Tag Archives: absurd

Dear Mudge, Spicy or mild

Dear Mudge,

People think the Northwest is nothing but conifer trees. Around here, we’re covered with temperate trees which have recently shed their billions of leaves. Red and white oak (you recall the post about acorns from last fall), big-leaf maple, birch, elm, alder and others have dropped their coats blanketing the yards, streets and sidewalks. I walk to and from work and have had to wade through such drifts of deciduous dandruff. While suspended, the colors were vivid. But now, mixed with rain and ground to paste on the pavement, they’re as slippery as snot.

I don’t think much about god(s) for the same reason I don’t think about Leprechauns or mermaids. In my earlier decades I used to spend hours on the topic (including Leprechauns and mermaids). Now, I gravitate toward more concrete topics with my one deviation being the contemplation of the heat death of the Universe and the end of everything.

In regards to Mr. Houston’s quoted—quoted quote “When a man ceases to believe in God, he doesn’t believe in nothing. He believes in anything.” I disagree. My analysis has resulted in the opposite conclusion. My research has concluded that, given that the Universe is absurd, there is nothing to *believe* in.

However, people, in general, are programmed to believe. To believe in whatever, take your pick… Belief is a survival tactic. And surviving is Job One.

I’ve chosen to forgo belief (and I’m waffling on survival).

Those words were selected with intent. I’m convinced humanity is pre-programmed. You, me, we are pre-programmed—by DNA. In fact, we ARE the program and DNA is the code.

Why do you and I (and others no doubt), reject all meaning, yet become irritated with others for the stupidest of behaviors or transgressions? Programming. They’re behaving outside our idea of acceptable norms. Why do we create and obey the rules, protect the Commons (pick up dog shit), and generally treat each other without open hostility? Programming. DNA has made us this way.

When we reject our programming, it’s hard. Unless you’re a sociopath (or a psychopath), we are genetically predisposed to conform to certain behaviors. I’m a firm advocate of E.O.Wilson’s The Altruism Gene, else humanity would still be roving in small bands across the African plains, not giving a shit, really, about one another. But we do give a shit. And by doing so, by caring, I think we react to others when they themselves fail to care. We’re programmed to care. Society is built on caring.

Behind my eyebrows you’ll find—a program—that I’m trying to rewrite.

I propose that by rejecting theistic tendencies, you are also rewriting your own program. And, as we’ve explored, we re-programmers are a lonely lot. Most would merrily plug along with DNA choosing their future.

In my personal re-coding efforts, I’ve not performed the exhaustive analysis of the existential options as I believe you have, but, I’ve tried a few. One I’d like to explore now, since thus far I’ve found none that fit me well, is the Epicurean philosophy. We are, after all, still here, so we’re not fully divorced from our programming. And if we’re not going to fully reject DNA’s sway over our lives, we might consider some thought experiment which, if nothing else, provides us momentary happiness.

What are your thoughts on Epicurus and his buddy Titus Lucretius? I know that Seneca both adored and despised Epicurus, but I’m hoping we could dwell on, oh, good drink, fine food (spicy and mild) and mind-bending drugs for a while. (Oh, and for Duke and Phil’s sake, we could discuss SEX, too.)

Epicurus


Societas absurdum

At what point does society become absurd?

Humans need water, food, clothing, housing to survive. But today, for some reason, (Boredom? Compressed competition? Neurosis?) society has fixated on the most absurd quasi-competitions. And I’m assuming it is a competition of sorts. And all of it results in the most absurd behavior.

  • Cuisine is absurd.
  • Fashion, absurd.
  • Home decor, absurd.
  • Rarefied water, absurd.

When an entire media network has dedicated itself to absurd food fetishes (Food Network) society must have devolved into some backwards image of itself, some alt-universe, twisted mirror vision where Bobby Flay must pull the hair from Guy Fieri’s head while stirring a omelet made from Rachael Rae’s and Giada De Laurentiis’ peeled facial masks. (Eww!)

Here’s a suck omelet. It’s food. Eat it for cripes sake!

CrappyOmelet

No, no, no. It must be a savory, delicate fold of creamy eggs and chives. To eat an omelet any other way would be barbarous! Heathens! Ovum Infidels!

PerfectOmelet

Fashion? Hell, this has been absurd for centuries. Why? It must have to do with $$$ (but certainly not MY $$$ — I haven’t spent money on clothing for years). Maybe it’s what the Absurdly Rich do with their Absurd Billions.

What are we now, New Guinea Birds of Paradise competing for the three remaining females (or males) on the island?

BirdOfParadise

SQUAWK!

Fashion

Home decor — oy vey! Like the world needs more bizarre sculpture, furniture, fixtures, lighting, stairways, fireplaces, brickwork, aluminum windows and indoor topiaries. If it’s art — that’s OK. But if it’s edgy for the sake of being edgy…

Sheesh! Would you want to try and relax in this prison?

housing

Water. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?

Water

Society has become absurd has it not?

What is the cure for this absurdity? I know, but I’m not telling. Alright, ow, that hurt! Society needs to have its priorities reset. How? GLOBAL CATACLYSMIC DISASTER of course.