OBIT: Common Sense

It is with great sadness that I must announce the death of Common Sense.  Even though Common Sense had suffered from a debilitating illness for many years, few, if any of us, realized it was terminal — until it was too late.  Early reports say that it was not one massive act of utter Stupidity that killed Common Sense but years of petty Ignorance that simply destroyed Common Sense’s will to live.  Common Sense was predeceased by its lifelong partner, Pragmatism, and is survived by its children, Reason and Logic, who have vowed to continue their parents’ work.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time.

There is no clear record of the birth of Common Sense, but there are numerous documented examples of its accomplishments throughout human history.  Unfortunately, despite these many accolades, these days, Common Sense’s abilities and achievements are largely ignored.  And while it’s true some older people still remember Common Sense, it’s difficult for most people to imagine that Common Sense once practically ruled the world and had many devoted followers.  Sadly, those days are gone — perhaps forever.

Clearly, however, not everyone is saddened by this tragedy.  Politically Correct immediately took to Social Media to celebrate the demise of their greatest foe.

“Fry in Hell, Common Sense!”

“We totally reject the so-called ‘Common Sense Approach’ to problem solving.  Solutions do nothing to promote awareness of the issues.”

“Ding Dong! Descartes is Dead.
Ideology cut off his head.
Ding Dong! Rene Descartes is dead.”

Very uncool to use the ‘D’ word — and completely insensitive to people who have experienced (or will eventually experience) loss when friends or family pass.”

“Common Sense was an antiquated relic of the Eurocentric Enlightenment that has no place in our contemporary, ideologically diverse world.”

“Although we do not support Stupidity and Ignorance, we do recognize their legitimate struggle to reshape the narrative away from Common Sense’s solution-based agenda.”

“Aristotle was a misogynist, a xenophobic racist and probably a slave owner, and we call on all educators and pedagogues to stand together and erase his name from the curriculum.  We also call on all institutions of higher learning to remove his likeness or graven image from their physical environment.

“Reason & Logic — u r next!”

As yet, no funeral arrangements have been made, but it was Common Sense’s dying wish to be buried alongside Humour, Satire and Irony, childhood friends who were brutally murdered during the Culture Wars of the 1990s.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that mourners turn off Twitter and Facebook for A Moment of Cyber-Silence in memory of Common Sense’s ability to elevate the conversation beyond Internet trolling.

Rest In Peace, Common Sense.  You will be missed.

BUT . . .

The most powerful word in the English language is “but.”  It’s a grammatical Liam Neeson with a very particular set of skills that kicks ass.  It’s way better than that greedy little “and” who’s always looking for something extra the minute he shows up.  And, don’t get me started on “or:” grammar’s Hamlet, who couldn’t make a decision if his life depended on it.  No, for sheer conjunctional word power, go with “but” every time.  Here’s why:

1 – “but” sugarcoats the punch in the face — When you want to rip somebody a new one but you don’t want them to get so angry they go home and get a shotgun, throw in a “but.”  For example: “Jennifer, you are one of our most valued employees, conscientious and hard-working, BUT you have the math skills of a goat, and if you don’t get with it, I’m going to fire you so hard your grandchildren will be unemployed.”

2 – “but” pleads your case — When you know you screwed up and you’re looking around for something else to blame, use “but.”  Once again: “I know I drove your car into the side of that guy’s house, BUT you didn’t tell me it had sticky brakes when I borrowed it.”

And if you play #2 correctly…

3 – “but” can even get you off the hook — “Normally, I’d pay for the repairs to your car, BUT if it wasn’t for me, you wouldn’t have ever known about those bad brakes.  Actually, I did you a big favour.”

Also

4 – “but” lets us look on the bright side — When your situation seems about as bleak as the slums of Mordor, try “but” to turn the lemon into lemonade.  “Hey, bro!  Sorry I had sex with your wife and your little sister last month after your birthday party, BUT they both phoned today, and guess what?  They’re not pregnant.  Cool, huh?”

And finally the most badass tool of all:

5 – nothing important ever gets said until someone says “but.” — In any conversation, discussion or argument, you can discount everything that’s said before “but.”  In fact, you don’t even have to listen.  Check it out:

“I understand your point of view, but only the part that happened before you opened your mouth.”
“Of course I agree, but not enough to quit arguing with you.”
“That’s an interesting opinion, but I’m not all that familiar with LooneyTunes cartoons.”
“Certainly, this current refugee problem is a crisis of biblical proportion and Western governments have a moral obligation to offer as much assistance as possible but what are all these gypsies, tramps and thieves doing in my country?”
“I like pasta, too, but there’s no way I’m eating that Italian glue tonight.”
“I’m not a racist but, man, those people are weird.”
“I love you dearly, but if you leave the toilet seat up one more time, I’m going to shoot you in the head.”
Etc. etc. etc.

So here’s to you, “but,” you sassy little conjunction!  Thanks for always being there for us.

Originally written November, 2015

Conspiracies — Unraveled

There’s no success like – uh – success – so, since everybody liked Conspiracies in the Suez Canal so much, here are a few more.

1 — Andy Kaufman (Latka Gravas on the TV series Taxi) did not fake his own death as a comedic hoax in 1984.  He was killed by the TCB mafia when he inadvertently discovered that Elvis was still alive.  (They were worried the avant-garde comedian was too unstable to keep the secret.)

2 — Thunderstorms, tornados, hurricanes and other violent climate change events are all weather simulations created by the government.  They’re being used to cover up the sights and sounds of the battles we’re having with alien space invaders that have been going on — just outside our atmosphere — since the 1980s.  The basic premise is that the public doesn’t seem to be too worried about climate change, but it’s a pretty safe bet that alien invaders would scare the shit out of them.

3 — And speaking of space: the United States did not land on the Moon in 1969.  They landed on Mars.  However, NASA thought that no one would believe them, so they just said it was the Moon.  That’s why the early films and photos are black and white – to disguise the distinct reddish Martian tinge.  And, of course, all the current Mars Rover missions are being used to hide the original evidence.

4 – And staying with America, JFK was killed by a secret group of conspiracy theorists called “The Grassy Knoll Group” (GKG) who used the event to make millions, selling conspiracy theory books and making ridiculous documentaries for the History Channel.  Since the 60s, to keep the Conspiracy Industry alive, this group has killed several movie stars and musicians, at least two politicians and a princess.  However, I cannot reveal their names or the GKG will kill me, too.

And I’ve saved the best for last:

5 — The urban myth that Walt Disney had his body cryogenically frozen when he died is obviously false.  However, it is part of a far more elaborate cover-up.  In 1938, Mickey Mouse, Disney’s symbol and biggest box office star, was accidently drowned during the filming of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” segment of Fantasia.  Rather than risk a public outcry, possible criminal charges and financial ruin, Disney Corp. covered up the death and finished the film with Mickey’s stand-in.  (If you look closely, some scenes show Mickey with pupils in his eyes — and some don’t.)  Meanwhile, the real Mickey was cryogenically frozen using secret Nazi technology (both Hitler and Mussolini were big fans) in the hope that German scientists would eventually be able to resurrect the little rodent.  Along came World War II, and, clearly, Disney did not want to be associated with Nazis, so Mickey was quietly hidden away in the Disney vaults.  For the next two decades, Disney used a clever combination of make-up, lighting and body doubles to keep Mickey in the public eye.  (Again, a careful examination reveals subtle changes in Mickey’s appearance over the years.)  Then, in the 1960s, when scientists began to study cryogenics again, Disney Corp were worried that researchers might accidently stumble on their unsavory secret.  So, in 1966, when Walt Disney himself died of natural causes, Disney executives concocted the urban myth that Walt had been cryogenically frozen — to divert attention from the real story.  And it totally worked!  Even today, if you google “Disney” and “cryogenics,” there’s no mention of Mickey Mouse.  To the uninformed, this may sound like an outlandish theory, but I’ll leave you with this question.  Mickey Mouse is one of the most recognized figures of all time; he generates more money every year than many small countries.  Yet, since Fantasia, Disney has never used the Billion Dollar Mouse in a full-length feature film.  Coincidence?  I think not!