0177 – Why bother doing your work when the universe is going to be extinguished in the end?

Immediately hot on the heels of the last post. 10x more swearing that usual.

Why bother doing your work when the universe is going to be extinguished in the end? All meaning is arbitrary, constructed, illusory, temporary. We live, we die, how we spend the time in between doesn’t really matter at all in the grand scheme of things.

My friend: fuck the grand scheme of things. The grand scheme of things does not give a fuck about you, and you really don’t have to give a fuck about the grand scheme of things.

If I may be so bold- I think you use the grand scheme of things as a crutch. You talk about the state of the world, the dismal state of international relations, about politics and economics and how education is broken and all these big ideas, but I think they’re all really a roundabout way of saying that you are broken and you don’t really know what to do about it. That you don’t feel like you’re in control of yourself and you’re life, and so you’d like to talk about other topics. It’s much easier to point at the world. It’s a convenient distraction.

Because what are you doing for the world, good sir and/or ma’am, apart from talking about it? Because interestingly, if you look around and pay attention, you might just notice that the people who are doing the most for the world (the scientists doing core research, the technologists building electric cars and interplanetary spacecraft, etc) don’t seem to waste much of their time writing commentary pieces about Ariane Grande’s ponytail, or what it means that Michelle Obama danced for a few seconds with a turnip. Those are things that we write about when we really have fuckall to say. [1]

Admit it, it’s really just an elaborate, intellectually-trumped-up way of talking about the weather, only the world seems less mundane, less arbitrary. It’s no different from worrying about “your” sports team, and how they need “your” support. The truth is that your sports team will probably go on fine without you. As will the weather. As will Ariane Grande’s ponytail.

Here’s what I think we really ought to be talking about, if we’re talking at all instead of acting. What do you care about? What makes you upset? What makes you happy? What gets you excited? What gets you anxious and nervous? You have limited resources, how do you use them in a way that you’d actually be most happy with? You’ve been given this precious gift of consciousness for the briefest of moments- what would you actually like to do with it?

Listen, do you sleep well at night? Do you go to bed going, “Ahh, today was such a nice day”?

If you do, then fuck off, I’m not writing this for you. I hate you, go to hell. If you go to bed edgy and anxious and nervous, thinking, “Man, I ought to have done more today,” and you do that over and over again, here’s a newsflash- you’re probably going to feel that way on your deathbed. And that’s going to really fucking suck, and there’s nothing you’ll be able to do about it then.

Life is one long lazy day if you’re lucky, and ideally you want to be able to go to bed at the end of it with a smile on your face. (Or you could off yourself right now. It’s entirely up to you. But it’s up to you to thoroughly own that decision.) How do we do that? Should we bother? Once upon a time I thought it would make sense to try and find a clever argument for it. An argument for the maximization of your personal utility, potential. But… a lot of that seems really trite now. As I’m sure this will seem in a few days, weeks, months. But right now it’s coming hot out of my brain, and so I’m spewing it here. Feel free to judge me for it because I don’t give a fuck. In moments like this, I am as alive as I’ll ever be.

What do these moments tell me? That there’s almost never a point trying to persuade or convince someone of something if they don’t first demonstrate an interest in being persuaded. I spent a fuckload of unnecessary time in my teenage days trying to impress people who didn’t fucking matter in my life. They’re still there, on my Facebook. Bless all of you, may you have beautiful, lovely lifes full of joy and happiness. I genuinely mean that, life is precious.

But like RDJ said, smile and nod and thank people when they give you their input, but ignore it and do whatever the fuck you want to do anyway. Because people don’t actually give you feedback because you need it. They give you feedback because THEY need to do it. For themselves.

And yes, that applies to me, too, and to this post. I didn’t write this for you, I wrote this for me. [2]


[1] If you pay careful attention without getting sucked in (and that’s really hard to do for me- you might have better luck than me, but I advise against it anyway), you’ll notice that there’s a deep emptiness to most of what gets spread around. Most stuff is bullshit. We’re terrified of being honest. There’s a massive honesty deficit in the world, and a huge bullshit surplus. We’re all guilty of it. I’m guilty of it too. It would be really cool if we could change this, and I’d like to contribute towards that if possible.

One of the problems is that calling out bullshit is a sort of bullshit of its own. The most you can do at any given time, it seems, is to be honest in that moment. Maybe I’ll change my mind about this later on, but what counts is that I wrote it while I felt it.

[2] Do what YOU want, motherfuckers. Look at yourself in the eye and ask yourself what makes you happy. What makes your heart sing. Ask yourself who you’re trying to impress, and why. What are the assumptions you’re making about the social reality that you live in? What is the water that you don’t realize that you’re swimming in? What are the things that you could change, without you even realizing it? Without you ever having considered? What are the things you do every day, every morning, etc that you don’t realize that you could be doing differently?

I can’t answer that question for you, but you need to jump onto the landmine called you and blow yourself the fuck up, motherfucker. And by you I mean me. See ya on the other end.

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