Thursday, March 13, 2008

Worm-Fried Brain

I’m a little tired so my powers of estimation might be a tad off, but I’d say I’ve written in the past few days approximately nine hundred and seventy-five thousand six hundred and forty-three little one-paragraph advertising squibs for the winners of various categories in this annual promotional-contest thingy at my job, and then today spent another 37.6 hours doing data entry inputting the squibs and related info into a database. Even worse, yesterday as I wrote the last of the ad paragraphs I came down with a near-fatal case of Carpenters-themed earworm so my brain kept relentlessly humming Why do birds suddenly appear – why do birds suddenly appear – why do birds suddenly appear and as I stomped toward the breakroom for my ten thousandth cup of coffee I sincerely wanted to mutter “Fuck the fucking birds” but that would’ve been utterly unprofessional so I said nothing.

But it’s all over now, for a whole ’nother year. And it could’ve been worse; today, when I finished the task I went home and crashed for a nap. Last year, when I finished the task I went home and worked on a phone-sex line.

(Damn. There's spooky nostalgia in reading a year-old comment thread. And look at all those great one-liners I never had room to fit in the resulting story.)

(P.S. This week's Advocate piece is about another bit of useless think-of-the-children legislation.)


Anonymous smartass sob said...

"Earworm"? I've never heard that term before, but it's certainly a good name for the phenomenon. I didn't know there was a name for it; thanks for that link. BTW you are not the only one who has had that particular lyric from the Carpenters stuck in the head either - I've been afflicted with that same one myself on several occasions. What is it about that song?! Notice how similar it is to that tune, what the world needs now (is love, sweet love.) That's another one that gets stuck in my mind now and then. I suppose a Freudian would have a field day with such things.


I went back and read the comments to your "phone sex" story and one of them reminded me of something I meant to ask you about the other day. Have there been any more developments in that home invasion case up there where you live? For some reason that crime particularly hangs in my memory.

3:18 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

No recent developments in the home-invasion case, though there's the occasional news article about how they're going to try and reform the prison and parole system so this never happens again. A noble effort but useless again; the two thugs in the case didn't have a history of violent assaults, IIRC, so no program would've stopped them.

Oh, and last I heard prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. Of which I approve, except that I think these monsters should die the same way their victims did: tied to a bed and doused in gasoline AFTER being sexually assaulted by the cast of Deliverance.

8:00 AM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

Oh, and last I heard prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. Of which I approve, except that I think these monsters should die the same way their victims did

Given your post on "Vile Virtues of Hatred" last week, I would have guessed that you'd feel just the opposite. As for myself, I think they should be trussed-up and thrown into a furnace and the door slammed shut - those were particulary heinous murders. People who wish not to be hated should not do hateful things. I sincerely hope that they get the death penalty. And I hope it doesn't take twenty years to carry it out.

9:00 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Well, Smartass, when I say "I want those murderous rapists to fry" I don't expect people to genuflect and admire my virtue for saying this.

9:13 AM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

I don't expect people to genuflect and admire my virtue for saying this.

I had meant to ask you last week, in conjunction with your "Virtues of Hatred" post, how someone who is an avowed atheist can take a stand on the virtue or moral aspects of a particular attitude. I can see how "hatred" would be unvirtuous under the Christian belief system, but what would one base such a frame of reference on without a belief in a deity? I am familiar with Ayn Rand's Objectivist Ethics - though it has been quite a few years since I've read any of it - and how she sought to found it in reason. However, she usually came up with tenets that would be diametrically opposite of traditional morality. I would guess, from comments you've made before, that you are not a devotee of Rand's philosophy, so I wonder what sort of standard you do use. I'm just being curious - or, if you prefer, nosey.

9:49 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Well, you don't have to believe in a god to believe that social animals would've evolved a sense of ethics; if (to make a harsh example) the majority of people tomorrow started having strong thoughts like "Hey, I bet killing a baby would be lots of fun!" then pretty soon there won't be any people left.

I read of a study done on diagnosed sociopaths; the sociopaths and members of a control group were shown video clips of sad or horrifying things. The normal people had electrical activity in a certain part of their brain, which is apparently where the conscience resides. The sociopaths showed nothing at all.

Since I don't believe in hell I have no fear of going there. I have to fear earthly authority to a certian extent, but I would never, for example, kill an innocent person even if I knew beyond a doubt that I wouldn't get caught. It's not that I'd fear any consequences for my actions; it's that the guilt would absolutely shred me inside. The "empathy" part of my brain simply won't allow me to do such a thing.

There's evidence that chimps and other primates also have "moral codes" of a sort. Is that the chimpanzee god promising them heaven, or is it a social animal that evolved the attitudes necessary for a society to work? I go with the latter.

10:27 AM  
Anonymous a moose said...

The death penalty is the ultimate protection for society. It ensures that the individual won't come back again.

How you do it is subjective, and subjectively, what is better, to be electrically fried or by hot oil? I don't know, I haven't experienced either and don't particularly want to. I do know the electrical is much less messy, so it's easier for society to stomach.

Applying such standards to spammers would be nice in my book, too.

1:48 PM  

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