This is the problem I have with Olympic opening ceremonies. We think the whole world actually gives a fuck! The thing is we are all natural narcissists and egotistical. We think the world actually cares about us. That the world’s eyes are focused upon us. This applies in the ‘nation state’ sense and also in the ‘personal’ sense and also in the ‘God’ sense. We like to think ourselves to be more important then we actually are. You walk down the street wearing a brand new leather jacket and you think everybody is looking at you and admiring your new jacket. The thing is you’ll see the same looks with or without the new jacket. The mind makes you see what it wants you to see – which is usually what’s on its mind.
The Olympics is on our mind. And we think the world cares. Actually – the world does care. But only to the extent that they wish us to fall flat on our faces. You see the world wants us to fail! The world, the other nations, they don’t want the London Olympic opening ceremony to succeed. They want it to be a damp squid. Schadenfreude! There is no greater pleasure than schadenfreude!
Imagine. Just imagine for a moment. The next Olympic opening ceremony in four years time in Brazil. Will the British want it to succeed and be better than the London 2012 Olympic ceremony? Will we clap our hands and joyfully wish them all the best? Of course bloody not! Though we won’t show it, though we’ll hide our true feelings, we’ll want it to be a disaster – so that we, the British, can feel good about ourselves. So that we can say “Look at them! Idiots! No imagination. Ours was so much better. Cos we’re British and there’s something special about us”.
At the heart of any competitive endeavour is a bitter truth: one side must always lose. As the gold medalist stands proud on the podium – there are numerous others who didn’t make it. We feel proud when our team wins. But in the global equation…there are more losers. There is more pain then gain overall. The pain of the losers is greater than the gain of the winners. Entropy.
The Olympics is just another egotistical and pointless national competition. It’s like supporting your football team and wanting it to win so that you can then feel good about yourself. True, England – Great Britain – does need to feel good about itself right now. We are in a double-dip recession. The economy is stagnant and has as much life as a bloated corpse. And to fix it we have elected morons to lead us out of trouble. Why do we elect morons? Why don’t we elect someone who actually knows what they’re doing? Because we are frail and weak and flawed creatures. We fall in love with the saccharine smile, the charisma, the über confidences, the fakery – of tricksters and charlatans. The people who should be our leaders don’t pass the test. The test of knowing how to stab your opponents in the back and not get blamed for anything. The test of how to sweet talk your way out of anything. In short: the skills all politicians have in spades!
There are people out there, if they were elected, would lead us out of these choppy waters. There are people out there, if elected, would make the world a better and safer place. But we’ll never get to know who they are. And we continue to make the same mistakes, electing the same sort of people – whose only skill is knowing how to get to be the boss, and look good on camera.
If only we could leave humans out of the decision making process!
I am on a roll. I started on the Olympics and now I am slagging off politicians!
And do you know what the biggest untruth sold to the world is?
That life has a meaning.
That life has an actual meaning is the biggest, baddest lie and trick of all. It’s fooled many for millennia, and continues to fool billions. And this universal desire for ‘meaning’ – this search for ‘purpose’ that is written in our DNA – enriches and mobilizes the peddlers of countless falsehoods.
The sweet tongued ‘Imam’ with his sugary voice and sweet smile will fill that void in people’s lives with what appears to be something more substantial. The priest’s hold the keys to salvation – they can lead us – to answers – to higher purposes and meanings, so that all will be understood. They promise this with those confident looks.
Such fools we are to fall for their charms and tricks. Science has no ultimate meanings to offer in return. Just cold indifference to our outstretched arms and entreaties. Science can’t and doesn’t offer salvation in the higher sense. It can though, make our lives easier. Make our lives less bothersome. With fewer ills and less disease. But the existential angst will still be there.
Because our births are pointless
Life is pointless
Death will come and it too will be pointless.
That is the cold hard truth and it can’t be masked.
Religion and cults and even sometimes science (with its promises of happiness and more things) all attempt to mask this truth with their promises.
We are flames – each and every one of us – a single flame, that twitches into life, and just as quickly is extinguished. In that short brief space of time you will do everything you do, and then it will be all over. And you won’t remember any of it. And none of it will matter.
This thought, though I know it deeply – some days surfaces and hits me hard between the eyes. I know it but life keeps it at bay. I think we should remember this thought every day if possible. It’ll make our days pass more pleasantly. We will see things with more clarity. What we thought were problems will no longer appear to us as problems but trifles.
Don’t listen to the cults. Don’t listen to the beardy’s. Don’t listen to the New Age flock. Don’t read too many books. Don’t listen too much to philosophers either. Don’t listen when science say’s it has all the answers. Don’t listen too much to these others. Listen more to your own inner depths. Listen to yourself – and find the truth within you. We all, all of us, if we slow down a little, have the truth of the world buried inside of us. We’re all born with the same humanity and we feel the truth but it is buried deep inside. We live awfully busy lives, or we get distracted by false prophets, and we never find that kernel. You have to dig for it.
But it is there! I promise you – look inside, and with wide-open eyes and a childish curiosity – you will find it…
Search for the secret inside yourself – search for the hero inside…
Right – back to the Olympics. Man, that James Bond bit was awesome!
Come on team GB! You can do it! Let’s beat those f***ers!