Thursday, February 21, 2013

Historical accuracy and social awkwardness at their finest

To begin on a happy note today, has anyone else ever had those days where your social skills are just turned off? A day where your brain does shit, and you're like "What the freaking hell, brain? Why would you do that?" Like, you just blatantly interrupt people while they're talking without even thinking, and when you walk into your building, see that they're working on the elevator, and proceed to press the freaking button. Like, why, brain? Why? You're supposed to be the product of years of evolutionary experimentation. I thought I had this advanced frontal cortex for a reason. Apparently not.

So ordinarily, as would be the case with anyone with any kind of social anxiety, I would expect myself to declare myself a danger to society for the day, lock myself in  my room, and just read a book for the rest of the day. Literature cannot hurt me, and a book would totally not judge me, which is sad, because we constantly have to be told not to judge the books by their covers, when they do nothing except give us knowledge and unconditional love. However, I've decided that I have too many cool ideas to feel down about the social incompetence of my brain, and have decided that I will share them with the world today.

I'll start with the least fun of the two.

First, I have been thinking about history and stuff lately, for reasons completely unknown to me. Like, I'll see a tree, and think to myself about what that tree looked like 400 years ago. It was probably just surrounded by other trees, because this is Maryland, and I'm pretty sure it was just one big forest before the white man got his hands on it, but whatever. Or also, when I'm just standing around, I can't help but think to myself just how many humans have stood on this exact spot before. Maybe I am standing on the exact space that good old Abe Lincoln stood on at some point. I think of how many people have stood around on the sidewalk waiting to cross York Road.

Sometimes when I go into historical buildings, I think it's cooler, because I know famous dead people have been in there. When I was but a wee lassie (and by "wee lassie," I mean like, 10), my dad took me into the house where Lincoln died. He was going to take me into the theatre where he was shot, but that whole day was just "Take your Child to Work Day" gone completely wrong and involved a lot of vomit and inconvenient bus schedules. So we went into the house across from the theatre, and I stood there and stared at the bed where one of the most influential men in all of history took his last breaths. I stood at the end of the bed that somewhere deep down, probably still had Lincoln's dried blood on it. I imagined his huge legs dangling off of the side of the bed, and people surrounding him, full of unimaginable sorrow and fear. I imagine him with a top hat too, even though I shouldn't, because he was definitely shot in the head, and I'm pretty sure they would have taken it off of him. But anyway, my point is that it's too easy to think that history is just a collection of stories, because we are a group of people who has to see things to believe them. When we go to museums, we know that these artifacts and stuff actually existed, but in our brains somewhere, we feel like it's just some giant set up that people built to go along with their stories. But that's totally not true. And once we get past that and we think about how these things actually happened, history is one of the most fascinating things there is.

Whoa, did not mean for that paragraph to happen, but that's quite alright. I'll get back to where I was actually going with this. As I was thinking, about history and stuff, I was thinking how easy it would be to fuck around with the next generation. Seriously, what is actually stopping me from writing up some "sacred religious text," carving it in stone, and burying it in my backyard? Actually, I'll tell you what is, the fact that I'd rather not be an asshole to future human beings. And because I feel totally ashamed at the fact that I just read this stuff that Socrates said about seeking truth and wisdom, and I'm sitting here talking about being the biggest troll in history. Or I could totally take a huge rock, carve something that looks like aliens wrote it, and bury that instead. I could cut open glow sticks and put the glow juice all over the rock too. I guess this would be better, kind of to remind future generations that aliens probably do exist somewhere, and so I wouldn't be as much of an asshole as much as I would simply be keeping them on their toes.

Speaking of keeping you on your toes, this is a pretty long post already, so I think the shower recliners will have to wait until tomorrow, unfortunately.


  1. I'll beat your mom to the punch. Clean up the language. It's not necessary to get one's point across. That's all :-)