Monday, June 8, 2009

A Question of Firsts: Durian

We're all bound to ponder the questions which yield no answer, such as "if a tree falls in the woods and no one is around does it still make a noise?" or "what is the sound of one hand clapping?" And though in theory these questions do have answers from a logical stand point, they continue to create moments of zen as one wrestles with them, never truly finding an answer.

I too contemplate these questions, but my questions are questions of "firsts." For example, who was the first person to think a Durian would be a good thing to eat. If the weapon like exterior didn't look inviting enough the putrid smell should have detoured any further advances. If I was the first man to discover a durian I would have thought that they would have made wonderful weapons. With their naturally spiky exoskeleton. I would have launched them with some sort of catapult or trebuchet, or just waited in the trees for my enemies to walk past and dropped it upon their heads. Perhaps the first encounter with a durian was a near death or possibly fatal incident. Walking mindlessly through the forest, a spiny, dense, head sized object falls from the trees (nearly) smashing an unsuspecting passer by in the head. At what point during the pain and bloodshed, and not to mention pungent smell did one think, "Wow that really hurt and it smells gross, but MAYBE it taste delicious."

Perhaps the first encounter with said fruit was not as destructive and violent. It could, and probably was, a chance encounter while wandering through the forest and finding these objects on the floor. However I would have thought the smell would stop any normal person from deeper inspection. The wise comedian Demitri Martin once stated that "whenever we investigate smells it's always something nasty, it's never,'What's that smell? OH! Cookies!'" Resonating with that idea, why would you, upon discovering the smell was not in fact cookies continue to the point of thinking of "even though this smells gross I wonder what it taste like?" A normal reaction to strong and offensive smells is not to try and see if it taste good but to throw it out, which in the case of durian may have resulted in yet another head injury.

I like to think that durian and it's acceptance as a edible treat is proof that though alcohol did not exist in early human history, since the beginning of time "Truth or Dare" and like games have played a major role in culture as well as the idea that our ancestors must have been as dumb or dumber than we are to have tried things which defy logic. Here's to you, durian and the bravely stupid person who first tried to eat you.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

An Open Letter to The Job Market

Hey Job Market,
Guess what, I graduated. Yeah pretty exciting, I know. After 17 years of school I'm pretty happy to be finally done. Time to get out of the classroom and put all that knowledge into practice. But I've got a bone to pick with you. You suck.

All this time I've been in school I've been told that when I graduate you'd be there for me. So I've graduated, now where the heck are you? Ok granted I wasn't the best student but I finished 17 years of boring classes, horrible teachers, and countless hours of mind numbing work so that I'd be welcomed into the "real world" by you. Even though my peers became engineers and doctors like good Asians should, I thought you, being the great American dream, would allow me to pursue my passions and reward me for my hard work. When I was kid I heard stories about immigrants coming to America in search of you, and you gave them often more than they could have dreamed. But when I walked off stage with my fake diploma and waited for you after the ceremony you didn't show up. I looked all over for you. Wandering all around, I'd see hints of you passing in a flash. I wandered the halls in search of you, but all I found was the ghost of your former self.

It seems like I'm not the only one being disappointed by you. Apparently you've been kind of a jerk to all my friends. You see them across an open room at a party or a bar. You lock eyes. You seduce them with your sultry words of job security and 401Ks. Hook up with them for a month or two and you guys have a blast. Going on vacations and investing in your "future" together. You give them the royal treatment, starting an addiction for a life that you know they'd never have without you. Then all of a sudden you're gone. You don't call or visit and they're out in the cold with nothing to show for your time together. Not cool.

What happened to you? You used to be the responsible guy. The reliable and loyal friend that we worked in hopes of seeing one day. But now, well just look at you. I feel like all this time you've been feeding us lies. We've jumped through all your hoops. Taken the SAT prep courses to get into the good colleges. Do you realize that there's SAT prep for 7th graders? 7th graders! They won't have to take that test for 4 years and yet they're stuck in classes which eat at their souls each and ever Saturday. We've invest hundreds of thousands of dollars to acquire degrees from prestigious universities in hopes to impress you and show you how hard we've tried. Some of us even majored in things we know we have no interest in because we thought that even as our hearts whither into crumpled vestiges of our hopes and dreams you'd look upon us and see that all we want is your approval. But after all that we've done for you, where were you after we completed your herculean trials. Did we not spend enough money trying to complete the needed units? Did our dream crushing majors not inflict enough pain on us? Have we not wasted enough of our childhood, trying to achieve near impossible feats? What more do you want from us?

All we wanted was for you to be there for us when we finished our time in lecture halls and labs. And even now I think I speak for my generation when I say we'll put this all behind us if you just show up and give us the reward we worked so hard toward. Look we've both made mistakes in these past years, but lets let bygones be bygones and move on. I guess my intent isn't to make you feel bad for the things you've done but let you know that we'd love to have you back. It's not that we hate you for letting us down, or lying to us about what we need to succeed. And it's not even that you've been cheating on us with Recession. What we want is just for you to come back. So come home J.M. We miss you.

The Class of 08&09