I wanted a donut this morning. I love donuts, but I don’t eat them very often. I don’t eat them often because I work at home, and in order to get a donut you have to get dressed and leave the house and go to a place that sells donuts. That’s not a lot of effort ordinarily, but it’s the middle of December and the temperature is only 20F (with a wind chill factor of 8F), so getting a donut was going to require a certain amount of planning and preparation.
The first step was to figure out the location of the closest donut shop. Easy peasy, on account of the Google is your friend. All I had to do was enter Where is the nearest donut shop? and I’d be able to bundle up and be on my way. But I got as far as Where is and the Google offered a few possible autocompletions:
I know where Allepo is. Love, according to the Troggs (who’ve never lied to me, so far as I know), is all around. My mind is right here, searching for a place to buy a donut. But Xur? Where the fuck is Xur? In fact, what the fuck is Xur?
It turns out it’s not Xur. It’s Xûr. And I’m reliably informed he’s an agent of the Nine. Who and what are the Nine? No idea. But Xûr is a vendor who sells exotic weapons, exotic armor, engrams, and consumables in exchange for Strange Coins and Motes of Light. He appears in different locations in the Tower and Vestian Outpost every weekend from 9:00 AM Friday to 9:00 AM Sunday UTC.
Xûr doesn’t appear to sell donuts. Besides, I’m totally out of Strange Coins and Motes of Light, so fuck him. But at that point I was curious about the Google’s autocompletion function. So I typed in:
my cat bite me
my back hurt
my eye twitch
All good questions. Ice floats for the same reason anything floats — because it’s less dense than the fluid it’s sitting in. That’s it; no mystery there — just science. Your cat bites you because it’s a cat, and cats do whatever the fuck they want to do, and trying to understand why cats do anything at all is a mug’s game, so just give it up. Science won’t help you there. Your back hurts because everybody’s back hurts. Why should you be any different? And your eye twitches because you’re probably guilty of something shameful. Aren’t we all? Me, I’m guilty of the sin of curiosity (which may also be the reason cats bite).
What’s the point of…
the mannequin challenge
Again, good questions. The point of living? See, right there, that’s your problem. You’re expecting there MUST be a point, a purpose, a reason, something outside of yourself that you’re supposed to be doing. Let that shit go, dude. It’s clearly making you miserable. If there’s a point, part of it is NOT to make yourself miserable. But if you MUST make yourself miserable, go find a cat, let it bite you, then ask the cat why. The mannequin challenge? No idea. Seems silly, but fun for a lot of folks. That’s probably point enough. The point of Instagram is the same as the point of masturbation: it’s easy, it’s fun, it doesn’t hurt anybody, and it’s something you should probably do in private. And the point of marriage is, and always has been, about property. Getting it, keeping it, securing it, passing it on. I know that’s not very romantic, but there it is. It’s got nothing to do with what the Troggs were singing about.
What is the meaning of…
Oh, c’mon people, really? You’re asking your computer to explain the meaning of life and love? Okay, skipping over the fact that that’s just sad, what makes you think there’s just one single meaning? Hell, there are dozens of different meanings for the word ‘run’ and that’s a pretty simple word. Here’s an idea: keeping the words love and life in mind, look at photographs of 1) a cat, 2) a wedding, and 3) Aleppo. Does that help? No? Then stop fretting about it. And speaking of Aleppo, let’s talk about deplorable.
We can actually define this. It comes from the Latin prefix de- meaning “entirely” and plorare, meaning “to weep or cry out”. Combined, it became deplorare, meaning “to bewail, lament, give up for lost”. Although now deplorable as an adjective means “very bad, shocking or regrettable”, originally it referred to the regret we feel for people who’ve been given up as lost forever.
It’s appropriate to move from the current meaning of ‘deplorable’ to the meaning of Christmas. I should probably admit here that I’m not a Christian, but really this Christmas business isn’t complicated. It’s a lovely story about a poor, pregnant Middle Eastern couple forced to travel maybe 90 miles on a donkey in order to register for a census created by an occupying army to determine tax levies. It’s about an innkeeper who, out of compassion, finds room for this couple to shelter in. The woman gives birth to a baby. Okay, from that point on it’s all angels singing, and wandering kings arriving with esoteric gifts, and animals that bow and speak, but that’s just gravy. The heart of the story is the notion of good will and peace on Earth. Whether you’re Christian or not, peace and good will and hope and love (however you define it) and compassion underlie the meaning of Christmas. And that’s all good stuff
Yes, we still have the horror of Aleppo,. Yes, we still have folks who are proud of their modern deplorableness. And yes, the cat will still bite you. But watch A Charlie Brown Christmas or the 1951 version of A Christmas Carol (start at the two-minute mark), and listen to the Troggs. Get yourself some Strange Coins and Motes of Light.
I had a point when I started this, but I’m damned if I can remember what it was. It was probably a good point. But I still don’t have any donuts.