Friday, September 27, 2013

The Giant Cheese Wax Ball Knows All, 9/27/13

FRIDAY returns, and with it the universe's finest advice columnist, the GIANT CHEESE WAX BALL! Ask ye questions and be enlightened forthwith.

Who is right about the Gen Y debate, Matt T. or Geoff W.?
-Eric F

This is the sort of question I'd normally deflect into a humorous tangent subtly disparaging your choice of question (which I'll certainly do later), but today I'll do you three "gentlemen" a solid and clear up this issue. I do have some major beeves with the author of the piece, such as referring to Gen Y as "yuppies" (a clear anachronism, as most of the people she's talking about are hipsters, not yuppies, even if they are Young Urban Professionals, though "artisanal jam label designer" is stretching "professional"), and her forced neologism GYPSY, which is exactly the kind of self-important terminology someone who thinks she's "special" would use--I prefer to call them STUPIDS (Stupid Twentysomething Underemployed Privileged Indie Douchebag Stupids). But let's nevertheless look at the article's claims in turn (I'm going to round them up to the clearer versions of the claims she MEANT to make).

1. STUPIDS are too focused on following their bliss instead of achieving stability. This is true. While people should reach for their stupid dreams (unless their dreams are disgusting), there should be a time limit after which they need to get their shit in gear and be realistic. In places like Germany and Japan, this is roughly the age of 12, which is a little extreme, but let's say 25 is more reasonable here in the land of the freedom fries. For example, Dylan wants to be the Picasso of the bongos. After making a good-faith effort to attain bongo mastery and find work in his chosen field, he realizes the capitalist system does not currently provide a path to solvency for the professional bongo visionary. Upon turning 25, he hangs up his bongos and uses the palm calluses he acquired through years of practice to become a successful professional rope climber.

2. STUPIDS are poor at self-assessment. Also true, but you can't blame them. It's true that every human being is unique as a precious snowflake; but what they don't tell you is that most snowflakes suck. What's obviously needed is a vigorous, standards-based assessment to accurately measure these peoples' strengths and weaknesses and assign careers as appropriate. Number 2 pencils will be provided. Please fill in the circle completely. Thanks Cody, please report to the Human Shield training tent.

3. STUPIDS have other peoples' success rubbed in their noses. If this person thinks only successful people post all their BS on Facebook, she's been following the wrong people, as the nonstop trainwrecks are infinitely more entertaining. (Saturday nights are an especially good time to peruse these people on Facebook and feel better about your own unsatisfying life, preferably with some fine spirits and a bag of peanut butter pretzels.)

In closing, lousy article, but Matt and Geoff each have valid points, so the only clear winner is me, as I get to watch them debate TO THE DEATH in the Nokia PainCube™, using only the weapons they can find (I threw some spatulas and curling irons in there). BEGIN!

Why can't you tickle yourself?
-H.P. M.

You can't? How sad. I spend most weekends endlessly, joyously tickling myself (I'm doing it right now! Hee hee hee), so it never occurred to me that humans would lack such a basic skill. However, I have a solution for you--since the key to self-tickling is not feeling like it's your own hand doing the tickling, I suggest crafting a tickling device using a screwdriver handle and a severed human arm--preferably someone else's, but your own will do in a pinch. Then you can tickle away to your heart's content, and it will feel just like someone else is doing it! Enjoy!

GCWB: I have something of a mystery for you; I have a neighbor, an older single gentleman who was a sailor. He's always excited to see me, often watching me from his window and emerging when I go to my car or take out the trash. Recently he invited me to dinner. After showing me a movie about life in ancient Greece, he served me an apple juice that tasted odd. I don't recall much after that, waking the next morning with a headache and my pants on backwards. What do you think happened? Please advise ASAP as he has also invited me to go camping this weekend.
-Roger H.

Would you really take away the one pleasure this poor man has left? He's spent his lifetime scouring the seas so ungrateful people like you never have to go sardineless, and now he wants to spend the autumn of his years in harmless pursuits like turning around his neighbor's pants. I urge you to view this as a way to give back to someone who has given so much. P.S. you may want to get that mole on your butt looked at.

Is it wrong to believe that I should get a MacArthur grant for my ability to instantly hear and adapt to wrong chord changes played by bass players on "Round Midnight"?
-Keith S.

Keith--Actually, don't spend the money just yet, but I have it on good authority that you're on the shortlist for next year's Macarthur, based on your innovative postmodernist recontextualization of the misunderstood classic "Red Clay." To quote one panelist, "Saunders' exegesis of the underlying ironic subtext extrapolates the work's poststructuralist-inspired commentary on contemporary themes of memory, authenticity, and 'truth.' Also I liked the part where he quoted 'Do You Know the Way to San Jose?'."

GCWB, is our seafood safe to eat what with all the radiation?
-Bran C.

Bran--the seafood is most definitely NOT safe to eat, but not because of the radiation--you should actually be more worried about incurring the wrath of the mighty Sea Gods of Old, including MmXi!tl, King of Prawns; Lord Charlie Tuna (who is the size of a small city), The Sultan of Squid, and the mysterious monstrosity known only as Spongezilla. Their patience is not infinite, and each visit to the all-you-can-eat shrimp bar pushes us closer to unleashing their terrifying vengeance. (But don't worry, the lobster elders assure us that we won't feel any pain when they throw us in the pot.)

GCWB: Why are humans so susceptible to religious fervor, refusing logic over what they wish to be true? And why do they often become violent over their irrational beliefs?
-Erin B.

You hit on a big one there, Erin. It seems like only yesterday that the fanatical followers of MmXi!tl, King of Prawns, met the Spongezillan Brotherhood in bloody undersea battle over a minute difference of opinion concerning whether Tartar sauce is expressly forbidden in the scriptures. (The Spongezillans emerged victorious, so yes, it is.) But you asked about humans, so let's restrict the discussion to dry land for now.

The origins of the religious phenomenon are murky, but the short answer is that humanity's mommies and daddies didn't love them enough, so they needed to conjure an array of mythical authority figures to help them keep their natural instincts to kill and/or have sex with anything that moves in check. Also they're understandably pretty steamed about that whole dying thing, so they'll happily buy any used-car-salesman-grade line that will prevent them from thinking about that. As to why they needed to somehow turn what was supposed to be a comfort and a moral compass into another excuse for killing and oppression, MmXi!tl only knows. I meant Spongezilla! Honest mistake! Please don't kill me!

By the way, if you'd like the long version of how this religion business came to be, I suggest you consult the authoritative work on the subject--"The Bible II: Heretic Boogaloo."

GCWB: I just overheard my mother tell my father the following, "You would have to join Twitter first." What could this portend?
-Emily K.

Open marriage. You heard it here first.

Got a question for the Giant Cheese Wax Ball? Submit it to wuladian { a t } gmail.com.