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About the question of "the meaning of life"


This started as a reponse to Jonathan Holmes article http://www.destructoid.com/trailer-for-3ds-shmup-asks-is-life-meant-to-be-shitty--291438.phtml but turned out to be long and interesting (for me) so I decided to share it with you. I miss all of you and hope that with this you can get the feeling of "fuck is this guy that we miss? wtf is this? fuck him!"

Okay, seriously, the question presented in the trailer was "Is life meant to be shitty?" and well...here's my short answer:


That is a question that intrigues me, more by the way it is worded than anything else.
I mean, if it was worded "is this what life is? shitty?" it would be clean enough, it would be saying "is this what life is then, shit happening all the time?", it would be coming to the conclusion not only that life is rough and unfair but also that that's the experience everyone else has. It sounds pretty empathethic and straight forward, sad but in a charming way, kinda like a Muddy Waters song.


But no, it asks "is life MEANT to be shitty?" which by itself asserts a very questionable point: that there IS a MEANING to life.
That is another interesting phrase, because "meaning" is something attributed to words and sentences, so to ask if "life" has a meaning, by itself, is as absurd as
asking "what's the meaning of dogs?" or "what is the taste of tuesday?".

That's just empty wording (yeah, I know that some people have intermeshed senses and can actually taste colors, but I'm talking about regular joes like most of us who
don't have that ability).

I'm a fan of poetry, it's beautiful to see words get new meanings, but this one ("the meaning of life") is not only meaningless (hah!) but very unoriginal.
To jump from this and say "yeah, WE ALL KNOW life has meaning, but was it meant to be shitty??!?" that's just narcisistic.
No, life has no "meaning", as a word it means "being alive", as anything else that phrasing doesn't make sense.

Alternate ways to say that would be "what's the point of life?" or "what's the mission of life?" or even better "what are the achievment requisites for life?"
(pro-tip: death).
No one's life was "meant to be" anything (talking semi seriously now) because life ain't a movie, there's no plot, no writer and no one is a protagonist. That's just
narcisism mixed up with a bad understanding of religion.
There's no objective to life, living itself is all there is to it.

The sentence "is life meant to be shitty?" is actually saying "MY life shouldn't be THIS shitty! that's not the way I see stuff happening in movies and other people's
lives!" which is basically teenage misunderstanding of how life is hard and how we only remember(or even get to know) the good stuff in other people's lives and how
our mind is directed to remembering good things or bad things, depending on what we are trying to justify.

More to the point: we are always trying to make sense of things that happen to us and all around us. We try to put things in an order and construct a narrative
because as humans, WE DO THAT TO EVERYTHING. That's our way of understanding things: we assess quantities, qualities, anything that can be used to discern where one
thing ends and the other starts.

When we find there's a way to represent stuff numerically, we try to represent EVERYTHING numerically, that's how JRPG fascinate most of us: every thing is well
defined, you can know exactly what will kill you and what won't, who's exactly how much stronger than who, everything MAKES SENSE.
We do the same with time (this happened in this date, so it was before this, so perhaps what will come after it is...)
We do it with words too, we can only UNDERSTAND thoughts that we have WORDS to define. Which is why we like to write and talk about stuff, to find ways to explain
stuff to ourselves and to others (but mostly to ourselves).

So, of course, seeing we can quantify and qualify so much stuff, how come we wouldn't try to do it with life?
Humanity is always trying to define and understand what came before and after an event, so we can predict how and when will it happen again. That we do this by
itself is pretty bizarre, but that's the way we found to be sure of things: if it happens always in a way, there's a chance it will happen again that way.
So, we jump ahead and ask "why did this happen?".

Some times that makes sense. "Why is my dick hard? Because I'm looking at the things that make me feel excited". But sometimes "Why?" is the wrong question.
It's like asking "Why is spaghetti?" instead of asking "how come this motherfucker decided to turn pizza into thin, long, cylinders?". That's a pretty simple way to
put it, but I think you get my point.

"What is the meaning of life?" or "was life meant to be shitty?" are terrible questions. Asking "how come did I ended up in this shitty moment of life?" and "how
do I get out of it without using drugs?" are more intelligent questions.

But you need to be RESPONSIBLE for what happens to you to ask these questions.
When a person doesn't want to be responsible for what happened, neither for what is going to happen, even if they don't believe in god, they will put it in a way that
disavows themselves and put their lives in the hands of some mysterious and vague non entity (like "was life meant to be shitty?").

Usually these are followed by sad drawings/emo songs and prefaced by a parent forbidding someone from going somewhere they shouldn't be anyway.
So yeah, this answers the real question: not WHY but HOW can you tell someone is still a teenager? They refuse to take responsibility but expect to be taken seriously.
And this is not about age. It's about how you deal with what happens with you. Because that's better phrasing. Things don't happen TO you, they happen WITH you.

Love you all folks!

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About long johnone of us since 10:10 PM on 05.28.2012

I started playing games as a kid, on the good ol' atari. To this day my favourite game ever is Toejam & Earl on the genesis. I dig a lot of games, specially "odd" ones (pepsiman, courier crisis, urban chaos, tokyo jungle).