"Sleeplessness . . . befogs the reason, undermines the will, and the human being ceases to be himself, to be his own 'I.' "
September 18, 2006 2:00 AM   Subscribe

Most everybody's asleep in Grover's Corners. There are a few lights on: Shorty Hawkins, down at the depot, has just watched the Albany train go by. And at the livery stable somebody's setting up late and talking. -- Yes, it's clearing up. There are the stars - doing their old, old crisscross journeys in the sky. Scholars haven't settled the matter yet, but they seem to think there are no living beings up there. Just chalk... or fire. Only this one is straining away, straining away all the time to make something of itself. The strain's so bad that every sixteen hours everybody lies down and gets a rest. Hm... Eleven o'clock in Grover's Corners. -- You get a good rest, too. Good night.
posted by orthogonality (20 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Deathalicious at 2:57 AM on September 18, 2006

And people wonder why I drink myself to sleep. Builds up my tolerance to waterboarding and anthrax in one easy step, too.
posted by loquacious at 3:01 AM on September 18, 2006

Hell of a nice presentation on this post. Thanks!
posted by smeger at 3:03 AM on September 18, 2006

I've attempted to craft three other different (and seemingly) coherent responses to this informative info., but I'm too wicked-tired to follow a train of thought for more than four seconds. Food coloring tastes like nothing. Somewhere, someone is tasting a non-drug-indused rainbow (of lack of sleep.)
posted by bonobo at 3:46 AM on September 18, 2006

It was a quiet morning, the town covered over with darkness and at ease in bed. Summer gathered in the weather, the wind had the proper touch, the breathing of the world was long and warm and slow. You had only to rise, lean from your window, and know that this indeed was the first real time of freedom and living, this was the first morning of summer.
posted by Smart Dalek at 5:11 AM on September 18, 2006

The Our Town reference totally blew by me at first -- I was thinking of Grover's Mill, New Jersey and wondering why orthagonality didn't wait to post this on Hallowe'en.
posted by pax digita at 5:14 AM on September 18, 2006

Very nice presentation, and effective succession of links. A+ posting.
posted by languagehat at 5:34 AM on September 18, 2006

Sleep deprivation was a lot of why I dropped out of university -- working three jobs, I had to use something like a Day-Timer to figure out when I had time for naps, and my health (mainly physical and spiritual but somewhat mental too) really took a beating. Weirdly, the less I slept, the faster I was burning calories even when I didn't have time to exercise -- but I would not recommend sleeplessness as a method for weight loss! I've learned the hard way that without at least about four or five good hours out of every 24, life is no fun.
posted by pax digita at 5:45 AM on September 18, 2006

posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:56 AM on September 18, 2006

Clever, but too arty for my tastes. Plus it made me sleepy.

On the flip side, it was a million times better than the deleted 4chan FPP. Or possibly a billion. But in the MeFi "Powers of 10", you'd be at least the solar system.
posted by GuyZero at 7:02 AM on September 18, 2006

If you want to read about a political prisoner -- an American, in fact -- who was arrested in the USSR in the Stalin era and tortured via sleep deprivation (and beatings) in Lefortovo, here's a book you might want to read.
posted by pax digita at 7:18 AM on September 18, 2006

I was thinking Grover's Mill New Jersey too, and am sorely disappointed this thread has nothing to do with UFOs. Or Buckaroo Banzai.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:22 AM on September 18, 2006

Great post!
I am intrigued by the "hat phenomenon":
Night 4 ... Confusion, irritability, misperception and the 'hat phenomenon' occur. In this, a tightening around the head is felt as though a hat too small for the head is being worn [and an irrational desire to see people flameout on MetaTalk ensues].
posted by patricio at 7:51 AM on September 18, 2006

Irrational? Irrational?? I'll show you irrational!

*cuts off hand, foams*
posted by languagehat at 8:03 AM on September 18, 2006

The Soviets understood that these methods were cruel. They were also honest with themselves about the purpose of such cruelty -- to brutalize their enemies and to extract false confessions, rather than truthful intelligence. By denying this, President Bush is not just misleading us. He appears to be deceiving himself.^

I don't give Bush Co. that much credit. I think they truly are evil doers of the highest order who believe that the detainees actually deserve to be tortured. Bush is the decider and now that he has decided that the detainees are guilty nothing is too good for them.

I think the Daily Show illuminated the hypocrisy quite well: Jon, there’s no question what took place in that prison was horrible, but the Arab world has to realize that the U.S. shouldn’t be judged on the actions of a. . .well, that we shouldn’t be judged on actions. It’s our principles that matter; our inspiring, abstract notions. Remember, Jon, just because torturing prisoners is something we did doesn’t mean it’s something we would do.^
posted by caddis at 8:30 AM on September 18, 2006

I played George in our H.S. production of Our Town. That quote always made me sleepy; still does.

Nice post.
posted by craven_morhead at 8:41 AM on September 18, 2006

I am somewhat prone to bouts of insomnia. Last year I was having rough time of it, and one of the reactions was a severe bout of sleeplessness. At the worst I spent about five days on less than a couple hours of sleep. The kicker for me to finally get some help was me sitting at my computer and then suddenly finding myself walking down the stairs of my apartment, across the parking lot, getting in my car........... and then realizing I hadn't actually left my computer.

Sleep is good.
posted by elendil71 at 8:59 AM on September 18, 2006

Nifty, thanks.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:49 AM on September 18, 2006

Absolutely great links; bunches of stuff in the medical ones I had no previous inkling of.
posted by jamjam at 11:00 AM on September 18, 2006

Waterboarding - It's not just for the Spanish Inquisition!
posted by Justinian at 12:11 PM on September 18, 2006

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