Tuesday, April 05, 2005

An Individual In Confrontation With The World, Pt. 5

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Things seem to have a mysterious symmetry, Sebastian thought. It is as if the whole universe is one gigantic clockwork; events, happenings, incidents taking place in a complex precision, fitting together like pieces in a puzzle. When bad things happen, they seem to happen at once, like falling dominoes. It must be the same with good things, Sebastian pondered, at least he hoped so. What goes up must come down. What is down can't stay that way forever. Universe spinning yarns, weaving them together in a fabric -- or a web.

Remember this, Sebastian, the next time you whimper about your misery; the next time you cry about your unrequited love; the next time your bank account shows near zilch. Because things are never so bad they couldn't be worse, because there is always someone worse off than you.

No one loves the one who whines. Laugh, and the whole world laughs with you. Cry, and you can cry alone. What's up? they ask, but they don't really want to hear. I'm fine, thank you, and how's the weather? -- Aww, shut up with your platitudes already, Sebastian snapped.

The ongoing crisis of an existential young man, the young Werther: what a bore. Young hotheads with their fierce, burning eyes: it's easy to see the world in black and white terms only; there can be no dialectic there.

Children's crusade: old men sending young fanatics to their inevitable deaths. Chinese Culture Revolution 1966: Chairman Mao whipping up the fury of his youthful Red Cadres against the so called bourgeoisie remnants (read: Mao's own political rivals) still left in Communist China. Public confessions and humiliations, so called self-criticism sessions; all traits of mass brainwashing.

Empty souls and meaningless lives are fodder for fascism (under whatever colour), religious fanaticism, stale patriotism, bigoted nationalism. Media-induced mass hysteria and propaganda; lemmings running off the cliff. Surprise, surprise: your hi-tech toys can't buy you happiness, the mantra of ever-expanding economic growth won't lead you to nirvana, Sebastian thought.

Sebastian, you are a preacher and a clown; laughable in all your poignant seriousness, but you can't turn the tide. And all the time there is a creeping suspicion that while you rant and rave at the world's unbearable injustice, life actually goes on somewhere, without you ever noticing it.

You don't have to be Schopenhauer to see one man's accident is another man's luck: that is life's cruel balance. Lord giveth, Lord taketh. Submit to your fate, Sebastian, or keep kicking against the pricks. -- Oh, what sanctimonious crap, Sebastian thought.

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