Wednesday, June 22, 2005

How Can I Get A "Federal Study" Job?

The latest Federal Study weighs in with its deeply profound and exhaustively-considered conclusions, as summarized to an awestruck world in today's New York Times headline:

3-Year Federal Study of 9/11 Urges Safer Skyscraper Rules

I admit to not having read the entire article, but it is early in the morning, and such terms as "architectural engineering" have much the same impact on my central nervous system at this hour as, e.g., "modern dance" or "macroeconomics": Well, that's all very interesting and stuff, and I shall have to get back to a most serious consideration of the matter under discussion at a later point, and now that I have demonstrated my Good Intentions to myself, maybe even that won't be entirely necessary grrk more coffee...

Nonetheless, intellectual tics echo in several mental caverns, in a process not unlike actual thought, and I like to call this my "critical methodology." More than this, I like to disturb others with the resultant verbal twitches, and call it "commentary."

But enough about me. Let's get back to this Federal Study, or whatever it was. Federal studiers -- none dare call them mere students -- pore over reams of graphs, charts, statistics, diagrams, computer printouts, reports, testimony, photographs, cocktails, aardvarks, and a melody by Strauss, and, discarding the irrelevant, zeroing in on the subtle yet crucial details invisible to the untrained eye, practicing the procedural give-and-take essential to dialectical analysis, working long and gruelling hours yea! into the very darkness of the night whilst scriveners scrivel and factotums (factota?) unload volumes of the most obscure technical journals for frantic perusual...Until, at last, one gray dawn, three years later, haggard experts stagger from there meeting-rooms, several of them immediately collapsing, and a single report -- indeed, a Federal Study -- is presented to an anxious nation.

The final conclusions, arrived at at such great mental and psychological cost, include the following (I paraphrase, not having read the thing...yet): Well, what we definitely need here is stronger skyscrapers, yes sir, no doubt about it. A solemn hush descends over the mass media (now, there's a trick), and American workers cease their myriad daily tasks to attend. See, a building collapses, leaving aside the circumstances, you gotta scratch your head and wonder: Was that building safe? And you gotta say, lookin' at this big mess, you gotta say, Hey, that skyscraper weren't safe a-tall, no way. So we figger, somethin' ain't safe, what's a Federal Study to do? Well, I gotta tell you, don't take no Einstein to figger that a Federal Study is there to do one thing, and to do it serious by gum, and that thing is: Make up some rules.

Of course, there would have been numerous preliminary hypotheses, scrupulously eliminated in the cold light of meticulous research:
  • Them terrorists is a definite problem. We need fewer terrorists, I'd say.
  • If them airplanes was lighter, they could jest kee-rash away til kingdom come, and a skyscraper wouldn't hardly feel nothin.
  • If you put all yer employees on the bottom floor, and used the top floors for storage and potted plants and whatnot, the top could fall off and wouldn't nobody much get hurt.
  • Looka here, if you made yer skyscrapers outta plastic, then any old airplanes or even meteors would just bounce right off.
  • We gots to think about building these here skyscrapers close to the ground, like.
  • I'm a Native American, and they were all just a bunch of little Eichmanns anyway.