itching)
Will trade old photocopies of my bus pass for a brand new one. Box 11.
Now available: Director's cut DVD The Mild Curiosity of Walter Schmerling biopic of the scientist who almost discovered radium but lost interest. Stars Horst Bucholz as Schmerling.
Purrcolator'sthe coffee shop for cats is now hiring barristas for all its Toronto area operations. If you have a geniune love for coffee and are not a mouse or a dog please send your resume to Box 34218.
For sale: small crush on a girl I know $15. Willing to trade for a slight peevishness or a mild sense of foreboding. Box 287.




Next Week PERSIFLAGE will be even less funny.

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This Week's Definition:

can racket: a street quarrel, or turbulent merrymaking, among roughs.

What Would DC do?

I have, from time to time, been somewhat confused as to what course of action to take in my life. Sometimes I have not known what to do in a particular situation and I have wished for a model on which to base my plans.

The problem with basing your decisions on the past actions of any given individual is that no one person has ever managed to live life perfectly. Some people are good models in some situations and not in others.

Einstein, certainly, would be a poor example on which to model your behaviour in your romantic relationships. And Achilles is a downright lousy exemplar for dealing with disappointment. One cannot look to one individual for the answers to life's vexing questions.

Of course, there's no reason why one cannot construct, from admired personages, a model to suit your purposes. Mine is called Donald Christ.

As you may have already guessed, my exemplar is a combination of Donald Trump, the noted real estate tycoon, and Jesus Christ, well-known saviour and son of God.

I have always admired Donald Trump for his overwhelming material success and Jesus for his personal integrity and high standard of behaviour.

Also, for a guy who looks like he has a bird's nest on his head (and not a particularly nice one at that), The Donald has always seemed to do pretty well with the ladies (at least temporarily). He must possess some ineffable quality that allows him to do this as, if you look closely, his features are not arranged all that pleasantly and to boot, his social skills seem somewhat lacking.

On the other side JC seems to have done less well in that regard. Only Mary Magdalene is mentioned on a regular basis and then there is no mention of any fun stuff, only innuendo. But Jesus appears to have been well-liked and a good mixer. He was constantly invited out and, if the portrait in my church basement is at all accurate, he seems to have been quite a nice looking fellow as well. Some of his popularity might have been due to his always knowing the right thing to say. He was very quotable.

You can see, of course, that between these two are most of the admirable and desired human qualities that we all uh...admire. By constructing a model that combines these two individuals in one easily accessible form I have a ready made standard for my behaviour: Donald Christ.

So what? I hear you ask.

The Practical Guide

So how exactly does this work you say? You want a for instance?

Well say we consider the question of giving up one's seat on the bus.

Now Jesus would clearly give up his seat ten times out of ten but Trump would consider: is this seat a valuable asset? Can this seat be turned to my advantage or will standing actually improve my position vis a vis the other busriders? Good questions.

Donald Christ would occupy the middle ground between these two attitudes. That is, he (and therefore you) would give up his seat, but only when it is NOT in his interest to do so. Need another example?

What about the question of adultery?

Now Donald loves the ladies and there is no way he is going to be restrained by some bourgeois notion of what constitutes propriety so he is going for it. Depending, of course, on the hotness of the lady involved and his chances of getting caught and therefore paying a lot of alimony.

Jesus on the other hand appears to have been celibate.

Donald Christ therefore would have a sexless affair with his mistress or mistresses. Is this clear?

Perhaps one last example.

Let's say that you have been offered a lucrative position in your dad's company. You know that if you take it you will be very successful but that an equally qualified candidate for the position will not be hired. What to do?

Donald Trump takes it. If The Donald hadn't gotten a leg up from his dad in the early days he would just be some realtor with bad hair. This is a no-brainer for DT.

What about JC? Well, he also went into the family business but given his well-documented attitudes towards the poor and meek et al. it's hard to believe he would take somebody else's job.

So what does Donald Christ do?

You got me. This thing isn't foolproof you know. Once in a while you might have to make a difficult decision for yourself.

Gus Tramble