Saturday, January 05, 2008

Alone again

OK--so I'm bored and not feeling all that great so I'm reading a lot of crap I have accumulated over the last month and didn't read. I can't watch television because television with the exception of football is stupid and some shows like The Simpson's could lead you to believe that a gun in your mouth is the only answer. It's hard to believe what people watch on TV---ah---but I digress.

This might be the weirdest study I've read in the last fourteen minutes. Researchers at the University of Haifa in Israel report that if you're going to experience helplessness, it's best to do it alone. They figured this out by giving electric shocks to rats -some in pairs, and some alone. The rats shocked in pairs coped less well than rats shocked in isolation. By "coping," I think they mean how well the rats adapted to life after the trauma. The rats that were made to feel hopeless – by being isolated– actually got on better. They resumed their life of leisure – eating cheese, and watching rodent TV. I hear they love Frazier.

As an aside, if being alone is good--I'm great! So just bring on the taser because by reading this last survey my life will improve dramatically and quicker. To what it doesn't say but what the hell?

Anyway I love experiments with rats because they remind me of my fellow man. Think of the scrappy solo rats as the greatest generation, and the whiny loser rats as the Age of Aquarius. Or think of it as John Wayne vs. Woody Allen. Or Ronald Reagan vs. Hillary Clinton. It comes down to this: Faced with adversity, do you, (a). Toughen up and get back on that wedge of cheese or (b) roll over and urinate on your wood shavings. If the former, you tend to accomplish more in the long run, like say, winning World Wars; if the latter, you usually end up saying things like "Why do they hate us."

Of course, when mice say it, it just sounds like a bunch of squeaking. Not unlike the Josh Groban.