As Rocky used to say after Bullwinkle would pull something ridiculous out of his hat, “Now here’s something we hope you’ll really like.” Actually, I love puns, especially when I can embellish them and own them. It makes me happy to write a pun.
Back in March of 2006, on the 14th, I told you some of the reasons our society was so crazy and presented a table of comparison. As I was going through it I wondered if there had been any improvement and then decided to try and make it more accurate. That was a problem. The numbers below are not precise or exact and are the product of less-than-thorough, less-than-scientific research, but, since people who read this blog have been shown to have a much higher than average IQ, I think you can see the point I am trying to make. I did it based on U.S. numbers but I have a feeling that the outcome would be similar in other places as well. I cannot say that the newspaper insert where I got the original data way back then was very much more accurate because I don’t know.
I took the liberty of copying and pasting and editing my introductory remarks from the earlier post. I think the point at the end of this current intro is clearer than my first one. The table follows.
If you have read all six of the books in the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” trilogy the innumerable times I have, all I would have to say to you is, “Yes, we really are descended from the Golgafrinchans.” If you haven’t or at least haven’t lately, I will tell you that there is a scene in the second book, “The Restaurant at the End of the Universe,” where Ford and Arthur wind up being saved, after a transporter beam accident, by a ship full of 15,000,000 frozen telephone sanitizers, account executives, hairdressers, management consultants, middle managers, public television movie producers, and others. The Golgafrinchan Captain, who has been taking a bath on the bridge for the last couple of years (nothing as relaxing as a good bath if you have a stressful job, you know.) explains that they are the Golgafrinchan Ark B. They had been told that there was a major catastrophe coming to their planet like a giant space goat was going to eat the planet or something and they would all have to evacuate. They would move the entire population of the planet somewhere else. The captain was told that Ark “A” was to be filled with the scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and artists; generally the great “thinkers and leaders.” Ark “C” was to be filled with the laborers and mechanics and others who make things and work with their hands. Ark “B” was sent off to a distant star system first, he supposed, so that (the captain was told, he thinks, it’s been so long and the bath has been quite relaxing) when the rest of the people arrive, they’ll have nice clean phones and people to make documentaries of the affair and be able to get good haircuts. He couldn’t quite remember the exact reason they were shipped off first…
“In fact, we’re scheduled to crash very soon.”
“Oh yes, no way out of it.”
Ford tries furiously to get the ship under control but it doesn’t work.
“Oh, they wanted to make sure that we stayed on this distant planet permanently, you know. There seemed to be a very good reason for it at the time.”
Ford lost his patience, “You’re a load of bloody useless loonies!”
“Oh yes. That’s what it was.”
So they crash onto what turns out to be prehistoric Earth (Douglas Adams was an evolutionist and an atheist, but he’s dead now.) and overrun the actual Neanderthal population and become our ancestors instead of the Neanderthals. I have paraphrased and abridged much, here. I recommend the books, especially the first four books of the trilogy, to almost anyone.
“Herb,” I think I heard someone say, “How does this explain what is wrong with society?”
Thank you for asking.
The problem is that we are a society of loonies. (By the way, the entire population of the planet of Golgafrinchan was wiped out by a virulent disease that was spread by an improperly sanitized phone.)
|Registered Nurse||77,460||Pro Baseball Player||4,380,000|
|Nuclear Physicist||103,504||Howard Stern||90,000,000|
|Auto Mechanic||41,122||John Lennon||71,000,000|
|U.S. Army Sergeant||42,313||Fashion Model||125,457|
|Tommy Hilfiger Store Manager||60,492||Tommy Hilfiger||63,330,000|
|Police Detective||63,260||Miley Cyrus||13,000,000|
|Firefighter||41,460||Pro Football Player||860,000|
|Truck Driver||63,300||Nascar Driver||19,200,000|
|Retail Clerk||24,628||Kim Kardashian||72,000,000|
|E.R. Technician||32,183||Rachel Maddow||7,000,000|
|Fraud Investigator||61,230||George Stephanopoulos||15,000,000|
|National Park Ranger||43,175||Bubba Wallace||3,500,000|
|Utilities Meter Reader||32,554||Bill Gates||11,500,000,000|
Interesting list. In fairness to Miley Cyrus, I kind of liked that party in the USA song.
Well, that may be. I don’t know if there’s twelve million dollars worth of song there. Apparently, I’m wrong about that, of course, but we might be digressing here…
Possibly, but I’m moving my head like yeah…
We have this systemic disease that suggests if you’re visible you’re inherently worth more. If people who have never met you know who you are, you get lots of money. It’s crazy, of course. Some of it is justified, today, for the fact that these are careers that will not last to traditional retirement age, some for the cost of living a high profile life. But it’s still crazy. There’s crazy stress involved for anonymous living, and it’s forever ignored. It’s just assumed if you’re not famous you’ll never be worth talking about. That’s why I hated that one ad that asked, “If someone wrote a book about your life, would anyone want to read it?” For a famous person, the quality doesn’t matter. For everyone else it’s the quality of the writing itself. That’s kind of life in a nutshell, I think.
Well said, as usual. Thanks for the comment.