Maybe I’m in the mood to vent—but why should I?  It’s not like our world is full of the ridiculous, packed with the absurd, stuffed with the ludicrous.  It’s not like I can’t make sense of the planet.

As I tell me Lit. of the Western World students, existentialists begin with the notion that the world is immune to reason.  Either the world is illogical or our limited thinking is unable to decipher it.  Or both.  And so, for my impotent effort to make clear what I mean, here is a brief list of the absurd, elements of our world which defy logic.  (Help me out, here.  If you can explain all of these to me rationally, I’ll feel much better.)

  • In Ypsilanti, the name of a store is “Going Postal.”  I would have gone in to see what it was about, but I was afraid I’d be shot. [Update: There is now a branch of this store in Royal Oak, a move which defies sensitivity.]
  • Someone has a website dedicated to the unibrow. (And no, I won’t help you find it!)
  • As many people tune in to watch the Superbowl commercials as the game; and the commercials cost $2.7 million for 30 seconds.
  • Someone had $2,700,000 and decided to spend it on 30 seconds of commercial time.
  • Many someones.
  • A newscaster said Friday, “Well, we were going to bring you that amazing feature story about an innovative elementary school, but this important news about Britney’s hospitalization has bumped that story.”
  • Definitely on the list is spelling the word “definately.”
  • Over two years after Katrina, more than 6,000 are still without homes.
  • Lies.
  • Despite everything we know about educational reform and successful student learning, our public schools use an agricultural calendar (pre-1900) to run classes based on a manufacturing model (c. 1920s) to serve 21st century information age students.  And ROHS begins school at 7:20 instead of 10:20.
  • Omarosa is now a celebrity.
  • So is Chris Crocker.
  • Months into the presidential primary race and we have yet to hear any candidate—Republican or Democrat—speak substantively on any global issues but terrorism and Iraq.
  • The 1973 film Horror Express still has not gained the respect it deserves.
  • Galoshes.
  • A woman was reported driving while brushing her teeth, gargling, and spitting out the open window.  Well, at least the window was open.
  • ham and cheese sandwich on one slice of bread is regulated by the Dept. of Agriculture, but if it’s on two slices of bread, it’s regulated by the FDA.
  • Bjork.
  • A teenager with a plastic egg filled with air-gun pellets is arrested for carrying a Weapon of Mass Destruction.
  • We have made 4 Saw movies, 7 Freddie movies, 12 Jason movies, and Sly Stallone still thinks he’s Rambo.
  • Falun Gong protests and crackdowns in China are so common that foreign journalists are tired of writing about them. (Ian Johnson, Wild Grass)
  • Jello.
  • We actually have game shows The Moment of Truth and Battle of the Bods, seemingly designed to demean people in the most vile ways.
  • Parents jeopardize their children’s chances to fund college by falsifying their taxes and then refusing to complete a FAFSA.  I now know of three families in Royal Oak.

I leave it to you.  Help me out of my existential funk.

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