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by OPOVV, ©2020

Foucault pendulum, the Pantheon, Wikimedia Commons, CC by SA 3.0

(Apr. 30, 2020) — “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the place to hear what’s happening in real time, ‘The Pulse of the Nation,’ the place to hear it here first. We’re back in Professor Zorkophsky’s rather nice office here at the university to help him hawk his latest bestseller, ‘Playing God.’ So which one is this, Professor, number 70 on the bestseller list?”

“Close enough, Roving; I lost count after 50, or was it 60? And please, address me as ‘Zork’ as long as we’re in my comfortable office; after all, we wouldn’t want to give the impression of being a cloistered academic, now, would we?”

“No, of course not.”

“Here, let me show you some of my latest gadgets that I’m sure you’ll be interested in. This first one is a true perpetual-motion machine that runs on the earth’s spin.”

“Why, it’s a Foucault pendulum. You showed me one a few years ago, if I remember right.”

“You do and I did, but this one is better than ever: it produces a static charge, at least enough to power that ‘EXIT’ sign above that door over there, a requirement by the Building Code.”

“Fascinating. How long do you figure it’ll take to pay for itself?”

“Less than 30 years, based on today’s prices.”

“Well, looks like you’re on the right track.”

“To be sure. What do you say we start hawking my new book by you asking me some questions?”

“Will do after this commercial.”

The Twelfth of Never” (2:28)

“And we’re back with Zork, about to ask him about his latest bestselling book, ‘Playing God.’ So what does it all mean; what is the book about?”

“It’s about each of us being a deity in our own right. You see an ant walking on the floor and you, as a deity, choose whether or not the ant gets maimed, lives or dies; same with a mosquito or any other living critter.”

“What about a cow?”

“Cows, too.”

“So when you eat a slice of bacon, a hog gets it.”

“That’s a fact.”

“Ice cream?”



“Another cow bites the dust.”

“What about when we die?”

By suneko – Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1032190

“Well, if you get eaten by a Hammerhead Shark, the shark becomes your deity.”

“Sharks are deities too?”

“For sure: whatever comes out on top is, for that moment, a supreme deity.”

“So I’m a deity, a real deity?”

“Everyone has an equal opportunity to make their own mistakes. You can’t share pain and you can’t share mistakes. You can’t live someone else’s life.”

“What about the concept of lording over people*?’”

“It’s a flawed concept; doesn’t hold any water; is a lie. For instance: ‘free college’ isn’t ‘free’: somewhere down the line someone pays for it.”

“That makes sense.”

“Everyone makes mistakes but the one person who didn’t make any mistakes got Himself crucified, so go figure.”

“As Alexandria Pope once wrote, ‘to err is human’.”

“Now ain’t that the truth?”

“So are you going to write a screenplay of the book?”

“No, because I’m working on the sequel to The Dandelion War, is why.”

“So could you summarize the book for us, at least as much as to make us go out and buy it?”

“For sure. One, maybe it’ll make you a better person. I have a chapter on looking at where you are now, what got you there, and maybe getting you out by not making the same mistakes again. Like let’s say you support Welfare; well, guess what? It’s a loser’s proposition, being a ward of the State; living on the plantation; not being your own person. And there are other examples.”

“Give us another one.”

“Well, I give the secret away of quitting drugs: you can’t get away with lying to yourself. You can’t like say, ‘I’ve tried quitting smoking a thousand times’ without lying to yourself a thousand times. That one time when you don’t lie to yourself is the time you’ll quit.”

“No way. Wow, that was pretty good. I’ll buy the book myself.”

“Guess what? I got a copy and I’ll even sign it for you. Just give me a $20 and we’ll call it even.”

“Alright, you got yourself a deal. Well, it’s that time when I say, on behalf of the crew and Zork, that I wish you all a goodnight: Goodnight.

“Good show. Here’s the twenty; thanks. Burger time: my treat.”

[*lording over people: I don’t know about you, but every time John Kerry opens his mouth I get the feeling he thinks he’s lording over all of humanity.]

It’s a Sin to be Rich, It’s a Low-down Shame to be Poor” (4:45)


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