Friday, December 11, 2009

Writer's block and wayward analogies involving overflowing toilets [Connor]

I’ve come to despise writer’s block. You may notice my blogging has been lagging behind a little lately; my blogs are fewer and farther between. It’s not that I have nothing to write about, or that I have no time to write; in contrast, I’ve considered dozens of topics, and I have more free time now then I’ve had since August. I simply start writing something and find that, after a paragraph or two, my writing fizzles out like a. . . like. . . see? Further evidence of the onset of writer’s block. I should have been able to come up with a snappy, witty comparison involving an overflowing toilet, a Democratic senator, and a couple of chimpanzees, or something.

After five or six different attempts at blogs on topics ranging from my angst with Christmas political correctness, to the idiocy of Edward Cullen as the “perfect man,” to the book I’m reading which compares, among other things, real estate agents to the Ku Klux Klan.* Nothing clicked. They all just fizzled out like (insert witty comparison involving an overflowing toilet, a Democratic senator, and a couple of chimpanzees here).

So I decided to write on writer’s block. I mean, it’s only logical that I write about the reason I can’t write, right?

There’s a lot of topics I plan to cover as soon as I can plunge the clogged toilet of writer’s block.* In the meantime, stay tuned.

*It’s really quite a logical comparison, provided you have the proper amount of hallucinogens in your bloodstream. No, seriously, it makes sense. The book is called Freakonomics, should feel any curiosity as to exactly how the comparison works.

**I promise I’ll cut down on the mentions of clogged toilets.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Between Bauer, Bourne, Bond, and Norris: Who would win? [Ryan]

There is a question that has been bugging me. Sometimes, in a moment of deep contemplation (or the brain stupor that comes from watching an entire season of 24 in two sittings), I ask myself the same question that Confucius or Aristotle often asked themselves:

“Who would win in a fight between Jack Bauer, Jason Bourne, James Bond,* or Chuck Norris?”

(Confucius, for the record, put his money on James Bond, which places some doubt upon any further wisdom we may encounter from him. I mean, we all know Confucius was basing his judgment on the Pierce Brosnan version of the character.)

The greatest scientific and philosophical minds of history have yet to come up with a satisfactory answer. All four men are rough, tough, and, by all appearances, able to survive anything, including nuclear detonation and exposure to anything by Lady Gaga. Let us, for a moment, examine each candidate** in turn to analyze his strengths:


Jack Bauer: According to, he has 227 on-screen kills to date. He’s even ripped out a guy’s jugular with his teeth. He has the uncanny ability to heal from any wound within several hours; I suspect he shoots himself in the foot every night before he goes to bed just to acclimate himself to a little pain.

Jason Bourne: If you tick him off, he will come for you, he will hunt you down, and he will kill you. He’s one of those people who can kill you with a pretzel if they want to.***

James Bond: He’s always had the ability to woo any woman he breathed his martini-scented breath on, but in his last incarnation he acquired some pretty mean fighting skills that didn’t require gadgets such as invisible cars, flame-throwing bagpipes, or magnetic grappling hooks that shot from his suspenders. He has also survived a particularly painful interrogation that makes it a wonder he is still capable of pursuing women (see Casino Royale).

Chuck Norris: We’ve all heard the facts: Chuck Norris does not sleep; he waits. Chuck Norris is the reason Waldo is hiding. There is no chin behind Chuck Norris’ beard; there is only another fist. Apparently, he is not only indestructible, but he is also omnipotent, omnipresent, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. At least Superman was killed eventually.


In deciding who would win in fight between the above-mentioned action heroes, we must consider the fact that none of them has ever truly lost a fight. True, Jack Bauer has been captured by terrorists and interrogated, but he has always escaped. Jason Bourne was shot in the back and dumped into the ocean, but he survived. We already mentioned James Bond’s horrific torture in Casino Royale. And Walker, Texas Ranger is no longer running, so we can count that as a relative demise for Chuck Norris.

But they always get back on their feet and rip out some more jugular veins.

So we must ask ourselves: in such a contest, would there be a victor? Could any of them actually lose, or would their battle continue forever, like the struggle between good and evil, or Cher’s career? Or would such unstoppable forces clashing against immovable objects create an explosion of energy that would eradicate life as we know it?

I conclude that because none of them can lose, none of them can actually win. Let’s allow them to stick to fighting nuke-wielding terrorists, clandestine operatives, greedy billionaire industrialists, and drug-dealing space aliens, or whatever the heck is it that Chuck Norris fights.

* Has anybody else ever noticed that these guys all that same initials? Does that mean that if I were to change my name to Jordan Brick, I would suddenly be endowed with the ability to take out all of Al-Qaeda with nothing but a stapler?

** Honorable mentions include Liam Neeson’s character from Taken, who possesses all the indestructibility and potential to kill a dozen guys with his bare hands as the others but lacks originality; and Han Solo, who is still going strong and running parsecs around the bad guys in the Star Wars books, despite the approach of his seventieth birthday.

*** Yeah. One of those people.