Nobody Really Understands Me

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Vol 35 Issue 26

Once-Cute Cerebral Palsy Poster Child Now Awkward Cerebral Palsy Teen

BELLINGHAM, WA—Area 14-year-old Brianna Angelos, who was the Cerebral Palsy Foundation's official Cerebral Palsy poster child in 1992, has developed into a gangly, awkward Cerebral Palsy teen, sources revealed Tuesday. "Nobody's asked Brianna to be on any posters for a long while now," said Karen Angelos, mother of the ungainly adolescent. "In fact, I don't think she's done a public appearance in over five years." Brianna's classmates at Westlake High School describe the teen as "introverted and unpopular."

Sports Team Defeated In Manner Befitting Its Name

CLEVELAND—A sports team's name proved eerily fitting Tuesday when, according to USA Today, the Cleveland Indians were "scalped" 11-3 by the Detroit Tigers. "We had high hopes of 'taming' the Tigers," Indians manager Mike Hargrove said following the loss. "But instead, they wound up killing us and removing our hair as a grim trophy." In other major-league contests Tuesday, the Mets hooked the Marlins, the Yankees "tore holes in" the Red Sox, and the Padres felled the Giants with nothing but courage and a tiny leather sling.

AMC Bob Hope Retrospective Ready To Go

WOODBURY, NY—American Movie Classics executives announced Tuesday that the cable network's week-long, 40-film retrospective of the films of Bob Hope is "ready to go," with "Remembering Bob Hope" graphics and hours of interview footage edited and poised to be spliced into the broadcast. "We're all set to air this uplifting tribute to one of the century's great entertainers, and will do so the second it's time," AMC president Warren Milacki said. "We're pretty much just waiting for the 'go' sign, if you follow me."

Post-Modern Condition Upgraded To Pre-Apocalyptic

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA—The "postmodern" condition of alienated, disjointed late-20th-century humanity was officially upgraded to "pre-apocalyptic" Monday, when new findings from leading postmodernist theorist Richard Rorty were published in the new issue of Semiotexte. "I was flipping through the cable channels the other night, trying to get an abstract sense of the way emergent processes of change and transformation generated by contemporary high-tech society are challenging cultural assumptions regarding diverse aesthetic forms to create a novel state of history," Rorty said, "when, all of a sudden, I realized that everything I was looking at was the biggest load of unimaginably horrific crap ever." At this point in the socio-cultural discourse, Rorty said, the key question is no longer whether or not social fragmentation, cultural meta-juxtaposition and socioeconomic problematics require new modes of experience and interpretation, but rather, "When will the seven-headed dragon of the End Times descend upon us all in unholy fury?"

Clinton Gets Full Day's Relief With One Spray Of Flonase

WASHINGTON, DC—President Clinton breathed easier for a full day Monday after using Flonase® prescription nasal spray, White House sources confirmed. "Flonase® did not make me drowsy or keep me awake like some antihistamines and decongestants," the jubilant, decongested chief executive told reporters at a Rose Garden press conference. Clinton noted that Flonase® is non-addictive and can be used by children as young as four. "Side effects are generally mild and may include headache, nosebleed or sore throat; only your doctor or healthcare provider can determine if Flonase® is right for you," added Clinton before providing reporters with a toll-free number where additional information on the Glaxo Wellcome product can be obtained.

The Death Of John-John

Killed with his wife and sister-in-law in a plane crash July 16, JFK Jr. joins a long line of Kennedys to die under tragic circumstances. What do you think about the latest calamity to befall America's first family?

I Gots To Represent At Tha Muthafuckin' Company Picnic

Yo, I must be gettin' soft or somethin', 'cause last weekend, I be chillin' at tha Midstate Office Supply company picnic. Sheeit. Ain't too long ago, tha H-Dog wuz too hard for that socializin' shizit. All tha time, co-workers be askin' me, "Hey, Herbert, would you like to sign up for the Red Cross blood drive?" "Are you going to participate in Secret Santa this year?" And all tha time, I give 'em tha same answer: "Step tha FUCK off, you blood-donatin', Secret Santa-havin' muthafucka. Tha H-Dog ain't doin' that weak-ass shit, not now, not eva."
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Nobody Really Understands Me

Look, I really don't have all that much to complain about. I'm well respected. I'm considered quite elegant in my own way. And, in certain circles, I'm seen as quite a romantic and mysterious set of figures. But despite all this, sometimes I still can't help feeling like no one truly understands me.

As theorems go, I seem simple enough: The equation xn + yn = zn, where n represents a whole number greater than two, has no solution. That's me in a nutshell. But for some reason, I'm still a mystery to everyone. Men have devoted their entire lives trying to figure me out, and I guess that should make me feel better. But it doesn't.

Most of them just wanted to fool around with me a little and then move on. Like that jerk Yarosh. He went out of his way to prove me for n=2. But that's not what I'm all about. Do you have any idea how that made me feel? It was so incredibly degrading. Would you want to be proven for just n=2 and nothing else? Of course not.

Did Yarosh, Cauchy or Kummer—or even Euler, for that matter—care that I was French? Or that I was born in 1637 in Castres? Okay, Euler might have. At first, he seemed different from the others. He'd spend every waking moment thinking about me. Oh, how that made me feel! But understand me? No. In the end, he was just like the rest, interested only in what I could do for his career.

And don't even talk to me about Andrew Wiles. Sure, in 1994, he proved me. But that's not the same thing as understanding me, as truly knowing what makes me tick. Did he once, in the 30 years he was obsessed with me, ask me what kind of music I liked? Or my favorite color? No. And in the end, he used that easy Taniyama-Shimura conjecture to get to me. That hurt. It reduced a big part of me to a semi-stable case. And in all that time, the only time he ever spoke directly to me was late at night when he'd been working too hard, and I think he was embarrassed about it afterwards.

No, Andrew Wiles didn't truly understand me. Not the way I want to be understood. He just wanted to see what complex elliptical curvatures he could derive from me. To hell with Andrew Wiles. I haven't heard a word from him in five years, and I really don't care. He's probably off solving the three-body problem using odd natural numbers, if you know what I mean. He's into that sort of stuff.

And so what if someone "proved" me? If people really care about you, they don't need proof. They trust their feelings, and, in doing so, find out what you're really all about.

Late at night, when you're alone with a mathematician, that's when they hurt you the worst. They say they want to understand you so very badly, but they never stop to ask you how. So many times, I wanted to scream, "Just look at me! Put down all those computations and think about me for a change!"

That's how they all are, though. They use all kinds of fancy explanations, all kinds of advanced reasoning to figure you out, but they never actually get to know you. I mean, I realize I'm not the easiest theorem in the world to understand, but I hardly think I'm impossible. The Pythagorean theorem and I are very close, and he says many 10-year-olds understand him. I don't know, maybe it gets easier when you get to be his age.

I know I can't give up hope. But I also know I can't rely on imaginary numbers to make me complete, either. That's just not the kind of theorem I am. Deep down, I've got some really complex variables. There may be no solution for me for whole numbers greater than two, but I've learned to live with that. All I need is one, just one person who truly understands me, and I'll finally consider myself a complete, happy, balanced equation. Someday...

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