insane in the membrane.

i've been getting hounded by my case worker for the last few days for not going to class. but for all the hounds, all the naggers (i see you randy marsh), i say only that you ignore the autodidactic route i've been taking recently.

sure, i've been lying in bed in a catatonic state sick with fever and malaise. sure, all the textbooks are piled beside the dresser, covered in layers of dust. sure, sure, sure. but a wise man once said, education is all the things you remember after schooling is done. or something like that. two pennies for whoever can identify that wise man. godspeed.

yeah, it's really been about life's education lately, seeking out things that otherwise wouldn't be found. to a certain extent.

for instance.

today, i listened to an interview with renowned american neurologist oliver sacks. the year was 1987, and at the time, he was hyping a book called 'the man who mistook his wife for a hat.' quirky title to be sure, but the premise is a particularly striking one.

a professor at a prestigious music academy. suddenly, our prof can't identify his students just by looking at them. yet, when he hears them talk or sing, he recognizes them instantly. things get worse, as everyday objects lose their visual meaning. hence the title. this poor bastard actually thought that his wife's head was a hat and reached for it accordingly. literally trapped in a world devoid of the visual cues that all human beings take for granted.

now don't be mistaken; he was hardly demented and remained a talented musician throughout. and according to dr. sacks, it would be music and sound that proved to be the best prescription for this condition, labeled visual agnosia.

in another case, a virile, sound-minded young man rolled out of bed one day, shrieking in horror, claiming that he awoke to find a leg, someone else's leg, in his bed. yet when he sprung out of bed to escape it, it was attached to his body in some ungodly way. he literally saw his own leg as some sort of god-forsaken demon appendage.

it turned out that he had a metastasizing brain tumor that had destroyed the part of the brain responsible for the visual/sensory representation of one's leg.

all of this of course, speaks to an important point. though the human brain has allowed us to dominate our epoch and achieve some truly great things, it really is our own worst enemy. read a newspaper and you'll see what i'm talking about.

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