When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime.
Thomas Paine

Nihilism is best done by professionals.
Iggy Pop

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.
Hunter S. Thompson

Entropy Gradient Reversals

On Professionalism

We wake some days unsure of who we are. Did something happen yesterday, last week, last year we wonder, that connects today to some larger context we've somehow since forgotten? Honestly, we can't recall. The light, the distance, the random phrase, the deja vu that hints we've lived before -- not in another life, but in some half-remembered quarter of this one. Tip of the tongue stuff. Just around the corner, out of reach...

Ah, hell, put on a little ZZ Top, then. Kick it, boys.

Yeah, that's better. Now it's all coming back! Groove you could drive a fuckin truck through.

But meanwhile, back at the ranch, this fundamental ambiguity is one of those things you're not supposed to admit to. Ever. Perhaps it's the largest proscription that comes with our credentials as card-carrying adults. Children are not expected to know these ropes. Later, we'll teach them all the facts of life, but not just yet. They're so innocent and this is such a dirty business. Let's wait a while before we admit them to the inner sanctum: the rite-of-passage lobotomy, the secret handshake of the living dead, the catechetical conspiracy of certain knowledge.

But when the time comes, here's how it works.

First, you set up a bunch of schools and populate them with educators who've already had their shots and the necessary operations. Many people do not realize that the recommended minimum daily requirement of Thorazine begins at 500 milligrams. The medical preparation is not all that involved, really. After the genitals and frontal area of the brain have been removed, all that is left is to implant The Credential.

The Credential is critical, for it -- and it alone --