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friday the 12th

HOLY FUCKING SHIT! That’s the most horrible place I’ve ever been, like, EVER! My worst nightmare! It’s one thing to go the home office to catch a meeting or deliver a package, it’s another to go walk into the giant cubicle farm hell upstairs knowing there’s a box with your name on it.

Ha! Kidding! THEY DON’T PUT NAMES ON CUBICLES. Just numbers. Say hello to T-95.

I’m at the end of the row, in the main corridor, across from the two busiest meeting rooms on the second floor. My partitions only come up to adam’s apple height, so people going by stop and rest their chins on my wall and say stupid stuff to me. My workday is going to be an endless succession of disembodied chattering heads.

I worked out a long time ago that none of my co-workers are psychic. You know how I know this? Because a psychic would see past the bland look on my face and hear me mentally screaming, “if you don’t SHUT THE FUCK UP with that droning, stupid story about your stupid dog or your stupid kid or whatever stupid morsel of your stupid life you’re inflicting on me in slow motion, I’m going to leap the six feet between us and poke your stupid eyes out with this exceedingly sharp #2 pencil I’ve been ramming in the electric sharpener for the last five minutes!”

My cube furniture is so new, the stink of fresh plastic makes me blink. I’m down to two monitors, and there is no arrangement that makes either of them invisible from every angle. Best I can do, the lower left corner of the monitor on my right seems to be pretty well hidden from view. I’m going to play South Parks in a little window there, with an emphasis on the ones with the most swear words.

With headphones. Huge, conspicuous headphones. Thanks for the headphones, Uncle B. And so much, much more…

October 12, 2007 — 6:35 pm
Comments: 62

The Nobel continues its boogie to banality

So! My old neighbor Al Gore joins Jimmy Carter, Yasser Arafat, Kofi Annan, Mohammed El Baradei and Rigoberta Menchú as a peace prizolier — which is more than Mahatma Gandhi can say. Did you know it comes with a million and a half bucks? Here’s hoping Gore has to share it with the entire cast of thousands on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He has his snout deep enough in that trough as it is.

Like all things controlled by committee, the Nobels have always inclined toward suck.

António Caetano de Abreu Freire Egas MonizTake my favorite Nobel recipient — this dude with the funny ears, António Caetano de Abreu Freire Egas Moniz (1874-1955). He pioneered cerebral angiowhotsit — injecting stuff into the veins of the head so that tumors and aneurysms show up on x-ray — which was a very good thing. But he won the Nobel for medicine in 1949 for a very bad thing. Says Wikipedia:

The procedure was the lobotomy. Back in Lisbon he ordered that a human brain be brought to him from a morgue, and thrusted a pen through the cortex several times until he was satisfied he knew the approximate angle and depth that would best detach the frontal lobes. He performed the operation on a former prostitute, who afterwards was unable to give her age or say where she was. She was returned to an asylum, never to be seen by him again. Moniz nonetheless considered this a “clinical cure” and continued operating.

The operation was popularized in the US by clinical neurologist Walter Freeman, whose rough-and-ready version involved poking an ice pick through the eye socket and wiggling it around a bit. No lie. If you get a nice, clean version of the famous photo of him performing this neat parlor trick, you can read the name of the Chicago ice company on the handle of his surgical instrument.

Had the procedure been used as a last resort for the hopelessly, violently insane…it would still be wicked, but it would be forgiveable. As it was, lobotomies were famously given the annoying and inconvenient. Rosemary Kennedy got hers (from Freeman himself) to treat “mood swings”. She lived the next fifty-some years in a convent school as a babbling idiot.

If there’s such a thing as a human soul, I’m as sure as sure can be its proper name is “the brain.” Hence, Dr Egas Moniz won his Nobel for inventing a method of granting thousands of troubled human beings a living death. Murder, if you ask me.

In conclusion: fuck you Al Gore.

— 9:11 am
Comments: 16