What is the point of anything?

Post originally written in April 2017.

What is all this for?

What is the point of this?

of that?

of anything?

Sometimes I wonder what the point of everything is. This is not a deep existentialist philosophical question, just something I ask myself sometime. This thought first occurred to me regarding school work. I study and study only to forget everything when the exam is over. I look back on all the subjects I have studied and forgot, concepts that I once memorised but cannot remember; and I wonder what the point is.

I list all the books that I have read and I can only remember bits and pieces of each, sometimes even completely forgetting that I have read a particular book until I start reading it again.

I have seen that film I say, what is it about she asks, ummm I think it was about a man and a woman who did something.

I go to a concert and when it is over, that is the end; there is no lingering thrill, nothing. The circus is nice, I clap and whoop and after the final act it is almost as if it never happened. All the people I have met, the things I have done, the places I have been; nothing has really left a mark on my heart. The moments I remember the most are those in which I laughed deeply until I almost could not breathe. Everything else is just so utterly pointless. Even in the moments in which I am enjoying myself I am already mourning the end of the moment. We are laughing now but soon we will part and it’s back to my solitude. 

Of course there is no point to anything. One reads a book to pass the time, to enter a different imagination, to fraternise with the characters in another reality. What does it matter if one does not remember the gist of the book in five years?

But sometimes it makes me sad. I want to remember all the books I have ever read, all the films I have ever enjoyed. Oh I so badly want to remember everything I ever learned (at school and elsewhere). I want to carry excitement in my heart long after the show is over. It seems a waste of time and money to forget.

I guess it is not a complete waste. These little things, though forgotten, have built on each other to make me person I am today. I may not know the exact definition, but I can sorta understand what it means.

The joy I derived from reading a good book is not a waste. How can watching that film be pointless when it made me laugh so hard. Yes I do not remember any of the jokes but in that moment I enjoyed them and that is what matters.

Still I wonder.

The means to an end

I dislike hypothetical questions.

That is not completely true. I dislike ridiculous hypothetical questions such as: “Would you drink your mum’s piss for 790 billion dollars?”  and in response everyone goes “For that amount I’ll eat her $h@t too!” and they act like you are insane for saying no “What? you wouldn’t do it? For seven hundred and ninety BILLION dollars?”  Ugh shut up. Hypothetical does not necessarily mean unrealistic and stupid. Nobody is going to offer you a huge sum for something so daft.

One very common hypothetical question has to do with money vs happiness. Every now and then, a variation of  “would you rather have money or happiness” pops up. And every time the air is awash with cries of “money! money!! money!!!” Lots of people would rather cry in a Ferrari than on the bus.

I have always felt that this was a strange attitude to have; choosing money or anything else for that matter over happiness. Surely the main goal in life is to be happy, everything we do is in hopes of that it will bring us happiness. It is counter-intuitive to willingly and intentionally make decisions or change our circumstances without some expectation of happiness.

“Well can you be happy without money?”

Strange question.

We want/need money to buy things, gain power, freedom, choices and to reduce our stress. If the purpose of money is to be able to do things that ultimately make us happy, then we agree that money is a means to an end-the end being happiness. Now you have hypothetically been offered the means to an end (money) and the end in its self (happiness) and for some reason you have chosen the means because you think it will bring you the end.

It is similar to craving a carrot cake, and having someone offer you the option of either a carrot cake or a kilo of flour. You chose the flour because well can you make carrot cake without flour?  By doing this you are ignoring the numerous other ingredients needed alongside flour to make the cake. Hell you might not even need the flour. It just makes no sense to choose the flour because we think we need it for the cake rather than just choose the cake.

Money is so crucial in our lives, and to deny its usefulness would be foolish. Still it annoys me a little to hear people be so cavalier about happiness. This attitude is partly the reason that people roll their eyes when a wealthy person alludes to being unhappy. Oh please you are worth 40million, how can you be unhappy? If you are so unhappy then give me your money. This is even more evident when a wealthy person commits suicide. People are dumbfounded- but she was so rich!
Of course it may be difficult to feel sorry for someone who seems to have it all when you are struggling to make ends meet, but my point is that wealth does not translate to happiness as there are other ingredients needed.

Does it really feel better to cry in a Ferrari than on the bus? Or is it even worse, knowing you have a goddam Ferrari and are still unhappy.

Just a random rant that I usually have in my head.



Would you rather?

Go back to the past or to the future?

This is something that I have often pondered, on my many periods of introspection.

Logically, I should want to go far into the future, because I will never be able to experience it. At least I can read about the past, but the far future is a party that I am not invited to.

I am obsessed and fascinated by history. Not just the major historical events, but the way things were; the way people lived, the clothes they wore, the food they ate, the slangs they used, the morals they had (or didn’t have), and just the general vibe of the past. I love coming across newspaper/magazine articles from decades ago. I stare at them, intrigued by this period where I was nonexistent, periods were even my parents were not yet beings. Even better is when I come across clips shot many years ago; not even motion pictures, but little snippets of life back then. I want to enter them and experience them all, I want to live then and now and in the future too.

I do not necessarily wish to have been born in the twenties, I just want to have experienced them. I envision myself as a gust of wind, a ghostly figure, sweeping across the decades and centuries, seeing everything, immersing myself in it all but not getting swallowed by it. Simply put, I want to see how life was in the fifties but I don’t want to be a woman in the fifties.

I am incurably curious. What did people do for fun in the 1700s? Were people happy then? Did they laugh a lot? How would I have fitted in then? I see pictures from then and find it fascinating that all of these people once existed, and now all of them are dead, and one day all of us will be dead too.

The best time is now, with all the comforts and trappings of modern life. The future could be better or could be worse. The past has no washing machines or robot vacuum cleaners or tiny phones that double as cameras and everything else.

So would I rather go back or go forward? As much as I love the past, I would have to go a century into the future. I would like to see what we have made of the world, or at least what is left of it. Are we still fighting the same battles? What terror has replaced ISIS? What isms are we protesting? What country has replaced the USA as the most powerful nation? Has Mandarin replaced English as the global lingua franca? Have the robots defeated us and taken over? What animals have gone extinct? How do people in the future view us? Are we strange, primitive people to them? Is Apple still releasing iPhones? What do people do for fun? What fashion trends and beauty standards are in? Is it now fashionable for women to have no ribs? Has El Chapo escaped prison once again?

What’s it going be: past or future?