Is it just me, or does it seem like our human sense of humor has slowly atrophied over the past several decades? The classic pie in the face that was funny ten years ago would probably land you in jail today with an assault charge. The bag of burning poo on the door step? Well, now you've really stepped in it. Swat teams and the Department of Homeland Security would flood the area of the offense and terrorize the community until the perpetrators of the dastardly act of terrorism was identified and brought to justice.
"So here is us, on the raggedy edge." You're probably well aware of the over-reaction that ensued when a child in school dared to brandish a pop-tart, but this is just a tiny sliver of the over-all twisted Menzoberranzan society we live in.
Most of you will not get the Menzoberranzan reference. There is a series of novels by R.A. Salvatore called the Dark Elf Trilogy. The story is of a nice kid born into a truly evil land—Menzoberranzan. Here's a short excerpt from the first book in the trilogy called Homeland:
The Academy.Did you ever get the feeling that if they can they will? Think about the Miranda Rights statement: "Anything you say, can and will be used against you in a court of law." But it's so much worse than that. Anything you say, anything you do, can and will be used against you in the court of public opinion. If you own a basketball team and have a problem with your girlfriend associating with a particular race—even though she is of that race herself—and the evil bitch tapes you talking—illegally I might add—and releases that tape to the press, well Donald, if they can they will. Look on the bright side, you're still a billionaire.
It is the propagation of the lies that bind drow society together; the ultimate perpetration of falsehoods repeated so many times that they ring true against any contrary evidence. The lessons young drow are taught of truth and justice are so blatantly refuted by everyday life in wicked Menzoberranzan that it is hard to understand how any could believe them. Still they do.
Even now, decades removed, the thought of the place frightens me, not for any physical pain or the ever-present sense of possible death—I have trod down many roads equally dangerous in that way. The Academy of Menzoberranzan frightens me when I think of the survivors, the graduates, existing—reveling—within the evil fabrications that shape their world.
They live with the belief that anything is acceptable if you can get away with it, that self-gratification is the most important aspect of existence, and that power comes only to she or he who is strong enough and cunning enough to snatch it from the failing hands of those who no longer deserve it. Compassion has no place in Menzoberranzan, and yet it is compassion, not fear, that brings harmony to most races. It is harmony, working toward shared goals, that precedes greatness.
Lies engulf the drow in fear and mistrust, refute friendship at the tip of a Lloth-blessed sword. The hatred and ambition fostered by these amoral tenets are the doom of my people, a weakness that they perceive as strength. The result is a paralyzing, paranoid existence that the drow call the edge of readiness.
My philosophy about people in general is perhaps the most cynical and dark comment on human nature that it's possible to have. I think most people believe that people in general are good and kind and want to help their fellow man. I, however, understand that nothing could be further from the truth. If they can they will.
Imagine you're the United States Senate minority leader. You say some nice things about Senator Strom Thurmond, and because of the storm of controversy that ensues, you're forced to resign. Imagine you're telling a story. You tell about an incident in your life, and what you learned from it. You meant the story to be a teaching moment, where you learned a valuable moral lesson. Instead, the if-they-can-they-will crowd sees a weakness, exploits the weakness, and within hours you're fired. Imagine a radio personality trying to be funny who talks about nappy-headed hos, and within days he's gone.
If there is one thing you can count on it's that if they can they will. What a terrible accusation to tar humankind with. It makes me ashamed to be a human being. What's the matter with us? Look around you sometime. Maybe you're at a board meeting. Maybe you're at a PTA meeting. Listen to how people talk about other people. Oh they'll always couch the discussion in terms of being helpful, being righteous, looking out for the interests of the company or the community or the children, but the fact is this: if somebody spots a weakness, a poor turn of phrase, an unfortunate association, they'll use that moment of weakness to sanctimoniously rip out your still beating heart.
Why? Why would former friends, colleagues, and media personalities who used to give and receive gifts, ask for and offer favors, beg for interviews, suddenly turn on a person as though they were among a crazed horde of zombies suddenly smelling fresh brains? Why? Because if they can, they will.
Imagine you're a technician or a scientist who's developed a robot that can aid humankind in a valuable way. This robot interacts with autistic children, and seems to be helping. In a playful joking way you name the robot "Carl's Junior." At first nobody get's the joke. The poor scientist who named his robot never learned or perhaps forgot that if they can, they will.
Krichmar has developed “Carl’s Junior” a sensitive robot that looks like a turtle with colored stripes across its shell. This therapeutic robot is being used at a nearby school to help with children on the autism spectrum who seem to respond well to an inanimate, yet responsive object