Well, first of all, shag Picasso (because he was filthy), marry Einstein (because he would ask an interesting question every day) and push Shakespeare off a cliff (because, ironically, I’d get bored of all his flouncy language). No doubt.
Second of all, they’re all dead, and zombie fights tend to go on indefinitely without resolution. And in this case, where it’s clearly the brains that would be the value worth noting, zombism would kind of make the whole fight moot.
It’d look pretty cool though.
So assuming we have all of them at peak physical health, we’ve got a contest.
I imagine Picasso, being the most physical worker of the three, would have the edge on upper body strength at the very least. Einstein’s totally going to be the smartest though, but that might be cancelled out by his lack of practical matters. Dude was a bit of a silly billy, really. Shakespeare looks like a bit of a lightweight, but then he lived in Elizabethan London, which was probably a pretty tough neighbourhood.
Then there’s weapons training. Picasso created pretty much the definitive anti-war statement, so he’s probably a bit weaker on that front. I reckon Shakespeare knew his way around a sword pretty well, and his plays are full of devious tricks and nasty deaths, so he’d be good.
But then Einstein had a hand in inventing possibly the most destructive weapon ever made. Though it wouldn’t help him much in a one on one fight.
So maybe we better focus on those immense, genius brains of theirs. Or at least their fields of specialism.
You’ve got language versus art versus science.
Now, I always come down pretty hard on language, despite (or possibly because of) it being my weapon of choice. Basically it seems a blunt instrument to me. Whearas imagery or music can create a kind of abstract emotional expression, bypassing the brain and seeming to hit you right in your heart, language is forced to be processed by some of our most central cognitive processing. It’s a fantasy that visual art and music don’t engage the brain, but they do so in a way that we can’t understand nearly as well. It uses an abstract level, rather than the linguistic one, which is what we use for so many mundane tasks. It’s meaning translated into something functional, and then transmitted and then translated back into something meaningful.
There’s an abyss in between.
So I’m chucking Shakey off the cliff again.
So we’re left with science and art. Two seemingly opposed instincts/processes. Except I don’t think they are. The two feed into each other. Science inspires art constantly. Presents new ways of seeing things, that is one thing that art constantly strives for. So one is based on experience, perception, and the other is based on objectivity and interpretation.
But they aren’t so different at their core.
I don’t think one could live without the other.
So we have an impasse.
Sorry for the cop out.
Illustration by Anna-Kaisa.