Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Letter to an Anthropologist

Writing consistently is hard when job searching. A man can only spend so many hours in front of a computer screen before going insane.

Dr. Susan D. Blum
University of Notre Dame
Department of Anthropology
611 Flanner Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556

Dear Dr. Blum,

While growing a beard the other day, an interesting question popped into my mind that I wanted to share with you. I have sought out your expertise because of your studies on plagiarism, which struck close to home for me. My Mother was a strict disciplinarian with a penchant for ironic punishments. Once, when she discovered I had copied the personal note in a Thank-You card from a National Geographic article, she decided to "plagiarise" my supper for a week by fetching it out of the dog bowl after Huggles had finished eating. It's not as bad as you think, though, we always fed Huggles one can of creamed corn a night.

Anyway, my question for you regards the comedians of ancient cultures. It occurred to me that there is nothing new under the sun, and that perhaps all the ancient civilizations that came before us joked about the same things we do today. For instance, do you believe that ancient Egyptian men joked that their spouses were always talking and shopping and basket-weaving? Even stranger, do you think ancient cultures had racial humor?

For instance, maybe all the Sioux got made fun of because they liked fat horses. "Oh my God, did you see that horse's butt? It's so big! It must belong to one of those Sioux warriors..." Or maybe the Potawatomi were always eating corn. Like, that was their thing. "Do you smell corn? Smells like a Potawatomi convention over here!" Well, listen, you get the picture, I don't want to offend anybody. Corn's one of my favorite foods, too, I ate a lot of it as a kid.

I know you're pretty busy with the holiday season coming up, but perhaps you can direct me to a paper or study on this subject. If not, hey, maybe you could publish one. I think it's a fascinating topic. Maybe you need a guest lecturer?

In a Great Speaking Voice,

The Correspondent

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Letter to Guster

I can't find an address right now and I'm at work, so I'll find one later tonight.

Dear Mr. Guster,

Before I start, let me explain that I get it. I love music. I played a recorder as a child, up until my hands were "work ready" at the age of 9. After that I just sang in the choir, although being a single child and homeschooled our choir lacked a certain harmony, and with only one member my Mother's criticism was rightfully focused squarely on me. The good news is I can now sing tenor and soprano at the same time, and I have a relatively high lung capacity.

Anyway, back on task, the reason I'm writing is because I was introduced to your band at a concert last night. I have, unfortunately, several complaints. First, everyone was just standing around. I'm not sure where the chairs were, or if there were even supposed to be chairs. However, I don't think I should be admonished by strangers when I voice concerns over fire safety. There was also a giant man in front of me, flailing around as if in the throes of palsy. I asked him to stop and he became belligerent, however, no one else was dancing like him. I think he may have had to use the bathroom, which he might have done had the aisles not been packed with people.

Moving on, the sound was generally good, however, when your lead singer spoke in between songs I could not understand him, despite being twenty feet away. To make matters worse, everyone usually laughed afterwards, and when I cannot hear a joke I always assume it is about me. This is why I do not patronize comedy clubs with an ear infection.

The music itself was generally good, if not perhaps a bit too synthesized. I counted at least four songs in which you used electrical instruments. Several of you also wore collared shirts, which I appreciated.

Hoping I Helped,

The Correspondent

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