Are any of us real? I mean, are we really real? Can you prove our realness, really?
Are any of us real? I mean, are we really real? Can you prove our realness, really?
Hey 3.5 readers.
Gotta admit, I’m feeling the misery lately. Actually, my alter ego, the Alleged Man is feeling it. I’m a fictional character so I feel awesome all the time even after I battle the Yeti, zombies, aliens, chupacabras and werewolves.
Anyway…Arthur Schopenhauer was a curmudgeonly old German prick in the 1800s and the first Western philosopher to incorporate a serious study of Buddhism into his work.
I’m not expert but my general understanding of Buddhism is “We’re all fucked so be happy and don’t let it get you down” whereas Shopenhauer seemed more like, “We’re all fucked and only the sane people are down about it.”
Here’s what he said about “the misery of life:”
“In my 17th year, I was gripped by the misery of life, as Buddha had been in his youth when he saw sickness, old age, pain and death. The truth was that this world could not have been the work of an all loving Being, but rather that of a devil, who had brought creatures into existence in order to delight in their sufferings.”
What do you think, 3.5 readers? Was the world created by an all loving being that gave us life to make us happy, or was it created by a devil who delights in giving us hope only to take it away?
I can tell you when I turned 30 I began to feel hope fade. There seemed to be less time…it seemed like I was more locked into choices I’d made, even bad ones. There was less time to fix mistakes.
Ironically, as I reach 40 (38 soon to be 39) I feel like I was a baby when I was 30. There was more time to pull out a few fixes but instead I wasted a lot of time on depression and lamentation.
Sigh. I bet when I turn 50 I’ll feel like I was a baby at 40. At any rate, the older we get, the less hope we have. To be 20 is to have an endless supply of options. You can still believe you’ll be anything because it is still possible. Now, not so much…and I’m not even getting into the effects aging has on your body, your looks, your ability to physically feel good and do what you want.
It’s pessimistic to be sure but old Artie has a point. It is hard sometimes to not feel like this world wasn’t created by a devil who delights in watching us move from thinking the world is our oyster where anything is possible in our youth to middle and old age where we lose hope and begin to feel like the world is our prison and a lack of time limits us from fixing past mistakes and re-writing past wrongs.
What say you 3.5?
Hey God. Godster. Godamundo. God-a-rama. The Godmeister, makin’ copies.
Your devoted servant, BQB here. I know you can hear me even if I don’t post my thoughts on a website that only has 3.5 readers.
Listen, I don’t mean to tell you how to do your business here. You don’t come to my work and slap the pizza out of my mouth, so I don’t go to your crib and tell you how to supervise the angels and so forth.
But check it. If you’ve got a suggestion box lying around, I’d like to pop one in there and you can take it or leave it.
You know old people get older, and older, and even older?
Right, and do you know how people start out in life looking like happy young people and by the end they all look like the Crypt Keeper?
Thought: What if, and follow me on this one, what if:
A) everyone gets a standard 100 years. No more worrying when you’re going to die, when it will happen, will it happen too early, will I leave my loved ones too soon? No more young people getting into freak accidents that cut their lives short. No more old people suffering through their last years in the hospital, having surgery after surgery with all sorts of machines hooked up to them.
100 years. That’s it. Everyone knows up front that 100 years after their birth date, whammo! That’s all she wrote.
B) What if, and again, hear me out, no one had to get physically old? Again, no diseases or health problems or gray hair or baldness or people ending up with hair growing out of their ears and hobbling around with hunchbacks while leaning on their canes?
How about everyone stops aging at, say, 25 and then we all keep looking like when did when were 25 until we’re 100 and then bam, we just drop.
And as a reminder, when we drop, that’s it, we drop. No agony. No pain. No extended hospital stays. Everyone just throws a big ass party on their last day and when their last second is up, they just switch off like a powered down robot someone just flipped the button to off on.
I know, human suffering makes us all the more stronger for whatever you have planned for us in the afterlife but if you think about it, you’ve already given us this great world and this great gift of life and the idea, the very idea that one day we’ll have to give this all up…doesn’t that hurt enough?
Is it really necessary for us to all end up looking like Abe Vigoda? Is it all really necessary for us to get cancer, or heart complications, or syphilis or the clap or have our heads knocked in by one of your less virtuous creations who is convinced he needs our money more than we do?
Just let us stay young for 100 years…then switch us off. No muss. No fuss.
Like I said, God, just a thought. It’s in the suggestion box. You like it? You run with it. Don’t like it. It’s your call, boss. It’s your call.
Keep being you, G-Man. Keep being you.
BQB, Your Ever So Pious Servant, Educating the 3.5 Heathens who Frequent this Fine Blog Sicne 2014.
Ryan Reynolds. Jake Gyllenaal. A murderous space amoeba.
BQB here with a review of Life.
Our tale begins on a happy note. The crew of the International Space Station has received a sample of soil taken from Mars and returned via a probe. It contains what seems to be a great scientific discovery, namely living bacteria – proof that life exists beyond Earth.
The crew seeks to study this life form but alas, said bacteria has other ideas in mind. It’s essentially a high paced monster movie in space, as the crew try to save themselves while also trying to keep the life form from reaching Earth.
One observation is that this is really an ensemble cast. Reynolds and Gyllenhaal are the two most recognizable stars, but they don’t drive the focus or action of the film. Crew members Sho, Miranda, Kat, and Hugh (Hiroyuki Sanada, Rebecca Ferguson, Olga Dihovichnaya and Ariyon Bakare, respectively) all get their chance to shine.
Reynolds of Deadpool fame is snarky as always. One day I’d like to hear the story of why a good looking dude (I’m not gay it’s just an observation) still tries so hard. Handsome/beautiful people tend to coast on their looks – in my opinion. Yes, I am discriminatory against the beautiful.
STATUS: Shelf-worthy. Worth a trip to the theater.
Well…that’s kind of a scary title for a blog post but don’t worry, I’ll make sense of it in a minute.
A kid from my graduating class at East Randomtown High School died this week. Late thirties. I can’t say I was friends with him but there wasn’t any reason for that. Our paths just didn’t cross that much. I have memories of being a nice little kid and playing with him at recess and stuff but other than that, I didn’t know him as an adult or anything.
Makes me sad…a) because you never know how much time we have left and b) they guy was in better shape than I am so holy shit, I should probably skip the next donut.
Oh what the hell. Give me the donut.
Video Game Rack Fighter and I don’t have children. It saddens me. Thought I would by this age.
Men apparently have biological clocks too. I mean, sure, in theory, a seventy year old man can knock up a chick but that’s a) if you make it to 70 and b) it won’t be that much fun to be a dad because you’ll be too tired to play with the kid and c) really, only a select handful of men can pull off impregnating a younger woman.
Ahh, you forgot that part. A 70 year old man can’t impregnate a 70 year old woman i.e. a woman in his league because her lady area is all dried up and filled with bats and spiders and so on.
Not that I’m knocking the older gals. I’m sure old men probably just have a little flag that shoots out of their privates that reads, “Thanks for playing. Try again.”
Anyway, only super rich 70 year olds can woo and knock up a younger woman. Like our 45th POTUS, the Trumpster, for example. He knocked up a younger woman when he was 60 and now he has a ten year old at 70.
Good for him, but I don’t own any skyscrapers that I can point to when I’m 70 and say, “Hey, younger women, I own this and I can give you a good life so please allow me to impregnate you and a good time will be had by all.”
That’s exactly how I’d say it too. I’m such a romantic.
Just saddens me all around.
Because now I’m just thinking like, realistically, even now I’m pushing it and at best I have a couple years left to put a bun in the oven before I’m the oldest baker at the kid’s graduation.
Maybe I should just adopt a bunch of poor orphans and become their father. I can fill BQB HQ with orphans and turn the place into an orphan sanctuary.
I just don’t want to be forgotten, 3.5 readers.
What say you?
Oh, its the question we all hate to think about, isn’t it, 3.5 readers?
Honestly, I don’t know, though the idea that one day this all stops and that’s all she wrote is depressing.
The idea that we wake up and we are ourselves but somewhere else, hopefully somewhere nice, is a good thought.
I worry about it sometimes and all I can do really is push the thought away. It becomes paralyzing if dwelled on for too long.
I can see both sides. There has to be something more than what we know about life, the universe, human existence, than what we already know.
Scientists can explain the Big Bang Theory but where did all the rocks that banged into each other come from?
On the other side, life can be hard. A lot of tragedy. Suffering. It becomes difficult to not assume we are alone.
Moreover, its hard to go to a funeral and see someone who was once alive lying there all quiet and still and not think that that’s all there is to it.
Unfortunately, the only ones who know for sure are the dead and they aren’t talking – whether because they can’t because they’re in another world or because they just don’t exist anymore – I don’t know.
People fight too much over religion. Nobody really knows. We hope. I hope there’s life after death. This all seems like a big waste if there isn’t.
I know people will probably say, “It isn’t a waste if there isn’t” and I suppose that is true.
Still, as I get older, I look back on mistakes made, paths not taken, I realize there’s less and less time to accomplish what I wanted and that hope for an afterlife is more and more needed – the idea that maybe this life is to suffer through the learning process and then in the next life you be great knowing what you know after a lifetime of trial and error.
I’m just talking out of my butt.
I don’t know what happens after we die, but I hope its something more than becoming a leftover carcass.
Don’t let me get you down though. If you’re young, live life to the fullest so you don’t end up wondering about the “would have, could have, should haves.”
If you’re old, well, you’re still alive, so there’s still time to do some stuff you always wanted to do but haven’t yet.
Sorry to start your day on a depressing note, 3.5 readers.
What say you?
:::Bongo Drum Beats:::
Hey there all you hep cats and hep kittens. Come on down to the East Randomtown Java Bean, where the poets always stink and the cups are never clean.
Next on the mic is the one and only Search Engine Optimized Poet…the only rhyme-smith whose beats bring in the Googler’s feets, ya dig?
Life! Whoa, life!
Why oh why am I here?
Oh how many nights I have spent,
Trying to find the answer in a beer?
Cheer…for those who know what they are meant for.
Jeer…at those who sleep through life and snore.
Bore. I don’t want to be an SEO poet anymore.
I want to spread my wings and soar.
My existence should not be such an arduous chore.
But seriously, what is all of this for?
Am I here to play Pokemon Go?
Surely the answer is “no.”
Am I here to watch reality TV?
Surely there must be something better to see.
Drat. I need to pee.
Pouring out existential wisdom and also spent Diet Shasta Orange into the porcelain throne.
“What is my purpose?!” is the query that I moan.
If you run a dream bank, I’d like to take out a loan.
But alas, that statement I must edit.
For I have run out of credit.
Irony, thy name is life!
For by the time I have figured out thee,
One thing will be for certain…
…you will be done with me.
Hello 3.5 Readers,
Quite a surprise ending for Season 5, wasn’t it?
I’ve finally processed my grief and am now able to talk about it but first, let’s talk about real life.
That’s right. I’m talking about the life outside of Game of Thrones, the one without the dragons, or the Khaleesi, or the epic battles or a functionally alcoholic dwarf who manages to save the day despite his ennui.
“If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”
That’s an old cliche, isn’t it? It holds up though. So many of us work our little butts off. We toil away, we make goals, figure out the steps we need to take to work towards them and do what we can to achieve them.
Sometimes things work out for us. Other times, and usually more often than not, we fall flat on our faces.
3.5 readers, who among you has locked up your emotions with a significant other you trusted not to screw you over? Surely, at least one of you convinced yourself your girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse, partner, whatever was “the one” and you built your life around said individual.
Maybe you were planning to get married or hell, maybe you DID get married. God, maybe you even brought kids into the world with this person. Or maybe you didn’t. Maybe you just walked around telling your friends and family what a reliable, dependable person this guy or gal was.
Then one day…boom! Gone.
POSSIBLE BREAK-UP LINES USED ON YOU:
- It’s not you, it’s me.
- It was you all along.
- I hate your face.
- Welcome to Dumpsville. Population: You.
- TEXT MESSAGE: U IZ DUMPD
- TWEET: #UIZDUMPD
- FACEBOOK: You’re dumped. Here’s a funny cat video I hope will help you get through it.
Forget relationships. Maybe you’re career aspirations did not go how you planned them. You went to college, selected a major, gained useful experience and boom! You’re riding the pine on the ‘rents’ couch because the economy stinks worse than a wookie during mating season on Kashyyyk.
Maybe everything did go right. Maybe you did find that awesome job and that awesome significant other.
Maybe one day you’re walking across the street, you’re thinking, “Wow, everything sure did work out for me and OH NO! A damn Mac Truck just ran over my face.”
Life. Whether it’s romance or careers or dreams, there’s just no guarantee of success and everything can go turn to crap in an instant.
Now, add in the dragons, and the sword fights, and the Khaleesi and you have Game of Thrones, a fantasy show that is as close as a program can get to real life and still feature a red headed witch with the ability to push smokey ghost assassins out of her cooter.
Attorney Donnelly preemptively apologizes to anyone offended by my use of the word “cooter.” Also, please read Pop Culture Mysteries. I’m pretty proud of that one.
In real life, there’s what you wanted to happen AND what did happen.
I, your illustrious blog host Bookshelf Q. Battler, will now analyze the past season/final episode with through those two points of view.
SPOILER WARNING!!!! DON’T READ IF YOU DON’T WANT ANYTHING SPOILED!
GAME OF THRONES – HBO – SEASON 5 TRAILER – THE WHEEL
THE BIG SURPRISE – JON SNOW
WHAT I WANTED TO HAPPEN – Jon Snow to continue into the next season as the man standing between Westeros and the White Walkers.
WHAT DID HAPPEN – The Night’s Watch turned on their leader in a big way.
Jon Snow was named Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch this season. His men grumbled about his decisions but they also gave every indication of, “Well, this is a military organization so we have to follow orders even when they piss us off.”
Jon grew so much this season, moving from dopey pretty boy to battle hardened leader. He made a tough call with the Wildlings.
The Night’s Watch Brothers are understandably unhappy with the decision to save the Wildlings. These are people who have killed several brothers as well as innocent bystanders – men, women and children. Sure, the Wildlings’ reasoning is, “Hey! You put up a big ass wall and locked us out of the Kingdom!” but the justification is, “Of course we did! You guys are a bunch of aholes and are basically snow covered Dothraki!”
SIDE NOTE: The genius of the books/series is that nothing is ever black and white. George RR provides reasoning and justification for why every characters acts the way that they do, even the worst ones. Their actions aren’t necessarily right, but you’re left with an understanding of the events that led to a person becoming an evil jerkface.
I get that no character is safe but so much was built up around Jon snow:
You know nothing – Am I the only one who thought all of those, “You know nothing, Jon Snows” would eventually lead to a big reveal where Jon Snow would learn something, whatever it was that he was supposed to know?
Jon Snow’s Mother – (Possible Big Spoiler) – In the first season, we learn that Ned brought baby Jon Snow back to Winterfell, a bastard he had with some allegedly random hussy because while he loved Cat and all, he thought he was going to die during Robert’s Rebellion so he might as well get a little somethin’ somethin’ on the side and woops! We won the war! Guess Ned has some ‘splaining to do.
Ned tells Jon he’ll fill him in on his mother one day. Will we ever find out who Jon’s mother is now? Will it matter if/when we do?
There’s been a long bandied about theory (POSSIBLE BIG SPOILER!) that Jon was not actually Ned’s kid but rather, was the love child of Lyanna Stark (Ned’s sister betrothed to Robert Baratheon) and Rhaegar Targaryen, that Lyanna wasn’t actually kidnapped but in fact, she ran away willingly with Rhaegar and as a Targaryen, Jon had the closest link to the throne and Ned felt the need to protect his nephew from Robert by claiming him as a bastard, even if that meant enduring Cat’s constant, “Waah waah Ned cheated on me while he was at war” complaints.
Is that theory possible? Who knows now but here’s a question – was noble Ned really the cheating type?
This is what George RR does and does best. He builds up our hopes and dreams. Like Lucy from Peanuts, he holds that damn football. Like the gullible Charlie Brown, the dumb audience comes running up to kick that football and then bam, George, like Lucy, pulls that football away. He does it every time and we keep watching because in many ways, those big shockers make for thrilling television.
GRRM did it with Rob Stark, when the Young Wolf won battle after battle against the Lannisters only to be gutted at the Red Wedding. He did it with Prince Oberyn when we were led to believe that the Viper had bested the Mountain only to gloat just a little too early. And now he’s done it with Jon Snow.
Sure, Jon’s untimely demise made for a big “HOLY CRAP” moment but whether or not it pans out as a good decision for the series remains to be seen. After all, we invested a lot in Jon Snow. Aside from the Khaleesi and Tyrion, he was pretty much the last good guy worth rooting for.
Sam’s a fun character but will it be as invigorating to watch him stand between Westeros and the White Walkers? Will we cheer on the Night’s Watch when they betrayed their Lord Commander? Seriously, other than Dany, who’s left to like now?
SIDE NOTE: In keeping with the GOT = Real Life argument, keep in mind at this point, the more likely outcome is not that Dany swoops into Westeros and saves the day but rather, that the Whitewalkers just take over the entire fantasy world and have a great undead time into all eternity. I can honestly see GRRM taking that approach, can’t you?
WHAT I WANTED TO HAPPEN: Cersei refuses to confess. Tommen grows a pair and sends the army to retrieve his wife, mother and brother-in-law.
WHAT DID HAPPEN: Tommen reverts to being an indecisive wuss. Cersei confesses, goes on the worst walk of shame ever and still has to undergo a trial anyway.
Cersei’s the character fans love to hate. The running pattern in the show is that she concocts these schemes, thinks she’s so clever and then her plans backfire royally. That happened again this season. By giving the High Sparrow the power of a religious army, she thought she’d developed her own personal hit squad to take out her enemies, namely the Tyrells.
It all backfired when the High Sparrow turned on her and locked her up.
Cersei’s done a lot of bad things to good people (most notably Ned) but on the other hand, that whole “walk of shame” scene was sad to watch and surely it would be a painful experience for anyone to go through.
Hat’s off to Lena Headey. I’m sure walking around in the buff whilst surrounded by throngs of fantasy peasant extras spitting on you, throwing garbage and uh, other substances at you and hurling insults was no easy feet.
SIDENOTE: Remember how Lady Stoneheart was axed from the series, that the idea was a little farfetched? But uh, Frankenmountain isn’t? Clyburn introducing his “creation” kind of blew the end of that very powerful walk of shame scene. The emotion was raw and real and then it went basically went to a Frankenstein monster to defend Cersei’s honor.
JAIME/MYRCELLA – I’m going to rush through this one. I wanted Myrcella to live because, hey, she’s just a kid. Why punish her when she didn’t do anything? Alas, Jaime gets that briefest of father/daughter moments before seeing his offspring die due to Ellaria’s treachery. Prince Doran won’t be happy.
WHAT I WANTED TO HAPPEN: Stannis ousts the Boltons, frees Sansa. Sansa finally gets to have somewhat of a normal existence where she isn’t a captive or a torture victim.
WHAT DID HAPPEN: As often happens in real life, the bad guys aka the Boltons, won.
Perhaps GRRM’s intent in having Stannis sacrifice Shireen was to turn him from good to bad guy, thus leaving the audience pleased at his defeat.
Stannis started out in the series as the ruthless “win at all costs” warrior, too blindly devoted to the Red Woman, willing to even kill his own brother (through the above mentioned cooter delivered smoke ghost assassin) to get what he wants.
But then Stannis scored points and his stock rose. He was the only one to respond to the Night’s Watch calls for help, bringing his men to save the day during the Wildling attack. He told Shireen that she was a princess and that he had always seen to it that she’d be treated accordingly despite her ailment.
GRRM convinced us. Go Stannis. Kick out the dastardly Boltons. Punish them for their betrayal of the Starks. Save Sansa.
Alas, then there was what happened to Shireen and well, the battle became a conflict between two aholes (Bolton vs. Baratheon) and as often happens in life, you were left tepidly rooting for the lesser of two aholes.
What about Lady Melisandre? Some powerful acting there. She presents herself as the consummate, unshaken true believer in the Lord of Light yet when the audience learns half of Stannis men have fled with the horses, you can see the look of defeat in her eyes.
Here’s a question – would you keep fighting for a guy who cooked his daughter alive? Could that have been a big reason why his troops skeedaddled?
SIDENOTE: Will the Red Woman resurrect Jon Snow? Tough call.
1) We’re not sure if she can. Sometimes it is implied that she’s full of shit. She might have no magic power and all she does is pull creepy sayings out of her ass, throw a few powders into the fire, put on a little show and then she has the patronage and support of a rich royal family. She all but said that in a prior episode.
2) But she might be able do. I mean, hell, the woman did push a smokey ghost assassin out of her cooter, so bringing a dead man back to life should be a piece of cake.
3) Kit Harington, the actor who played Jon Snow, has already said in interviews that Jon isn’t coming back. I mean, that still doesn’t mean it’s impossible but it’s something to keep in mind. (Would an actor say, “Oh yeah! Don’t worry! The Red Woman will bring me back!” if that was going to happen?)
Still, I kind of doubt that’s going to happen.
SANSA AND REEK – Hey um, I’m surprised I’m the only one asking this, but are they dead? They’re pretty much dead, aren’t they?
The show runners were made a point to show the viewer just how tall that damn wall was, that there weren’t any beds of feathers or wagons full of pillows waiting at the bottom, and we even saw a person fall to her death from the inner side so…Sansa and Reek jumped just after Sansa declared she’d rather die than be tortured any more so uh….I don’t know. I fail to see how they’d of survived that fall but we didn’t see any bodies so I guess we wait until next season.
I have to say if Sansa dies it will be yet another, “God damn it. Another character I rooted for taken from me.”
WHAT I WANTED TO HAPPEN: Arya continues her training
WHAT DID HAPPEN: Arya goes blind. I don’t know why. The Faceless Men have rules and she broke them.
WHAT I WANTED TO HAPPEN: I wanted a damn explanation as to how the Khaleesi’s buddies survived the Sons of the Harpy attack after being abandoned by their Queen when she went on a dragon joyride. Also, I wanted her to return and continue to lead her army into Westeros, since now, without Jon Snow, she’s pretty much that continent’s only hope.
WHAT DID HAPPEN: The Khaleesi is captured by the Dothraki and this time does not have Khal Drogo to protect her. Hopefully, Mormont and Daario will find her in time.
But keep in mind, we’re onto your tricks, GRRM. We won’t be surprised if you have the Khaleesi get burned up by one of her dragons or killed by the Dothraki or something.
Hell, just give the Iron Throne to Sam Tarly or Hodor and be done with it.
Real life? You never get what you want and that’s why you never get what you want on this show either.