Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Philosophical musing

I was peering at something earlier - a blog, a film, who knows? - and it threw that hackneyed old idea at me that one should live every moment of one's life as though it were one's last. My brain's terribly literal, so I had to rein it back from its first response that one would be full of adrenaline since one was about to die. Not a helpful thought, and frankly rather childish, brain. I hope for better from you next time. Having suitably chastised myself, I had a think about what was really meant. This sort of thing always takes me back to university, when it was drummed into me that no matter how silly it seemed or how obvious the meaning was to me, I must define terms at the start of an argument. If you've any experience of people arguing on the internet, it's doubtless even more forcefully stapled to your eyelids. So what's it mean? Well, to be a bit Tony Blair for a moment, "it doesn't mean" go and blow all your money on model soldiers and Scotch. That's a rather disappointing response, I'm sure you'll agree. Unless you dislike both, in which case you're feeling happy!

"So if it doesn't mean "eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die", Pete, then cut to the chase." I suppose it means in part festina lente (Latin for "more haste, less speed" or "don't go so quickly that you ruin it and have to start again, wasting a lot of time") and it also means "try not to do anything you will have to undo or pay for". Right, so take your time and do it right first time. But what? There's clearly supposed to be a temporal limit on this, but it bangs its head hard against "throwing one's money away". After all, I like spending time with friends, and zooming up and down the country for a few years is great. I get to see my friends, which is awesome, because they're awesome. Actually, I guess some of you are reading this, so I'll stop referring to you like in the third person like the cat's mother or Caesar. Was she as good a general? Anyway. The problem with seeing friends is that it's expensive, and I've run out of money. This very weekend I couldn't go see friends because my financial situation was parlous last autumn, then perilous by New Year, and these days is...well.

This leads us inexorably to the scene in The Simpsons in which the townsfolk, called to a meeting at the school, sway back and forth between wanting better facilities for their children and then again not wanting to pay for them. Not having any schools to keep up, let's just think of my car! Right, money, root of all evil, and that thing which "can be exchanged for goods and services" to quote Homer's brain. People give you money for doing a job. But we should also apply the "live every day" motto to the world of work, I guess. As you all know, my experience of work is pretty sparse. Incidentally, I'd like to thank Dan for getting back to me about that CV thing! Cheers, mate! Right, I was about to spell out that a job should conform to the principle of being something we want to do, but that my experience of jobs is so sketchy that I haven't a clue what I'd like to do. Some careers are right out: pork butcher is never going to fly. Er, as it were. Again, I'm not really qualified to be the next Patrick Moore. Besides, I like women more than his pronouncements indicate he does. He's sexist, not gay, if your monocles just fell out, dear readers.

I have no idea what to do because I haven't got any experience of anything apart from data entry, a job which was doubtless invented by Satan when he was in a particularly foul temper. Well, if I don't know, maybe someone else does. But you chaps don't seem to have any better idea than I do. For shame! ;-) I discern a chink of light in the tunnel, and let's hope this bright insight is not a secret locomotive. If I don't know what to do, then I might as well do anything, since I can at least then cross it off the non-existent list (who makes a list that includes everything?) of things I might do. Well, I can rule out participating in The Apprentice, of course. I caught a little of that with N & B the other week. Ooh! I think I last watched an episode in Breccan, Sonia and Caroline's place in Lampeter (a fair while ago now!), and ended up shouting at the TV. I suspect alcohol was involved. I wasn't drinking on Wednesday, so I merely felt high levels of loathing for several of the participants.

In summation, if there is any subject to which I devoted far too much time in my youth, it was television. So nobody should be surprised that I long ago discerned which shows I won't enjoy. Don't suggest for me the post of television critic. I am usually a passive viewer, and not given to making notes about Geoff's misuse of the subjunctive or the suspicious nature of Rachel's tan. Or whatever. I used to notice Buffy's hairstyle changing, but don't ask me for a critique beyond that, please! I certainly couldn't do it for awful television, such as The Apprentice, other reality shows and soap operas. Well, I tell a lie. I so detested the programme that I am sure I could come up with a vituperative (yet hardly Swiftian) demolition of it and its main actors. But by God I'd far rather go clean out the Augean Stables, exposing my skin to muck's better than exposing my brain to it. On that acidly snobby note, au revoir, mes amis!

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