The following are Cliff’s Cliff’s notes on a book you may not have time to read (due to your addiction to TV.) Cliff Jr. is Cliff’s Sr.’s son, a young punk who told his father to summarize his notebooks so he can get back to internet porn and Halo 3. Today’s edition is HOW THE BRAIN WORKS by Dr. Steven Pinker. Conclusions drawn from the book:
1) Uneducated young males are the greatest threat to society. Non-college educated young males have not realized they have another choice than to go along with their various genetic instincts to reproduce at the expense of others. (Education teaches that man can thwart the primitive brain’s urge to rape, pillage, and murder.) You are 26 times more likely to be killed by a young uneducated male than by an educated male or by a woman of any age. Why? Read on, (if your attention span has not already expired.)
2) Women have a finite number of eggs, and their biological urge is to guard and protect them. So their dominate attribute is one of CHOICE. While women generally choose rich, successful macho men (for protection), for the male the dominate attribute is to COMPETE. One strategy is to eliminate the competition symbolically (in sports) or physically (fighting), displaying bling to show they have money to burn (and thereby attracting the most females, which they then impregnate, get bored with, slap around, and leave.)
3) While uneducated women repeatedly fall victim to arrogant rich men whose goal is not to settle down but to spread their seed as far and wide as possible, educated women, by contrast, know that a Prius-driving geek is a better choice than that James Bond type in a Porsche, who plays musical beds and collects STDs like trading cards.
Conclusion: we all have within us mindless genetic programs, whose goal is to pass down junk DNA to the next generation. Each of us, however, can choose to say this to our genes: “go to hell.” Our genes are not “us,” they are just encoded programs on strands of DNA. That’s all they are! Genes do not care about YOU at all. YOU are meaningless to your genes, which is why, once you have outlived your usefulness, they shut down and watch you die. Is this not liberating? It means that it is possible to NOT paint your face for a human wave ball game, to NOT die in bloody “glorious” battle, to NOT get married and have 2.3 kids like your not-so-subtly denigrating former college roommate, to NOT feel guilt and shame for not meeting the standards set by all the ignorant mindless zombie/lemmings who poke fun at you for being different. Wasn’t Steve Jobs different? Einstein? Gandhi? Isn’t Madonna? Lady Gaga? …Feel better? Probably not. This is just a summary of the book, after all. To get the full hit, order the audiobook here.
Let’s assume the lucky winners pay the 35 percent top federal income tax rate, and a five percent state income tax rate. That’s $161.7 million for the Internal Revenue Service. What will they do with this windfall? Why, spend it, of course!
“I think I’ll buy a plane, or a new boat,” said General Milton Bradley, standing on the deck of the aircraft carrier The SS George W. Bush. “But not this boat or any of these planes, of course. Not enough money. …Oh, wait, come to think of it I couldn’t buy a new jet like these, either, because the R&D to create one would be nine times the total jackpot, pre-tax. And that’s just for blueprints. Maybe. . . maybe a new type of smart bomb would be appropriate! …Oh, wait…”
“I think we need a new bridge to Nowhere, Kansas,” said Senator Mark Ears of Kansas, “to connect it with the town of Dustbowl.”
“We’ve already made commitments to certain people in midtown Manhattan, and we need to keep our promises to them in this ongoing process,” said Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, getting a thumbs up from former lobbyist Jack Abramoff on his book tour after release from prison.
“The money would be a great boost for our study of intelligent life on the third planet from the sun,” said NASA spokesperson Wally Wowsy, getting a high five from Dr. Richey Jetpack, who proposes a three trillion dollar expedition to the fourth planet to find a new source of drinking water for plastic packaging.
“We need to utilize our declining engineering expertise to increase the manufacturing quality of U.S. products worldwide,” said Congressman Chuck ‘Free Trade’ Screwmour, “by building better condoms, cigarettes, and bottled sugar water.”
“We should use the money to stimulate the economy before next Fall,” said Obama.
“We should give the money to the rich, because they deserve it,” said Paul Ryan.
“Oh wait,” said Claire DeLuny, secretary/receptionist at the GAO, “that money has already been spent, and nobody knows where it went.”
“Oh wow,” said Steve Jobs.
Decades of corruption and graft in Greece, along with demands for high salaries and vacation time, have finally caught up with that country’s unions. While they might have voted to oust those responsible ten years ago (and saved for rainy days ahead), they instead chose to ignore all warnings and burn their candles at both ends (kinda like we’re doing now.) Consequently, they are beyond just being completely bankrupt, and have a mountain of debt reminiscent of the Alps hanging over their heads. Enter the Zombie Banks, which Jim Marrs talked about in his book The Trillion Dollar Conspiracy. The zombies have decided to run with the bull in a mixed metaphoric slog through the rocky downpour of demands being made upon them, and eat anyone who gets in their way. The new Zombie Unions will be making demands of their own, too, including that they get to march on the blood red carpets of Hollywood, and attend after-parties featuring steak Tartar and red, red wine. A new zombie film (opus 9347) with chronicle the upcoming bloodbath, with a sequel (opus 9348) promised, set in America in December. A new chain store, Zombies R Us, will also feature movie-related action figures, with Anthony Robbins slated to star opposite Hank Paulson in the U.S. release. Watch for upcoming Pepsi commercials and save your bottle caps (along with pre-1987 pennies, which actually have copper in them.) In other news, the FBI has released secret files on Steve Jobs, showing that he took LSD in the 70′s. Our response? So what? Maybe Congress and the Pentagon should take some too. Maybe then they’d have an original idea or two. As it is, Washington, (long controlled by the Zombie Banks), has been drinking our blood in our sleep.
Going undercover as an Arizona Daily Wildcat reporter, Ryback Solomon has confirmed that the administration at the University of Arizona is about to issue a decree banning use of the word “like” over fifty times daily. Students doing so will be fined a dime per “like” over that quota. The engineering department has set up video and audio monitors around campus to track students using this word excessively, with facial recognition software identifying the culprits to be issued the new COLLEGE TACTICAL HELMET which Steve Jobs was working on just prior to his death. (The “oh wow” referred to this helmet.) Explains provost Gilbert Hylander, “We’ve done studies on students, and discovered they use cell phones between classes an astonishing sixty-nine percent of the time, and use the word ‘like’ an average of eighteen times per minute. They also hit ‘like’ buttons on products and websites an average of nine times per day. This is unacceptable. We are running a school of higher learning here, and it’s, like, just not, like, right that exposure to such lazy and inefficient communication wastes time and muddies thought processes. Do you, like, understand me, or, like, what??” The Apple CTH will incorporate Job’s designs to aid the education of students with visual displays, feedback monitors, and correctional inputs. Anyone saying “like” over fifty times per 24 hour period will also be buzzed with a high pitch police whistle, and a video of the entire conversation (up to and including the buzz) will be posted on YouTube. Wearers taking the helmet off for anything other than sleep will be expelled. A special neck bracelet that cannot be removed will have a proximity sensor alerting administration if a distance of more than four feet is ever made, and the Like monitor will run 24/7. On the plus side, the helmet will include voice activated iPhone 5 operation, stereo speakers, internet access, lecture playback, and Avatar-worthy expression capture capabilities. Add internal environment control, enhanced external sensors with interpretative feedback (date lie detection), along with instant access to police, fire, or teaching assistants, and what you have is a very, very cool alternative to reality, which everyone will want. Unfortunately, students won’t be able to just start liking things excessively to get the CTH, since monitors already in place have already cataloged and targeted the offenders. New external offenses (and those offenders not yet cataloged) will be monitored in dorms and elsewhere by those wearing the helmets, (for which the new offenses to be added later won’t apply.)
On entering the Hotel Congress in Tucson, The Most Interesting Man in the World appraised me before sitting opposite my tooled red leather couch. I had ordered a carafe of Sangria, and without speaking the Man took one of the glasses beside it and poured himself three fingers. His rugged face bore several faint scars, aged under many seasons of tan. Yet he regarded me with hopeful insouciance, well aware that he could always retreat with a final, rising gulp. . . and then that withering trace of a world-weary smile. Sensing this, I said nothing. I only nodded, lifting my glass in salute. Then, after a first sip he said, “Did you know that the last frontier of science is the understanding of human consciousness?” When I still didn’t respond, he added, “Most people, however, are neither conscious nor curious, alas.”
“And you?” I ventured.
“I do not own a television,” he replied.
Thus began the most unusual and surprising interview I’d ever conducted. For here was a Man willing to live life to the fullest. A man who’d traveled to over a hundred countries, and mastered many languages. A man I soon learned had lost a son in a mountain climbing accident on the south island of New Zealand. Born on the “white rice and fat back” side of the tracks in Kansas City, the Man confessed that he’d left home early to ride the rails, then earned his grits as a riverboat roustabout on the Mississippi. Next came the Coast Guard, the Merchant Marine, and a string of jobs as diver for oceanographic expeditions, salvage operations, treasure hunts. Before I’d even remembered to turn on my recorder, the Man had already described earning his stake as an unpaid volunteer searching for the only shipwreck left boasting a belly of gold—a Spanish galleon that had failed to skirt a crosshatch pattern of shallow reefs during a Caribbean hurricane in 1537. With the meager percentage he’d pocketed (after the legal dust settled), the Man had invested—as venture capital—in a diamond mine project in the Kimberley, and immediately struck into a cache of large, raw blue stones. Selling his shares upon their brief yet sharp spike in value, he then bought into bauxite, and with stable, lifelong earnings virtually guaranteed from Alcoa, embarked on adventure after adventure across the globe, excavating dinosaur fossils in China, tracking down fugitive gun runners in Sicily, and installing fiber optic cable into newly erected schools in rural India and Brazil. He did not merely give money to charity, and then slump back onto some couch. No. The Man does not even own a couch, although there is a condo in Dubai with a sleek ergonomic chair, and with a dresser and platform bed facing the slowing rotating outer glass wall, which tracks and adjusts to the glare of the Middle Eastern sun. There is also his hunter green Porsche 911, which shares the room with him, as does the occasional female guest. But the Man is rarely there, and instead prefers the private jets of those billionaires whose ideas (rather than their parents) have made them rich. They in turn enjoy his candor, his intuitive insight, his integrity and bottomless fascination with innovation, mystery, and discovery. Steve Jobs, I soon learned, was one of those men.
So it was that I felt a sense of awe, knowing the myths inspired by the Man, which I now saw were even less impressive than the reality. It was as though some hidden wonder-lust, burning in his soul, permeated his pores to affect those he meets. In short, one did not want to disappoint the Man, for fear that he might leave and be replaced by someone less fascinating. Someone without any original thoughts to express. Some airhead celebrity who appeared on TV talk shows, and said things like, “I’ve always wanted to work with him,” or “I would really love to direct.”
Reminded of the job I had to do, I deferred at last to my listed questions, engaged my pocket recorder, and continued by ear. Here is an excerpt from that exchange:
Q: How did you acquire the moniker “World’s Most Interesting Man,” and are you really the inspiration for the beer ads?
A: Someone high in the circus remembered me after the fictional ads had run a while. Thought I looked like the guy, too. Asked if I was game for an interview, called your editor. Here we are.
Q: Same hotel where they found John Dillinger?
A: Yes, but I’m not looking for publicity. I’m no public enemy, either.
Q: Then why. . .
A: A few friends, also nameless, thought it might be culturally instructive for me to emerge from the closet.
Q: How so? Do you mean–
A: No, I’m not gay. I am contented, though. Euphoric, even. For reasons many might not understand.
Q: What do you mean?
A: Being happy has nothing to do with what you own, or who you impersonate. It’s about embracing the new, becoming who you can be.
Q: Who are you, then? What’s your given name?
A: My name does not matter. What is merely given to you matters even less.
Q: So what matters, then?
A: Seeing the connections between the near and the far. The vast and the tiny. The past and the future.
Q: Are you more of a thrill seeker or a Buddhist, then, would you say?
A: I live in the present because there is no other reality. And once you grasp that, fear goes away. And you turn off your television.
Q: How did you come by this philosophy?
A: By paying attention. By being here.
Q: Instead of being bored?
(The Man nods approval)
A: The bored have no imagination, my friend. Or a limited supply. If you’re alive, you’re alive everywhere, at all times. You don’t have a short attention span. On the other hand, if you’re dead, or nearly so, the opposite is true.
Q: There was a quote used in the ads. “Stay thirsty, my friends.” Is that your advice, too?
A: If you’re thirsty, you must be alive. True?
Q: True. Are you a sporting man?
A: Yes, but I prefer my own sports, my own goal lines. How sad is a life lived compulsively, repetitively. Why not take another path? Become part of something strange and wonderful. An evolution, a revolution. Think bigger, and smaller, and deeper. Do what hasn’t been done. Go where no one has gone. The universe is larger than a baseball diamond or record book, my friend.
Q: This is beginning to sound. . . inspirational. Is that why you’ve surfaced?
(The Man laughs)
A: Surfaced? The question presumes that up is the only direction to go. That bigger is always better. It is neither the only nor always the best way. Is an H bomb better than the A bomb?
Q: Do you follow politics? We’re at Hotel Congress, so I suppose I should ask what do you think of Congress itself?
A: I think they need to be thirsty again, instead of bloated and tipsy. I think they are fat drunkards stumbling around in the dark, from party to Tea party.
Q: So maybe they should drink the Kool Aid instead. Term limits?
At this question, the Man simply leaned back, smiling in approval at me. Appraising me anew. And I felt a rush like exhilaration at his gaze. As if the luck he lured by his magnetism were being conveyed to me too, somehow. I knew it was true because when he left, there was no thin, knowing smile, no world-weary shrug that he might have given a reporter from Entertainment Tonight. He simply nodded once, and walked away. . . And at the door a beautiful yet strangely familiar woman joined him, and I suddenly realized that she’d been waiting for him, unnoticed. After they left, it occurred to me that she’d looked like a woman in the ads, too. A supermodel with a super I.Q.? How had I not noticed? Here had been a Man who could make a Supermodel disappear. . . who could make KIM KARDASHIAN disappear! A shiver went through me, as I found that I smiled too. . .