Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Post-Nihil Drip

Someday, robots will prepare our burritos. Sitting, a few minutes ago, in the local instance of a national chain of quasi-Mexi-Cali-cuisine purveyors (corporate burrito-slingers), I was overcome by the umpteenth bout of cynicism that I've experienced since getting back to Miami last Monday (most of the cynicism is tied to apartment finding and being a student at a terribly dysfunctional POS public university, some of it also has to do with what is either allergies or an oncoming Summer cold making both the excessive heat of the out-of-doors and the excessive cool of the in-of-doors uncomfortable, but I suppose I'm trying to imply here that this cynicism is extra on top of that (chips and salsa? fuck that, chips and guac!). The staff of said local-not-local no-longer-owned-by-McDonald's-but-still-caring-very-much-about-its-stock-holders burrito locale has completely turned over since I was last there in late April; this, I suppose, is natural for such a place. That the poorly wrapped burrito that was making my hands more messy than normal - not that I'm claiming to be anything but a 'spiller' - combined with the fact that there was enough of a line to allow me to see the new burrito-wrappers making the same error over and over again without any hint of learning, perhaps caused me some amount of the embittered spirits (speaking of embittered spirits, I just figured out today, while trying to keep up on my German a bit and read some German wikipedia, that Jever, brewers of the finest Pilsener in Germany, also produce a Jever-flavored digestif! How could I have never found this out?!? The next person that reads this blog that is also going to be heading to Germany any time soon (what are the odds that I am describing myself here?), please do me the favor of acquiring a bottle. Hopefully they (the employees of burrito-unskill) will all turn over soon enough, or even better, I would say from the depths of the most-liberal chamber of my heart/soul, the employees will learn to make a better burrito.

I spent - I dunno - maybe 40 hours over the summer making photocopies. Somewhere around hour 7 or 8 I started to design in my head (while not fretting about the kind of damage that the green lightstrip was doing to my retinas) the robot that should have been doing my job for me. Really paring down the motions that the two arms make, slowly isolating the wasted motions and the potentially hazardous aspects (e.g. fragile pages being torn, middle pages in a thick book being not-pressed-down-enough, etc.). And a robot would never have to press the green button to make it go - it could be just a part of the photocopier, give the command without wasting the kinetic energy required to push the button. So far as I can tell, photocopying (though better paying, probably) is no more (or less) robot-able than burrito wrapping. My main fear is that Armageddon occurs before robots can take over (we have discussed before the merits of Zombie Apocalypse versus Alien Apocalypse, and I think Robot Apocalypse is the obvious third choice (though I still vote for Aliens)). The biosphere slowly (quickly!) expiring seems the worst choice, and still the most likely.

And that's cheering; that I can still walk around everyday (or sit, eating burritos) with the usual amounts of apathy, nihilism, and apocalypticism that are the cornerstones of the Pete Weltanschauung, and still mange to also be cynical about something as basic as not getting the end of the world that I want (Das Traugiste von allen!). Speaking of apathy, my transition (according to my tuition waiver) to Florida Resident appears to be complete. I might just have to, like, vote in the upcoming for National Topmost-Corporate-Lackey competition. Is anyone at the DNC? What company(ies) are doing the catering? What kind of burrito can you get there? That would really tie this post together...


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