They seem to be in a great hurry
to get to where they can hurry off from.
Welcome to tonight’s discussion sponsored by “The Campus Institute of Political Seriousness for Enhanced Living in an Unenhanced World.” I’m your host, Jonathan Wellborn Truington III, and joining us this evening is Mr. Blurtso Lundif, a third-year diversity fellow at Harvard College, who has garnered attention in Cambridge as, “the donkey who stands in the snow.” Please tell us, Mr. Lundif, if you would, what is your opinion of the current political climate in our nation’s capital? The political climate? said Blurtso. Yes, said Mr. Truington. I don’t know anything about it, said Blurtso. Do you think, said Mr. Truington, that the politicians should all go stand in the snow? It couldn’t hurt, said Blurtso. And what have you accomplished, said Mr. Truington, by standing in the snow? Accomplished? said Blurtso. Yes, said Mr. Truington, what have you learned? I’ve learned to stand still, said Blurtso. To stand still? said Mr. Truington. Yes, said Blurtso. Anything else? said Mr. Truington. Isn’t that enough? said Blurtso. Well, said Mr. Truington, I suppose it is… and where exactly do you stand? Anywhere, said Blurtso. Anywhere? said Mr. Truington. Yes, said Blurtso, anywhere that’s snowy and cold. Is there something, said Mr. Truington, that inspires you to do it? Yes, said Blurtso, it’s compelling to stand in a public place that is empty… and where, if someone does appear, they move so quickly they may as well not be there. I see! said Mr. Truington, standing in the snow is an indictment of the modern world and its frenetic pace! Is it? said Blurtso. Does it bother you, said Mr. Truington, if others stand in the snow next to you? No, said Blurtso, as long as they don’t ask questions. Questions? said Mr. Truington. Yes, said Blurtso, about why I’m standing in the snow. Of course, said Mr. Truington, and apart from your scathing attack on people in a hurry, what other statements are you trying to make? Are you attempting to draw attention to a charitable cause? Are you trying to see how long you can stand before collapsing? No, said Blurtso, I go home whenever I want. And how do you know, said Mr. Truington, that it’s time to go home? As soon as I start walking, said Blurtso, I know it’s time to go. Remarkable, said Mr. Truington. Well, ladies and gentlemen, there you have it, neither ice, nor sleet, nor snow will stop this remarkable coed from making his stand. Please join us next week when our featured speaker will be Somerville’s own self-deprecating playwright and hairbrush salesman, Reverend Willy J. Loman.
Today’s question, said Blurtso, is: “What is that blur of movement?”
I don’t see anything, said Morton.
Neither do I, said Chelsea.
Maybe it’s moving too fast to be seen, said Frank.
I suppose it could be anything, said Morton.
Anything, said Chelsea, that’s moving too fast to be seen.
If it’s moving too fast to be seen, said Emma Lou, how do we know it’s really here?
I suppose we don’t, said Frank.
Maybe we should make a list, said Glouster, of the things that move fast.
I can move fast, said Frank, when I’m hunting or being hunted.
So fast, said Chelsea, that you can’t be seen?
I don’t know, said Frank, I don’t have a mirror.
The next time you’re being hunted, said Chelsea, tell me so I can see if you can be seen.
Humming birds move fast, said Morton.
So fast, said Chelsea, that they can’t be seen?
Yes, said Morton, if you’re not paying attention.
Is it really possible, said Chelsea, for something to move too fast to be seen?
At the subatomic level, said Emma Lou.
That’s because it’s small, said Glouster, not because it’s fast.
It’s both, said Emma Lou.
First we can’t trust our sense of smell, said Morton, and now we can’t trust our sense of sight?
If things can move too fast to be seen, said Chelsea, how do we know we’re not surrounded by things moving too fast to be seen?
I think everything moves too fast, said Morton. Why can’t we all slow down?
That’s a good question, said Emma Lou.
Humans move fast, said Frank.
Yes, said Emma Lou, they’re always in a hurry to get somewhere.
Where do you think they’re going? said Chelsea.
They hurry to work, said Glouster, then hurry to finish, then hurry home, then hurry to go out, then hurry to return.
If something, said Morton, is moving too fast to be seen, is it moving too fast to see?
That’s another good question, said Emma Lou.
People in a hurry can’t see me, said Chelsea.
And the joggers along the Charles, said Glouster, don’t see me.
My cousin, said Frank, was hit by a person who didn’t see him.
I’m sorry, said Chelsea.
What’s the fastest thing in the world? said Morton.
Light is the fastest, said Glouster.
How fast? said Morton.
186,000 miles per second, said Glouster.
That’s fast! said Morton.
So fast, said Glouster, that time stands still.
What? said Morton.
When an object, said Glouster, moves at the speed of light, time stands still for that object.
Who says? said Morton.
Einstein says, said Glouster
The bagel maker? said Morton.
No, said Glouster, the physicist.
So if I moved at the speed of light, said Morton, I’d have all the time in the world?
You’d be immortal, said Emma Lou.
That would be great! said Morton.
Jorge Luis Borges, said Glouster, wrote a story called, “The Immortals.”
What’s it about? said Chelsea.
It’s about a man, said Glouster, who finds the fountain of immortality, takes a drink, and becomes immortal.
Does he move at the speed of light? said Morton.
No, said Glouster, he just lives forever.
Ravens are immortal, said Frank.
They are? said Chelsea.
Yes, said Frank, we can travel from the world of the living to the world of the dead, and back again.
Are you immortal? asked Chelsea.
I will be, said Frank, in the future.
If you could travel at the speed of light, said Morton, you wouldn’t have any future.
What happens to the man in “The Immortals”? said Emma Lou.
He lives for thousands and thousands of years, said Glouster, and learns every language, and reads every book, and does everything again and again and again, until he finally decides to look for the fountain of death.
Of death? said Morton.
Yes, said Glouster, because immortality is unbearable.
That’s very interesting, said Emma Lou.
It makes you feel sorry for the gods, said Chelsea.
It makes heaven sound less attractive, said Emma Lou.
Maybe moving at the speed of light, said Morton, isn’t so good—you wouldn’t have a future and you wouldn’t have a past, you couldn’t be seen and you couldn’t see.
So death is a good thing? said Chelsea.
Yes, said Emma Lou, it is.
But I don’t want to die, said Chelsea.
Even after you’ve done everything again and again? said Emma Lou.
I haven’t done everything again and again, said Chelsea.
It would be like a “deep and dreamless sleep,” said Morton.
A what? said Chelsea
That’s what the Upanishads say, said Morton.
Are you reading the Upanishads now? said Chelsea. I’m still in the Mahabharata. There’s a war and everyone is fighting for life and death.
I suppose the possibility of death, said Emma Lou, makes life more exciting.
I’m never more alive, said Frank, than when I’m hunting or being hunted.
I still don’t know how, said Morton, moving fast makes time stand still.
I think people move fast, said Chelsea, so that they will have more time.
Time to do what? said Emma Lou.
Time to move faster, said Chelsea, until time stops and they become immortal.
Which is the same as being dead? said Morton.
We’re back to where we started, said Glouster.
I suppose we’ve been moving so fast, said Morton, that we haven’t gone anywhere at all.
O.K., thought Blurtso, I’d better get serious and do some living. Tell my friends and tell my family, be engaged and be engaging, be connected and accepted, broadcasting every thing I’m thinking, what I am and what I’m not, what I shall and I shall not, not forgotten when I’m talking, when I’m sitting, when I’m walking, just as long as I keep talking, are you listening are you listening?!