Quotes that Say Something

"Please, dad, get down and look. I think there's some kind of monster under my bed."

Life when seen in close-up often seems tragic, but in wide-angle it often seems comic. -- Charlie Chaplin

"And when the cloudbursts thunder in your ear, you shout, but no one's there to hear. And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes, I'll see you on the dark side of the moon." -- Roger Waters, "Brain Damage"

Nov 18, 2010

Is Sisyphus Happy Now?

It's been a while. So, I am back. I guess that near-miss with the little red truck rocked my world a little more than I thought. And it hasn't helped much either that my sullen little Muse has been lurking, wordlessly, in a far corner. They make a quite a pair of aces over there, Dark-Side Butch and the Sullen Muse.

-- (Geez, I think I just came up unintentionally with a name for the next Smashing Pumpkins cd.)

I found myself posting on Facebook briefly yesterday about Sisyphus again. I keep going back to him these days. Likely, that Facebook chirp happened because I was listening once more to the totally sick but sweet Pink Floyd song "Hey You" -- while mired in another epic traffic-jam on the west-side of Hooterville midday, I would add. The song had grabbed me, as usual, by the throat and by the soul, and simply would not let go.

"Hey You?" A sisyphean meditation, if ever one existed, in pop culture. The life sentence 2 which the promising but sin-streaked and mythical royal, named Sisyphus, was condemned is and was, of course, massively absurd. Leave it to a master philosopher like Albert Camus -- in writing compellingly about S's dilemma about a century ago-- to throw new light and new heat on a dark and stormy human situation. Life is like a no-parole sentence. Hard time on a hard rock. Word. Sink or swim, chief. Hold up. Endure. There's a truckload or more of serious nonsense -- the inexplicable, the meaningless, the mystery -- coming your way. He (Camus) then  claimed stuffily but brilliantly (I suppose with a tiny absurdist smile creasing his weathered, European face) that we must accept -- in the end -- that the human struggle itself to endure, literally the myth of Sisyphus, must be enough to fill any person's soul. Now, the trick: believe that poor Sisyphus, though held tight in absurdity's grasp (for eternity), must be nevertheless be happy.

There is nothng more one can say, or hope in.

I then made an quick note, on Facebook, to no one in particular: Don't forget to chuckle over that magical Frenchman's insight.

So, why must we imagine, believe, that Sisyphus, the original Rock Star, must be happy? Well, if he cannot be so, then we will never taste happpiness either. There is nothing more. That says it all. It's a big leaky boat that we're all in, and the seas are foaming with waves. Hold on. Smile when you can. Grab a piece of the rock, as some insurance commercials say.

HEY YOU  -- by Roger Waters

Hey you, out there in the cold
Getting lonely, getting old
Can you feel me?
Hey you, standing in the aisles
With itchy feet and fading smiles
Can you feel me?
Hey you, dont help them to bury the light
Don't give in without a fight.

Hey you, out there on your own
Sitting naked by the phone
Would you touch me?
Hey you, with your ear against the wall
Waiting for someone to call out
Would you touch me?
Hey you, would you help me to carry the stone?
Open your heart, I'm coming home.

But it was only fantasy.
The wall was too high,
As you can see.
No matter how he tried,
He could not break free.
And the worms ate into his brain.

Hey you, out there on the road
always doing what you're told,
Can you help me?
Hey you, out there beyond the wall,
Breaking bottles in the hall,
Can you help me?
Hey you, don't tell me there's no hope at all
Together we stand, divided we fall.

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