Various Happenstances of Seth
March 5, 2006
I'm sure you've heard the old saying
"When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.*"
I'd like to postulate that even if you don't have a hammer, if you
spend 10 hours with a hammer simulator, everything still looks like
a nail. And this is why I tend to view life as very similar to X,
where X is whatever game I've played far too much of recently. Puerto
Rico, D&D, Ham and Cheese -- these are all good analogies for
life. So given that I accidentally played a dozen hours of Magic:
The Gathering this weekend, you might guess what game I've most
recently compared life to.
And you'd be wrong.
I have certainly compared life to
MtG in the past**, but my latest mental connection was none other
than the popular video game Katamari Damacy. For the two
of you unfamiliar with this delightfully addictive little game,
you control a tiny creature pushing around a sticky-ball that picks
up everything smaller than it is. As the size of the ball expands
due to the items it has collected, it can pick up bigger and bigger
objects, and the scale of the game changes entirely although the
experience stays very similar. And I think this is a lot like life.
To wit, when we are toddlers, our problems are very
small -- we are out of juice or want a cookie or dropped the teddy
bear. When we become young kids, our problems get bigger -- a science
test, a party we want to go to. And we look back at the previous
problems as trivial. As we continue to age, the problems continue
to grow in size, with housing and debts and seeking a career. And
at each step of the way, our problems of the present loom large,
while the problems of yesteryear seem small. And they are small
now, but back then, they were the same relative size.
I'm not sure what the lesson is
to be learned here, unless I can increase my katamari size***
to make all my problems small in comparison. But I feel that somehow,
it's an important insight nonetheless.
Lest you worry that I've become
too serious, I am glad (or possibly nervous) to announce my stand-up
comedy debut in just two and a half weeks. I will be performing
in Dayton, OH, for seven minutes as part of the annual Erma Bombeck
Memorial Humor Writers Conference. If I survive, I'll tell you how
If you'd like to see a show with
a little more planning behind it, an old friend of mine has a new
musical out, based on Milton's Paradise Lost. The two of
us wrote a musical together while we were still in college, but
even though I didn't help with this one, I can confirm that it is
worth your while. In addition to powerful original music, complex
lyrical harmonies, strong singing voices, and sexy costuming, this
musical has that special extra something that makes it truly compelling:
Beelzebub played by a guy who looks exactly like Steve Buscemi.
You have until March 18th to get to New York and see Paradise
Lost: The Musical.
Trust me, like Katamari Damacy,
you'll have a ball.
*Even if you hadn't heard it before, you've heard it now.
**There's far too much diseased detail to
go into here, but presume that mana sounds like money and you need
them both to do things. And then start daydreaming about casting
terror or unsummon on life's obstacles...
***Which really sounds like a spam email:
"Increase your K@t@mari size! All natural!"
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