Weekly Whack: Analyze This
Analyze This
September 8, 1997

You know what I hate the most about going to college? It's all the bullshit. You can't go very far in college without stepping in a big old pile of bullshit. I mean it has become an epidemic. And when I say bullshit, I mean anything that is said in such a way that it sounds all intellectual and meaningful, but has no basis in reality. Ever listen to someone talk, and he sounds extremely learned, but you don't understand a word he is saying? Well nine out of ten times it is because he is full of shit. And you tend to run into more of these people at college than any other places. They really like to take philosophy and literary analysis classes. I want to write something one day and sit in a college English class and watch the students analyze it. I think that would be neat. They would probably discuss it intensely for about an hour and a half, and no one would come close to figuring out the true meaning of my story, mainly because my story probably wouldn't have any meaning. I used to be big on quotes and stuff. I have all these big books filled with quotes. But then I came to the realization that quotes really have no meaning. They sound good, but they make no sense. They are mostly bullshit. That's why I no longer quote people when I'm trying to explain something. I use my own words. If I can't rely on my words to get my point across, what's the use of relying on someone else's? The University was generous enough this year to give all of it's students a daily planner/informational guide. And in this planner there are selected quotes scattered around random days. So I thought instead of taking these quotes at face value, I would look a little more into them, and see what they are really saying. And in the end I found that they are mostly bullshit.

August 31- "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance." (Derek Bok)

Well the meaning of this quote depends mostly how you interpret the word expensive. If you take it literally, than yes I would have to say that 28,000 dollars a year for an education is rather expensive. And since ignorance has no literal expense, than yes, ignorance would be a lot cheaper than education. However if you interpret the word expensive more figuratively, having nothing to do with economics, than I would never say that education is expensive. Economically education is very expensive, but in all other aspects, it is very cheap. But what the author of this quote wants you to do is to take the economic definition of the word expensive when dealing with education, but then the non-economic definition when dealing with ignorance. Education is literally expensive, but ignorance is figuratively even more expensive. So in just one short sentence the word is given double meaning. I may agree with the point that the author is trying to make, but I think he could have taken a better path towards making it.

September 9- "The only one who never makes mistakes is the one who never does anything." (Theodore Roosevelt)

I love Teddy Roosevelt, I think it's a great quote, but it could have been shortened and more clearly stated in just three words: Everybody makes mistakes. Since it is impossible for there to be a person who does absolutely nothing, since there are certain things that you have to do to survive, then thus everybody must make mistakes. Say there is a person who does only that which is necessary for survival (eating, drinking, breathing, digesting), I'm sure eventually he'll screw up even doing just that. He'll eventually spill something on himself, or miss the toilet bowl when pissing. So, yeah, Teddy assumes that we realize that it is impossible to have somebody who doesn't do anything, so thus it is impossible to have somebody that never makes mistakes. We all get his point, but in more words than are necessary.

September 19- "If you don't do your own thinking, someone else will do it for you." (Edward deBono)

Well that's just a bold face lie. How can someone think for you? Thinking is a very personal thing. It's very internal. Even Descartes says that the only way we can know that we exist is because we think. So if we don't do our own thinking, than we don't actually exist. The "someone else" who is doing the thinking for you would exist as you. Do you understand what I'm saying? Well, me neither. But what I think the author was trying to say is that if we don't make our own decisions, than someone else will make them for us. Someone else can make decisions for us, but they can't think for us.

September 29- "All misfortune is but a stepping stone to fortune." (Henry David Thoreau)

That's a very optimistic way to look at things, but I don't actually agree with it. Some misfortune is caused by just plain stupidity, and has no benefit whatsoever. And what if you are gambling at some casino where the odds are always against you. In that case misfortune would be just a stepping stone to even more misfortune.

October 6- "Get acquainted with your neighbor; you might like him." (H.B. Tierney)

That's true, but you also might hate him. Why take the chance? I'm sure you already know enough people that you like, and do you really need to risk meeting someone who you might bitterly hate? I say ignore you neighbor and remain indifferent towards him. There would be no wars in the Middle East if the people there never got acquainted with their neighbors.

October 9- "Grey skies are just clouds passing over." (Duke Ellington)

Well thanks for the fine meteorological lesson Mr. Ellington, but I think we all kind of knew that already.

October 17- "Energy and persistence conquer all things." (Poor Richard's Almanac)

Well that's not true. Sometimes it takes energy, persistence, and couple tanks to conquer all things.

October 20- "Some people drink at the fountain of knowledge. Others just gargle." (Anon.)

Me, I piss in the fountain of knowledge.

October 28- "It is not enough for a man to know how to ride, he must know how to fall." (Native American Proverb)

I find it ironic that this quote is an Native American proverb. The Native Americans sure know how to fall, they fell right off the face of the Earth.

November 3- "A free society is one where it is safe to be unpopular." (Adlai Stevenson)

Well Mr. Stevenson was lucky that we live in a free society because looking at all those elections he lost, he wasn't the most popular of guys.

November 18- "A man is known by the company he keeps." (Anon.)

Well being that I occasionally hang out with Steve Stanlick, I hope there is absolutely no truth to this quote.

December 4- "Anything worth having is worth working for." (Anon.)

That may be true, but that doesn't mean that you can't get something that is worth having without working for it. I wouldn't have half of my possessions if I had to work for them.

December 13- "Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today." (Anon.)

Man, this Anon guy doesn't know what the hell he is talking about. I put off doing this Whack about a week, and who knows how long Joe will put off putting it up. Well I think I'll stop right there. I pretty much covered most of the quotes for the first semester. Maybe I'll cover the quotes for the next semester some other time. Until then, Stay REO.