The lecturer is pompous, overbearing, and quite serious about their
I believe I've discovered why civilization, as we know it, as we hoped it would continue to be, is once again on the downhill trudge. I know you're anxious to know. But you must be patient. We all must be.
Here, hold this bottle. Take it. It's just a bottle of catsup. Just a simple condiment. Take the bottle and twist off the cap. Turn it upside down. Shake it. Shake it again. Spank it. Spank it more than twice. Spank it hard. Hold it high over your head. Jerk it. Threaten and curse the bottle. It'll do you no good and you already know why. You already know that you're participating in one of the most archetypical, ancient and fruitless struggles known to man.
So, hold the open end of the bottle up to your eye. Take a long look. There's plenty in there. You can see that. That's not the problem. You know the problem. Stick a forefinger far down the neck of the bottle. Pull. Wriggle. Twist. Coax. But, nothing will come out. Including your finger.
You're feeling a little tense. A little sheepish. Pent up. Maybe penned in. That's all right. You're just feeling what's always been felt. What your forebearers always found. It's a scene that's been seen many times before. Oddly enough, your stomach rumbles.
You ask--what's this all got to do with civilization? And I'll say patience. All you've got to do is answer this simple question. What do the Picts, the Romans, the Ming Dynasty, and the Anasazi Indians of the great American Southwest all have in common? You'll ponder a moment and you'll say, they're extinct, and you'll be right.
But, come on, what else? What else did these lost, noble, and proud civilizations have in common? You'll say, pottery, yeah, that's right--pottery. They all made pottery, and lovely pottery it was. And here's the kicker--what were the similarities in these museum-quality pieces? They all had narrow necks and useless spouts. As a matter of historical record, by the time each of one of these decrepit cultures collapsed and were chased under their aquaducts or out across the steppes, the spouts of their jars were so ornate and so damn narrow you couldn't squeeze a single drop out of them.
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