Wednesday, July 30, 2014

"Mother, I am become Death, destroyer of worlds."

Did you know …

That Robert Oppenheimer, head of the Manhattan Project, didn’t consider himself a “true man” until the day he killed a squirrel in his backyard with a shovel? It’s true!

Of course, R.O. used a shovel to kill the squirrel; he didn’t kill a squirrel who had a shovel. According to his memoirs, he and the squirrel somehow cornered each other, each of them both feeling as though the easier option of “fight or flight” had been removed by circumstance (a fence and a pond, I believe). At any rate, if anyone can truly win in a shovelfight with a squirrel, Oppenheimer was the victor in this battle, and the experience was (apparently) formative.

As far as I know most ceremonies of manhood around the world don’t end with a tearful phone call to one’s mother, but who are we to judge.