Saturday, December 3, 2011

Just a Small-town...Boy!

So Conor's post made me rather nostalgic about my own childhood. And by childhood I mean everything up to 4th grade, when Blessed Sacrament ruined it all.

Anyway, a fun fact about me that many of you may not know; I grew up in a small town, Girard, and I sort of consider myself a small town kid in many ways. Sure, I was born in Springfield and lived in a too-small piece-o-crap house for the first couple years of my life, but no one really remembers that time in their life, so it doesn't count.

I loved my house in Girard, exponentially more than the house I live in now. There are so many good memories in that place. In our house now, there's always something else that needs to be fixed or remodeled, but that house in, that place was perfect. Maybe I'm just saying that because I was little then and didn't know shit about such things, but I wouldn't have changed a thing about that house. I had a pretty big, fenced-in backyard. There was this tree back there that was the best tree ever for climbing. It was really pretty and my mom could watch me out the kitchen window and man, did I climb that tree a lot. Being at the top of that tree was the best damn thing ever. I ran the world from up there.

Right next to my tree was my swing-set. I spent more time on that thing than doing anything else. I'd pretty much play on it every way you weren't suppose to. Gotta keep things interesting.

But the piece de resistance was absolutely my basketball court. Yeah, I had a legitimate half court basketball court in my backyard. Suck it. I used to be pretty good at basketball, considering all the hoops I would shoot.

What I really miss about living in Girard, though, was the atmosphere. I knew my neighbors and everything was in walking distance. There was a square (YUUUUP) with a playground in the middle that kicked ass. There was also this drug store owned by these twin old guys, Bob and Bill, and they made the best milkshakes there. And there was this other place called Whirl-A-Whip, which was only open in the summer. I was never really a huge fan of their food, but there was this one milkshake that I could never get enough of. The cinnamon twist milkshake is legendary. I've made trips back to Girard just to get one.

Next time I go back, who wants to come with meeeeeee? =D


Conor - The Secret Passageway Was, In Hindsight, Poorly Named


This right here is a road map of my childhood. It is also Nicholas Dietrich's backyard. 

I come from a competitive, merciless family. Weakness is not tolerated, and being bad at something is synonymous with disliking it and thinking it is stupid and a waste of time. Like FIFA 2012, or driving stick shift. That shit's lame. On the other hand, the thrill of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat is unrivaled. It can come in any form, it can be the result of hard work, or stupid amounts of luck, it doesn't matter. All that matters is winning. 

Tag was how I channelled this borderline problematic need to compete as a child. Nick Dietrich, Nick's little brother Ben, my next door neighbor Peter Eck, and Nicole, a girl a couple houses down from Nick who would randomly play tag with us but we didn't talk to for any other reason. That was the team. GGOT, we called it, short for Good Game Of Tag, each letter pronounced very clearly and confidently, as we were armed with the knowledge that we were doing something so cool that we had an acronym for it. Little did we know things with acronyms weren't always cool, like SIDS, or FIFA.

The rules were simple, because the rules of tag are usually simple. Whoever was it would sit on the swingset (marked by the stack of 4 ducks on skateboards in the upper left corner of the map), close their eyes and count to 50. Our version of counting to 50 was to pretend to count silently to ourselves, shout the occasional number in order to keep the pretense up, and then just get up whenever it wouldn't be disgustingly obvious that you hadn't counted. The swingset, or the stack of ducks up there, was base. Get to base without getting tagged and you're safe. If someone was tagged the game would stop and we would reconvene. If everyone got to base we'd start a new round and the same fool would have to be it again. The ultimate humiliation. 

The backyard was our battlefield, and we all knew it well. We knew where to initially, where to go when the shit hit the fan, and where to never under any circumstances go. As a base-based tag game, the guy (let's act like guy is gender neutral) who was it was also somewhat tethered to the duckstack. Most of the time we'd try to be out of the it dude's line of sight at the beginning of round, but even when he'd (he is also gender neutral) see you, you weren't in immediate danger. Committing to chasing one guy (neutral as fuck) down was risky. It was basically saying "I'm allowing everyone else to get to base because I'm so sure I'm about to destroy you." It was bold. Unless you were three years older than your prey. In which case it was frowned upon and cowardly, albeit effective.

Tag was most interesting when it came down to a one on one battle. Everyone else got to base, and it was just the hunter and the hunted. It was as much about knowledge of the surroundings as it was about speed and agility. 

The brown area there is the wooden back deck, removed from the ground by two or three feet and surrounded by a 2 foot fence. Using this higher ground was interesting due to the fence, because it was much harder for it bro to jump the fence from the side closer to the base than it was for the prey on the deck, giving the prey an advantage. This strategy relied on pure speed and reflexes though, because you would be making eye contact with the hunter the entire time. 

The purple arrow next to the deck leads to a dead end. You were fucked if you went back there. No exceptions. It never worked out, ever. 

The green arrow is down the driveway. Most of the time we played entirely in Nick's backyard and didn't stretch down that way too far. There were some bushes along the sides of the driveway that we would occasionally get ambitious and crawl into. This worked maybe 6% of the time. A man can dream.

The pink square is the garage. The garage was pivotal. The black arrow points into the garage. The garage door was normally closed, but when it was open, we would sometimes hide amongst the clutter of the Dietrich's garage. Which was stupid. Because you'd be hiding in a garage with one way out. The garage's main function was providing a blindspot for the hunter. It defined the legendary Secret Passageway, the worst named thing ever.

Every single worthwhile game of tag involved the Secret Passageway. Nick's backyard was fenced in by a 6 or 7 foot wooden fence, but between the garage and the fence there was the Secret Passage way, a path around the garage that was the ultimate strategic nightmare. Basically, by hiding on the opposite side of the garage as the base, the prey could force the it fellow to commit to guarding one side of the other. IT would nervously pace in between the two entrances, helpfully designated by the heart symbols up there, and all it would take to lose the round was edging a little too close to either entrance. Being in the middle wouldn't really work either. It was perfect. Perfect in every way. Perfectly balanced, perfectly suspenseful, and perfectly stupidly named. The sensation of quietly sneaking down the upper branch of the Secret Passageway, hoping that IT had overcommited to the lower section, fearing that he was confidently hugging the corner you were about to emerge from, ready to sprint back to the relative safety of the blindspot if he poked his stupid IT face around to see if you were coming, was perfect. Just perfect. I miss it.

This might have been boring to read, but it was a lot of fun to write. Let's play tag, guys. Let's play tag this summer, Springfieldians. Hell, let's play tag this winter. Normanites, let's find someplace to play tag, and then, uh, play tag. 

Also Nick Dietrich didn't really run when he was a kid, he almost exclusively skipped. It was really funny and stupid and we should make fun of him for it.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fast Times at Butler University

...because the day just seems to fly by when you're having fun.
by Brendan Cavanagh

Despite being an English major, I think I've only been assigned one or two papers all semester in my one actual English class (American Literature).  Therefore, I spent the last four hours or so working on my final essay of the year, due tomorrow. We had to choose from one of four prompts, so I chose this one:

     The image of post-revolutionary America as a diverse land of free, independent, individuals prospering through hard work and self-reliance is a break from the Calvinist ideals of community in New England.  This “new pastoral” or “republicanism” seems to have more to do with secular, Enlightenment principles than with Christianity.  In this essay, define the Enlightenment and explain how it influenced the concept of American identity.  In what ways did the national identity develop from these modern and secular influences and what, if any, influence did the Calvinist principles of the Puritans have on this new, modern nation.  Discuss at least three texts and use direct quotes to defend your argument. 

Alright! Now you guys are going to get a dose of what a typical English paper was like for me this semester. And who knows, you might come out of this just a little bit more educated. Quoth Judge Reinhold in the above video: "Learn it. Know it. Live it."

The American Enlightenment: A Reexamination of Existing Social Structures

            As individual American prosperity flourished in the late 18th century, American citizens began to relinquish themselves from a traditionally strict adherence to communal, religious values and heartily embraced the ideals of the Enlightenment movement taking place in European countries like France and England.  Among the many components of such a vast intellectual revolution, three main tenets best describe the American attitude and approach to writing at the time: First, humans are rational creatures who can employ their inherent privilege of free thinking to logically explain the world and consequently experience unprecedented intellectual freedoms; Second, through the process of obtaining a valuable education, human rationality is ideally universal; And third, with the ability to rationally explain the universe, humans may understand the true form of all things.  After adopting the aforementioned beliefs of the Enlightenment, three well-renowned Americans at the time, Judith Sargent Murray, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, reconsidered the negative ramifications a once-dominant Puritanism had on an increasingly progressive American society.

            However universal the ability to reason freely, the necessary means to obtain an adequate education, and thus celebrate the intellectual fruits thereof, were not offered to everyone.  Primarily affluent, land-owning white men had the capacity to attend reputable schools, while the destitute (of either sex), Native Americans, African-Americans and women were, for the most part, unable to do the same.  In 1790, esteemed author and proto-feminist Judith Sargent Murray, who came from a liberally educated family, published a multi-faceted appeal in defense of the female mind.  “Are we not deficient in reason?” she challenges her male readers, “We can only reason from what we know, and if an opportunity of acquiring knowledge hath been denied us, the inferiority of our sex cannot fairly be deduced from thence” (727).  In keeping with the Enlightenment ideal of reexamining the world around her, once interpreted solely from a clerical point of view, Murray confronts the repression women had long suffered at the mercy of a traditionally male-dominated, once-Puritanical society.

            Simultaneously demonstrating an Enlightenment-era argument and exemplifying how women, too, are capable of rational thought, Murray employs a thoughtful reinterpretation of the well-known Genesis story of Adam and Eve’s fall from grace in the Garden of Eden.  Murray argues that men erroneously assume that Eve willfully chose to sin at Satan’s provocation, when in fact, she was tempted by Satan in his once-shining beauty into acquiring a perfect knowledge of the world around her.  Adam, in turn, sinned as well not because he, too, desired such knowledge, but because “he was influenced by no other than a bare pusillanimous attachment to a woman” (732)!   Therefore, by utilizing a biblical story familiar to a formerly religious region, Murray not only effectively conveys her dissatisfaction with female subjugation, but also tests the long-held belief that women are inferior to men, which the Puritan faith only perpetuated.

            Like Murray, American president Thomas Jefferson composed a rational essay to express his frustration with a current human rights issue in America.  In true Enlightenment fashion, Jefferson employs logical reasoning to challenge the historical lack of religious freedom in America, which was founded on the pursuit of individual liberties.  Published privately in 1784-1785 in response to a series of questions posed to him by the French Marquis de Barbé-Marbois, Jefferson’s “Notes on the State of Virginia” comment on a variety of subjects concerning Virginia, with Query XVII focusing on religion.  In order to combat prior animosity between distinct religious denominations in colonial America, Virginia’s declaration of rights in May of 1776 “declared it to be a truth, and a natural right, that the exercise of religion should be free” because, as Jefferson posits, “Reason and free enquiry are the only effectual agents against error” (661-62).  In a society that not long ago had been almost uniformly Puritanical, Jefferson’s idea of free enquiry was certainly polemical, as well as an illustrative example of the intellectual freedoms bestowed upon those who invested in the ideals of the Enlightenment.

            Furthermore, Jefferson encourages free enquiry by overtly rejecting forceful uniformity of religious convictions, a system which had prevailed in certain regions from the time the first fledgling Puritan communities were established in the early 17th century until America’s declaration of independence from Great Britain.  Since the beginnings of Christianity, myriad innocent people have been punished for their religious beliefs, “yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.” But, Jefferson asks, “Is uniformity of opinion desirable? No more than of face and stature” (663).  In his belief, not only does the Enlightenment illuminate the universal freedom to subscribe to any religious denomination, but also it guarantees an individual the liberty to be one of many, rather than one in many.  In other words, Jefferson admonishes societies, like those formerly established by the Puritans, for emphasizing the importance of communal values rather than secular beliefs and convictions.

            At about the same time Jefferson’s “Notes on the State of Virginia” were published, fellow diplomat Benjamin Franklin was in the process of writing his detailed autobiography.  In relating the events of his young adulthood in Philadelphia, Franklin implicitly describes his disgust with formal religious worship as a primitive act of embracing Enlightenment ideals in North America.   Although he professes to hold particular religious principles, he expresses misgivings about his minister’s sermons, which follow a formulaic, almost superficial approach to being a good Christian, rather than simply informing his parish how to be upright people of morality.  According to Franklin, the Presbyterian minister, as well as those of differing Christian denominations, spoke about religion “without any Tendency to inspire, promote or confirm Morality [and] serv’d principally to divide us and make us unfriendly to one another.”  While their biblical explanations of how to be good people may have had some validity, Franklin argues, “they were not the kind of good Things that I expected from that Text” (525).  Rather than blindly follow every word his minister uttered about morality, Franklin chose to individually find a rational method of attaining morality.

            In true Enlightenment fashion, Franklin embarked on the rational pursuit of moral perfection by designing a series of thirteen steps which, if meticulously followed, would logically allow him to “live without committing any Fault at anytime…[and] conquer all that either Natural Inclination, Custom, or Company might lead [him] into” (526).  Initially careful not to include any step that might be solely associated to one particular religious sect, Franklin finally settled on: Temperance, Silence, Order, Resolution, Frugality, Industry, Sincerity, Justice, Moderation, Cleanliness, Tranquility, Chastity and Humility.  True to his resolution to remain resolute in his affairs, Franklin continued adherence to his precepts for the remainder of his life.  Over time, he reluctantly discovered that some virtues, like Order and Humility, were more difficult to master than others and that naturally, humans are bound to err.  Although his attempt to achieve moral perfection was not entirely effectual, Franklin demonstrated the highly rational and increasingly secular mindset adopted by many Americans during the era of Enlightenment.

            By the end of the 18th century, strictly Puritan settlements stressing communal values and stringent adherence to the Christian faith had been all but overcome by generations upon generations of economically-motivated landowners, artisans and common citizens of various denominations and beliefs.  With such secular motives in the people’s minds, a movement like the Enlightenment was guaranteed to enjoy widespread success in America.  For those who were fortunate enough to obtain a modest education, like Murray, Jefferson and Franklin, reevaluating the evolving nation’s previously established social structures was imperative.  Not to take advantage of the ability to rationally discern right from wrong is a mutilation of one’s intellectual privileges.

If you actually read this, for the love of God, give me a call or a shout out. I want to pat you on the back. Real gently.

A Real Dusk

I shake some of the raindrops off my umbrella and shut it. I grab the door and enter Shepherd's Pub, looking to the back corner of the front room to the table where we usually sit — he's not there. Things are different, alright.

I walk to the back room and see him sitting beside the billiards tables, staring intently at his mug, ignoring the three televisions in the room that are talking about him again. Mercifully, the volume's off.

"Hey Jerry," I utter as normally as I can, knowing well not to ask how it's going, or what he's thinking about.
"Hey, Al. Good seein' you. Yours is still cold," as he motions to the second drink on the table.

Though it's in a different room, our table is dressed the same, with Jerry's gold Miller Lite staring across at a tan-topped brown Guiness that I corral as I slink into my seat, setting my umbrella beside me in the booth.

I take off my coat. For an instant, silence freezes the room, and I begin to let out a discomforted exhale as Jerry speaks.

"I can't believe this is happening." My eyes fall shut for a moment. I was hoping he'd wait to bring it up. You know, a little small talk first. So I could at least get some beer in me. "Joe's gonna lose his job. The whole program's on fire."

His tone is tired, but not remorseful. He seems exhausted, not guilty.

"Yeah well, the whole thing's a shit storm. I don't know what to tell ya. You're the one who supplied the gas." As I grab my cold mug for comfort and send it toward my mouth to take a drink, he looks up at the television for the first time. He knows he's screwed up, and it shows. But his look is still mere regret, not guilt.

"It's not right that the program has to go through this. Even with the charges. It's not a football thing."
The dark ale slides down my throat and I'm able to look him in the eye. It is and it isn't a "football thing," but I explain to him that it doesn't matter.

"You're a coach, of course they're gonna run with it. You can't expect 'em to ease up just because none of the victims (this word evokes a sharp blink) played on the team. You fucked up real bad, Jere, if it's true, that is."

"... Do you think I did it, Al?"
My stomach flips inside out. Of course he did it. He had to've.
"It's hard to say no, with what I've seen in the paper. But since I'm right here, I'll ask ya straight up, did you do it?"
He goes for his beer, calm but compressed. I take a sip too, relieved I'm no longer the one talking.
"What I did with those kids wasn't right. But it wasn't illegal. Those things they said I did — it's not true. I didn't go that far."

The answer he had to give. It wasn't natural for Jerry to politic, as he normally worked best outside the limelight. But here he was, telling me his bowl of shit was sanitary. I don't believe him, but I let him think I do. After all, I wish it were that way.

"So, you got a good lawyer, you gonna fight this thing off?"
He does, and he tells me he will.
"Good, so I wouldn't wanna see you wind up in jail. Especially with the shit they got you charged with."

With that, Jerry freezes. He sighs, staring at the brim of his cup with longing, as if he wanted to jump into it. I have to pull him back.

"So if Joe can't be out there this weekend, it's gonna be tough for 'em to get the win."
"Yeah, but if Stupar and that Hodges kid can keep Martinez contained, and get some push against Burkhead, Nebraska's got nothin' for us."
"Welcome to the Big Ten, mother fuckers."
"Still Penn State, still Linebacker U." He laughs. A forced laugh, but one he relishes. We talk about the game itself for a while, but, the scandal's effects on the program are too big to avoid for too long.

"Who would replace Joe now if he does get let go?" he asks me.
I'm hearing Tom Bradley, though Larry Johnson's also been mentioned. We talk about it a little, but none of it really matters. All that matters is that we're talking. It feels like old times, out front by the bar. But now with everything out in public, he's hiding back here in privacy. And all along he was the same guy. Jerry taught me a lot of things, nearly all of which won't be invalidated by his trial. But I can't shake the shame of talking with someone accused of such evil. It doesn't sit right with my conscience, but I'm all he has left at this point, so I finish a couple more rounds to settle it down.
"So the Second Mile, are they gonna have to shut that down too?"

He sets down his drink and sighs. Probably, he says. I can't help myself — I feel comfortable. I don't feel like I'm drinking with a felon, let alone a serial child molester. I look him in the eye, and it feels okay, I don't feel like he's the devil as the media is uncovering him to be. He changes the subject, asks how are my wife and kids, and as the word rolls off his lips, I feel like I would trust them with him — he's just Jerry.

"They're good, Jerry. Kellen is just in high school, he's playing safety at SCA, on the JV team of course. Candice is still in middle school, but she's doing real well. How's Dorothy? Is she behind you on this?"
 "Yeah, she believes I didn't do anything illegal. I'm worried though. She knows I need her right now, who knows what she'll do when this is all over."
"Yeah, she doesn't seem like the kind to walk out, though."
"Hope you're right about that." He finishes the final third of yet another round. "But the boys — Jon hasn't been talking to me. E.J., I don't think believes me, he thinks I fucked those kids."

Despite my efforts, I cringe slightly. I look up to the television to avert my eyes to see Joe rambling incoherently to a group of students outside his house. "Don't say that — that way. It creeps me out just hearing it, Jerry."
"Well I've heard it enough over the past few days to jump off a bridge." He retorts, and for a moment he looks guilty, and then "— I'm fine though, Al, I wouldn't do anything criminal. Like I said, I didn't do ... those things."

I believe him, outwardly. In my mind, my doubts are mounting.  "Right. Sure hope you can prove it, pal."
"I did so much for them. The charity, the coaching, the whole thing. Look at my home. I worked so damn hard to make the kids happy — my whole life, it's what I wanted to do. And I was lucky I guess to do it for so long. But for this to come of it. I know I made some stupid decisions that I now regret, but it's not like I'm a monster. I loved those kids. I wouldn't, you know ..."
"— I know, Jerry. I know." We finish one final round in silence. "... Well I've gotta get going, Jere."

I offer and sign off on the tab (he did just shell out 100 grand for bail). As we walk outside, Jerry's paces are slow and unsturdy. His eyes are on the floor, and not sifting through the patrons of the front room like they would normally be. He's wearing a forlorn and glumly scowl as opposed to the traditional jolly smile glazed onto his face. He doesn't want to go home — or anywhere. My family is visiting relatives in Georgia in two weeks for Thanksgiving. Jerry's future plans are much more complicated and cloudy.

As we step outside onto Hebert Street, Jerry has to walk the other way to go to his car. I give him a hug and wish him well. As I turn away from Jerry, I realize that I may have just seen him in public for the last time, but I guess that's yet to be determined. I begin to walk the half-block to my car, and realize I forgot my umbrella back at our booth. After a moment's contemplation, I decide to leave it. It's not too cold out, and if there's anything I learned tonight, it's that there are worse things than a few raindrops on an insulated wool coat.

--Eliot Sill

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Robert: There was this one time, at improv practice, when you proved yourself to be one of the funniest people I know. I think it was four square but I have a pretty bad memory so who knows. But you were playing a concession stand worker at a movie theater and for some reason, your ability to sensual pump liquid butter onto popcorn was just too much for me or any of us in the room to handle.

Nick: I think my favorite Nick Dietrich moment of all time was the one time you showed that you could stay true to your beliefs in any situation. I am referring to, of course, the time you let Hannah fall backwards onto a hard wood floor. When someone trust falls toward you, you don't just catch them regardless, you catch them if you have mutual trust with the person. At least that's the idea. However, most people would have caught this girl they barely knew anyway, but not you. You dropped that presumptuous slut.

Eliot: Junior prom. As Jake Davidson described it, we spent the entire time at Kurt's "frolicking around together". I recall shots in the exercise room chasing with Hi-C, drunk treadmills, drunk tumbling, miniature basketball, and weird myspace, girly pictures on the couch that were out of character for both of us. To this day that is one of the most fun times I have ever had drinking. Thanks for being ridiculous with me.

Brendan: This summer I was going through kind of a weird time and felt estranged from a lot of my friends. I remember I went to a party at Eliot's and felt like an outcast for the majority of the time but what made me feel the best was talking with you. You approached me energetically and we promptly jumped into a discussion about books, most notably our struggle to finish On The Road. It was a fun, interesting, and intellectual conversation, which is hard to achieve and it made my night tenfold better.

Conor: Can I say all of senior year? Is that cheating? The least I can do is give specific examples I guess. I will never understand why Mrs. Goldberg loved you, but if she hadn't we would have never gotten away with making that weird affafffaffaffaffafffa sound every class period for at least 10 minutes for about a week. Oh and remember that one time when I took the Pledge sheet away from you and the whole school found out you don't really have it memorized?

Brian: Ok so this is a weird one. But last year I was playing soccer at the FAR fields and it was freezing outside, and the worst part about it was that my lips were super chapped the entire time. It was seriously so painful. On a whim, I decided to call Brian while walking back and asked him if he had any carmex. He did in fact have carmex and also mentioned he hadn't had dinner. I came over to PAR, soothed my chappedness, and ate stir fry with Brian AKA the best food you could hope ti eat if you live in public dorms. A great afternoon.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Nick - Cop Show

I gazed down the hall squinting my eyes, but I wasn't really sure what I was looking at.

Being the only murder detective in this town, I very rarely had to do my actual job. Most days were just paperwork. For the most part, it was better than working in the city. When I was offered a job covering murders here, I took it without question. More benefits, better pay, less work.

The blood stain on the wall is big. I can tell that much. I cast about in my head for other things I can learn from the pattern, the height, the size of it, but I keep coming up with nothing.

I've never regretted taking this job. I've never regretted it for a second, but I often wonder about what would have happened if I didn't. I would probably be fine if I were still working in the city. I didn't really need the raise in pay. And god knows this town would be fine without me. Maybe they would have a competent murder detective.

I look down at the body. An older man. He's lying on his stomach. The bullet wound is pretty obvious. I can probably identify this guy. You know, assuming it's his house. I'll look up the title to the house later. Yeah, identifying the victim would be good.

I mean, it's not like I was never trained. I know what I'm doing for the most part on the procedural half. I usually get the paperwork right without any prompting from my supervisors. It's just that I wasn't really made for this job. I don't have any love for it. I don't hate it. I actually enjoy it sometimes. But days like today make me realize I stumbled into it, rather than coming to it with any sort of purpose.

There are two officers waiting in the other room for me to finish up. They probably think what I'm doing is some kind of wizardry. Or they probably don't realize, anyway, that I'm just as clueless as they are. I snap some photographs of the scene.

There are kids who want to grow up to be murder detectives. I mean, they make TV shows about this stuff, for christ sake.

But I never cared much for cop shows.

Robert - That's Deep

We're so conditioned to the phrase "That's deep" that it almost serves as an automatic response to any insightful or slightly poetic comment that could be given. Myself, I don't even like to think about thoughts, so if I hear so much as one three-syllable word form on your lips, I begin forming "That's deep" on mine right away. Now that I've saved you the trouble of stimulating a conversation, we can return to talking about drinking, video games, rock music, or other friends who aren't in the room.

And now I hear you using other complicated words, you pretentious cock. You think that girl over there, that cute one, is svelte? You call her a sylph? Fuck you. Don't you ever make my language pretty. We have words for girls like that: cute, hot, sexy. Those are them; use them.

I noticed you talking about the environment again. That isn't rock music and it doesn't affect the amount of drunk I am. You say that in 2018, solar power could be more economically efficient than coal and gas? Sounds like hipster bullshit to me. Take your highbrow smart car and your ugly Toms back to Greenwich Village or wherever it is that you weirdos come from.

...In our culture we really like to intellectually suppress each other. Maybe it's because of a natural competitiveness, in that we all wish to believe we're on a tier above everyone else. Or hey, maybe it's because we're actually on some apathetic tier below everyone else and don't care enough to approach interesting issues. But either way, I think "That's deep" usually amounts to one of the most condescending phrases you can offer another human being.