Posted in Lessons by The Books Production Team on October 6, 2008


typewriter2          Things that happen every four years: 1) The Summer Olympics, 2) the premiere of a new movie starring Daniel Day Lewis, 3) The World Cup, 4) Dr. Wizard’s Birthday – or, a Leap Day, as some people refer to it, 5) someone accidentally kills himself by attempting to attach a rocket booster to his Ford Mustang, 6) an American Presidential Election.

          Your response to these events, in order, should be: 1) Take two weeks off from all other television watching in order to concentrate on obscure sporting events like fencing, skeet shooting, and water polo.  Feel a strange surge of national pride when the United States defeats Hungary.  Ironically joke under your breath, “Now, if we could only defeat Hunger.”  2) Go see this movie immediately, because Daniel Day Lewis has spent the last three years living “in character” in a method-acting cave.  He now actually believes that he is a Peruvian Witch Doctor who dines on the sacrificial livers and kidneys of young virgins from his warrior tribe.  Hide any virgins who may cross paths with this madman.  3) Who gives a shit? – Soccer is for Europeans and kids who can’t hit a baseball.  4) Send cash, Kings of Leon albums, Super Bowl tickets, and/or good wishes to Dr. Wizard, Saint Louis University, Department of English, 3800 Lindell Boulevard, St. Louis MO 63108.  5) Nominate this moron for a Darwin Award.  Secretly believe that if you had put all of your time and effort into the project instead of the aforementioned moron, you could have actually devised a safe way to make the car go 500 mph.  If sufficiently moved, follow Lesson #17 and Reconsider Math and Science.  6) Vote.

          Seriously, voting is TOTALLY DOPE.  In fact, I do it as often as I can, just to stay in practice.  A referendum to create a Tax Increment Financing district at the Riverwalk?  I’m there.  David Archuleta versus David Cook?  Hand me the phone.  A hotly contested race for the Missouri State Senate?  Just let me at it.  And the coup de grace – a Presidential Election?  BOOM!  That’s what I’m talking about!  If only it were like an American Idol contest or nineteenth-century Chicago, where voting multiple times was encouraged, I’d spend all day November 4 texting votes until my thumbs fell off or wearing different styles of fake mustaches to the polling place in order to ensure that a certain folksy, Joe Six-Pack loving, Alaskan soccer Mom with a Minnesota accent is not a heartbeat away from becoming President.  Because to me, that’s scary.  But maybe you like her?  Maybe to you John McCain and Sarah Palin are the necessary forces for good on the Presidential ballot, and only they are capable of destroying the evil liberal academic hierarchy that is hell-bent on convincing students that Global Warming is Real and Homosexuality is Not a Disease.  Well…do something about it.  Vote.

          Even Paris Hilton is doing it.  (snicker, snicker – then under your breath…“with the entire San Diego Chargers football team”)


9 Responses

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  1. UVA Mike said, on October 7, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    In the last week I’ve gone back and read every post you’ve made Dr. Wizard. It is inconceivable to me that, given your apparent love for The Office, you were somehow able to mention fake mustaches in this post without including a picture of Jim, Dwight, and Michael in Fake Mustaches from the episode “Branch Wars” where they go to Utica to steal Karen’s copier. Oh, and I almost forgot, voting is stupid. Don’t vote (for Obama).

  2. Ghost Dog said, on October 7, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    Wiz – big fan of the new bold-faced formatting. think it’s a winner. now the eye is drawn straight to a statement like “soccer is for europeans and kid’s who can’t hit a baseball” – which is totally true.

  3. MS said, on October 9, 2008 at 3:56 am

    Look, Dr. Wizard is doing the 21st century college student a service: he’s giving you tips to succeed at life. This blog could have easily been titled “How to Suck at Life” and included lessons such as:

    1. Beef, it’s what’s rotting in your colon…you did want that medium rare and with extra fires and a shake, right?
    2. Ebonics, because standard English is so 19th century
    3. Mediocrity: when spectating becomes an Olympic sport
    4. Litter
    5. Crazy Roomates in your 5th floor walk-up on the lower-East-side = rent control was so not worth it.
    6. Ask about Extra-Credit
    7. Book your appearance on the Jerry Springer Show Early
    8. How to loose like a winner at the Track, by Charles Bukowski – author of All the Assholes in the World, and Mine
    10. Learning to type is for girls
    11. How to make sure the cotton used in your Grand Dragon costume was picked by authentic ‘negroes.’
    12. Paying off Mastercard with Visa, or how to extend your line of credit indefinitely
    13. Gold Chains, T-Tops, and Old Spice: These are just a few of my favorite things
    14. Doing absolutely nothing at all – and doin’ it and doin’ it and doin’ it well.
    15. Makin’ a scene with a magazine: Joe Six-Pack and a dial-up modem
    16. Huh?
    17. All the cool kids major in Phys. Ed.
    18. Someone once Said Boxed Wine isn’t Real: Then what’s all that stuff in my refrigerator?
    19. One Vote Doesn’t Make a Difference
    20. The Best Place to Download an “A” paper on the Cheap.
    21. Your 21st birthday: make sure to roll down the windows for your kids while you’re at the nudey bar, the vinyl seats are going to get rather toasty.

    This has been a long, and hopefully convincing, way to reinforce Dr. Wizard’s 19th maxim: vote.

  4. MS said, on October 9, 2008 at 4:40 am

    Well, it’s kind of late over here, and I’ve noticed (upon re-reading after hitting the submit button) that there are quite a few typos here. Of course, if this were, say, a paper I were submitting (and hoping to receive an ‘A’) I would have proofread a little better. Anyhow, this apology is so that JB doesn’t slam me like he did last time I fumbled in a post and called a video game a movie. (Good looking out, though, JB).

  5. drwizard said, on October 9, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    “I guess a bird in the hand…(takes off sunglasses)…is worth two in the bush.” YYYYYEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!! CSI: Miami – why is it so fucking awesome? Because of Caruso’s commitment to being ridiculous. He’s sort of like those guys that build exact replicas of NFL stadiums out of legos – if you carry a stupid idea well past what should have been its logical conclusion, it suddenly becomes admirable and spell-binding.

    Anyway, it was either David Caruso or Rene Descartes or somebody else that said “because I can see one side of a table, I logically know that the other side exists, even though I can’t see it.” And this list that MS has prepared is the perfect example. “How to suck at life” is the other side of “Dr. Wizard’s Advice.” Awesome.

  6. MS said, on October 10, 2008 at 1:24 am

    Thanks, Wiz. I guess every dog does[n’t]…(takes off sunglasses)…have its day. YYYYYEEEEEEEEAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

  7. CS said, on October 12, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    “Looks like he’ll be having the surf and turf” YEEEEEEEAAHHHHHH!

    (sorry I’m late to this great discussion of David Caruso)

  8. MS said, on October 15, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    In Response to UVA Mike’s closing argument:

    Oh, these types of conversations are always dangerous, but it seems too important to remain silent and hope for the best…

    It’s coming down to election time, and I’m starting to get a bit worried; so here is a short rant concerning one of many reasons why I am making the Obama / Biden choice, followed by an interesting article. If you’ve got 10 minutes, give it a read. If you happen to disagree, I’ll entertain hate-mail, but the facts speak for themselves. (Before you email me back with your own tirade, please note that I certainly understand why people are ideologically Republican. I’m not questioning the way they want to go about fixing the country (well, I am and I do, but that isn’t the basis of my argument in this email) so I’m not up for debating issues (because that often results in a stalemate and broken relationships – we all have our ideas on how to best move the country forward). This is about exploring what it means to be an effective leader.

    So, below is an insightful article by CNN’s Roland Martin concerning Sarah Palin’s abuse of power, fear-mongering, and condescending rhetoric (I realize she is trying to make a connection with ‘average’ Americans when she refers to us as ‘Joe Six-Pack,’ but really, I don’t want someone ‘average’ running our country (I think we’ve all seen what that gets us). I want a well educated, highly respected individual that understands what it means to represent our nation, not rule it. Nor do I want someone to pass judgment on me, the middle-class, or blue-collar workers as ‘average,’ but that’s fodder for another rant).

    Martin’s article doesn’t just speak to Palin’s faults, but questions John McCain’s judgment in that he chose someone so unqualified for the position of Vice President. It was an incompetent and offensive appointment, especially considering McCain’s health history. Even former White House Press Secretary (for the Bush administration) Ari Fleischer, when asked why he supports McCain / Palin, could only come up with one very disheartening answer: Because I’m a Republican. Really Ari, that’s it? They’ve got your vote (and presumably millions of others) because they are affiliated with the party that got us into this mess by being manipulative, power-hungry, and personally motivated? Crap!

    That was kind of a long, and admittedly convoluted, way of saying “Think about voting for Obama, and tell your friends!”

    Do you know what was so great about Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Michael Jordan? They were three of the biggest trash talkers in the history of the NBA, but they had the game to back it up.
    Somebody should tell that to Gov. Sarah Palin.
    Sen. John McCain’s vice presidential running mate has been running around the country, firing up her — yes, her, and not necessarily McCain’s — loyal supporters by blasting Sen. Barack Obama for “palling around with terrorists” and demanding that the American people know exactly when he learned of the past of 1960s radical William Ayers.
    She has stoked the crowds by saying, “This is not a man who sees America the way that you and I see America.” We all know what that is designed to do: Portray Obama as a foreigner who isn’t as American as she. Or you. Or Joe Six-pack, the hockey mom, soccer mom, Wal-Mart mom, NASCAR dad and the other coded words she uses regularly.
    But what is truly pathetic is that Palin talks tough, but is really scared of facing her own issues.
    Since she is good at proclaiming that the American people need to know who Barack Obama is — an attempt to paint him as a shady figure who might occupy the White House — the American people deserve to hear Palin answer if her husband, Todd, a former member of the Alaska Independence Party, agreed with its founder, who wanted to secede from the union.
    Is there anything more anti-American than wanting to sever ties with the country?
    It’s critical that Palin answer questions about whether she disagrees with John McCain’s criticism of the Bush administration’s decision to remove North Korea from the terrorist nation list. She spoke in favor of it. McCain didn’t. Are they on the same page or not?
    The American people deserve to hear from Palin as to why she didn’t say a word to rebuke the hateful, pathetic and degrading comments made at rallies featuring her, such as when someone in the crowd called Obama a terrorist, someone else shouted, “Off with his head” and others suggested he is a traitor.
    Lastly, don’t you think the self-described maverick needs to own up to what really happened with the firing of the commissioner in Alaska? She was declared by a special investigator to have been within her rights in firing the commissioner, but she was blasted for abuse of power and violating the state’s ethics act.
    So what did she say in a conference call with Alaska reporters — who were not allowed by the McCain camp to ask follow-up questions? That she was cleared of all wrongdoing, legally and ethically.
    That’s right. She repeated over and over and over an absolute lie, and we are supposed to say, “Hey, it’s all fine. She winks at us. We love her hockey mom schtick. Don’t worry about that abuse of power thing.”
    Well, after having to deal with Vice President Dick Cheney being accused of beating the drum for war by berating and pushing our intelligence apparatus to match his political views on Iraq, don’t you think we should really care about someone who has been accused in a report, authorized by Democrats and Republicans, of using their power and influence to get their way?
    Sure, her supporters will say she’s talked to the “media.” She was questioned by Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh and that self-described journalist — yes, he really called himself that — Fox’s Sean Hannity.
    Palin has done interviews with ABC’s Charlie Gibson and CBS’s Katie Couric, and local TV folks. But why is she so scared of NBC’s Brian Williams? And why is she so fearful of CNN?
    Does she somehow think that our big guns like Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper and Campbell Brown are just too tough in asking questions? My goodness, Tina Fey has actually done more interviews about playing Sarah Palin than Sarah Palin has done about being Sarah Palin!
    Hmmm. McCain, Sen. Joe Biden, Barack and Michelle Obama, Sen. Hillary Clinton, Cindy McCain and even McCain’s 95-year-old momma and Palin’s daddy have all done interviews with CNN, sharing their thoughts on the campaign. But Palin? Not a whisper.
    It’s clear that Palin really isn’t a true frontier woman. See, when you tote a gun, carry a big stick and spit fire, you aren’t afraid to take on all comers.
    So, Sarah, if you want to talk big on the campaign trail to those audiences that don’t talk back, go right ahead. But if you truly are the maverick politician you say you are, come on and talk to us soft, coddled, elitist journalists. Surely we aren’t as tough as the moose you like to take down with your Second Amendment-protected hunting rifle.

  9. James said, on January 25, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    By the way, the US has not beat Hungary in Olympic Water Polo since 1988 and before that since the 1920’s. Hungarian water polo is equivalent to American basketball. And water polo is not a very obscure sport anymore. There is actually a great water polo at the university that Dr. Wizard teaches at.

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