Patriarchal Metamorphosis

The birth of a child is a magical moment. It plucks primal chords of love, fragility and hope. When parents welcome their first child into the world, something strange takes place. The mother, after enduring the physical and emotional turmoil of carrying and delivering the child, is now compelled to focus all of her energy and care into this tiny amphibious being. The father undergoes a very different transformation which has less to do with emotion and more to do with cognition and physique.

Once an adult male bares a child, his fingers thicken, like bloated sausages, and his hair relaxes its grip on the scalp. Elasticity of the skin around the midsection increases dramatically as his muscles are imbued with hidden dad strength. The subject’s interests and attention also shift focus. The mind dulls as tedious and uninteresting subjects like Nascar and pro baseball can now be studied for hours on end. This mental lethargy renders his jokes completely unamusing, incurring laughter only at the feebleness of his attempt.

Although his thoughts are now slower and fewer in number, the subject’s knowledge of certain areas is immediately expanded. For example, the subject is now endowed with expertise in the area of automobiles. He immediately recalls every car he has ever seen and can now recognize a lemon from a distance of 100 yards.

The subject also becomes intensely concerned with the price of gas, milk and eggs. He will now travel great distances to save mere cents on these products. Although his ability to make impulsive, shortsighted purchases has not diminished, he will now dedicate hours to bartering over a few dollars before agreeing to a price. Among the most hated enemies of the father is the telemarketer. Fathers gain large quantities of self-satisfaction by bringing a telemarketer to tears or forcing them to hang up in frustration. The father is truly a force with which to be reckoned.

Beware the patriarchal metamorphosis.

The Father of Invention

You’ve likely heard it said that necessity is the mother of invention. Well, if invention has a mom then it must have a dad, unless words are asexual, which seems unlikely. It appears that although invention inherits its genetic code for motivation from its mother, the DNA for creativity are passed down from its father, restriction. Yes, restriction had word-sex with necessity and impregnated her. Let’s find out how it happened.

Pretend for a moment that you work for the local paper, editing the sports section or something other useless topic. One day your boss pokes his head into your cell and asks, “Hey could you do me a favor real quick?”

“Ya, what is it?”, you reply with hesitation, knowing full well that you won’t want to do it, but that you’re going to end up doing it anyway.

“Bill’s got the flu, can you write the comic for tomorrow?”

You agree to it, and immediately brilliant works of comedic gold don’t come rushing into your brain.

After staring at your stapler for an hour, trying to imagine possibilities for characters, backdrops and punch lines, you conclude that you are not a creative person. What’s wrong? The necessity is there, but you can’t produce anything. Invention needs a father.

The problem is that you have no restriction. Without restriction the human mind has no aim, no focus. Thoughts are like a garden hose, you have to stick your thumb in it just right to get it to shoot properly. Wait, thoughts are more like a laser beam, they need to be refracted perfectly through a series of lenses.

Creative thought is like water. It pools in your brain, waiting to rush out when you think of a good idea. The problem is that the reservoir of thought in your brain doesn’t know which way to spill out. Restriction gives it a direction. Restricting your thoughts gives walls to a river of creativity that cannot be halted.

Back to our example. If you were told to write a story right now, you would likely sit in bland silence, possibly drooling, for two minutes and then quit. But if you were told that this story’s setting had to be a backyard garden, suddenly you are a bubbling fountain of ideas.

So if you’re ever stuck on a subject for your paper or a concept for your art, merely restrict your thought to a narrow, specific idea. Here are some examples to get you going: sewage, the zoo, a harp, Jack Nicholson, headphones, Siberia, a television remote, apprehension.