All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
Shakespeare, W. (1623). As You Like It. First Folio.
Maybe self-improvement isn’t the answer, maybe self-destruction is the answer.
This is a quote from the original novel. It is a very interesting philosophical position. Looking from an existentialist POV, it is logical. Since we cannot have an authentic existence, we should abandon such an existence.
The exuberance the Narrator feels when Tyler Durden enters his life is the exuberance of living an authentic life, even though he may not be conscious of it.
“I found freedom. Losing all hope was freedom.” said the Narrator in Fight Club.
It is a somewhat straightforward translation of Nietzsche motto “God is Dead”.
Or is it? Losing all hopes here should refer to losing everything one values in life. Rather than a religious guidance, right?
This is an imitation of the opening scene in The Social Network in which Mark was coding and blogging his frustration over the break-up.
I am in an equally, if not more, disturbed state as he was. Thinking of all the existentialist ideas and trying to interpret different scenes from the movie Fight Club, is more intellectually-challenging than I thought it might be.
Since this is an imitation, and a rather close one I hope, foul language is not off-limit.
Back to the topic. Sartre was a bitch. Not all existentialists are bitches. I simply do not have enough data to support that claim. However, how does one promote an ideal which encourages people to make choice for themselves without predetermined value system and claim it is, at the same time, a choice for all other men as well? Well, a bitch can do it, so did Sartre.
It is a rather interesting notion. Let’s see it this way, we are free to make any choices as we would, and there is no possibility to judge its goodness given there is no predetermined value system or universal standards. In which case, if I made a decision to lie, should anyone actually penalize me? No. You have no basis to say that lying isn’t good. Then bitchy Sartre tried to defend existentialism as a less selfish way of life by claiming that when we make a choice for ourselves, we are making it for all other men. Because of what we do, all other men are being judged for the same action. Does it make any sense to you?
No, I hardly think so.
This is a typical threat coming from a secondary school principal: “You are nobody in the public’s eyes. But they recognize your uniform and school crest and they know you are from this very institution and they’d expect nothing less than exemplary.” On one hand, it seems extremely unfair that I am being judged by the public for others’ behaviors on the ground of us coming from the same school; on the other hand, why should I care? I am but myself. I am not defined by others’ behavior or words. You can describe me as rude, but that does not define my “essence”. To hell with it, it doesn’t even define my existence. I don’t exist as a rude being or a being of rudeness. I am a being with much complexities than language can describe.
In the same train of thoughts, how does others’ behavior define me? And how does my behavior set ground for others?
Is that alright?
Damien Rice - 9 Crimes - Official Video (by Damienrice)
This used to be my favorite gif.
You may never know when your (hidden) enemy may strike.
“…while [Voltaire and Camus] conceded that the world is meaningless, both writers insisted upon the collective search for meaning and dignity. Voltaire and Camus saw how our lives are shot through with beauty and truth and understood that lucidity is all we have in an indifferent and silent universe.”
Regarding French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s proposal to move Albert Camus’ body to the Panthéon in late 2009 (which never happened, by the way), Robert Zaretsky wrote this piece comparing the absurdist philosophies of Voltaire and Camus.
Read Giving Absurdity Its Due.
(Above, Albert Camus via)