Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What About Jethro Tull? Popcorn by The Colonel #48

Giant bride sniffs port-a-john made of marijuana bricks smuggled from
Mexico to Connecticut on the bristly backs of marauding feral boars

Some columnists think it's infra dig to respond to comments. Not The Colonel. He doesn't respond to comments because he thinks it's fairer if commentators get the last word.

But he also thinks that rules should have exceptions, like Sadie Hawkins Day, Opposites Day, that day when Roman masters and servants changed places, and when the letters "i" and "e" follow the letter "c."

So here are some responses to recent comments.

On June 4, Anonymous 10:27 commented, "Does Robert Redford now look like Jennifer Lawrence following his plastic surgery? Definitely an improvement over his old appearance."


1/ Monikers like "Anonymous 10:27" sound creepily like biblical citations. Calling someone named "Anonymous 10:27" a "gutless coward" is just asking for a bolt from above. Hey, peace, bro -- John 3:16!

2/ Robert Redford was very handsome -- has anyone seen "The Sting"? -- but apparently he wasn't happy with how he was aging and had a little work done. It made him look like Warner Oland as Charlie Chan. Apparently he had it undone or it wore off, because now he looks normal again, like a handsome old man. He's 76 years young. Cary Grant looked good at 76, too.

3/ Will Jennifer Lawrence (age 22) look good at 76? Is the passage of time crueler to women than to men? Have we collectively drunk the Kool-Aid of sexist ageism? Of "looksism"? Isn't the real question "Who is my neighbor?" (No.  Brian Stewart poses the real question below.)

Also on June 4, Anonymous 10:31 (not to be confused with Anonymous 10:27) commented, "You certainly make up some weird articles, hope you not turning into a local National Inquirer." Responses:

1/ Colonel hope same thing.

2/ One can bring to the picnic table only what one has. In The Colonel's case, it's weird potato salad. Enjoy!

3/ You mean you're not concerned about marauding mutant feral boars spoiling Connecticut weddings? The Colonel talked to Bat Boy about it, and even white-nosed Bat Boy is concerned.

Expect more in this space about feral shapeshifting boars running amok as the local situation worsens. Have you ever seen Rep. Sharkey and a wild boar together? Why deny the obvious conclusion?

Next, Elizabeth Bobrick has been a "friend of Popcorn," so The Colonel will respond to her scholarly comments by "outing" the fact that she, "a Wesleyan," would rather teach creative writing to prisoners than to undergraduates, meaning not to disparage undergraduates, but to highlight the gratifying response some prisoners have to the new door -- new world -- her teaching opens for them. She would doubtless counsel shortening (or omitting) the previous sentence.

Finally, Brian Stewart commented, "What about Jethro Tull?"

1/ Ancient sages would slap their disciples when delivering important messages, the slap acting as an emphatic mnemonic device. The Colonel hopes Brian slaps his students whenever he asks them "What about Jethro Tull?" That question is surely the key to the whole shebang. Four words! One weeps with awe and envy.

2/ Brian is a physicist. In philosophical terms, that means he holds that the primal stuff of the universe is phys, or as we spell it nowadays, fizz. What a relief it is.

The prestige of physics rests atop a mushroom cloud, except in France, where 90% of the electricity comes from nuclear reactors.

We all know that the subatomic quantum world is so utterly different from our Newtonian macro-world experience that ordinary language cannot describe it. Who put the "babal" in "probabalistic"?

To describe the quantum world, Brian and others resort to pre-Socratic philosophy, kindness, Dark Shadows, speaking in tongues, strangeness, arrant nonsense, charm, interpretive dance, good manners, frugality, extraordinary evidence, Zen koans, donkey laughter, and (in a pinch) string theory. The rest is the madness of art.

Another way of saying the same thing is that this evening's music is by Darby O'Gill and the Little Particles, backed by the Theoretical Strings. Dance, and the universe dances with you. Bark, and you bark with the seals.

Therefore we must entertain the possibility that "What about Jethro Tull?" is Brian's elegant explanation of the Higgs Boson aka "the God Particle, if only God existed."

In other words, Brian may be saying that Schrödinger's Cat set out one day in a relative way, and returned on the previous night, dead tired and in a pine box, postage due, explaining thereby why it's okay not to vote in primaries.

Or perhaps Brian is signaling that "Schrödinger's Cat" (wink, wink) is Schrödinger's unconscious Freudian way of referring to his own alienated self.

That Brian is a deep one, yet sometimes a cat is just a cat. (Apologies to cats.) And sometimes a stock market uptick is just a dead cat bounce. (Further apologies to cats.)

In conclusion, thank you to each commentator, and remember: your computer could be a Trisk.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Bobrick said...

Esteemed Colonel-
You are too kind. In truth, I'm only tangentially "a Wesleyan," but I am indeed very grateful for the chance to teach now and then with Wesleyan's Center for Prison Education (www.wesleyan.edu/cpe).

It's an honor to be mentioned in the same Colonel Column with my friend Brian Stewart, who is a full-fledged Wesleyan but a lovely guy all the same. Brian, what ABOUT Jethro Tull? I spent a fair amount of time in high school pretending to like "Aqua Lung." Those are hours I won't get back.