How (And Why) Men Think

This is not a poem. I just saved you 3-5 minutes. You’re welcome.

In college, I was often told by professors not to begin essays with a definition. Having had a terrible college experience and feeling tremendous spite for the aforementioned professors, I now present Merriam-Webster’s definition of economics:

A social science concerned chiefly with description and analysis of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services

Having graduated with honors with my degree in economics six years prior to writing this essay and having since enjoyed a long and profitable career in the disciplines of music, poetry, and comedy, I have come to realize that my degree in economics is roughly equivalent to a degree in women’s studies, but with fewer scholarship opportunities. Pursuing that thought to it’s ultimate conclusion, I realized that a degree in economics is essentially a degree in men’s studies, minus history and practical job skills.

Much of economics is considered with the idea of equilibrium, a condition in which all things are balanced and to which all things would return if governments would quit screwing everything up. Men’s lives are likewise drawn continuously to equilibrium, as can be demonstrated by the following thought experiment:

Imagine a man is at home. It can be any time or location, because those don’t actively concern our imagined man. Our man is in a state of equilibrium. The doorbell might ring, a volcano could erupt, a poet could make a meaningful contribution to society (not really), but a man would not stir from equilibrium. The only thing that can stir a man from equilibrium is the power of thought, thus leading to most men’s aversion to thinking.

Our hypothetical man has a thought: He is hungry. Being hungry is not as comfortable as being in equilibrium, so the man assigns a negative value to his situation. He realizes the only way to regain equilibrium is by inputting positive stimuli to counteract his hunger, and he begins to calculate…

The man could fix himself a gourmet, nine-course French dinner, eliminating his hunger but placing him in a difficult position of over-stimulation. He would have to correct the over-stimulation through negative actions, such as getting up, learning to cook, and thinking about France, and he concludes that this course of action would result in a situation more negative than being hungry. The idea is summarily dismissed.

Next the man gauges that, although getting up is inevitable, walking distance and effort in food preparation can objectively be minimized through careful planning (the man is no longer afraid to think, being in a state of disequilibrium). He identifies the closest food that doesn’t require preparation, acquires the food, eats one box of dry raisin bran and a tin of Fancy Feast, then returns to his chair. He reevaluates his situation, realizes he is no longer hungry, and happily reenters equilibrium until, by nature or accident, he is again forced to think.

Now, not all disequilibrium is negative. A Man can add positive stimulation to his life by turning on the TV, passing gas, or momentarily enjoying the fact that his cat has died, so he need not replace the Fancy Feast can he just ate. Some men, however, suffer a particularly gruesome thought known as ambition, leaving them in a state of long-term disequilibrium solved only by progressively more grandiose positive stimuli, like fishing or car-ownership. To counteract these huge positive stimuli and return to equilibrium, these ambitious men generally resort to two extremes: Women and Work.

Work is generally the safer option, and most men (even the unambitious) partake in it to some extent. The tremendous negative stimulus of work yields a positive counter-stimulus in the form of money, which can be exchanged for new TVs and motivational posters reminding them not to adopt another cat. Women are the more extreme solution, yielding extreme highs and lows and requiring careful balancing, often resulting in more thought and yielding negative consequences for thoughtlessness that did not exist before the introduction of women.

To those still skeptical, quit reading. If you found this essay dull, go watch TV to reestablish equilibrium. If you enjoyed this essay, watch an Amy Schumer comedy special. If you are a woman, neither of these solutions will likely satisfy you because your mind does not naturally gravitate towards constant equilibrium. If this is the case, I present you with one final story:

A child is born. This makes the child very unhappy, and, being male, it introduces the positive stimulus of screaming and shouting about nothing in particular to resume equilibrium. At other times, it finds a breast within easy reach and, to counteract this new positive stimulus, it defecates on itself. These two cycles continue for some time until nature plays the cruel trick of developing sentience in the young human.

The young human enjoys a few years of mostly unobjectionable life, wherein it is given copious amounts of candy and toys in return for reductions in its odious personal habits. After this joyful era, however, comes school. School, being designed to constantly introduce new stimulation without adequate balancing in the form of idle mindlessness, causes great stress to the young human, and it responds by being a tiny demon until puberty.

When the child reaches puberty, he gains two useful abilities for counteracting the negative effects of school. First is the ability to stare mindlessly at women. Second is the heightened social acceptability of hitting each other, also known as sports. For the remainder of the male human’s life, sports and idle staring at women will occupy the majority of its waking hours. These two activities also frequently lead to ambition, whether to excel at sports (or at least get hit less by those who do), more actively interact with women, or stare idly at parts of women they are less inclined to show men who do not excel at sports. Enter work and women, followed by death.

In conclusion (another wonderful saying my professors told me not to use), comprehension of male thought and the corrective behavior that follows it can be enhanced by the study of economics. That’s pretty much the whole conclusion, but schooling has permanently damaged by ability to allow a conclusion to a single sentence. Don’t adopt a cat.

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