Woody Allen, Existentialist

I never bought into the whole religious thing. I thought it was all a big hustle. Didn’t ever think there was a God; didn’t think he conveniently favor the Jews if there was one. What were my sins? Kissing Barbara Westlake when I should have been hanging up my coat? God, there’s much worse. The Germans putting us in ovens. First attend to that. (32-3)

I envy people who derive solace from the belief that the work they created will live on and be much discussed and somehow make him “immortal”. All the people standing over Shakespeare’s grave and singing his praises means a big goose egg to the Bard. A day will come when all of Shakespeare’s play, for all their brilliant plots and iambic pentameter, will be gone with every atom in the universe. After all, we are all an accident of physics, not the work of intelligent design but, if anything, the work of a crass bungler. (73-4)

Excerpted from Woody’s Allen’s autobiography Apropos of Nothing.

The GIF: Realizing an Existential Nightmare

Existentialists tend to discourse on our sorry lot as humans in this life, caged between birth and death, trapped in this existence, the terror and nausea of realizing how lousy it all really is. alice trappedFriedrich Nietzsche referred to this terror as the greatest weight: What if this life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unutterably small or great in your life will have to return to you, all in the same succession and sequence — even this spider and this moonlight between the trees, and even this moment and I myself.

starlightThe eternal hourglass of existence is turned upside down again and again, and you with it, a speck of dust!

Jean-Paul Sartre expounded on the horror in his play No ExitYou have stolen my face from me: you know it and I no longer do. beautiful faceLuckily, thanks to our evolved sensibilities and their application to technology, we can see the kernel of this philosophical gobbledygook captured in profound and eternal loops.

car crashcat's tailsexy-girl-gifThe GIF – or Graphic Interchange Format – is, as Albert Camus wrote, basically, at the very bottom of life, which seduces us all. There is only absurdity and more absurdity. And maybe that’s what gives us our joy for living, because the only thing that can defeat absurdity is lucidity.

gopro_bike_rideYes, life just as Nietzsche envisioned it. sex gifexistential

The Existential Play of the Toronto Maple Leafs

The heathen fanbase of teams across the continent – be they in Montreal, Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles or Chicago – simply do not understand. The Existential Play of the Toronto Maple LeafsThey think it is about winning, hugging and celebrating in a crass display, that this is the point of the game. And I feel sorry for them.The Existential Play of the Toronto Maple LeafsThey don’t understand that it isn’t this at all, but, as Camus wrote in The Plague, instead is a reminder of our “never-ending defeat.”The Existential Play of the Toronto Maple LeafsThe Toronto Maple Leafs are only for those who can take it, not the world as we dream, but as it truly is: empty and unrelenting.

The Existential Play of the Toronto Maple Leafs

Leaf goaltender Drew McIntyre

Yes, the Leafs are only for pure existentialists. Their recent travails – an eight-game losing streak – has even brought The New York Times on the Being and Nothingness train, citing the “disturbing situation”, “devastating slump”,  and Leaf coach Carlyle’s catch phrase, “Just breathe. Take it easy. Breathe.” The Existential Play of the Toronto Maple LeafsBut they don’t understand. They use these words devastating and disturbing like they’re a bad thing, like they aren’t needed, like they can be avoided. The Existential Play of the Toronto Maple LeafsThey don’t see the wall behind us, the epidemic that’s surrounds. No. All they see is putting the puck in the net. The Existential Play of the Toronto Maple LeafsAnd it’s just so sad.