28 September 2012

How. Not Why.

But first, I suppose that this is as good a time as any to evade the question of why I wish to walk the entire length of that pipeline from the dam into town.

It seems to me that through human history, humankind, including the greatest thinkers it has produced, has wasted a grand amount of time grappling with the question “why?” The question “why?” always involves metaphysical implications. It has therefore always been and ever shall be moot no matter how many different deities humankind invents in an attempt to answer the question.

There is no profit whatsoever in asking, “Why does the Sun rise in the east?” There is profit, however, in asking the question, “How does the Sun rise in the east?”

The meaningful contribution of the Existentialist thinkers of the forties and fifties in the last century was in suggesting that we abandon the why questions entirely and concentrate instead on how. Existentialism is out of fashion for reasons that no one has adequately explained to me. I suspect that it is because its leading exponent, Jean-Paul Sartre, is now revealed to us as having been a complete asshole in his personal life. (I have checked on how Google is going to translate “asshole” for my Spanish-speaking visitors even though I suspect that most will be perfectly familiar with the English epithet “asshole.” Let us just say cabrón for the benefit of those few who are not and call it good.)

Or it could be that Existentialism acquired a bad name because it was embraced by so many beatniks, hipsters, and other ne'er-do-wells who contributed absolutely nothing to the growth of the global consumer economy from which we all benefit so enormously today. Whatever the case, Existentialism needs to be revisited because there is fruit in the middle of it.

With that, let me turn to the proper question, “How do I intend to walk the pipeline?” One of the great thinkers of our own time, Martha Stewart, teaches us to strive for elegance in all things. Therefore, it is my intention to walk that pipeline as elegantly as possible.

If one gets off the pipeline where I last left you and walks along the rim of the canyon clear down to where the pipeline begins its descent into town, one finds that it makes a turn and goes through a cut.

There is an important reason that I wanted to show you this, but I have forgotten what that reason is.

[Later Addendum: As I vaguely recall now, I think that it had something to do with the psychosexual aspect of this whole pipeline thing.]


Bloggerboy said...

Well, there's always Camus. He wasn't so bad. Will you be dressed elegantly as well? Martha would be proud.

Stephen Brassawe said...

Leave it to you, Bloggerboy, to bring up one of my heroes in this context. It seems to me that my endeavor here is perfectly consistent with Camus' revelation of life's absurdity.