Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Soup Nazis, Rule Nazis, Grade Nazis and You: Advice for Freshmen

The truth will set you free. You must be as perfect as you can be in light of your imperfections. For happiness, you must follow the rules with precision. Resign yourself to your mortality, to your life, to bitter hard toil, to childbirth in pain, to your g.p.a., to your ADD, to Prozac forever. We are all pregnant with suffering, with our own demise, with twelve-step programs, with the fifty-minute hour, with herpes. We must all deliver death and take our pills -- on time. Scheis happens… a lot. Absolutely no soup for you! Absolutely, no exceptions for you! Absolutely, no “A” for you either! Grow up. Who said life was going to be fair?

Oh baloney.

Don’t let the goose-stepping neo-fascists get you down. If you want to be perfect the only thing certain is you’ll be perfectly miserable, and misery is no evidence of intelligence. Cynics be damned. Liberals too. The simple fact is the optimists have always ended up right and the pessimists wrong. Was Malthus right? No. Plague and war are not necessary to fend off mass starvation. In fact food production has kept up with population growth so well, we throw barge-loads of food away every year. Did we actually annihilate the human race with the atomic bomb? Not at all, and it doesn’t look like we will. Global warming? I vote for snow, and, in light of some of the newer studies, lots of it. Comets? Asteroids? Mad Cows? Aphids? Martians? P-LEASE!

The point is, look both ways before you cross the street and you’ll probably be fine. And most of all don’t let someone like me ruin things for you just because I don’t see your true genius and I give you a D. My best advice is never let some self-convinced professor dull your passion for joy, beauty and happiness. F, D or A- inevitably the sun will shine and you will swoon with delight when you least expect it. Count on it. Absolutely.


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