Liberal Arts Ate My Brain

It has been observed by greater minds than mine, that a degree in the Liberal Arts ruins your ability to simply enjoy. Everything must be analyzed, and this sometimes destroys the pleasure of going to the movies, watching tv, listening to music, or picking up a novel.

On other occasions, however, it can be high-larious.

To wit, this IM conversation between Nerdy and myself. It begins as banter between two friends commiserating about how tiring this week has been, but rapidly turns into a Senior Seminar discussion on the proper care and feeding of the sample group. Keep in mind that we have three Liberal Arts degrees between us...

Nerdy: I feel like this week's a marathon and I'm on mile 19.
His Sinfulness: Joy. You could always feign a muscle pull. Or cramps.
Oooh - maybe heat stroke?
Nerdy: I have tremors, does that count?
His Sinfulness: Sweet. That's worth some time on ESPN.
Nerdy: Fear! Fear my shaky hands?
Okay, and I don't know why I'm wanting to keep using the question mark instead of other punctuation.
His Sinfulness: I usually blame that on my huge friggin' ape hands.
Nerdy: But I have lil' hands.
His Sinfulness: So... you can't reach nuttin' but the question mark... it's down on the bottom, right where you are peering up at the screen.
Nerdy: [laughs]
His Sinfulness: HAH! I made her laugh! I win.
Nerdy: You do win.
His Sinfulness: I WIN!
Nerdy: [laughs]
His Sinfulness: Ok - that second one doesn't count as another win does it?
Nerdy: totally counts as a win.
His Sinfulness: 'cuz that's just too easy
Nerdy: Not today, it's not. Get down with your bad winning self.
His Sinfulness: [gets down]
Having gotten down, I would like to get back up now.
How long must one stay down to claim that they have "gotten down"?
Nerdy: I'd imagine at least three minutes--i.e. the standard length of a pop song.
His Sinfulness: Ah. So technically, I have not gotten down officially.
Nerdy: Perhaps not to your full capabilities of getting down, as it were.
His Sinfulness: So to speak.
Nerdy: One might even say that you are not, in fact, down.
His Sinfulness: But what if you specialize in a compressed form of getting down?
Nerdy: That may work, but only if the specialization does not eventually constitute it's own movement and breaks away from "getting down."
His Sinfulness: I see. A schism within the "getting down" community is to be avoided. At all costs.
Nerdy: Perhaps not avoided, simply observed and tracked.
His Sinfulness: Oh - you have taken a softer line than my field operatives indicate the grass roots is feeling.
Nerdy: Well, if we avoid then we affect and that is not our job.
His Sinfulness: Not your job, maybe.
I will confess to having a certain agenda.
Nerdy: Blasphmey!
His Sinfulness: So be it! I blaspheme, if you consider speaking out for my people to be a crime.
Nerdy: Have you strayed too far from being the observer inside to simply being an insider?
His Sinfulness: Indeed. I have become the very essence of "getting down".
Nerdy: [gasp] How could you lose your objectivity? You're tainted!
His Sinfulness: There - I said it! And it feels good!
That was so worth losing my funding over...


Anonymous said...

That Luckily, I am part education major, part liberal arts major, so this should technically only halfway happen to me...right? 0.o

Linus said...

Just watch for the warning signs... if you begin to feel the need to analyze, say for example, the back of your cereal box in light of the works of Foucault, then you need to seek help immediately...

Anonymous said...

I'll keep an eye out for the symptoms. Is there a vaccination or anything? Or am I doomed to be one of those high school English teachers who overanalyzes everything and whose students say she's full of shit?

Linus said...

There is always hope. We are trying to get some funding together for a study, maybe get some celebrities to wear ribbons on their lapels...

Big Gay Jim said...

As another English Ed major, I can testify that the taint will be on you, Caitie. One healthy dose of Senior Sem is all it takes to ruin you for life. I cannot watch films, listen to music, or read ANYthing without some form of critique creeping in. Repeat after me: sign, signifier, signified. I have flashbacks to Freud and occasionally lapse into Lacan. Abandon all hope, ye who theorize here.

Ben Corley said...


I feel your conflict, let go of your hate!


Raksha said...

Awesome! The birth of the Black Vatican comic. Truly a momentous event!

Levi said...

mmm so that "Trix is for Kids!" is really the dominant ideology asserting itself against the other that is the rabbit, hence, the repressed animalistic instincts that demand we gorge ourselves silly on sweet delicious glucose infused gaaaahaaa..a..a.....

Big Gay Jim said...

The comic is indeed magically delicious! I cannot wait for the next installment!

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