Mystery Science Theater 3000: A man trapped on a satellite with only his robot pals for company. Joel and his friends have to watch some of the cheesiest movies ever made for the amusement of a couple of very mad scientists. A grim scenario, to be sure.

Mighty Jack: Bits and pieces of several episodes of a Japanese television show, pieced together and dubbed, more or less, into English. The result is a weird and bewildering spy/sci-fi/action/thriller. I can't emphasize the word bewildering enough. After the first time I watched this strange spectacle, I spent some amused time trying to decide if it was actually worse than Manos, the Hands of Fate and Monster a-Go Go (verdict: Mighty Jack is better by a hair, but I am so Japan-philic that it could be that I am not doing it justice).

So, at the end of this mind-twisting mess, our host, Joel Robinson (played by the supremely clever Joel Hodgson) sings a 'plot shanty' entitled Slow the Plot Down, Laddies (set to the tune of the classic Blow the Man Down, of course).

"Oh! We'll make you a movie that's long and immense.
Way, hey! Slow the plot down!
Just give us a script that makes no friggin' sense!
We'll try so hard to slow the plot down!"

After several stanzas, and all of the gang trying vainly to remember a single good thing (or, more accurately, the crew tries vainly to come up with any coherent memory of the film at all) about the perplexing picture, the following exchange takes place:

Crow T Robot: Oh, my brain hurts!

Tom Servo: Joel, I'm so confused!

Joel: It's really not that bad, you guys. I, for one, actually feel like I just got done listening to two hours of Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music ... my brain feels clean as a whistle!

Crow: And that's pretty good!

There's no question in my mind—sometimes everyone needs a quick spot of drain cleaner for the mind, a mental floss, so to speak, to clear out the detritus and debris. Of course, Mighty Jack (or Metal Machine Music) might be a bit "industrial strength" for everyday use.

In one of his science essays, the exasperatingly prolific Dr. Isaac Asimov wrote about the "aha" or "eureka" phenomenon: if you leave a problem alone, especially a problem that you are banging your head against, and do something non-challenging to allow your brain to 'air out.' When you return to your problem, you may find that it is extremely easy to solve.

Sometimes, your brain feels too cluttered. If memory serves, Dr. Asimov would watch a Western movie to clear out the cerebral cobwebs. Some people might prefer a James Bond flick, a soap opera, or a book of cartoons (Foxtrot, Get Fuzzy and the Far Side work very well for this). Anything that allows us to turn down the mental noise for a little while can be used to clean out the brain (listening to cool music with the 'visualizer' going on iTunes works nicely too). The point of the exercise is to zero out the registers in your mind.*

Whether you need to solve a problem, get a flash of creative inspiration or if you just need to turn down the noise in your mind for a little while, it is the simplest vacation you can take: listen to some cool jazz (Nine Inch Nails, Iggy Pop or cheesy disco music ... whatever works for you), watch a silly comedy movie or go shoot some hoops. If you need the industrial strength stuff, go for a walk in the country, watch Monster A-Go-Go or Hobgoblins without the benefit of Mystery Science's wonderfully sarcastic commentary (go ahead! I dare you!) or watch some foreign television ... Go ahead! Do it ...

Your brain will feel as clean as a whistle.

*Okay, your humble author has not actually written a computer program in many, many years, and thus apologizes if this is an anachronistic phrase!

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