Wednesday, February 3, 2010


dear representative of The Univeral Forces That Be,

please pass this on to your supervisor: screw you. cancer sucks. cancer treatment sucks. you could cure this--and other sources of human and animal misery--if you just took a little time out of your day, or epoch, or whatever. if you are too busy, just leave a note on the night table of some hardworking researcher, explaining the tricky part. and an apology would be nice too.

meanwhile, now that i've done chemo to reduce my odds of having a recurrance from one out of five to one out of seven, i would like to request that i not have a recurrance. i will try to be a better person and all of that. but only if you can do it without throwing someone else under the bus. unless she is truly horrible, like maybe she has been stealing babies and selling them on e-bay or something. then, to hell with her.


katherine (and don't act like you don't know my last name)


  1. Welcome to the thorny world of theodicy.

    The broadest options are three:

    1. Universal Forces That Be exist, but are unwilling to ameliorate suffering, proving themselves to be morally inferior to humans, who would ameliorate suffering, if they could.

    2. Universal Forces That Be don't exist. Suffering is no less part of the universe than anything else. People appear foolish when they get angry at entities that never existed in the first place.

    3. Universal Forces That Be exist, are at least as compassionate as humans, and have far greater power but do not exercise it in situations where we would, posing a conundrum whose answer has as of yet still eluded human reasoning.

    Of the three, I think the first is actually the least likely to represent reality. The second may actually be the case, but for me, raises more questions than it answers.

    I myself have no satisfactory answer for this dilemma, even though I hold to the third option. As a Christian, I believe Jesus entered into our human suffering to a degree we can never fathom, but that still doesn't answer the why of our suffering.

    I'm so glad you're free of the chemo and can begin to rejoin the world of the living. I look forward to a Katherine with a renewed appetite and a full head of hair when I fly into D.C. in July….

  2. Painfully funny existentialism, Katherine! Fascinating and incisive summary, Jack! Thank you both for fielding the big Q's.

    My take: if one can't help but believe (2) to be true, then (1) is the best comedic pose for an absurd world. It sure helps deal with the lack of comfort inherent in (3).

    Thank you, god, for creating Katherine. (Now quit screwing around and get her back to her life's work. Please.)

    The Hubby, Fearmore