August 23, 2011. It began like any other day, ostensibly forgetful in the interminable loop of Corporate America’s ruthless drubbing on the souls of the Entitled Generation. But, like numerous nefarious numbers that not only nauseate us but also navigate us to the nadir of our emotional nexuses, 8/23 would nail itself into national notoriety (Alliteration Count: 11 – new P.R.!).
At approximately 1:51 EDT, while many grasped at the straws of the last nine minutes of their lunch break looking for something to fill the emptiness of a pre-PO-Life world, terror struck the eastern seaboard. Four miles below the surface of simple Louisa County, Virginia, home to roughly the same number of people as undergraduates at the University of Colorado-Boulder, the Earth’s tectonic plates began their best R. Kelly impersonations. Ordinarily, a quake of this magnitude would be categorized as an afternoon rumble. By Californian’s standards, it’s the Richter scale equivalent of Jessica Simpson’s stomach growl upon entering a Jack-in-the-Box.
But DC doesn’t share the same indifference towards fault-line friction as Mr. Kelly. We’re the epicenter of a unique dichotomy of inaction and overreaction. We pride ourselves in log-jamming any type of movement towards accomplishing anything for which we cannot attribute an additional vote. We stop letting federal employees *cough* Eli *cough* go to afternoon Nationals games because SOMEONE had to go and blow a bunch of taxpayer dollars on a bicycle building team-building event. And, we get super passive aggressive over 225 year old laws.
So with no earthquake procedures in place, havoc broke loose. The streets of downtown Washington became indistinguishable from those of Tripoli. Even The Washington Post’s cover photo was ambiguous. Are those two Libyan women fleeing rebel forces? Or two GS-12s finding solace in each other’s warm embrace?
8/23, like so many other infamous dates in American history, exposed our cushy lifestyles and lack of preparedness. However earthquakes, unlike other disasters in the Sim City 2000 rolodex, offer little to no early warning signs. There is no miracle fix, like the terrorism threat level color chart which taught us that the difference between a high threat level and a severe threat level is only a few nanometers on the visible light spectrum.
There comes a time in everyone’s life when they must define their identity. While many behaviorist psychologists dismiss the objective value of psychometric analyses such as the fabled Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, one cannot simply rule out the importance of self-reporting. Juxtaposing these subjective results alongside the viewpoints of impartial observers helps to determine the disconnect between perceived truth and reality. To further obfuscate matters, the limitless number of quantitative and qualitative data points can render false positives and create contradictions depending on their usage.
We here at The PO Life have simplified matters, boiling down a world of complexities and information overload into three qualifying questions:
- Do you like the Animaniacs or do you not like the Animaniacs?
- Are you a man or a muppet?
- Are you a giraffe, horse, zebra, or neither?
Until now, classification was easy. For instance, I’m a DNLA/MA/N (do not like the animaniacs, man, neither). Then, this thing came along and decided to screw our perfect system up.
For those of you unfamiliar with the mascot for the International Society for Cryptozoology (I’d link to them, but you receive a 404 error from 1985 if you go to their website), the thing you’re looking at above is an Okapi. What the hell is an Okapi you ask? I thought you’d never ask.