Wednesday, January 1, 2014

NEW YEAR, NEW RULES (and a little existential angst)

            Hey everybody. It’s your bartender here, wishing you a happy New Year! 
It’s rock and roll, 2014 style, and I just wanted to cover some basics as we glide hung over into the New Year.
            As a good friend of mine and bar customer once said: “New Years Eve is the only shot at redemption for the Atheist”. This is a good point. We all know deep down New Year’s doesn’t mean a goddamn thing. It’s some arbitrary Gregorian Calendar thing that started years ago to separate financial quarters, no doubt. We tell ourselves: “Yes, we will change”, but in reality, the only things that change in the new year is either making a little more money, or making a little less money. Either there’s a great love on the horizon, or that dream of the great love has been crushed under the brutal sun light of reality. Nothing much changes. We live. We die. We watch cable.   
In the Eastern style of thinking, there is no ‘end’ and no ‘beginning’, for life is a continuous, inexhaustible circle that we experience until we fall down dead. Age is meaningless, dates are meaningless, time is meaningless. I happen to like this philosophy. Or maybe I’m just a lazy, drunk cynic, whose philosophy also prescribes that age is meaningless, dates are meaningless, and time is meaningless (and pour me a shot, motherfucker). 
            Last night was remarkably tame. Sadly, no kisses at midnight, no slow dancing, no sex—not even a goddamn decent fight with anyone. No, friends, your bartender, just after the screams and clamor of the midnight bells, snuck out, away from the warmth of his friends to have a beer alone at Lucky Dog and contemplate the mysteries of the universe.
I figured out nothing. I believe Albert Camus had called it ‘existential revolt’ (or maybe the professors called it that, he would have no doubt had some other wonderfully brilliant way of explaining it). The whole premise of ‘existential revolt’ is that we, as humans, if enlightened, know and feel the emptiness of all of the universe. That we as people are merely spinning on a strange rock of water and lava, spiraling in the universe around some giant ball of fire.
We have named these things Earth and Sun, to maintain some vain control in a chaotic universe that cannot be fathomed by our big monkey brains, no matter how many space shuttles and satellites we fling into the void, no information we will ever receive will give the answers to these questions: What are we doing here? What are we supposed to be doing here? Why should we keep going? What the fuck is going on, man?
            Least to say the bubbles gathered atop my pint of beer there in the darkness of Lucky Dog bar revealed nothing. I couldn’t believe how seriously people take utterly minor concerns in relation to this odd, wild ride called ‘life’. They worry about bills, bullshit relationships, what people think about them, or some sport team they have never played on. I think only death should concern us, and the wellness and health of those we love. That matters. Diet food for your dog does not.
            But to return to Mr. Camus for a brief moment. The art of ‘existential revolt’ states that yes, the universe is an empty, quiet place that mankind since the Neanderthal days have been trying to suppress for the matter of our beings survival. It is empty. There is no God, no credo, no religion that is true. They are stories created to assuage our sadness and incalculable terror at not knowing what the hell is going on here. As some other smart person said: “If God does not exist, then we must invent Him.”
            And this is the ‘revolt’ part of Mr. Camus’s philosophy. If there is nothing, truly, then we must infuse meaning into everything we do. That great love becomes the great love you want it to be. That job you always wanted, you must will it into existence. I mean, I can’t will Eva Green into my life, but I probably could become an investment banker, make a shit load of cash, and try to attend the same dinner parties in Paris or wherever and charm her pink slip right off of her. The ‘revolt’ is that yes, the world is a silent partner in our lives, and if it shall remain quiet, not divulging it’s secrets, then we as people must ‘revolt’ against the silence and create our own meanings for things.
We live in an odd universe. Humans are strange creatures. As I pointed out before, Google ‘God’, then Google ‘Sex’. 'God' clocks in at 409,000,000 sites. 'Sex' beats 'God' at 735,000,000 sites. However ‘Love’ wins at 1,690,000,000.
What does that tell you about us weird, chatty creatures?
            This is what my lone beer taught me at 12:39 a.m. January 1st, 2014. To the new year, whatever the hell you want it to be.





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