A certain retired philosophy professor from the University of Miami at Coral Gables once told me he doesn’t go to physicians and surgeons to win their approval. He knows his own worth, [P.S. I think it is plenty], and he uses the medical people as he would use tools. If they are competent to perform some procedure or give him some medicine then that is all he asks. He thinks I should follow his example. The trouble is that I can’t. I, too, know my own worth — and it is nearly zero. I am eaten up with envy because of the respect that these creatures receive from the laity that I don’t get. There is nothing I can do about that but wait until I die. At that point, Keynes’s famous dictum, “In the long run, we’re all dead” will kick in and my last living moments will be blessed.
When stupidity rears its ugly head, I seem to have nothing better to fall back on than “I’m right and he is wrong.” Although that is invariably true, it is not much. Consider somebody who says, “Despite all your snide comments about God, my faith in Him is secure. My love for Him is unconditional.” What have I to offer in reply? Only this: “You are a hopeless prick.” That isn’t much and I always am defeated. My Miami friend would probably say, “Be content in knowing you are right.” These are words of wisdom that will keep his blood pressure down to a good level and ensure another 25 years of righteous living for him. For me, no such luck. Consider the fact that Brian Greene, Lisa Randall and Stephen Hawking spend lots of their time on express trains riding through space and time, having discovered the ineffable truth that past, present and future all co-exist. It is an incontrovertible fact that their combined IQs are just above 4000 points. That’s a helluva lot, in case you don’t know. Compare it to your own lousy 125 points, about which you like to boast. Now, the fact that I know they are imbeciles counts for nothing in the grand scheme of things. They are cultural heroes and I am a schmuck. All I have going for me is that when I say they are imbeciles I am indisputably right. That isn’t much. In fact, it is nothing. Slavish electrical engineers from Stuyvesant High School who have IQs about 50 points higher than my own tell me, “Gendin, you know nothing. Follow the advice of Wittgenstein who wrote, “Whereof one knows nothing, thereof one should remain silent.” Not bad advice, given that Wittgenstein was himself a prick.
So, where does this dumb diatribe get me? Nowhere. Naturally. Where is there to get to? You cannot go from the Newlots Avenue train station in Brooklyn to the Van Cortlandt Park station in the Bronx via a local. Once upon a time, you could do that but no more. Lisa Randall has personally taken those trains out of service. You can hold her hand while she takes an express train and makes the journey in negative time leaving say at 11 A.M. and arriving at 10.57 AM, or just stay home. I want to bang, boff, ball, hump, fuck, screw, jelly roll, and nail Lisa. In short, I want her to ride my flagpole but she won’t let me and the trip goes by too fast. I think I would hate sex with her if she gave me a chance but that will never happen. I will have to be content knowing that even Lisa, when she goes for a medical exam, is reduced to calling her doctor “Doctor” while he addresses her as “Lisa.”
I take small pleasures in small things.