Prolegomena. As a preparatory note to my brief discourse on attempts to display a witticism, the following comments I believe to be worth the making; if you find them unnecessarily vindictive or bitingly offensive, then you should consider yourself the product of an oversensitivity complex, undoubtedly encouraged by the mind-numbing magic of global, moral inclusivism. Instead of actually dealing with our own issues, (and for those of you with a Christian conscience I am in no way demeaning the grace of Christ; case in point: the book of Matthew) we revert to an insipid co-existence with our grievous, how should I say this…sins. Somehow, we each craft our own Wonderland, and while we imagine and, indeed, believe we are living a comfortable existence of happy amusement, we are in reality dwelling in filth. I can’t be convinced that it’s O.K. that I sin or even that I’m a sinner. Paul would have been appalled at that idea. It’s foolishness to suppose that that concept is anything better than spit on the cross. It’s because I know I’m a sinner that points me to the knowledge that I need saving. And it is precisely because of the saving that I find the very cause for which Christ perished all the more vile, wicked, and deserving of my utmost, extreme hatred. So if you read this and discover you can’t handle critique, whether moral or intellectual, from an anonymous, nameless, faceless, observer, who knows all of you least of all, then I’m sure a community circle gathering will be shortly convening at Starbucks, where a grande mocha frappacino will soothe your overly-perturbed nerves. If competition draws out essence, then, frankly, I’m mostly disappointed by the posts summarized in the following categories. Vulgarity. Not only is it a dismal reminder of blight of thoughtlessness, but it’s cheap, bawdy, shallow humor. After reading some of the posts, I felt like I’d just paid a dime to watch a pimp do 30 seconds of stand-up comedy. Or worse, like I’d been exposed to a Mel Brooks film festival. You might get a sudden rush of laughter from your audience, but they’re not improved by it. Some of them probably even feel a bit grimier after the experience. Imitations. I’d rather grind my teeth on a sidewalk than plagiarize. A copied adage shouldn’t strike you as a form of wit, it should embarrass you as a being capable of dreams. A bird will chirp the Star-Spangled Banner if he hears it enough, but he’ll never conceive of creating something like the Sistine Chapel, or design a helicopter, or write like Whitman. That’s why parrots are cheap, and the Mona Lisa priceless. Half-heartedness. Again, a function of the collegiate carelessness. I’ve never met so many brilliant people in one place than in college, and I’ve never met so many lazy people in one place than in college. Surely, effort is not always measured by the quantity of the output (in this particular venue: words), but the quality is necessarily proportionate to the degree of effort. Wit can certainly be a sudden showing, but it is a sudden showing of a mind well-trained. True, it is a simple contest and one you might not seriously consider or care about. But then why participate and degrade the competition and the giver of the competition with lousy posts? Something of yourself is communicated in every word, thought, and expression. Thus, we can rightly call our language alive or “living.” Truly, we “live” in our words. Thus, they are, every one of them, judged eternally. It seems appropriate, then, to count them precious and value them as instruments, as organic conduits to accomplish an end. But, in fact, they’re not just means; they’re an end in themselves. Words produce effects and they are effects. They result in and they are the result of, for from the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. I know I haven’t given a real witticism yet (unless something above merits “wit”), and that I’ve only engaged in categorical criticisms (yet another form of “easy” conversation). But I’m not really trying to win the competition; I’m trying to improve the nature of the participants and participation. Still, it is on this final note I close: If you so wish to win but won’t will to change the work of your words with which you writ’ your wit with, I pithy you.