We here in the DoD apparently do not know when to stop making bad worse and decided to try running one more poll. As readers will recall, we asked you to send along your selections for our list of the Top 5 Living Deviants. After seeing what came over the transom, we were going to pretend like this never happened, but then decided to go ahead and look foolish for asking.
With great sheepishness but no further ado, the results:
#1: What do you mean by “living?” Readers wanted urgently to know whether the qualifications for being a “Top Living Deviant” entail that one needed merely to be biologically alive or whether some more vivid and ambitious specification is in order. Sure, lots of deviants are living, but how many, they implored, are LIVING?
#2: The ones with the tallest ladders. Some readers, still unsatisfied with our use of “top,” decided to treat our height metaphors for quality literally. To them, we say, what about the deviants with bucket trucks? The bucket truck blessed would look down on your puny ladders if only they weren’t so busy kissing the clouds. Take that, you literal minded chain-yankers.
#3: Zhuangzi. As readers well know, Zhuangzi has been dead for a couple of millennia. But apparently for some, no matter how long he’s been dead, Zhuangzi abides.
#4: Does it come with money and research leave? Apparently several respondents mistook our poll for a fellowship application. At any rate, their interest in who is “top” diminishes radically once they find out there’s no money or leave in it. To them, we can only say, sorry. We here in the DoD have nothing to offer but our love and affection.
#5: If this poll was a person, I’d punch it in the face. Must you folks in the Zen contingent continuously invoke traditional Zen practices of short-circuiting hyperanalytical thinking with blows? The rest of us have only words to work with, and you’re making us jealous and resentful.