I haven’t blogged in a bit, so here’s a new entry from your Ape. What’s got me writing today? Well, let’s see… Has anyone ever told you that it is futile to put off the inevitable? Isn’t death inevitable? Let’s explore that.
I recently watched a movie. It was called The Banshees of Inisherin, starring that motley pair Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. It’s an Irish comedy! If you accept that Ireland isn’t all about whisky and Guinness and drinking and great music and partying, that all of that stems from a lot of suffering. Catholicism ground them into the dirt, the English killed their children, and they are not afraid to say what we all avoid saying: That we’re all just waiting around to die.
Mind you, we have found all sorts of creative ways to pass the time during our wait – so creative that they often make us forget the real purpose of our time here. The vast enterprise of human civilization is really no more than a cargo cult, really. For those unfamiliar with the concept of cargo cults, these sprang up on remote islands in the South Pacific during World War II, when the various competing militaries cleared landing strips on these islands to more effectively move supply planes through the region.
Many of these planes had large red crosses painted on them as they carried medical supplies. The natives on these islands interacted with the crews working these make-shift airfields, and encountered such wonders as lighters and cameras and alcohol. When the war ended and these air strips were no longer needed, they were abandoned, and the natives watched their new gods fly off, taking all of their wondrous gewgaws with them. The natives wanted them to come back, and so a religion was born, complete with shrines marked by the powerful red crosses, the sign of the gods – the gods that now as the telling goes, got pissed off and stole all of the native’s toys and flew away with them. And they want them back.
The natives did their best to rebuild the radio towers and radar dishes, and used their high-tech equipment now made of sticks and twigs to talk to their gods and to try to convince them to return with all of the wonderful toys. Sadly, although the native efforts were impressive, the gods weren’t listening.
Sure, people laugh about it today, but people really shouldn’t. Did you go into your church and eat a bit of your savior, now in cracker form? Then what do you have to laugh at? For fuck’s sake, millions upon millions of Christians go into their holy temples and cannibalize the body of Christ on a weekly basis. This has been going on for nearly 2,000 years, there can’t be much of the guy left. They must be down to two eyelashes and a toenail by now.
Yet here we all are, trying to get our various gods to come back, to take us out of this waiting room and move us up to whatever divine appointments we have selected for ourselves. Because when it’s all said and done, that is precisely all we are doing here – waiting. We’ve created these cargo cult activities to convince ourselves of the importance of our activities as we wait, but ultimately, we’re all just going through the motions.
Let’s stick with the airplane motif. Think of being on a long flight. You’re on the plane, the plane is flying you to your chosen destination, and you have, say, eight hours to kill before you land. So you watch a video, you read a book, maybe you try to take a nap. Someone brings you food and you eat. You go to the bathroom. How is that any different from your day to day existence? And even before you got on the plane, what were you doing? Waiting to board the plane. And before that? Waiting to go to the airport, waiting in traffic, waiting in the check-in line. And before that? Waiting to go to work, waiting to go home again, waiting, waiting, waiting. I dare say that if you’re not asleep, you’re waiting for something, maybe waiting to fall asleep. And even when you’re asleep, no matter what weird dreams you may be having, aren’t you really just waiting to wake up again? And in your dream – have you ever dreamt that you were waiting for something?
As I said in the introduction to this rambling bit of drivel, we are often told we shouldn’t put off the inevitable. Well, death is the inevitable. And yet we frown on the idea of moving ourselves to the front of the line. We must wait our turn, it’s just good manners. And so, we wait.
Yet we are told that what we do with our time here in this corporeal waiting room is imperative as it will determine what sort of appointment we have when we are finally called into the back rooms. Are we waiting for a massage with a happy ending, or are we waiting for a root canal? Apparently, it depends on how we behave here in the waiting room. It depends on how we treat others here with us. So don’t steal the other kids’ toys, just read the magazines and try to improve yourself as you wait. How long will you be waiting? Most of us have no idea. We could be called back at any moment. But odds are, we’re here for a while. Apparently, time does not exist in the back rooms. Or rather, time ceases to be linear and all times exist simultaneously. But we won’t know until we go. So how will you pass the time here in the waiting room? Me, I watch movies and write idiotic things like this. And you, apparently, read things like this. Good for you.
Speaking of watching movies, Colin Farrell had a donkey in The Banshees of Inisherin. I now want a donkey. This film will have you having conversations with yourself. Most films do that to me these days, but this one really gets my other half talking. And on the importance of being remembered: Who the feck wants that? Out of the lot, how many of us are actually remembered? And when we are, it’s only so that future generations can talk shit about us. Poor company, the remembered. I cast my lot with the blessed forgotten. When was the last time you walked back into your doctor’s office from the waiting room thinking, “Gee, I hope the folks back in the waiting room remember me”?
And to those of you who don’t share the toys and magazines, those of you who grab all the stuff and build yourselves a little fort with the furniture in the waiting room? (Honestly, who does that? Toddlers?) We’ll remember you for the idiots you clearly are. None of that stuff is really yours, you know. You can’t take it with you when your name is called.
If you wish to know more about your time here in the corporeal waiting room, again I invite you to read back through many of the posts on this blog. I have a lot of thoughts on this topic, and I have experienced ego death which I highly recommend at this stage of the human condition. I’ve been waiting here a while. And I sometimes interact with the staff.
If you would like to contact me directly, I bet there is some way to do that on this site. Or you can just send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org I’m always up for a nice chat.