by J J Cohen
It's Friday. Your neurons are not firing with the precision they possessed earlier in the week. Your "To Do" list hovers at the same number of items that clogged Monday. That essay which is two weeks past deadline is moving towards three. Your fez needs cleaning.
We know how you feel. But we also want to say: snap out of it! Stop loving yourself so much! Why is it always about you, you, you?
For this Festive Friday, we invite you to spout a gnome. No, not "a legendary creature resembling a tiny old man." Keep that kind of gnome to yourself. By gnome we mean "a short pithy saying expressing a general truth": we're talking wise, not wizened. A kind of Old English-y gnome. Given that aphorisms tend to be highly conventional, we propose the following rule for its articulation: your gnostic utterance must follow the formula "Medieval Studies needs less X and more Y." Example: "Medieval Studies needs less Charlotte Allen and more Tiny Shriner."* You may then follow up with another maxim that is sillier. Mine: "A Tiny Shriner belongs on a bar stool, old and proud of his martini." Got it? And bonus points if you can identify the actual medieval proverb that I warped to create that last one.
Oh, and you are not allowed to think too much before you spout your gnomes. They must spout quickly or they must not spout at all.
*a scholar of proverbial utterances would know that this formulation equates to "Medieval Studies needs less delight in policing its enjoyments, and more creativity in its enjoyment."