Wednesday, September 16, 2009

599 We're All Nuts

599 We're All Nuts

Einstein is said to have said insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. There's no sure way of finding out whether he actually said that or whether, as some authorities describe it, it is merely generally attributed to him. No matter. It's a pretty good definition and might qualify as "Einstein's Other Theory," right up there with relativity.

To one extent or another, we all do this, and therefore we are all at some point insane.

It applies both to the simple and the complex. Let's say you get your paycheck every other Friday at 5 p.m. If you're like most people, you've already spent that money, so you rush to the bank, which is open Friday evenings until 7. You get there and the lobby is crowded. People are milling about, all of them waiting to deposit their paychecks, and it takes an eon to get to a teller who by this hour probably is tired, hungry and cranky.

You do this fortnight after fortnight, expecting that "this time" it won't be so crowded and the teller won't be tired or hungry or cranky. But it never changes. You are nuts.

Or, let's say you're a student reluctant to study. You get bad grades. Before the next exam, you again don't study, but "maybe this time I'll get an 'A.'" But of course, you flunk. You are nuts.

Think of the football teams that use the same losing strategy week in and week out, year in and year out and never win. They are nuts.

Suppose you're the President of the United States and you try to advance your legislative agenda by being a good listener and conciliatory and cool of demeanor. And your stuff gets mauled by congress but you keep the same approach? You are nuts.

Repetition is comfortable and familiar. Habits are habits. But when they don't work and you don't change whatever it is you're repeating whether bank visits, studying, football, or legislation, if you don't change your approach, you are nuts.

And who are we to argue with Einstein?

--The new Leno show lived up to its overhype. Jay is Jay and the new gig is nothing more than a time-transplanted version of the Tonight Show, which never should have been taken from him. Couldda done without Seinfeld and Kanye West, though.

--The funniest line of the night was "...this is not another one of those annoying promos, this is the actual show." You couldn't swing a dead cat this summer without "annoying" Leno promos in lengths between five seconds and five minutes. NBC spent $10 million on all that, and probably worth every penny.

--Critics mostly liked the show, although USA Today called it a "snooze." Almost 18 million viewers managed to stay awake, a 5.1 rating and a 13 share, though night two was a bit lower -- a normal phenomenon. If that ain't a success, what would be?

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2009

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