Feel the turbines heat. Buckle your seat. Take off. You’re flying! You’re weightless!
In neat rows you sit hours on end, staring ahead to the back of someone’s skull. The clicking boots of the flight attendant, whirring engines, crackling ginger ale, cool juts of wind. You’re flying. But flying is basically falling, just in a different direction. You’re weightless.
The worst part about flying is not what you’d think – the landing, crashing, dying. It’s the weightlessness. Sure, you’ve got those smart animated maps flipping through your altitude, longitude, latitude, but you’re not the pilot. What does it mean? Where are you? You are weightless.
Don’t worry; it will stop. You’re going to land, crash, die, but not right now. Right now, you’re weightless.
Return to your seat. Clutch onto your armrest. I’d be thankful for turbulence, really. Your only concern is the fragmented audio to your calming vicarious expedition: Sex and the City. Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, post nuptial cosmopolitans. Be thankful for turbulence.
Your arrival is imminent and eminent. The weightlessness is going to stop. You’re going to land, crash, die – but not right now. Right now, you’re weightless. Be thankful for turbulence. You thank in-flight entertainment. You are flying. You are falling. You are weightless.
You land, crash, die.
The rough pounding landing gear, driving eardrums, bitter tired voices, clapping landers, crashers, diers. In your seat you wait, peer onto the strip, and watch your baggage pass around. In lines you wait for an officer to badger you about your flight, and decide whether to let you in. What movie did you watch? What meal did you order? Who did you sit next to? Does it really matter? You landed. Grounded.
I guess you know how I feel about airplanes.
Unable to confirm or deny an objective reality, there is almost nothing we can conclusive agree on being as concrete knowledge. I can neither confirm nor deny a god or evolution. I know two truths and two truths only: I exist, and someday I won’t.
I am given truth, comprehensible, but unacceptable. People want truth, and it to be good, and certain, and simple. People want a Toronto mayor, and him to be sober, and honest, and lawful. People want not truth, but the impossible.
Strive to break time, space, consciousness. Exist forever, everywhere, and as everyone.“Live forever. Eat Kale!” “Disneyworld. Summer deals!” “Sex in the City: in theatres now!”And people cooperate, eating kale, traveling, watching movies in delusion that we can one day exist impossibly, and that we already have.
These delusions carry on into grandeur, until you can’t hear what Sarah Jessica Parker’s passively aggressively yelling at Kim Cattrall, because of the damn turbulence. Reality ensues. You turn up the volume, select a louder, more obnoxious film: Sex in the City 2. Scientology here we come.
(Tom Cruise is a wonderful actor. I love the Mission Impossible franchise.)
As we extend our sense of existence into convoluted delusion, we strain our ability to utilize it. And as Ernest Hemingway said “All cowardice comes from not loving, or not loving well.” To which Woody Allen added in Midnight in Paris, “which is the same thing.” What is existence if not to use or use well? The one concrete truth and we water it down with cheap vicarious exploits of Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City, and Sex and the City 2.
There are two ways to watch Sex and the City. No. 1: watch hoping that the girls take up a hobby, like knitting or pottery. No. 2: knowing that the girls have sex in the city in ad attempted satirical commentary of the vapid wants of middle aged metropolitan women, and watch a different movie.
What happens is simple, and certain: we exist and then someday cease to. “Whats” never change: opening credits roll, someone has sex in the city. It is impossible to change what happens in Sex and the City or life, no matter how hard you try to delude yourself; reality ensues. However, why and how you watch both Sex in the City movies or live life is indefinite, controllable. But we know that, and that is why we are a “what” culture, hopelessly trying to defeat the confines of time, space, and consciousness in the quest for impossibility.
It is the delusion that we are or someday will become impossible, that drives our thirst for knowledge and morality, not truth: good, and certain, and simple.
“… – tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms further… So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” –The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Ludwig Wittgenstein reminds us “death is not an event in life: we do not live to experience death. If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present.” Those who take control over how and why we educate youth, love each other, or watch both Sex in the City movies.
So we ride on, passengers on planes, chasing the sun, breaking the sky, to realize we have stumbled into a cave with no chains and infinite flames, each burning true. More importantly we ride on curiously, out of pure and utter boredom and discontent with our own sun.
Did you know that Sarah Jessica Parker is married to Mathew Broderick who plays Ferris Bueller in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? That’s a great film.
“A man with such priorities out of whack doesn’t deserve such a fine automobile.” – Ferris Bueller
Sort of Citations:
The Catcher and the Rye: “All the kids kept trying to grab the gold ring, and so was old Phoebe, and I was sort of afraid she’d fall off the goddam horse… The thing with kids is if they want to grab the gold ring, you have to let them do it, and not say anything. If they fall off, they fall off, but it’s bad if you say anything to them.” (Salinger 273)
“You are all a lost generation.” -Gertrude Stein
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
The Sex and the City franchise
And that’s what I got from the epistemology unit.