Jan Cox Talk 1865

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The News

1865 97051 05/23/97 Copyright J. M. Cox 1997


After exiting the box canyon, he stopped at a water hole to reexamine his
travels thus far. “Okay,” said he, “if there are indeed two of me, in me,
then they are either my mind and my body, or else two minds, or me and my
mind, or else even two me’s.” He squatted and sipped some water as he
pondered the puzzler he’d just proposed, then arose to resume his journey,
leaving the question open, coming to no decisive conclusion.

Just as there are no permanent maps, neither are there sacrosanct travel

– – –

Today’s Tattoo: “I may not be able to change the future, but at least I’ve
gotten over believing that I can, the past.”

* * *


There was once a man who believed he was the super of a building, and he
lived on the roof, rather than in the basement. And as he kept an eye on
all the meters and gauges that reflected the state of the building, he
believed that without him it could not function and survive. But he was
wrong; it could, in fact it did, with his effort contributing nothing of
true necessity to the operations, him being (unbeknownst to himself) merely
a meter reader and record keeper and not someone whose activity was actually
required to keep the building running.

When one man looked at the want ads in his personal funny papers, he found
this notice: “We all have meaningless jobs to do, the only meaningful effort
possible is to realize this.”

No matter how much you may enjoy the tune, it’s pretty ridiculous to sing
“Dancing In The Dark” once you’re alone. I mean, this time, truly alone!


Thoughts live in the land of metaphor regardless of whether they want to or
not, and regardless of whether they believe they do or not.

Being a “stay-at-homer” is not as much the problem as not knowing you are,


There is no such event as a “one man drama,” at least two characters are
always required.


When you’re in bed asleep, dreaming, and become aware that you’re dreaming,
it’ll cause you to awake from your dreams; not so when you’re upright with
your eyes open.

Now the quiz: Is that last statement true or false? (And I didn’t say does
it seem true or false.)


There is no such thing as a “one man conflict,” it always takes two to


During a still moment between patients, a doctor gazed out his window and
mused, “Why is it that the overweight and under educated make up the
majority of the hypochondriacs?…”

Meters don’t make machines ill, ills of machinery do. And diagnoses don’t
help, but neither do they harm or help either.


A man who’d hung around the train station for some length of time,
apparently confused, finally approached a dispatcher and asked, “What time
does the train run?”
And the dispatcher replied, “What do you mean by ‘what time’?”
And the man said, “You know, ‘time,’ like it’s noon right now, so is there a
train running at twelve fifteen?” “Or maybe, twelve thirty? Or did one
just leave at eleven forty-five? That’s what I mean.”
And the dispatcher replied, “What time did you say it is now?”
And the man said, “Twelve noon.”
And the dispatcher said, “Then that’s the only time any train ever runs.”

…(A response that should have cleared up the man’s confusion, but who


A man with two I’s sees conflict, turmoil, and contradictions all about him.

– – –

The statement “What you see is what you get” is a mistaken version of the
original, which is, “What you see is what you see.”

And while we’re at it, an additional correction to some proverbial
knowledge: necessity is not the mother of invention, free time is.

– – –

Something You Should Know About Time

Even though time doesn’t exist, if it did, there’d be no exact time.

* * *


One man concluded, “I am what I feel, and I am what I think…but I’m
mostly what I feel.”
And his thoughts yelled, “Just a minute there, Bub!”
While what he felt silently nodded its agreement.


Beware of two burglars in your house; one alone can do you no harm, but two?
— watch out!


One man says, “A curious thing: when I try and find my “me” I suddenly feel
more like me. Curious, huh?”


One day some walnuts and the roots to the walnut tree had a discussion; the
roots couldn’t talk, and the nuts could only because the roots sapped ’em.

Does this seem fair to you? …What the hell does fairness have to do with

He who talks can always claim credit among the mute.


There is no such thing as a man alone, confused. Other humans are always


Perhaps the greatest mischief possible for a man (past a certain point) is
to become entangled in intellectual notions of progress, of “getting
somewhere” in his efforts.


While in the bowels of a building a man suddenly thought, “I’m trapped
between a boiler and a hard place.” But quickly realized his error; he
was only seeing himself in a mirror again, and again momentarily forgetting
that he knew better.


One man wore shoes made of lions, and a hat made of parrots, and inside his
shirt, right next to his heart, he carried a hand grenade, along with the
prepared cry, ready to spring from his lips directed toward himself, that
warned, “Don’t come too close!”


As he entered the crowded theater, he reminded his body, “If someone yells
‘Fire!’ get the hell out as fast as you can.”
And his body replied, “Hey, you’re wasting your breath, telling the wrong
person,” as it nodded toward his head.

Instincts prompt men to act, through thoughts they seem to decide to.

…(Quite a little game going here, huh?)

If you analyze the meters rather than merely read them, you never respond
fast enough.


Whenever one man would find himself considering a purchase he would follow
through with it only if he could spend on it all that he had with him.


A man cried out, “Help, help me, I’m trapped in a metaphor!”
And his local planet responded, “Hush up fool, you’re just alive!”
“I know,” said the man, “that’s what I mean.”


The alternative to seeing that Sheetrock doesn’t exist (and equally valid)
is to see that everything is Sheetrock.