PSA: If you’re going to watch this, at least do it the justice of turning it up as loud as possible, stopping whatever else you’re doing for 38:50 and dancing around like a lunatic. This, speaking from experience.
Arthur Schopenhauer throws a little shade on some recent events, with help from Michael Dirda and The Washington Post:
“Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts, as a last resource, pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and glad to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”– ‘On The Suffering of the World’, Arthur Schopenhauer
I’ve been listening to these sessions on stoicism on the Waking Up app by William Irvine. One of the main points so far has been that the Stoics stipulated that to live a happy life one needed to shift from wanting things we don’t have to wanting the things we already do.
Today what we already had was a whole bunch of rain dumped on top of some existing slush and a temperature hovering around freezing. The Missus needed more hair elastics from the dollar store to make more masks, so I decided to ride the bike to go get them. It was a pretty miserable day to ride bikes, so conversely, awesome.
I would have ridden the new-to-me Troll, but the roads still had pretty good sections of ice on ’em and I think it would have been pretty dicey. I figured the snowmobile trails were probably out as well – the rain would have rendered them 6″ of mashed-potato slush. So I decided to just ride the Pugsley – with it’s studded tires – on the road, a slog for sure, but I wasn’t really in a hurry, and hey – a workout is where you find it, right?
I did something I’ve never done before and clipped the WONDERBOOM bluetooth speaker to the bars and shuffled my favorites playlist for the ride – which was interesting. I had to have it pretty much cranked to be able to hear it over the buzz of the fat, studded tires on pavement, which made for some interesting encounters with walkers, runners and other miscellany folk I encountered along the way.
I would have to think the high point would have been rolling into the parking lot of the Dollarama (freshly-sanitized) with Simple Mind’s ‘Alive and Kicking’ at full volume. Not sure the slew of good ol’ boys in jacked up pickup trucks and earflap hats smoking joints while waiting for their pajama-pant clad wives in the store had to think about silly old me riding a bicycle in the slush. They may have been somewhat conflicted because though silly, my bike does have cool big black tiars.
I’ve been asked at several points in my life by acquaintances and friends why I don’t write about past events, periods of life, etc. Was just reading this bit in The Paris Review by Karl Ove Knausgaard from his new book The Land of the Cyclops and it made sense to me.
As such, history always lies, it turns what was inconsistent, all over the place, perhaps even meaningless, into something consistent, systematic, and meaningful. The situations and events that occurred, the people who were there, and the discussions between them were of course real, it is not the case that writing about something is the same as lying or distorting, but the moment that reality is written down it is given a form that is basically abiding and unalterable, which pins it down in a certain way, whereas what was significant about it was that it was all over the place and could not be pinned down at all. To write about a situation is to take out part of its potential, at the same time as its remaining potential disappears into the shadows of the unsaid, the unthought, and the unwritten, in the valley of opportunities lost.– Karl Ove Knausgaard
On my daily walk there’s some sort of old tractor or car seat along the path on a neighbor’s land. I call it the ‘Best Seat In the House’. Most days I sit for a spell.