Sunday, April 10, 2016
Musical Explanation 4/10: Everything
If you want to say something serious, be funny. If you want to say something funny, be serious. If you want to understand wrestling, relate it to philosophy. If you want to understand philosophy, relate it to wrestling. If you want to do some good in the world, go out and screw. If you want to go out and screw, do some good in the world. I have no way of knowing this for sure, but the more of life I experience, the more I think that it's the separation of polar opposites that gets us in trouble. What is totalitarianism? What is enslavement? What is dictatorship? What is segregation? What is corporate plunder? What are individual crimes like murder, rape, assault, robbery? What is the mass murder of animal species and the mass pillage of global resources? From a certain point of view, it is all the pursuit of desires so obsessively that the desires of other beings don't matter.
To live life as a decent person who not only is happy but increases happiness in others, isn't the most important thing to accept that anything in life that happens as we plan it is perhaps the only true harbinger of disaster? Dear life, so often regrettable life, this messy, chaotic, random thing whose circumstances are only within the control of dictators, is only worth living as an inclusive thing, when all things in the heavens and the earth are possible, and one day passes to the next with circumstances unknown. To plan, to have ambition, is an invitation to chaos. The only option left to us is to let the chaos in, be inspired by it, rejoice in it evermore.
Everything that was supposed to solve life's problems has never done so. Self-reliance fails us, community fails us, sex fails us, civic engagement fails us, virtue fails us, sin fails us, love fails us, religion fails us, reason fails us, science fails us, learning fails us, industry fails us, the market fails us, cultural studies and social theory fail us, frivolity itself fails us. The last four or five are particular maladies of our time, perhaps in ascending order, but every one of these has been ascribed to us by leaders in every modern time and place as a palliative that will cure our ails. Yet none of them have, the chaos of existence reigns unchecked, all the more powerful for our attempts to control it.
The only chance we have is to smush them all together and try to wallow in that pigpen where interconnectedness and tension of it all smears us and everything unpleasant and unbearable intermingles with our blessings and pleasures. The tension between them all is what causes misunderstanding and such fervent desire for control, so perhaps the acceptance and love of the interconnectedness between them is what can make us feel whole - or at least give us a better chance than to dwell within any one of them as a cure. As that wise man, George Costanza, once did, whatever you wish for in your life, do the exact opposite.