Monday, September 22, 2008

Things I Have Never Understood

I can't come up with anything exciting today. But I can always come up with stuff I don't understand. In fact, that list grows daily.

So. Ahem. I have never understood:

-- Algebra, or any kind of math, or why anyone would enjoy math, especially algebra. (Though I'm very glad some people in the world do enjoy math, because otherwise civilization would grind to a halt.)

-- Jacques Derrida. The day this guy starts making sense to me, I'm going to check myself into the nearest asylum.

-- Why James Fenimore Cooper was listed amongst the greats of American literature. (For the record, Mark Twain didn't get it, either.)

-- The Code of Federal Regulations. And I'm a lawyer.

-- Why, in James Bond movies, the female leads wear stiletto heels on dangerous and physically demanding missions requiring a speedy retreat, like, say, burglarizing and sabotaging the bad guy's center of operations. (Example: Michelle Yeoh in Tomorrow Never Dies.)

-- Why, when I subscribe to a cable service, I have to pay for a bunch of channels I don't want, instead of being able to pick channels I do want; and why cable companies think they're being family-friendly by telling parents they can "block" channels they don't want their kids to have access to, even though said parents still have to pay for "blocked" channels.

-- Why, when a new English translation of the Mass is up for deliberation, the bishops assume that I need to be protected from big words, even though I majored in English and have a doctorate-level degree, and even have Merriam-Webster Online bookmarked on my web browser. (And many others of the faithful have more degrees than I do, and perhaps just as many as the bishops themselves -- if not more.)

-- Prairie oysters. Who was the first person to look at that and think that would make good eats? Same thing with caviar, with or without champagne, and snails.

-- Body piercings other than in the earlobes. Especially in the tongue.

-- What it is that's so attractive about shoes with extremely pointy toes. They look like witch shoes. (Though I guess they could come in handy in socially compromising situations...)

-- Women who form romantic relationships with, and even marry, guys on death row.

-- Why women who are extremely pregnant have to run around in skin-tight clothing.

-- Why couples who are willing to have children together and buy homes together are nevertheless unwilling to get married.

-- Why anybody would think Obama-Biden is a winning combo for America.


  1. Since I can't defend either stiletto heels or pointy-toed shoes, I guess I'll just stick up for algebra:

    In math, a "2" is always just a 2. If 2 meant a pair of things yesterday, it will mean a pair of things tomorrow. There's no "context." It doesn't mean three when it's surrounded by lowercase letters, and 4 when it's multiplied by a number greater than 20. And if you want to refer to a pair of things, you can always call on a 2. It will always do the job. You don't need a different 2 for today than you used yesterday. Whereas words are always contextual. What does "has" mean? It all depends on the context. And with verbs, you have to use a different word if the action was undertaken yesterday (and depending on whether or not it was finished or continues on in time) than if it's done today, or sometime in the future, and depending on who did it (or was it done to them?), and how many of them did it, and if it really happened or if it's just a sort of hypothetical situation.

  2. AND, left out, Bongo Masses and BAD Haugen-Haas Music:

    I was at a Novus Ordo Mass, complete with Gregorian Chant, with the "Sanctus" and "Agnus Dei" with The Communion Antiphon, Sung In Latin;

    I can't understand WHY in most Novus Ordo Masses, that this is NOT Done;

    Do The Liturgists all think we're mere simpletons;

    Also the Tabernacle was at the center and not off in the corner;

    I believe that this Mass, in Novus Ordo Format, was what The Council Fathers had in mind, with Latin Included.

  3. Michael, they do think we're a bunch of idiots. The very people who claim to advocate for "the little guy" are precisely the ones who think we're a bunch of dopes.

    Kinda like, oh, the Democrat Party.

  4. I sort of LIKE Derrida, when it comes to criticism, in that there is "nothing outside the text." That way you're dealing with what the author WROTE, not maybe what the author MEANT, or what the HIDDEN MEANING is! It's the universe on the page that matters.