Some Things I Don’t Understand
Posted by Alan Edwards
There is a lot about life that I don’t get. String theory. Or, for that matter, physics in general. Well, to be honest and to take it one step further, I don’t understand any of the physical sciences. Or math past algebra and geometry. Or 90% of biological science. I just can’t understand them. It’s not that I don’t have the ability to learn about them. I think I’m smart enough to grasp the concepts of moles in chemistry and irrational numbers and all that horseshit. It’s just that as soon as I come across these subjects, my brain waits one minute, decides if it cares about anything just mentioned, then just veers off into imaginationland as it tries to entertain itself. My apathy is strong, and it takes a lot to overcome it. It’s the reason why I can’t understand physics or chemistry or calculus or architecture or art history or poetry or fishing or the million other things I don’t understand – my brain won’t let me, and instead tries to figure out which color has been used most often in Marvel superhero and villain names.
Then there’s the stuff that my brain wrestles with over and over, and still can’t come to grips with no matter how hard I try. These are the issues that vex me, that I ponder as I drive for long stretches, letting my brain work on them like it’s part of the SETI program, and one day it’ll filter enough information that I will finally understand one of those things that for the life of me I just don’t get. What follows are some of those things I’m trying to work through.
- Why do they play reggae on rock stations? I’ve never understood this. I have 4 rock stations programmed into my car stereo: Typical Rock, Harder Rock, Old Rock, Alt Rock. There is definite overlap between them, but the main thing they have in common is their unique ability to all manage to be on a commercial break at once. The other thing is that they all play reggae. I just don’t get it. Why? Reggae is an entirely different genre of music. They don’t bust in with a smooth jazz number from time to time. They don’t play straight blues or bluegrass. So why in the hell do I get to hear a set of AC/DC, The Killers, Jefferson Airplane, and suddenly POW here’s Bob Marley live. Wuh? And it’s not like they play a whole line of reggae. It’s just Marley. It’s like the Beastie Boys. Rock stations play them too for no reason I can think of. It’s like some algorithm somewhere discovered that they both somehow fit into it. I can’t wrap my head around it.
- Why are you talking to me in the bathroom? This drives me out of my goddamn mind. I’m in a public restroom, minding and handling my own bidness, when some asshat decides to spark up a conversation. “Hey, Alan, how are you doin’ today?” You know what? I’m fucking pissed. My junk’s in my hand, and I’ve got some douchebag who apparently has decided that picking the urinal right next to me instead of any of the other fine porcelain products on display entitles him to strike up some kind of fucking banter about the project everyone is working on and no-one is happy about while he gleefully scratches something that I sure as fuck don’t want to know about. THAT’s how I’m doing.
- How or why is Billy Joel popular? Who are the legions of Billy Joel fans out there that are perpetuating this monstrosity? Can we invite them all to a country that allows euthanasia? “We Didn’t Start The Fire” is more than enough cause for the death penalty, as far as I’m concerned.
- Where did all this Steampunk shit come from? Somehow, within the last couple of years, an entire subset of my friends have become obsessed with Steampunk. I’m getting catalogues in the mail trying to sell me incredibly expensive Victorian-esque clothing with some lame brass shit haphazardly attached to it. It’s a fetishization of Victorian England melded with ridiculously stupid “inventions” with idiotic names. Where exactly is the appeal in that little description? A party I’m going to this weekend has suddenly decided as of this morning that it will be Steampunk themed. Where did this come from? Why is this happening? Where is the great fucking cultural touchstone that has set this all in motion? How did I miss this?
Maybe I really am just stupid. That’s honestly just the tip of the iceberg, though. I still don’t understand the appeal of flip-flops, either. Put the everyday things you don’t understand in the comments. Maybe we can all work it out together.