Montgomery Burns & the flowchart of life success

It’s the city air, and the congested stale air in the underground stations.  A bug has spread, and everyone is incapacitated all over again.  The inescapable feeling that small dirty things are hidden in the clear urban air is one of the two bad sensations of London.  The other is urban alienation.  Sometimes the spheres of people will just not intersect.  One of those days, you will think to yourself.  Days where the sunlight rises and sets in the reflections of latticed office windows and seemingly hits nothing else.

This previous Thursday morning the British culture lecture was especially far from enthralling. During that hour I wrote on the last page of my black notebook thoughts about what the future holds.  These thoughts turned out especially orderly.  On the page you will see nested bullet points; one or two numbered lists.  You would find “Law school is a place of training for the practice of law” or something like that scrawled in slant orientation.  After all these years of living, I was, or am, still allowing the existing institutions of training and education undue influence in the determinance of things.  You have some vague impression that the most prestigious of law schools are able to award a qualification which sets one on a “path” toward public relevance, and you think about what such “paths” are possible.  You are aware that medical school provides the training to become a physician, but that other “paths” out of medical school may lead to medical journalism or the administration of public health programs.  I read an opinion article once which claimed that law school is the choice destination of many bright pupils who have no clear vision for how to apply their talents toward the world and who come to embrace the idea that law school will launch them on such a path.  Well, that’s no way to live.  If there is any reliable culprit to such a want of direction, I think it is not knowing enough.  You need to read things.  You need to read about developing economies, about social upheaval, about the legal structures of failed states, about current events and politics.  The flow chart I have in mind goes something like

with the small side note that passion is exogenous-ish.  Maybe I’m being obvious.  The only interesting thing is the realization of where institutions of education fall in the flow.  Anyway, what I am saying is that the implied impetus is to spend more time in study.  Which is what I did Saturday.  Not.

Saturday was one of those mornings which is a debtor to the previous night.  I did not want to get out of bed.  The thought of leaving the warm sheets for the cold, dirty air of the streets did not attract me.  I also did not want to try to boot my brain.  Still, against all odds I was some miles north of that bed at 11am pushing at the revolving doors of the Tower Building, having already tried and failed to find ping pong balls for purchase for half an hour.  On Saturday mornings the gospel choir sings in the practice room in the dungeons of the Tower Building and on that Saturday I was one of those singers.  I made my passion for music express in the participatory act.  Some made their passion for God express in the participatory act, but I am finding there are many dimensions which the rituals of religion can assume in the psychologies of people.  Then for the finale the choir rehearsed Michael Jackson’s ‘Man in the Mirror’.

I’d never really heard the song.  It hit me hard.  The song hit me hard and made me an addict.

Afterwards I found ping pong balls at Sports Direct for ninety-nine pence and then I napped for a while and in my dreams concocted new ways to rip off the styles of Hemingway and Nabokov.  I woke behind schedule.  I took the ping pong balls to the kitchen and with the assistance of Benji, a knife, and a potato peeler made hemispheric eyes of them.  I went to Trafalgar Square to meet Jon.  It was dark and we could not find each other at first.  This was stressful because everything was running late.  We took a bus to Jon’s place.  All the while there were phone calls to people who were preparing for the party and where were we and where would they meet us?  At the flat Jon shaved off my head and we applied yellow paint to my head, neck and hands.  We molded model magic around a tube sock folded lengthwise around the shape of the back of my head to create the hair.  The paint was not drying well so we used the blow drier.  Jon dressed as a hippie and then there was no more time so we took the tube to Camden Town where we met with the others.  The hippie and Wolverine helped to fix my eyes and nose onto my face during the tube ride.  We met with two more people and attended the fancy dress party.  Everyone was in costume.  I won the costume contest and we danced until three and all went for food afterwards and it was a good fiesta.  The sun rose in the windows of the buildings on Sunday and I went home.

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