By Eric Brinling
A giant cube of meat, which has been skewered atop the Cathedral of Learning since August of 2020, finally begins teaching its own class in the philosophy department entitled “The Philosophical Repercussions of Being a Giant Cube of Meat Skewered atop a Landmark”, starting this summer.
But who is this cube of meat? Where did it come from? Where is it going? From the shank of which giant animal was it butchered? I, star reporter Eric J. Brinling, have the inside scoop on all this and more.
The giant cube of meat is a lot friendlier than it might appear from several blocks away. It is very approachable, and is more than willing to answer any questions anyone might have, even if the asker fears they might be insensitive, like “How did you get here if you didn’t have any legs?” or “What sort of animal was big enough for you to be just a cube of its meat?” or “How the hell are you sentient?” or what have you.
To these the giant cube of meat just laughs. “I hear those kinds of questions all the time,” he says, despite his lack of ears or mouth, making hearing and saying a mystery. “In truth I don’t mind answering them a million times over. I’m an educator, it’s what I do, I guess.”
Its journey to Pitt was a long and arduous road for a plucky meat cube like itself. It started on the plains of South Dakota, where it grew up in a small, and often cruel town.
“They didn’t like me much back home,” says the meat cube, as I see a tear almost forming in its nonexistent eyes as it recalls painful memories of a childhood long past. “I was different, I guess, and that’s about the worst thing you can be in Florence, South Dakota.”
Despite the trials and tribulations, the meat cube made it to college, getting its Bachelor of Kebabery from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Punxsutawney Branch.
“Philosophy was just a hobby back then,” says the cube. “They don’t even offer philosophy classes in Punxsutawney. But in my free time, I wrote a thesis on philosophy and its applications in my own daily life that won me acclaim across the field, and I got a full-ride scholarship for a master’s program in philosophy from Cornell.”
From there, it seemed the meat cube could go anywhere, do anything, but it chose Pitt. Why?
“Pitt just felt like home as soon as I skewered myself atop the Cathedral of Learning. No other university has a building like this, where I can utilize both my master’s degree in philosophy as a PhD candidate as well as my Bachelor of Kebabery.”
As fate would have it, the cube’s class in philosophy, starting with a guinea pig run this summer, does not stray far from the thesis that started its philosophical career.
The cube laughed at the concept. “Yes, I suppose that’s true. My life is in a very different place right now than it was when I wrote my thesis as an undergrad, but I still look at philosophy through a similar lens: how can you apply philosophical thinking to your own experiences? And for me right now, that means teaching a class entitled ‘The Philosophical Repercussions of Being a Giant Cube of Meat Skewered atop a Landmark.’ I just hope that I inspire my students to ask similar big questions about their own lives.”
The giant meat cube’s class, PHIL 0420 ‘The Philosophical Repercussions of Being a Giant Cube of Meat Skewered atop a Landmark’ is being offered this summer with limited seating.