An individual blade of grass is inconceivable. It only exists as the pattern of relationships—seed, soil, roots, water, sun—called grass. An individual donkey is also inconceivable.
I don’t like Johnny, said Virginia. Why not? said Ms. Johnson. Because, said Virginia, he’s filled with hate. Is hate a bad thing? said Ms. Johnson. Yes, said Virginia, very bad. But his hatred, said Ms. Johnson, makes him strong… is strength a bad thing? No, said Virginia, it’s a good thing. So a bad thing, said Ms. Johnson, can create a good thing? That doesn’t make sense, said Virginia. Maybe, said Ditto, there is good in bad things, and bad in good things. That makes even less sense, said Virginia. Why? said Ms. Johnson. Because bad is bad, said Virginia, and good is good.
Is a tiger bad? said Ms. Johnson. No, said Virginia, I love tigers! What if one of those tigers ate Ditto? That would be a bad tiger! said Virginia. But it’s the same tiger, said Ms. Johnson. Yes, said Virginia. So good things can become bad, said Ms. Johnson, in certain situations? And bad things can become good, said Ditto, like Johnny’s hatred.
Hmm, said Virginia, how come we never have discussions like this in our regular class? Because, said Ms. Johnson, your regular class is scripted. Scripted? said Virginia. Yes, said Ms. Johnson, what the schoolmarm says is prepared by the department of education, and she reads the script they tell her to read. Why don’t they give her a good script? said Virginia. Because they think it is a good script. But it isn’t, said Virginia, it’s a bad script. I think it’s a good script, said Ditto. Why? said Ms. Johnson. Because, said Ditto, if it weren’t such a bad script, I wouldn’t have failed my test and been put in this class, and this is a very good class with a very good script.
This is a very nice barn, thought Blurtso. The roof doesn’t leak and there is plenty of hay. I can stand here all day if I want to. While the rest of the world runs frantically toward and away from things, I can stand here all day… I suppose we can put up with almost anything as long as we have a safe place to go.
It’s a new year… I guess I’d better make a resolution. Let’s see… “this year I resolve to…” hmm… “I resolve…” hmm… what does that mean…? To be “resolved,” to be “determined,” to be “unyielding in one’s purpose,” to be “intransigent,” “inveterate,” “obdurate,” and “inflexible.” Hmm, I don’t really like that. I think being flexible is the key to happiness. Of course, flexibility implies rigidity, that is, something to be “flexible” about. Hmm… what I need is a resolution that is both rigid and flexible… I know!… “This year I resolve… to be less resolved.”
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.