Friday, October 23, 2009

Fun with pie charts: explosions and the male mind

Ad wizards often use the word "explosion," often when they shouldn't.

Velveeta might call itself an inspired-by-cheese flavor explosion. Bose might smack us with a sound explosion. Shamwow might dry everything off with a moisture-obliterating explosion.

This, I gather, is supposed to appeal to guys, whose interests in life are, in my view, entirely and exclusively explosive. If it can't be described in terms of an abrupt movement from one stable state to another of an entirely different and probably more energetic state, I'm not interested.

The chart below, created using whatever estimates exploded into my head at the time, offers a picture of the types of explosions that engage us.

The male mind: percentage of conscious life spent engaging in different kinds of explosive activities
The bicycle offers several kinds of explosive experiences. Ride your bike for ten minutes and, if you are at all like me, you'll wish death upon at least a dozen people. One of two kinds of explosions occurs: (1) an explosion of hatred or (2) an explosion of serenity.

Riding to work, I often wish death upon at least a dozen people. I wish I had a gun mount sometimes. Sometimes I strike cars or shout. I'm not usually like this; I don't even listen to iwrestledabearonce (thanks to Rugg and Corey, btw, for first violating my ears with that).

But serenity explosions? Are they even possible? Isn't the very phrase an oxymoronic explosion?

Explosions don't care about consistency or linear chains of subtly reasoned arguments. They just blow, and things happen, and you are powerless to do anything but reel back.

A serenity explosion is possible. You might feel it, for example, in the Fall, when you're cruising through the park and it's a little chilly but not too cold, and you're not training for anything, just tooling around, and all the recently avoided explosions of the day, and anticipatatory explosions of upcoming explosions have been exploding in your mind--all of these--recede. And the sun is setting in the West, and the feeling of calm comes over you.


qualia said...

My quads and lungs have been exploding a lot this week. But also serenity, and not in the Jerry Stiller SERENITY NOW! kind of way either.

Corey D said...

Please do not lump me in with any association to iwrestledabearonce. I take my musical taste seriously, and am not a fan.

Tim Rugg said...

I apparently don't take my music seriously. SMB.

Sam said...