The Master Speaks

Introducing The Master, Ired Dustafo, the great and wise seer, who was discovered in a floe of ice in the Himalayas by a ski instructor (along with a Cave Man)…then unthawed by coeds in a nearby jacuzzi. He has been touring campuses with Bill Murray, and goes by the nickname “Charlie.” (Or, to those already enamored of irony and satire, “Master” will do.) This wise seer became a quick study of the times which had passed, and has so far managed to evade campus police…
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From a junior without a major:  “What about partying, pop?”  
    The Master speaks: “I have seen you prize action, my not so great great great grandson, and to disdain those who would spend their time at study. But I say to you, where is this action? You talk of tweets and trends, of comics and head-butting televangelists dancing with drugged supermodels. Is this what you mean? But is not the sparrow who builds a nest in a tree more active? Or the nerd at study? I think you mean a dulling of spirit. I think you mean to put out of thought all worries and fears, and your own insecurities. And I say to you, rather embrace them! Let them be your soul’s fuel and your body’s challenge. You are young, yes, but do not be foolish. Invite those nerds to your party, and gather around them to learn from them. Heed their words, and laugh not. For thoughts are the beginnings of actions. And ideas that change the world can get you hired by Google.”
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From a music major: “What do you think about today’s lyrics?”
    And the Master replied, “Certain song phrases seem to have meaning, but when they are linked into stanzas they lose all relation to sanity and reason. The philosophy expressed appears at first to be one of prizing anarchy and dissolution, but upon repetition it becomes clearer and clearer that the true motivation is a hedonistic nihilism propelled by lazy love cliches, and a vapidity which cannot break even the surface tension of wisdom…much like pond scum. Yet if the words are mumbled, slurred, or otherwise covered sufficiently, I like it.”
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A senior asked: “Is love for real?”
    And the Master responded, “The major problem with love is that because of your high divorce rates, you have come to realize that you can probably fall in love with just about anything and anybody. So now it has become harder to fall in love, even over a candlelight dinner. Unless, of course, it’s too dark to see what’s going on.”
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From an English Lit major:  “What do I do about the neighbors above me? They have parties even on weeknights, and play their Halestorm CDs until three in the morning. I can’t sleep or study. My grades are even suffering. Don’t tell me to call the police, either, ‘cause the girl next to me does that and they always manage to cut their stereo off just in time.”
    And the Master smiled and said, “Would that you had a stereo of your own, with Boze speakers and a two hundred amp powerplant. Then you could play some nice classical music for them in the morning. I think, after sunrise, you would not violate any laws, would you?  I would suggest a Wagner Symphony, some polkas, a couple Swedish yodeling medleys, and a rendition of ‘Una Paloma Blanca’ by Slim Whitman. When the police come to your door you can make a contribution to the Save the Children Fund.”
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A freshman Senator: “Why is it I can’t concentrate in class?”
    And the Master replied, “You are unique because you have developed extremely short attention spans. Only a hummingbird’s is shorter. You will find that this is a direct result of the advent of the 30 second TV commercial. Searching the fossil records, you will also discover that prehistoric man may have taken as long as three months on a single cave drawing. Yet today you pride yourselves on how many subway cars you can vandalize in three minutes. Indeed, without the aid of music videos and special effects you become bored in exactly 64 seconds. I understand that last year it was 67 seconds. So I predict that when the countdown reaches zero someone will launch their missiles the moment their iWatch battery dies. Luckily, that only happens about once a year, I’m told, with heavy use.”

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A psychology student:  “How will we find jobs?”
And the Master replied, “I do not know. But all work is sacred if you do your best…even flipping hydrogenated cow patties. So do not disparage whatever is given for you to do. And while you continue to seek employment in your realm of excellence, never assume a job is beneath you. For work is not a right but a sacrament.  It is not a drudgery but a duty to God and to your fellow man. Do you job, I say, exceeding that which is expected, and your strength will rise to meet your dream. Then your dream, like the eagle, will beat its wings in a freedom song, and will carry you all the way from McDonalds…to Dennys…”
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A PH-D candidate: “I’m trying to come up with a PH D thesis. Any advice?”
    And the Master responded, “How about explaining why some people circle your mall’s parking lot looking for the closest space to park while others are already inside and making their purchases? Or why parents are paranoid about child safety, and then feed their kids Fruit Loops.”
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Then a criminal justice student asked:  “What about violence on the streets?”  And the Master said, “What of the rules for the street gangs, and the sport they play? Is not everything a game to them too? My children, think of it like this: if you walk around a corner and you confronted by a punk with a gun, and he asks why he should not kill you, what do you say? Do you say Because I’m a good person? Yet what is good? Do you know? …Or maybe you would say Because it’s wrong. But again, what is that? Who are you to determine what is right or wrong for anyone, especially if your parents never even taught you phonics? …I predict you will all be faced soon by that kid—maybe even the same kid—and he will want to know how to live his life, and you will not be able to give him the answers I did!”
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And a science major asked:  “What do you think about the future?”
And the Master answered, saying: “The future is only a dream which will never exist. Though it terrorize, confound, or distract you, it holds no power other than that which you give it. He who would be consumed by fears of the future is like the traveler who peers through a glass and so stumbles on the rocks at his feet.  But I say, be consumed with now, for the present moment is all you will ever have. And if you use your every moment to its fullest, then will your future moments be all the more pleasant…as you remember the good old days.”
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JL.)

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