Friday, January 23, 2009


This week, I was delighted to re-discover the words Anagnorisis and Perepeteia, courtesy of a video essay on Fora TV by Mike Rowe, who is one of my favorite media types, like, ever. This video has been making the rounds on the Internet, and if you have 20 minutes to spend and haven't see it yet, it's well worth your time...and not just for the laughs or the vocabulary refresher. Mike (I feel like I can call him Mike, cuz he's just that kinda guy), articulates for us the problem with today's American society: we have vilified hard work as being below any of us with more than three brains cells to rub together. And he's totally right.

But that's not why the words Anagnorisis and Peripeteia are much on my mind today.

Webster's Dictionary defines Anagnorisis as: "the point in the plot, especially of a tragedy, at which the protagonist recognizes his or her or some other character's true identity or discovers the true nature of his or her own situation " (emphasis mine)

I experienced a clear moment of anagnorisis at 9:47 this morning, when I realized that the tasks making up today's administrivia had formed a perfect daisy chain. I started to map out the steps that had to be completed before I could fulfill my main task for the day, and after 45 minutes of digging, noodling, sending emails and hunting down files, I realized that the first and last tasks in the chain were, in fact, the same.

My true role in the universe is, apparently. Sisyphean in nature. If I can solve this riddle, I will make myself redundant and will be out of a job.

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