Skip to main content

the why chromosome

i've been thinking about it and i've determined that the word "why", spoken on its own, in the form of a question, is the most dangerous word in the english language.

seriously, it's the one thing that, in a lot of circumstances, you are just NEVER supposed to say.

"for god so loved the world that he gave his only son" why?

"tonight's top story..." why?

"the city of _______ was ravaged by a hurricane" why?

these are broad examples, of course, ones that could head off in a thousand different directions. and the fact is that we could all choose one of these topics and discuss them at a comfortable distance. the real power of "why" comes when we turn it towards ourselves.

here's an exercise: go through your everyday activities, but each time you do something, expose yourself to the threat of the why.

i got up this morning and i made coffee. why? because i'm a freakin' addict, ok? (seriously, that's the best i can do for an answer to why this is the first thing i do when i wake up. nothing to do with enjoying it or finding it fulfilling.)

i checked my emails. why? ostensibly because i'm looking for work, but really because i'm curious to know if/ how people have reacted (and who has reacted) to things i've posted or said on facebook or other forums i participate in. because, like many, i'm kind of an internet narcissist. i can admit that. a lot of people can't and are going to mock me to cover for themselves.

anyway, you get the idea. there are certainly things that are done because they need to be done, but you'd be amazed at how much your day changes when you invite the complications of the why.

Comments

as long as you're here, why not read more?

i agree, smedley [or, smokers totally saved our planet in 1983]

so this conversation happened [via text, so i have evidence and possibly so does the canadian government and the nsa].

dom and i were trying to settle our mutual nerves about tomorrow night's conversion screening, remembering that we've made a fine little film that people should see. which is just about exactly what dom had said when i responded thusly:

me :: i agree smedley. [pauses for a moment] did you get that here?

dom :: no?

me :: the aliens who were looking at earth and then decided it wasn't worth bothering with because people smoked even though it was bad for them?
come to think of it, that might mean that smokers prevented an alien invasion in the seventies.

dom :: what ?!?!?

me :: i've had wine and very little food. [pause] but the alien thing was real. [pause.] well, real on tv.

dom :: please eat something.

of course, i was wrong. the ad in question ran in 1983. this is the part where i would triumphantly embed the ad from youtube, except that the governmen…

making faces :: bette davis lips

the inscription on bette davis' grave reads "she did it the hard way", which should tell you something about the kind of life she led. indeed, she was known as a fighter, taking on studio executives at a time when that simply wasn't done, unless you "never wanted to work in this town again". even when she lost a legal battle against warner brothers that forced her to see out her contract, she was able to parlay her return to the screen into better roles that secured her legacy as one of the greatest icons of the screen. she was the first woman ever to garner ten nominations for best actress at the academy awards and the first woman ever to be president of the academy of motion picture arts and sciences [the people who give out the awards].

that bette davis ever became a movie star, let alone one of the biggest movie stars in the world, is kind of remarkable. after all, she wasn't conventionally beautiful, although her face was certainly unforgettable. …

making faces :: eyes without a face

these are indeed strange times, my friends. no one living has ever seen anything like this because there has never been anything close to the current set of circumstances in the modern world. sure, people will make the comparison with the spanish flu epidemic of 1918-20 but the fact is that things were very different then and those differences are not limited to the technology we now have available. that has an effect, of course, but consider the other factors: the world had just been through the most destructive war in its history. aside from the fact that millions had died, millions returned home injured in body and mind and there was little in the way of a social safety net to protect any of them. in many countries, "peace" was hardly peaceful because the political fallout of the great war plunged many nations into civil wars. so in that way, we're in a better position now because we don't have an entire generation of people walking around who are already severel…