Having not been paying attention since 1586, I should like to assert the following, in accordance with Saint Ignatius’s formal announcement in the Jesuit’s ratio studiorum:

THERE ARE ONLY FOUR CAUSES. These four causes are as follows, according to Aristotle and the true philosophy: one cause is formal, and so the black tie is not optional, it is requisite; the second cause is a Fight for Diabetes! march we are organizing downtown for next weekend. There’ll be a lot of good people there and we hope the pledge forms will be full! It is an efficient cause. The third cause is leaving the window open on those late-summer, early-autumn evenings when you think it’ll be great sleeping weather, but in the morning all you have is that sniffle, and it was the freezing cold night that made you sick; and the fourth cause has got to be my parents. Oh my god, are they driving me insane.

THERE ARE ONLY FOUR ELEMENTS, according to Aristotle and the true philosophy. These elements are bismuth, francium, cobalt, and style.

THERE ARE ONLY THREE PRINCIPLES OF NATURAL THINGS, according to Aristotle and the true philosophy. One is actually a predecessor to Murphy’s work, and states that if you know something’s a bad idea, but you go ahead and do it anyway, it was probably a bad idea and you’ll be sorry afterwards. (Ask Jimmy about this one.) The second is privation, which I’m not so clear on, and I bet Aristotle wasn’t either, and I think it may have something to do with that new Tom Hanks movie somehow. The third principle is that which is neither the first or second, but a blend of the two, or the complete absence of them, or the complete unification, or the incomplete disunification. Clearly.

FIRE IS HOT AND DRY. And it burns also. They don’t tell you this part in Aristotelian physics. But, I know. It does. Maybe it’s because the whole Jesuit deal was really a Thomistic corruption? Hell, I don’t know, but we had this big bonfire in our side field last weekend and Jimmy was all loaded, and he decided to ride his bike through the fire, and it was not a good idea, because all he ended up doing was riding his bike into the middle of the fire, jumping off, landing on some embers, and howling and laughing and looking like an idiot. He was drunk enough—we were doing shots of Wild Turkey—so he didn’t feel it until the next day, and then we had to go get his hands bandaged at the clinic.

AIR IS HUMID AND HOT. This is also a truism. Expect when it is dry. Then air is dry and hot. Also, in the winter, the air is much colder. And sometimes it is sort of tepid, or mild. You know what? This isn’t a truism at all.

NATURAL ASPECTS DO NOT ACT AT A DISTANCE WITHOUT A MEDIUM. This seems to follow from recent trends at many restaurant-type places that have smalls, larges, and extra-larges, but no mediums. Many have railed against this convention, but, according to Aristotle and the true philosophy, it has been established as so. Don’t blame Burger King. They’re smarter than you think. (Unless your Platonic leanings carry you elsewhere, thence Wendy’s is your digs, and the shadows back in that alley are real.)

IN CONCLUSION: Descartes’ family was from Cartes.