9.30.2008

On The Nature of Sweet: A Dialogue

See other posts in the "Is this sweet?" series.
See other posts in the "On the Nature of Sweet" series (more focused on the philosophy of sweetness).

Demosthenes, venerable Greek orator, and Jack Shephard, character from the hit ABC television show LOST, stroll through a
jardin in crisp fall weather. Fresh leaves skitter across the marble walkway as the wind picks up. Standing beneath the shadow of a Robert E. Lee statue, Demosthenes picks at his half-eaten egg and cheese bagel sandwich.

Jack: So, what about the time that I tried to watch Juliette perform surgery on my own stomach? Or that time I told Miles to suck it? Those things were sweet.
Demosthenes: Jack, you're clearly not grasping the concept of "Is this sweet?" In those two instances you mentioned, you've already made a clear judgement about sweetness. Yes, they were sweet, but did you have any doubt? Would anyone take issue with your assertion?
Jack: I don't follow.

Demosthenes: Let's start from the beginning again. "Is this sweet?" functions as an empirical research tool that can be applied to anything you want. It's like --
Jack: Could I have some of that sandwich?
Demosthenes: Yes. But you see, "Is this sweet?" could even be applied to this sandwich, although with limited results. Is this sandwich sweet? Yes, it probably is. Though unless there's some hidden and controversial quality in this sandwich -- say, maybe it was used to kill a man -- we lack a meaningful conclusion. The real power of this tool emerges when we tackle more difficult subjects.
Jack: Like my bearded, drunken future self?
Demosthenes: No, that's just sweet.
Jack: Oh.
Demosthenes: For example, let's travel back to last Friday night, where I was in a bar watching an awful blues band. The greasy, 47 year old frontman is singing the following lyrics: "SHE AIN'T GOT NO PANTIES ONNN." Over and over. It's the chorus. Now, our initial reaction might be of horror. But halt! Let's apply our tool. "IS this sweet?" The complexity of the answer will surprise you. This event, which we might have otherwise written-off, could, in fact, be totally sweet.
Jack: I think I'm starting to understand. So you're saying --

Demosthenes: Let's examine Andy Beers's Facebook status as an amusing exercise (intellectual fugue? Haha.)
Jack: Uhhhh --
Demosthenes: It reads: "Is this sweet?" So, of this status, we can ask, "Is 'Is this sweet?' sweet?" Or, to put it another way: ["Is this sweet?" -- Is this sweet?] Better yet, let's represent this as a mathematical proof, where "Is this sweet?" (the facebook status) = n, and where "Is this sweet?" (the question) = x. So:
- nx
- x posed to n = y
- where n is posed to p
- where p = anything
- where y = awesome results
Jack: Although I'm a doctor, math and science do not resonate with me. All I really want to do is be a leader. And to avoid taking care of that baby.
Demosthenes:
It looks like we ended up walking all the way to the parking lot.
Jack: WE HAVE TO GO BACK!
Demosthenes: No, my Prius is right over there.

2 comments:

devan said...

for the next part of the series:

"is this sweet? analyzing the electoral college."

leaves n' leavin said...

priuses (prii?) just got a lot sweeter now that demosthenes drives one. brilliant post, beers.

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