Bad Day at the Think Tank
The Onion spoofs life at a think tank with Boy, I Really Thought Like Shit Today."
Michael Reynolds forwards an Onion essay titled, “Boy, I Really Thought Like Shit Today,” spoofing life at a think tank.
When you lead America’s No. 1 political think tank, you’ve got to always be thinking, and thinking hard. Each day, I go to the office, catch up on my correspondence, and then to set to work: fresh insights and ideas, bold new paradigms, groundbreaking ways of looking at things. That’s my job. And most days I think up two or three solid public-policy initiatives before I’ve even finished my morning coffee.
Not today. No, today I didn’t think for shit.
What do I have to show for eight hours of work? A notebook filled with doodles and some tic-tac-toe games I played against myself. You call that thinking, Strobe? You get paid to think of innovative, practical recommendations that strengthen democracy and foster social welfare, and you’re sitting here playing your fifth consecutive hand of solitaire?
For God’s sake, this is the Brookings Institution! The place that helped create the U.N. and the Marshall Plan. You’re expected to think at the highest level. You’re supposed to walk into a meeting and say, “Hey, you know what I just thought of that would increase the accountability of the federal government? A nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.” That’s what people do at a think tank. Come on, Talbott, get your shit together!
It’s not like I came in planning to goof off all day. In fact, I had a pretty full schedule: 9 to 10:30, think about poverty; 10:30 to 12:30, think about chemical weapons; 12:30, lunch at desk, brainstorming exercises; 1:30 to 4, think about alternative energy; 4 to 6, think outside the box. But what did I do? Sat around with my thumb up my ass.
It continues another several paragraphs, but you get the gist. I’m always reminded of the 1996 Kurt Russell-Steven Seagal flick Executive Decision, with its unintentionally hilarious line, “This is a think tank! They pay us to think.”