Asaf Karagila
I don't have much choice...

Existentialism II, like Colonel Kurtz

There are 3 comments on this post.

Last night I posted a strange story about a gecko and a moth.

It occurred to me today that this is a very Kurtzian story, if we take the Brando interpretation of Mistah Kurtz (he dead) in Apocalypse Now! (the Redux version is one of my favorite movies, I guess). In the movie Harrison Ford plays a tape where Kurtz is describing a snail crawling along the straight edge of a razor, crawling slithering, this is his dream, this is his nightmare.

In my story, the gecko and the moth are us. We bite at those things which we cannot achieve, and we frantically fear the things we don't know that cannot harm us. I guess that we can take something from the gecko and the moth. We can take that some people are like the gecko, trying to bite at what that isn't there; and some people are the moth, raving about the demons that cannot harm them.

And maybe everything is just meaningless words, saturated with ethanol and choiceless thoughts. But then again, I didn't have any choice of those.

There are 3 comments on this post.

By Peter
(Mar 11 2015, 23:13)

Just wanted to say that I enjoyed those last two posts. I'm hoping there's a third option. Perhaps it's your narrator, watching the futility but realizing its nature without resentment.

By Asaf Karagila
(Mar 12 2015, 00:51 In reply to Peter)

I have long grown without resentment. There is a beautiful simplicity in accepting the futility of existence. I guess most people will consider this view pessimistic, but I think it's neutral or even optimistic. We do what we have to do, what we were hardwired to do. And sometimes, we have a choice of which sort of thing we would like to do, and we like to pretend that in the long run, this choice matters. I guess it depends on the notion of "long run".

One way to look at it would be that we're all just wasting time until we die out; and another would be that we're making decisions about the world of our children, and their children. But all this just brings to mind a short dialog between Philip J. Fry and Bender B. Rodriguez:

Fry: "I'm so confused. The Bender I liked turned out to be evil, and the Bender I hated was good. How can I live my life if I can't even tell good from evil?"
Bender: "Eh, they're both fine choices. Whatever floats your boat. "

By Peter
(Mar 12 2015, 08:56)

So much philosophizing in one day; thanks for balancing out with futurama ;-)

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