Tuesday, June 11, 2013

How Pertinent are How Blank's Questions?

I had been toying with some slogans for How Blank and recently settled on "Pondering the Universe's Least Pertinent Questions." You may not have noticed it until Kavanaugh referenced it in his last post. Some other ideas I had for slogans were "How Blank: Crap Our Brains Think" and "How Blank: Where Skells Attempt to be Funny."

I think I made the right decision with "Pondering the Universe's Least Pertinent Questions," and I'll try to explain why. In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the narrator tells the story of a group of hyper-intelligent beings seeking the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. The computer they create in order to answer this question gives the answer 42. Confused, the beings must then build another computer, this one to come up with the actual question for which the answer is 42. Confusing, but pretty funny if you read the book. The point is, I think How Blank's questions are way less pertinent than the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. Still, at least we know what those questions are.

One more example to put our new slogan into perspective comes from -- where else? -- The Simpsons.

We've all heard Bob Dylan's classic "Blowin' in the Wind," and I think Homer does what many of us are tempted to do. That is, he tries to answer really deep questions that have no definite answers. Similarly, when I ask "How Many Skells Will I See in Atlantic City This Weekend?", I'm not actually looking for the answer. But that doesn't mean I can't ponder the question and others like it, no matter their lack of pertinence.

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