Variation on the Riddle of the Sphinx

Q:   What “special occasion” is joyous in the morning, awesome in the early afternoon, just what you needed in the late afternoon, and depressing as hell in the evening?

A:   Your birthday.

1 – 10:     Happy Birthday!  I got you this really fun toy!  Remember to share with your little brother…

11 – 19:   Happy birthday kid!  I got you this interesting and expensive device you always wanted!  Don’t let your little brother get into it and mess it up…

20 – 29:   Happy birthday man–I got you this really useful item I’m sure you could use in your new apartment.

30 – 39:   Happy birthday–I know I’m a little late, so to make up for it I got you this goofy little item to make you laugh. Remember when we used to–

40 – 49:   Happy Birthday–it is your birthday, right?–I couldn’t figure out what to get you so I got you this funny card about getting fat, bald and old. Obviously it’s just a joke–you’re still the Stud-King!

50 – 60:   Okay, I won’t mention it.  I don’t really celebrate mine either.  ‘Hate birthdays!

61 + :      Hi Grandpa, my kids drew you this cute little card.  Isn’t that sweet?  Now remember, it’s Little Junior’s birthday next month.  There’s this new “awesome” toy he says he wants–here, I’ll write it down on your calendar so you can remember…

T2: The Meaning of Time

From the lawn chair of enlightenment
in the suburban yard of the Strip-Mall Oracle
came the wisdom of the moment,
cogent, clear, and marketable:

“As depth is perpendicular to length and height
so too time is at right angles to everything in sight.
Beyond time, what is perpendicular to it?
Meaning, truth, and the goodness that comes through it.”

After a few digressions concerning money and stock picks
–since it only speaks when asked of something–
the Oracle resumed its discourse on more lofty topics:

“[unintelligible]… to exceed one’s dimension is the object,
to grow beyond Time is the crown,
thus meaning can only be attained and never just found…

“And to you I say the Mets look good this year,
but then that’s always true until mid-summer draws near.
And to you, I say leave that bitch,
she slept with one of your friends–you’re better not knowing which…”

A few hours later, after countless mundane truths
–a woman’s computer problems were not only intricate,
but the solutions very hard to fit into a rhyme–
the Oracle spoke once again to those seeking sooth:

“…the higher dimensions do not discard the lower,
nor do they replace them, no, they remain dependent,
though not all information from below is equally ascendant.

“Just as time cannot, in three dimensions, become static,
so too must the meaning of time–
the time of time, time squared–
forever remain elastic.

“Now, about those mortgage rates…”

Koans of Daylight Savings Time

If we didn’t go off Daylight Savings Time we would never be able to go back on it again. Unless you go off Daylight Savings Time for at least part of the year, all you’re doing is renaming 6:00 as 7:00.

It’s ironic: they’ve increased the number of days under DST, which used to end before Halloween, but if they increase it infinitely, it goes away. What else is like that?

But how many days do you have to go off DST in order to have DST?

What if we went off DST for only one week? Say in the middle of January–would that count?

But then you’d have two weekends in a row where you’re gaining and losing an hour of sleep time.

If you went off DST for just an hour, you wouldn’t be going off DST at all because you’d have to put your clocks back one hour and Standard Time would be over before it started.

So the minimum duration for Standard Time has to be two hours—yes, technically, you could make it 61 minutes long and only have one minute of non-DST, but come on, let’s be reasonable.

DST shows the power of pretending. If everybody gets together and pretends something—that 6 is now 7, or that paper money has real value—voila!—6 really is 7 and pieces of paper are really worth cheating and dying for.

Everyone worries about time and money and yet they’re both just the result of society pretending something. Sunset is real but 6:00 PM is total bullshit.

What we most want from Society are the things it pretends exist—money, time, honor, status, fame, etc.—not the things that actually exist—rocks, soil, trees and clouds.

Rocks, soil and trees are OK, mind you, but all of us would readily trade them in for the fake things that Society pretends are real. That’s the important stuff. That’s what life is really all about.