A short, short breakdown of two things that bring me comfort, peace even: the song “Do You Realize??” by the Flaming Lips and the short novel, The Stranger, by Albert Camus.
“Do You Realize??” is what I would call an existential song. The whole album, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, is rather existential. Confronting death face first, the song asks its listener to stop fretting over the world and enjoy the fact that s/he’s alive. Reality is merely perception, and it dies with its beholder; therefore, reality as we know it will inevitably be gone, and what’s left of humanity will exist in the same perceptionless nothing, where mountains of anguish and joy are leveled and nothing matters most. This is inevitable, and I sigh with relief when I remember that “everyone you know, someday, will die.”
The Stranger is different. The Stranger has shown me that I can’t make sense of a senseless place. I used to watch syndicated news with outrage and disgust. I watch it now for the weather because, really, the heat and glare of the sun affects me more than shady politicians, who always get caught with their dicks in strange holes, and I know, as the world wobbles around, there is an angry French mob, waiting to validate me and offer a place in their pumping hearts where I can always live.
I enjoy thinking of these things when I’m overwhelmed with both failure and ambition.
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