Monday, May 14, 2012

Joy and Pleasure

Reading Facebook posts tonight and I'm struck, again, by the wave of posters with captions.  Who started this shit and can we make it stop?  Probably not.

Well, okay.  Here's what I'm noticing.  At least from my Facebook friends, most of the posts are bitter, mean, sarcastic, devoid of joy and boring.  Most of them suggest that our current political situation sucks.  Now, to be fair, the one's that say that opposite are equally annoying.

Now, what annoys me - the cause for this post - isn't that I agree or disagree with any of them in particular.  It's the utter lack of joy in so many of the posts.  They seem to want to paint the world as one big pain in the ass - one evil place to live where only politicians get their way.

Okay - so they're kind of right.  The rich do win.  Politicians are bought and constantly lie.  All this is true, but yet I'm left with a sorrow that goes beyond the political situation.  Are people not experiencing joy anymore?  I mean even when we were in huge - literally - World Wars - there was joy in the literature.  I mean read the existentialists carefully.  Kafka is hilarious - Camus is always affirmative.  Beckett - well, okay - I don't know, but fuck it I love the guy.

But when I look at these posts tonight - I don't care about the political side - what I'm sad about is an utter lack of joy.  The world IS.  We need Nietzsche in these times.  Whatever it is - say YES.  Hate politicians - fine - hate the president - fine - but please find some moment for joy and pleasure.  The world gives.  The world is illuminated.  The world is also a totally fucked-up place - but let's not forget the former because of the latter.  (And this is not some statement about "balance."  I mean something far simpler.)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Jerry McGuire and Truth

So the wonderfully cute kid in Jerry McGuire utters three truths: the human head weighs 8 lbs, bees and dogs smell fear, and my neighbor has three rabbits.

What's interesting about this, to me anyways, is that they are all true but true in really different ways.  The first statement is true by way of average.  Maybe nobody's head has ever weighed 8lbs, but the average of all  human heads is 8 lbs.  And then there's other interesting questions about who's head counts as human.  I would guess that figure does not count infants' heads as heads.  But we get what is meant - the statement works.

The next claim is basically universal.  We assume ALL dogs and bees smell fear.  Of course there are always outliers, but ostensibly they are so small as to be explained - like people who can't see colors.  Though, there's a huge and really interesting assumption about fear being something you can smell.  What a bizarre and extremely cool idea.  I can smell your fear, literally.

Finally, my neighbor has three rabbits.  This is by far my favorite of the three.  Not just because it's the funniest.  Well here's the thing: it's the funniest because it's local.  So the idea, what makes it humorous, is that we think Truth should not be local.  However, this proves the opposite point - Truth is more exact exactly when it's local.  So while my neighbor might not have three rabbits - in fact they don't - they have a litter of loud, hellspawn kids who embrace life in a way that is beautiful despite my dislike for their kind.

So Truth is complicated.

The little kids declarations are the most interesting part of this movie, which has one of my least favorite ideas of love: you complete me.  Disgusting.  I want to date people who are already whole.  It's sweet; it's sentimental.  But I don't agree with it.  However, I love that kid explaining Truth.