is there a point to pointlessness?

(10 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

There could be a point, a moment in which you look around your home. There are perhaps pictures or paintings hanging on walls. Pots and pans in the kitchen. A dozen pair of shoes and rows of hangers holding shirts and pants in a bedroom closet. Not to mention assorted potted plants. Lamps. Shades. Nicknacks. All that infrastructure. All those things . . .

Anyway. That point, that moment could happen: looking around your place and it all goes funny. It hits soft, at first, this simple thought: maybe… maybe it’s all a bit ridiculous. Slightly absurd. The idea that a thing could hold value. Have meaning. Or stir memory.

It goes further. I’m in a wheel upon which I run. The wheel keeps turning because I keep running on it. I can’t stop running. Actually, I don’t know how to stop. Or how to get off the wheel. I don’t think I’m trapped. In fact, I think I’m free. And yet, I can’t get off the wheel.



I do things and have no real insight as to why I do them. Why do I have to go to work every day? Why do I have to own a couch or a dishwasher or lots and lots of shoes. Why do I have to drive a car? Am I more entitled to these kinds of amenities than say tribespeople in Africa or Iraqis or anybody else anywhere? Do I think I’m more entitled without even being aware I’m thinking such things???

I guess, for me, issues like health care, environment, abortion, et al … whatever… are kind of like those pictures on the wall. They are things that fill agendas, rather than rooms. But what is at the heart of any of these issues? Why are we so enthralled or entangled or enraged? Just other wheels to keep spinning? Yet, I really do think it is possible to greatly improve our lives. Through peacefulness. Motivation to transform the world based on love of it rather than fear or hatred of others.

However, I don’t think solving issues, per se, can improve much for many. Take, for example, my favorite issue: health care. For whom? In a world of 7 billion plus people, for whom is that really an issue? Most of us earthlings don’t have access to healthcare, not to mention just some potable water. Take, for example, the distribution of mosquito netting. Solving that one “issue” doesn’t solve the complex layers of problems that include access to safe drinking water or, hey, just access to any water, fair trade, sustainable farming… and on and on and on.

For me, it comes down to finding some way to implement structural changes to our thinking…  the way we think about the world in which we live. How do we engage? Can we scale our actions and choices as they relate to and impact a world of billions of other earthlings? What are our processes? Do those processes reflect our value systems? Yeah. What are our values?

In so many ways, I’ve been running on that wheel to churn out cash to populate my life with stuff. I should have spent more time on the people in my life. I should have spent more time learning about the food I eat instead of accepting it blind, never understanding the suffering there. I should have been more attentive to how the oil got to my car. And the plastic in my closets. I didn’t really know. I took for granted that this was normal. That it was all okay.  I just did things without really asking why or how.

I’m middle-aged and maybe caring now is just a show. I’m on my way out, so maybe it’s easier to ask the young people to suffer for the choices I’ve made. Like I said, I have no real insight as to why I do what I do.

Anywayssssssssssss… issues. Sun spots and green house gases. Who gives a shit? The point is, how do we live on this globe? How do we do it fairly. Whether there’s climate crisis or nothing but lovely green fields ahead. Good or bad. How do we decide to do this life thing. That’s the question. There’s the depth of it. Are we a species with limited scalable thought? Or can we plug ourselves into something broader and more ethical? Will we always allow those who behave like rats on cocaine to run our world? Will we?

Will we?


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    • pfiore8 on April 14, 2010 at 2:11 am

    • Edger on April 14, 2010 at 2:17 am

    Well, there was a hippie a long time ago apparently who said something to the effect that if we’d treat other people the way we want to be treated that everything would be ok.

    The nutbar christianist taliban in America know what I mean… or should. 😉

  1. “commercialism” — it was “embedded” in us, you know.  

    But, on the other side of the coin, when you’ve done without, you have a much greater understanding of the questions you pose!

    I read some of Jung — his explanations of love.  I liked what I read, but I was never quite sure of how workable his “explanation” was.

    But here’s the thing, couldn’t you just move over a little and give me a little room?

    Thanks, pf8!  🙂

  2. Repeat this a lot, and guess what we have?

    A genetic cul-de-sac?


    A Bomb testing in the South Pacific. Really necessary?

    Healthcare turns into a war in the U.S. of A?

    International Communism morphs effortlessly into international terrorism.

    The galaxy of sludge in the Pacific Ocean. Really necessary?

    Delusions of Grandeur, severe psychosis might very well be the epitaph.

    • Diane G on April 14, 2010 at 11:43 am

    • RiaD on April 14, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    really fantastic questions…

    more than i really have time this morning to answer.

    i think part of the answer is that now we are aware we must share our knowledge with others…not in a beat you over the head w/this info kinda way but more a hey! didja know way.

    we’ve gotta get away from buying so much damn stuff. & start demanding that manufacturers package in recyclable containers. did you know in portland,OR ‘fast’ food comes in biodegradable packaging? why isn’t this nationwide… worldwide?

    i think many in the generation behind us get it a little better. in many areas the trend is buying clothes used & competition is over who spent less!

    i’d love to have this at my place. good questions need many voices in answering. besides, i miss you.

    • dkmich on April 14, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Apparently dailykos thinks so.   Sorry, I couldn’t resist.   I should have posted this in Turkana’s diary, but you gave me such a great straight line.    

  3. I did have a truck…..

    but we can walk away……

    we just are not willing to be uncomfortable…..

    we are addicted to appetite satisfaction…..

    inside of most is a howling hunger that can never be fullfilled….

    love you p8……


    • Xanthe on April 14, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    First look around you – those people, animals, flowers nearest  you need particular care.  Give that care (and it looks like you have) – that’s a beginning – those people go out and give care as well.

    Other than that – I’m clueless.  I know way less than I did at 20, 30, 40 – but am continually surprised by the intelligence and kindness I see out in the world.  While I’m fuming about healthcare, wars – there are good people out there doing their  best.

    Water – watch for corporations to make a big push on privatizing delivery and ownership (they have already I know).  But we are living in a particularly anti-government, pro-corporate climate and that doesn’t bode well for what should be a commons – water.  

  4. that has been running through my mind a lot lately. The issues are not isolated issues to me they are symptoms of the our institutionalized inhumanity and our disconnect as a species. We are doing this life thing. Like Sisyphus we push that rock up the hill even if we know it will once again roll back.

    How can humans know about them selves their perspective is so tainted by their wiring both culturally and biologically. We have lost the threads that bind, the ones we can’t see. We have made graven images of our fears and our dark sides and we call this God or good or facts.  I was thinking that most religions have at their base the concept that humans are evil, and that our only grace comes from submitting to a higher authority that delivers us from what we fear.

    Fear, of ourselves of our connection to nature to death to the process makes us unable to live without strife. Materialism and all the ism’s fill the void and overlook the point. People do not want to let go of their delusions of being exceptional or their pointless competition with nature or other humans. American’s seem to have elevated their cultural virtues into fatal flaws. Our Dream has become ‘wealth creation’, world dominance, and a false illusion that he who dies with the most toys wins. Here we are now entertain us also comes to mind.

    I don’t now about ‘the rats on cocaine’ they know how to win they have some great messaging and the biggest guns. They have no compunction or values as they are freakin bad ass crazy. I don’t hate them but I think pushing that rock up the hill is our only choice. They do not win nobody does. You can’t have enough shoes, although high heels seem to make the hill harder.              

    I love The Point. My favorite song in it…


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