Well, let me try to answer this question. This morning, when I woke up, I had a permanent age of six years old as I giggled over a few juvenile things. This escalated to a permanent age of 42, because I had to do actual work, and then dipped down to about 22 or so when I headed into work and finished a nonfiction book that was written at an undergraduate’s level, but that I nevertheless enjoyed. I suppose when I recognized the book as idealistic nonsense, my permanent age shifted up to 32, only to dip down to a permanent age of 30, and rise to the age of 41 during a morning moment in which I had to be adult. During the early afternoon, my permanent age was in the shitter again, and I became 21 for about twenty minutes. Then I had to conduct an interview, and my permanent age shifted to 36. Not bad, given that this is older than my real age. Now my permanent age is somewhere around 74. Because I’m feeling quite exhausted and I complained to someone about “kids, these days” and may have even said, “Back in my day!” When I get dinner, my permanent age will return to somewhere around 35. But I’m hoping to downshift again by watching a few episodes of Battlestar Galactica tonight, because I’m behind, which will cause my permanent age to drop to 16.
Since I failed to measure the precise times and durations of these permanent ages, I’m afraid I cannot offer a sufficient answer. But that’s okay. Personally, I don’t care to be permanent anything. Because being permanent means being inert and capitulating curiosity. But I suppose permanent anything works well if you’re a cartoonist offering mundane observations about office life under the guise of “humor” while failing to find laughs in its true horrors. When the cartoonist in question is quite happy to be a fatcat by his own admission, then I’m wondering if the question is not so much an interesting philosophical debate to be shared across the blogosphere, but a veiled call to conform.