Tag Archives: philosophy

Regrets, Kierkegaard Had a Few

Do you regret reading this post, 3.5 readers?

That’s OK. I already regret writing it.

And there’s the rub, for the great Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard warns us that it is inevitable for us to regret literally everything we do:

“If you marry, you will regret it; if you do not marry, you will also regret it; if you marry or do not marry, you will regret both; Laugh at the world’s follies, you will regret it, weep over them, you will also regret that; laugh at the world’s follies or weep over them, you will regret both; whether you laugh at the world’s follies or weep over them, you will regret both. Believe a woman, you will regret it, believe her not, you will also regret that; believe a woman or believe her not, you will regret both; whether you believe a woman or believe her not, you will regret both. Hang yourself, you will regret it; do not hang yourself, and you will also regret that; hang yourself or do not hang yourself, you will regret both; whether you hang yourself or do not hang yourself, you will regret both. This, gentlemen, is the sum and substance of all philosophy.”

I have come to find that Soren and I are a couple of morose mother-effers who act like someone just pooped in our cereal (classic Jay and Silent Bob reference.)

But it’s true, isn’t it? Middle-aged, people, you know what I’m talking about.

If you get married, you will regret not staying single a year or two or three more and maybe you could have found that sex crazed nympho that was willing to cater to all your whims.

If you don’t get married, you will regret being alone and come to realize that the nice, normal person who wasn’t a sex nympho and was not going to cater to all your whims would have been at least good company who would have given you some nookie once in awhile.

If you are mean you will feel bad about the people you could have helped but didn’t. If you are nice, you will regret letting people walk all over you.

Soren loses me on the suicide part of the quote. That’s too far for me. If anything, my big regret is not doing everything possible to ensure that I’ll live to be over 100. Frankly, my big regret is that I did not become a health crazed, kale chomping, 5K running strong man at an early age…so I do regret that my blood type is rocky road now. I don’t think I would have regretted getting healthy and staying that way from the beginning.

The Sore-meister famously dumped the love of his life out of fear that he’d regret marrying her only to regret doing so. I hate to admit that in my youth I chased after dum dums and pushed away smart smarts (is that the opposite of dum dums?).  I guess you could call me a junior Soren in that regard.

Maybe I am Soren reincarnated.

Anyway, we only get one life and we must make choices. Unfortunately, many of those big choices are made when we are young and have heads full of mush. When we are older and get all the spoilers of how our choices worked out, I suppose it is only natural to regret mistakes made, now that we have more information.

Note though we can’t be sure that we made mistakes even if it feels like we did. We wish we had snagged that special someone but maybe that special someone would have turned out to be a jerkface. We wish we would have snagged that special job but maybe it would not have worked out. Maybe we would have made decisions that got us the perfect life only to be run over by a bus in a freak accident.

Let’s try to recognize that Soren is right in that regret is inevitable, but perhaps we do need to forgive ourselves lest we regret being consumed by our regrets.

Remember, Soren also said, “Don’t forget to love yourself” so he must have realized we need our own personal hugs in the midst of all this regret.

Soren actually invented the term “angst” and noted that “anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.” In other words, we have so many choices in front of us that it is normal to feel sick over the possibility that we might eff those choices up.

Finally, the Sore-a-nator said, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”

Soren didn’t know the term “spoiler alert” but he was right. You don’t figure out what you did wrong until the wrong is already done. As you get older, you can’t help but do an autopsy of your life and analyze what you should and should not have done.

It’s too bad we don’t get to live to 200 so we could screw up the first 100 years then really knock the ball out of the park in the second hundred.

Thanks for the thoughts, Kierkegaard and cheer up, wherever you are.

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I Kant Even

The great philosopher Immanuel Kant once said, “Happiness is not an ideal of reason, but of imagination.”

What say you, 3.5 readers?

I’ll admit, I have wasted my life thinking if I only get this or that or the other thing or achieve x y or z I will be happy and now that I am older I realize maybe I should have looked for happiness in the journey rather than wait for the destination that never seems to be reached.

Perhaps it is unreasonable to be happy. It is illogical to be happy. How can we be happy when we know full well that one day we are going to plotz? That we are but a mere tragedy away from losing our homes, our lives and/or everything we hold dear? Honestly, we are probably idiots if we aren’t up all night long, worrying about every conceivable thing that could hurt us.

So perhaps happiness must be imagined. Imagine that your significant other is the best lover on earth with the prowess of a Greek god or goddess. Imagine that your house is a mansion. Imagine that your TV is a 60 foot plasma. Imagine that your whiny little lap dog is a majestic dire wolf.

Find the happiness in your head, 3.5 readers.

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Albert Camus’ Invincible Summer

Hey 3.5 readers.

The French philosopher Albert Camus once said, “In the depth of winter, I finally learned there lay within me an invincible summer.”

What do you think that means, 3.5 readers?

I’m going to guess it means that even during Camus’ worse times, he was able to feel good about himself. And why not? He was a famous writer who was handsome and popular with the ladies.  It was easy for him to find his invincible summer.

Camus was an absurdist and I am no philosophy expert but my understanding is that absurdism is a spinoff of nihilism.  Nihilism = life is meaningless while absurdism = life is absurd.

Is it? Maybe. It is kind of absurd that you are born, you live, you learn all these lessons and savor the joys of life in your youth then eventually you hit a point where with each passing year, these joys are taken away from you more and more.

So maybe it wasn’t easy for someone who thought life was absurd to find an invincible summer inside of himself. Maybe Camus does deserve a pat on the back for finding it.

Sidenote – the poor guy died at 46 in a car crash while a passenger in a sports car his agent was driving. There was a train ticket in his pocket that went unused because he decided to drive with his agent instead. If you get an agent, don’t let them drive, 3.5 readers.

Then again, what do I know? Maybe your agent is a great driver and the train you would have been a passenger on might have exploded due to some sort of unforeseen malfunction.

Don’t listen to me. Don’t take advice from blogs that are only read by 3.5 readers.

To sum up, it is good that a famous writer finds his invincible summer. It makes sense. Where it is harder is the janitor who scrubs toilets all day then comes home to an empty house because his wife left him and so he stares at the walls by himself all night. These are people who need to find their invincible summer, and it is hard.

Come to think of it, it is hard for proprietors of blogs with only 3.5 readers to find their own invincible summers. Excuse me. I need a kleenex to dry some tears that came only due to allergy season.

Find your own invincible summer, 3.5 readers and if you know someone living in winter, maybe see what you can do to bring some summer into their lives.

I got through this whole post without making any French jokes about Camus probably liking baguettes and crepes suzette. I am proud of myself, oui, oui, sacre bleu!

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Is Hell Other People?

Hey 3.5 readers.  Your old pal, BQB here.

John Paul Sartre’s play, “No Exit” is often summed up as “Hell is other people.”

Forgive me if I get this wrong, but my understanding is the play consists of three deceased people in a waiting room who are waiting to get into the afterlife.  They each try to get the other to do something but the other won’t give in to what is wanted.

Thus, if someone would just do what you want, your life would be so much better, but they won’t, so it sucks.

Have you ever felt that way?  If only that special someone would love you.  If only your spouse would help out more or make more money or do that thing you like in bed or whatever.  If only your boss would give you a raise.  If only that company would hire you.  If only your dumb neighbor would turn his music down while you’re trying to sleep.

The good news is we all have free will.  The bad news is we are unable to bend people to our will, at least not without becoming strong-arming dictators that we don’t want to become and that others don’t want to be around.

A lucky few get the breaks in that they find the perfect combo of family, friends, and business colleagues who open the right doors and offer what is desired.

Alas, the rest of us have to put up with squirrel brained circus folk who will make us feel lucky if they close their mouths and look down when it rains so they don’t drown.

Discuss.

 

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Great Musings of The Twenty-First Century – 401 – 425

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#401 – When you want something to pour on your spaghetti, you can’t beat tomato sauce.

#402 – No one flambees anything anymore.

#403 – Help! I’m trapped in a metaphysical box and I can’t get out!

#404 – What time is it?

#405 – Yesterday may have happened yesterday, but today is happening right now.  How will you judge today’s actions when tomorrow arrives on time?

#406 – Do boomerangs really work?

#408 – Suffering is hard.

#409 – The cardinals never take my papal candidacy seriously.

#410 – Call me a bigot, but I’ll never support a marriage between a man, a woman, another man, another woman, a duck, a sheep, an alpaca, an emu, a bucket of rusty bolts, a cactus, three submarine sandwiches, a leopard, a door knob and a man named Oliver.  However, change just one of those variables and I’ll strongly consider supporting it.

#411 – The best day to fly a kite is a windy day.

#412 – Whenever I want to stop my car, I hit the brakes.

#413 – The path of least resistance offers the least resistance.  This is the best path to take.  You never hear anyone extolling the virtues of the path of most resistance, do you?

#414 – I haven’t cleaned out my desk drawers in awhile.

#415 –  Elderberries are neither old nor berries.  Discuss.

#416 – Activism sounds like a lot of work.

#417 – Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing.  However, when it is time to do something, then it is not advisable to do nothing.

#418 – Any day I don’t crap my pants is a good day.

#419 – Today’s planted seed is tomorrow’s oak tree.

#420 – You don’t meet many women named Virginia anymore.

#421 – I’ll become an astronaut once space flight is as easy as air travel. Until then, I don’t have the right stuff.

#422 – I have writer’s block.

#423 – The ocean is the wettest thing I’ve ever seen.

#424 – Is there anything better than a fresh sarsaparilla?

#425 – I enjoy good musical stylings.

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Great Musings of the Twenty-First Century – #376 – 400

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#376 – Existing isn’t the same as living.

#378 – Grapes are small pieces of fruit.

#379 – Physically, we aren’t able to see what is behind us.  Mentally, we are always looking at the past that’s unchangeable.

#380 – Birds of a feather flock together but kittens of a whisker don’t do much of anything interesting whatsoever.  Sorry I mentioned it.

#381 – Every lacrosse team has at least one Chad.

#382 – I don’t know who I am anymore.  I’m not sure I ever knew in the first place.

#383 – Stars are nature’s glitter.

#384 – One day I would like to learn judo.

#385 – I’d like to make a banjo with nothing but a cigar box, a broom handle, fifteen rubber bands and the assistance of a professional banjo maker.

#386 – I once was lost but now am found. I was in the last place I thought to look for myself.

#387 – Ducks love bread.

#388 – How fast is a light second?

#389 – The other day I was in the dairy aisle of my local grocery store. I picked up a product labeled, “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.” I set the container down and moved on.  Sorry, but if the manufacturer is unable to believe that the contents do not consist of butter then I don’t know why I’m supposed to.

#390 – I’m going to think of something ridiculously clever and insert it here later.

#391 – Broadband does not include broads and if it did, those broads would not join a band. Discuss.

#392 – Are mole people friendly?  I’m talking about people with moles on their faces, not the people who live underground.  We all know the latter are dicks.

#393 – I love my microwave.  Frankly, whenever I think about how I own a device that can harness the power of the atom just to cook my frozen pizza, I get a little hard.

#394 – If Frankenstein has sex with a lady werewolf, would their baby be a Frankenwolf or a Wolfenstein?  If it’s the last one, would they have to pay royalties to the people who made that video game?

#395 – I bought a dry erase board in the hopes that I would think of something clever to write on it.  My first note on it? “Remember to return dry erase board.”

#396 – Right now, at this very moment, two horny penguins in Antarctica are getting their fuck on.

#397 – Why are people always offering poisoned people antidotes? People, it’s not that hard. Just don’t drink dotes in the first place.

#398 – Whatever happened to Mario Van Peebles?

#399 – Is it a violation to use sidewalk chalk on driveways?

#400 – I’d eat cake at every meal if I could.

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Daily Discussion with BQB – Is life an illusion?

Are any of us real?  I mean, are we really real?  Can you prove our realness, really?

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Great Musings of the Twenty First Century – #301 – 325

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#301 – An item lost in dried cement can eventually be chiseled out, but it’s easier to pull it out before the cement hardens.

#302 – Boll weevils are neither bolls nor weevils.  Discuss.

#303 – I hope there’s not a cougar in my cupboard.

#304 – It saddens me that in all the time I spent trying to make a go of it in Hollywood, not a single executive made a pass at me.  It would have been unwelcomed, but still, it’s common courtesy.

#305 – I can never be sure if there’s a monster hiding under my bed unless I keep looking under my bed at all times.

#306 – The beautiful will never understand the plight of the ugly.

#307 – I’m not saying that Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were gay lovers.  It’s just that I can’t prove they weren’t.

#308 – Always pinch your produce before you buy it.

#309 – I’ve figured out a magnificent way to avoid sleeping outside when I travel: I stay in a hotel.

#310 – Elvis Presley’s greatest invention was the fried peanut butter and banana sandwich.  I prefer chunky peanut butter in mine.

#311 – Gray hair is a sign of experience…and also the loss of follicular pigmentation.

#312 – I’ll support raising the wage of fast food drive-thru workers to $15 on the day they get my order right.

#313 – Hijinx will get you nowhere.

#314 – Bacteria is never something you want present on top of your potatoes au gratin.

#315 – Fart in a can today and smell it tomorrow.

#316 – Deja vu is a freaky experience and by the way, deja vu is a freaky experience.

#317 – Madame, I’ll have you know I’m in the CIA – the Clitoral Investigation Agency.  Our motto: “We’ll find it sooner or later.”

#318 – Sure, you think its adorable when dolphins make all those little squeaky sounds, but keep in mind that the squeaks translate into a trail of obscenities that would make the most boorish longshoreman blush.

#319 – I will go to my grave thinking this thought: anyone who rides a rollercoaster and enjoys it is a total asshole.

#320 – Sugar is the best way I know to sweeten my coffee.

#321 – Eagle sex is  simultaneously the most disgusting yet exceptionally patriotic act you’ll ever witness.

#322 – Glory is the best reason to do something.

#323 – Abraham Lincoln earned his spot on the penny.

#324 – Dish rags can clean a dish, but what cleans the dish rag?

#325 – Adventure: it’s what’s for breakfast.

 

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Great Musings of the Twentieth Century – #276 – 300

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#276 – Never cross a ninja on an empty stomach.

#277 – I’m not highly opinionated, it’s just that what I think is accurate and what others think is idiotic.

#278 – Speedos are all the rage on the beaches of Monte Carlo.

#279 – My business associates at the important meeting were surprised to see my underwear in my briefcase, but if it’s called a “briefcase” then I can’t think of a better place to put my soiled undies.

#280 – Chalk can be used to make a lot of marks on a chalk board, but no matter how hard you try to erase your words, a little bit of them will always remain.

#281 – I’ve always wanted to try jerk chicken but I’ve never had a desire to get that intimate with poultry.

#282 – Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen, except for other people who can be categorized according to my socioeconomic profile.

#283 – Clouds of dust make me wheeze.

#284 –  Ugly people are the best lovers.  They appreciate it more.

#285 – Cacti and porcupines are fun to have around until they become big pricks.

#286 – Crabs will never make good guests, whether on the beach or in the pants.

#287 – “Die Hard” will always be my favorite Christmas movie.

#288 – Geniuses are often maligned in life, only to be pined for in death.

#289 – Never get involved in a caper.

#290 – Has anyone ever actually cried a river?  What do you think made that person so sad in the first place?

#291 – Do caught fish feel like they’re being abducted by aliens when they are pulled out of water?  “I was eating a worm for lunch and next thing I know, I’m being pulled towards the light…”

#292 – My next car is going to be one of those bridge layer trucks used by the army to create bridges whenever they need one.  That way, whenever I drive to a canyon, I can just create my own bridge.

#293 – If you throw the object of your affection into the trash can by mistake, it’s not truly gone until it’s carted off to the dump.

#294 – Explosions in buildings = bad.  Explosions in my pants = a good time.

#295 – Tuesday is one day after Monday but also one day before Wednesday.

#296 – One time I ate a sandwich on the B-train.  That’s right.  I ate Subway on the subway.

#297 – You’ve heard of hard drives?  I’ve invented the world’s first soft drive.  It starts out the same as a hard drive, but then it is forced to watch Bea Arthur’s long lost sex tape on a continuous loop for three hours.

#298 – I could go for a good can of Diet Shasta Orange right about now.

#299 – If I had a nickel for every time someone gave me a nickel, I’d have very few nickels, because it’s not like there are many people running around, handing out free nickels these days.

#300 – I want to get one of those strings that people tie to the back of their glasses.  That way, I would never lose my glasses.

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Great Musings of the Twenty-First Century – #251-275

And now, Bookshelf Q. Battler, one of the greatest minds of the Twenty-First Century (but hey, the century is still young) will share his great musings…

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#251 – Sundays are for sleeping in.

#252 – He who stands out in the rain without an umbrella is likely to end up all wet.

#253 – Col. Mustard is guilty of all “Clue” related crimes.

#254 – I’ve never seen a geyser.

#255 – All the hot older female celebrities I used to jerk off to in the 1990s have AARP cards now.  Eat a dick, time.

#256 – “Rutabaga” is fun to say.

#257 – Chivalry may not be dead, but it’s on life support.

#258 – It’s been awhile since I’ve taken part in tomfoolery.

#259 – Sigh.  Whenever I fly, I’m inevitably stuck between a fat man and a crying baby.  Just once, I’d like to be stuck between a fat baby and a crying man.

#260 – I wonder if Zeus is still around.  Wait, what’s that thundering sound?

#261 – I put my pants on the same way as anybody else:  two legs at a time after I jump off a trampoline and land a perfect dismount into them.

#262 – There goes the neighborhood.

#263 – End the drug war today and let big box stores sell crack already.

#264 – Thanksgiving must be an interesting time at the Fett household.

#265 – Show me a man who writes “Firefly” fan fiction and I’ll show you a man who can make a vagina drier than the Mojave.

#266 – I wonder what my old baseball cards are worth today.

#267 – I’ve never made love in an elevator.

#268 – Most foods are improved with a little sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

#269 – No one wears spurs anymore.

#270 – If asked by the local sheriff, I feel like it would be hard to turn down a request to join a posse.

#271 – I don’t need to be told how to get to Sesame Street.  I have a navigation app on my phone, thank you.

#272 – Skydiving will never be my bag.

#273 – I could go for a good episode of “NCIS” and a bowl full of cherries doused in a heaping helping of whipped cream right about now.

#274 – The first draft of the Declaration of Independence begins, “Yo, King, slurp on our big, fat, hairy colonial…”  Well, it stops there.  Assumably, Jefferson started over after that.

#275 – If “oranges” are orange, why aren’t grapes, “purples?”

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