Thursday, May 05, 2005


As useless as blogging is, at the end of the day you have something to show for it. Namely, page after page of Ars Electronica, with writing and pictures to show that you are a Literate and Well-Connected Human Being. There are plenty of other ways to piss away spend your time, not all of them as productive.

I sometimes wonder if I would have survived college, had we then had today’s electronic distractions and time-sinks. Having a pinball machine in our Eating Club basement was bad enough – but with 21st Century computer games, the PS2 and X-Box, Nin-fucking-Tendo, et alia, my Chemical Engineering studies would have been a Lost Cause. And that doesn’t even include the baleful influence of Bloggitry, the black hole that sucks up all easily-accessible Units of Free Time.

Don’t misunderstand me. My nose was not pressed hard to the grindstone 24/7, despite my grueling choice of major. Sure, I practically lived in the Engineering Library my junior and senior years. Sure, there were the occasional all-nighters. And one memorable time, I even pulled two all-nighters in a row.

Don’t try that at home, kiddies. It will mess up your mind.

But this was the early 1970’s, and we had ways of amusing ourselves in our limited leisure time. And not all of those ways involved Strong Chemicals, either. Some of ’em just involved a little Creative Stupidity.

For example: One group of ne’er-do-wells actually started an official University-sanctioned extracurricular organization called the Royal Huntation Society of Princeton University. OK, you will say. I understand “Royal” and “Society,” but what in the sweet corn-studded hell is “Huntation”?

I will tell you: the organization’s sole activity consisted of watching old episodes of “Sea Hunt” and counting the number of times Lloyd Bridges would say “Huh.”

For example: “So you think those air tanks were poisoned, huh?”

If you’re not familiar with “Sea Hunt,” it was an action-adventure TV series that ran from 1958-1961 and starred Lloyd Bridges (father of Jeff and Beau) as Mike Nelson, a scuba diver who solved mysteries and tangled with bad guys…and fish. Unusual for its day, a lot of the series was shot underwater, and Bridges filled in the narrative with voice-overs. It’s not on cable or DVD to my knowledge – and that’s too bad.

Lloyd-O was the Master of Huh. We counted hundreds of examples and kept detailed records. We also logged fascinating bits of dialogue, such as, “It was my two arms against his eight…”

Oh, how I miss those halcyon days. If only they made “Sea Hunt” available on DVD – then I could watch it, count “Huh’s,” and blog about it – thus combining two useless endeavors.

What Useless Crap chewed up your time in college? Or is chewing up your time today?

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