Saturday, June 17, 2017

Some More Existential Questions - column, 15 June 2017

Mack Hall, HSG

Some More Existential Questions

Why do fruiterers (that’s a real word) place company logos on bananas? Do people have strong brand loyalties with regard to fruits and veggies? Do they have bumper stickers that read “My Other Fruit is a Pitaya?”

Have you ever seen a jaw drop? Really?

The ads on the InterGossip often say that a concept or an isolated fact is insane. How can this be? Only a person can be insane. An income might be low or high, but it cannot be insane. If you were in Paris and fell into the river you’d be in-Seine. Thank you, thank you very much; you’re a great audience.

Other than it being a Ye Old English tradition, why must all twelve jurors agree on a conviction? Ten of the twelve, or even eleven, would save face for the holdout and, further, provide a little protection for jurors in cases involving gangs and revenge.

Why is it that those who loudly demand answers (“demanding answers” is a big buzz-phrase just now) don’t ask a question in the first place?

Why is it that shooting someone is now often the first resort in responding to a negative external stimulus? There are two methods of making an argument – that is, to state and defend a thesis – logical and emotional. Promoting good gas mileage in a car advertisement is an appeal to logic. The suggestion that the car is so aesthetically appealing that the guy who buys it might at last get a date for the prom is an appeal to the emotions. Both arguments can be valid. But shooting someone is an appeal to nothing but infantile rage.

What was the appeal of “The Soup Nazi?” Why would anyone purchase food based on the likelihood of being verbally abused by the seller?

Why do people say “actually?” as in “I actually met Prince Harry” or “It was actually awesome.” Can one unactually meet Prince Harry? If something is awesome, can it be unactually awesome? Adverbs are a curse. Actually. Absolutely. Get rid of them.

Were our high school biology teachers lying to us when they said there are only two genders? How is it that global warming is “settled science” (the “or else” is implied), while biology is not?

Finally, what does “existential” mean? When I was at university, just before I flunked out, all the cool kids said “existential,” along with “Trotskyite,” “conspicuous consumption,” “what’s your bag,” “deconstruction,” “karma,” “phenomenology,” “post-structuralism,” and “revisionist,” all of which could be prefixed with “neo” or “reactionary.” Thus someone could be dismissed as an “existential neo-reactionary Trotskyite,” or perhaps as a “neo-deconstructionist post-revisionist existentialist.”

Existentially speaking.


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