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December 20th, 2004

Weekend Update

laurie_robey and I saw A Series of Unfortunate Events yesterday; it didn't suck. :) It didn't have quite enough of the quirky humor and wordplay that makes the books worth reading, but the animated closing credits were worth the price of admission by themselves. The fact that a serviceable (if somewhat mishmashed) adaptation of the first three Lemoney Snicket books was attached, was a bonus. Still, it's a "fun once" movie.

It's really, really cold here. ("Really, really," not just "really.") Not that I'm complaining ... I thought I'd never get to wear a turtleneck to work again! It's just sorta goofy the way it always goes from "unseasonably warm" to "unseasonably cold" here. This is the lie of averages, I suppose.

I'm having a hard time convincing myself to actually do any work. It's holiday time, which is usually dead in the office, so I expect to spend all day amusing myself. Instead, there's actually a pile of stuff in my inbox, and the ol' superego is having a hard time convincing the rest of my brain to actually deal with it.

Ah well, once more unto the breach...

-The Gneech

Fictionlet

"Hey, get this," said Greg, calling over the top of his newspaper. "According to government experts, there's a stupidity shortage."

"What?" said Brigid.

"Government sources say there's a massive decline in people walking out in front of cars, honking car horns for no good reason, and calling tech help lines because they couldn't be bothered to read the manual or even just reboot their computer from time to time."

"Really!"

"Let's see ... zooming through red lights is way down, and waiting until you actually get up to the counter before deciding what you want and standing there going, 'Uuuuuhhh, uuuuuhhhh...' for ten minutes is practically a thing of the past. Government officials are very worried, according to this ... most of them depend on extremely high levels of stupidity to keep their jobs. One senator, who asked not to be named, says, 'Well, we've spent the past century force-feeding substandard public education down everybody's throat in a tremendous, carefully-orchestrated bipartisan effort to make sure that basic reasoning skills and common sense were eliminated whenever possible. Pliant, idiotic sheep make for good citizens, so naturally this Stupidity Crisis is going to get our immediate attention.'"

"I knew it!"

Greg turned the page, folding the newspaper over. "Stupidity experts were at a loss to explain the mysterious rise in the average intelligence level; one hypothesis is that so many idiots have wiped themselves and each other out in car wrecks, household accidents, and bids to get onto 'America's Funniest Home Videos' that only the relatively smart people are left. Critics of this theory denounce it as 'being thought up by a bunch of meanie-meanies.' However, these same critics called in their opinions via cellular phone while they were driving."

Brigid snickered.

"'Unfortunately,' said the anonymous senator, 'stupidity, like intelligence, requires a certain critical mass to sustain. Once too many people get a clue, it becomes very hard to get back to the preferred state of general idiocy. The good news is, if we can arrange to keep the smarter people down, stupidity has a tremendous capacity to bounce back. Our traditional methods, such as ostracizing, beating up, and generally mocking anybody with half a brain, are very effective when implemented on the very young, and so we ask parents to go home tonight and tell your children 'Don't get smart.' It's a matter of national security!'"

"Lovely," said Brigid. "Almost poetic."

"A loaf of wine, a jug of bread, and tho," Greg replied.

-The Gneech

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The Tao of Dungeon Mastery

Fun stuff for gamer geeks, c/o the ENWorld boards.

-TG

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