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Why is life worth living?
December 11, 2009 1:27 PM   Subscribe

"Well, all right, why is life worth living? That's a very good question. Well, there are certain things I guess that make it worthwhile. Uh, like what? Okay. Um, for me... oh, I would say... what, Groucho Marx, to name one thing... and Willie Mays, and... the second movement of the Jupiter Symphony, and... Louis Armstrong's recording of Potatohead Blues... Swedish Movies, naturally... Sentimental Education by Flaubert... Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra... those incredible apples and pears by Cezanne... the crabs at Sam Wo's... Tracy's face..."
posted by vronsky (73 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
Your list, of course, may differ. So feel free to add whatever it is that you find special, and makes your life worth living :)
posted by vronsky at 1:30 PM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


My blog makes my life worth living. You should get one.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:34 PM on December 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


I came here to strangle you.
posted by griphus at 1:34 PM on December 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


So feel free to add whatever it is that you find special, and makes your life worth living :)

When someone inspired by something as modest as a vertical-scrolling shooter game decides to get creative and make something like this.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:35 PM on December 11, 2009 [7 favorites]


I expected to find a Woody Allen obit here.
posted by marsha56 at 1:36 PM on December 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


context. I live for context.
posted by boo_radley at 1:37 PM on December 11, 2009


I live for threads like this.

LET THE GAMES BEGIN!
posted by mazola at 1:37 PM on December 11, 2009


Seriously, though, Manhattan is the most perfectly-crafted film I have ever seen, and probably my favorite film ever. The entirety of it was up on YouTube for a while, but a few chunks of it got taken down. Anyhow, this post is a pretty swell homage. Thanks.
posted by griphus at 1:41 PM on December 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


This segment was the basis of a class I taught a few years ago called Groucho Marx and the Meaning of Life. That was a great class.
posted by allen.spaulding at 1:41 PM on December 11, 2009


Thanks for that, vronsky.

Cjorgensen - whatever...
posted by a non e mouse at 1:41 PM on December 11, 2009


Sooo.... we're supposed to list what makes our own lives worth living?

I don't know...LOLCATS? I got nothing else, this weekend is really gonna suck...

Manhattan is a great movie, I need watch it again, it has been awhile.
posted by marxchivist at 1:43 PM on December 11, 2009


Oh don't be such uber grinches. You gotta have something. It's Christmas time. Here, I'll start. This makes my life worth living. And so does this. Also... this.
posted by vronsky at 1:44 PM on December 11, 2009


Monty Python, lomein, and when little kids or old women use swear words.
posted by ColdChef at 1:44 PM on December 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oxi Clean isn't that great.
posted by fire&wings at 1:46 PM on December 11, 2009


I honestly don't get this post. It seems like random links to me. If the quoted text is from something that would make this seem like less of a stunt post, great, but I'm with boo here, I need some context.

Maybe I am ignorant of what is required to appreciate this, but after following half the links I am still lost.

I tried. But yeah, whatever works for me too.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:46 PM on December 11, 2009


To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.
posted by ecurtz at 1:46 PM on December 11, 2009 [15 favorites]


cjorgensen: If the quoted text is from something that would make this seem like less of a stunt post, great, but I'm with boo here, I need some context.

It's from Woody Allen's Manhattan. If you haven't seen it, go see it right now.

Chapter One. He adored New York City. He idolized it all out of proportion. Uh, no, make that: He-he...romanticized it all out of proportion. Now...to him...no matter what the season was, this was still a town that existed in black and white and pulsated to the great tunes of George Gershwin. Ahhh, now let me start this over.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:50 PM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Being reminded of why Manhattan is maybe my favorite movie of all time.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:51 PM on December 11, 2009


Any video from this animator, who makes videos once every other month or so, never fails to make me smile for the rest of the day.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:52 PM on December 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


moments like this. the singer starts spitting it out before the curtain even rises and his words speak directly to the state of the current weather, both meteorological and philosophical (or perhaps metaphysical).
posted by philip-random at 1:55 PM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Didn't Camus blog this already?
posted by clvrmnky at 1:59 PM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Bite your tongue!
posted by griphus at 1:59 PM on December 11, 2009




This list thing was probably the part of the movie I liked least. It made me doubt Woody at the time. But now he's got a whole lot of movies out there that make me doubt him.
posted by Obscure Reference at 2:01 PM on December 11, 2009


Gershwin? B&W movies?
posted by fixedgear at 2:01 PM on December 11, 2009


Pie. Then... wife.
posted by uraniumwilly at 2:01 PM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


This would be a great Woody Allen obit post, truly great. Even so, that clip from Manhattan is one of my favorite pieces of any movie, and I'm very happy to review it. Vronsky, your opening comment pushes it towards chatfilter, not a Good Thing, and violates the 1st Rule of .. never mind. Nice job pulling together the links; let the the post stand for itself.

Woody Allen is so talented, the music in his movies is great, he has an great eye, etc. I wish he hadn't given in to being Creepy Old Guy and marrying a girl who was, for all intents and purposes, his (step)daughter. But Manhattan is still one of my favorite movies, in part because of this scene.
posted by theora55 at 2:02 PM on December 11, 2009


Ain't no church bells ringing, ain't no flags unfurled. Just you and me, and the love we're bringing into the real world.
posted by gubo at 2:02 PM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


We're all looking for cynical celebrity cameos.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:06 PM on December 11, 2009




A milk steak, boiled over hard, with a side of fine jelly beans, raw.
posted by Rhomboid at 2:08 PM on December 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


Seems like based on all these examples life wasn't worth living before 1900 or so. Glad I was born when I was.
posted by ekroh at 2:08 PM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Love in Her Eyes Sits Playing" - Handel
"Son lungi e non mi brami" -- Gluck
posted by Faze at 2:23 PM on December 11, 2009


This. My family - best friend, kids, and pets.
posted by garnetgirl at 2:24 PM on December 11, 2009


Woody Allen is more central to my Jewish identity than the Old Testament. And I graduated from The Dalton School with people who remembered the day they filmed its exterior for an establishing shot of the Mariel Hemingway character's school. So for a long time, Manhattan was like the holy of holies for me. Even now, after real world events have made it all-but-unwatchable, this monologue continues to make me feel guilty that - despite my enjoyment of Mozart's music in general - I don't respond to the Jupiter symphony.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:26 PM on December 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080455/. For me it is a perfect balance of humor, great music, unbelievable cast, and quotable dialog. It serves as an important reminder to me as well; that there are important things in life and there are good things in life. Sometimes the two are the same, sometimes they aren't. A musical probably doesn't fall into the Important category, but it is undeniably Good, and in my life I should always aspire to make something of similar value.

Because that kind of thing makes the world a better place.
posted by quin at 2:39 PM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Bah. HTML has failed me. That should be The Blues Brothers.
posted by quin at 2:41 PM on December 11, 2009


Crap! I got my hopes up but now don't see a Woody Allen obit anywhere....
posted by evilgenius at 2:43 PM on December 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


Rostropovich
posted by From Bklyn at 2:44 PM on December 11, 2009


Also, being in a beautiful place with my family, good music playing, good food to eat, and the day-to-day world miles and miles away.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:45 PM on December 11, 2009


Pronoun trouble
posted by device55 at 2:46 PM on December 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


One of the best music videos ever made.

(Man, lotsa things make life worth living!)
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:48 PM on December 11, 2009 [7 favorites]


- If the quoted text is from something that would make this seem like less of a stunt post, great, but I'm with boo here, I need some context.

- It's from Woody Allen's
Manhattan. If you haven't seen it, go see it right now.

And the quoted text is spoken in the first link. That is to say, the context was provided in the very first link. (Obviously, that link is a spoiler for Manhattan.)

We've been rewatching some earlier Woody Allen films lately. (This week, it was Bananas!) I loved him so much when I was young, and rewatching his oeuvre reminds me why I did.
posted by Elsa at 2:49 PM on December 11, 2009


Having gone through a phase of really liking Woody Allen's movies, esp. Annie Hall and Manhattan, I have to say.... doesn't the idealization of his relationship with Hemingway in this film really cast a pall over the whole thing? I mean, especially with his later life, I think it makes Manhattan a much lesser work. Maybe that's just me though.
posted by graymouser at 2:49 PM on December 11, 2009


Van Gock.
posted by stargell at 2:51 PM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


there are things everyday that are too much, like, for these last few months i've had this river to walk over, and the way it glistens, it pulls you, and even when it's at its blackest i want nothing more than its entirety to touch me; i want to be a corpse but i don't want to be dead, i want the water to flow down my pharynx and fill me to the brim, and i want to float with it, and i want to feel it forever
posted by past at 3:15 PM on December 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


also this made me tremble for so long
posted by past at 3:17 PM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


My blog makes my life worth living. You should get one.

cjorgensen... you have to have a little faith in people.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:39 PM on December 11, 2009


He went under feeling far from felled, anything but doomed, eager yet again to be fulfilled, but nonetheless, he never woke up. Cardiac arrest. He was no more, freed from being, entering into nowhere without even knowing it. Just as he'd feared from the start.
posted by Senator at 3:41 PM on December 11, 2009


Videogames, Mingus' The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady, Metafilter, and steak.
posted by joedan at 3:41 PM on December 11, 2009


Ummm...let's see: the alternative?
posted by kozad at 3:42 PM on December 11, 2009


the alternative?

That doesn't work for me. The alternative may well be better.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:15 PM on December 11, 2009


friends, family, love, and minute 5:54 of Stairway to Heaven.
posted by wundermint at 4:18 PM on December 11, 2009


My little sister. Snow on a totally calm day. Classical music played on rock instruments. Orange juice. Looking down from great heights. Unagi. Rock music played on classical instruments. Heavy blankets. Making stuff. Unmaking stuff. Singing as loudly as I can. Volumes of water large enough to swim in. And my little sister, because she's awesome enough to list twice.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 4:26 PM on December 11, 2009


Family. Trust me. Cherish your family.
posted by Splunge at 4:29 PM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


As long as we're being meta-thankful, I've always liked Jon Carroll's (original) Thanksgiving column.
posted by msalt at 4:38 PM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]



Jacques-Imo's
posted by nola at 5:20 PM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wish he hadn't given in to being Creepy Old Guy and marrying a girl who was, for all intents and purposes, his (step)daughter.

I tried to start watching Radio Days earlier this week (playing "who's that kid" with my daughter to see if she could recognize Seth Green was fun) until Mr. Darling came into the room and said, "You're going to watch a movie by that pedophile?" I didn't want to get into a semantics argument, so I just changed the channel... but yeah, his idolization of young girls (all the way up through this summer's "Whatever Works," with Larry David - standing in for Woody - fawning over Evan Rachel Wood) is kind of a bummer. (A friend gave me Mia Farrow's autobiography for my birthday one year, and I've never really been able to enjoy his movies since... he kept naked pictures of a teenaged Soon Yi in the house and that's something you can't un-imagine.) FWIW, I've never seen Manhattan because Mariel/Margaux/Whichever Hemingway's baby voice is extra squicky.

That said: sweet potato fries, the way my son's hair smells after he's been outside playing, one of my cats (but not so much the other), and shampoo with mint in it.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 5:38 PM on December 11, 2009


POTATO HEAD BLUES!

and now my day doesn't suck any more
posted by koeselitz at 6:28 PM on December 11, 2009


"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams [PDF] glitter in the dark near the Tanhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die."
> Your list, of course, may differ. So feel free to add whatever it is that you find special, and makes your life worth living :)
posted by cjorgensen at 7:04 PM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Being 114 hours from love,
having a cat asleep on my lap
audrey kawasaki's art
The koyunbaba guitar music linked in an earlier post
delicious food
knowing I have a chance to go to the stars someday.
posted by rubah at 7:10 PM on December 11, 2009






Well, Bizurke, I would've read that article, but I don't have $3.
posted by koeselitz at 7:55 PM on December 11, 2009


Well Bizurke, I prefer 'The Temptation of Saint Anthony', so there :P (The Lafcadio Hearn translation, naturally)

It is in the Thebaid, at the summit of a mountain, upon a platform, rounded off into the form of a demilune, and enclosed by huge stones.

The Hermit's cabin appears in the background. It is built of mud and reeds, it is flat-roofed and doorless. A pitcher and a loaf of black bread can be distinguished within also, in the middle of the apartment a large book resting on a wooden stela; while here and there, fragments of basketwork, two or three mats, a basket, and a knife lie upon the ground.

Some ten paces from the hut, there is a long cross planted in the soil; and, at the other end of the platform, an aged and twisted palmtree leans over the abyss; for the sides of the mountain are perpendicular, and the Nile appears to form a lake at the foot of the cliff.

The view to right and left is broken by the barrier of rocks. But on the desert-side, like a vast succession of sandy beaches, immense undulations of an ashen-blond color extend one behind the other, rising higher as they recede; and far in the distance, beyond the sands, the Libyan chain forms a chalk-colored wall, lightly shaded by violet mists. On the opposite side the sun is sinking. In the north the sky is of a pearl-gray tint, while at the zenith purple clouds disposed like the tufts of a gigantic mane, lengthen themselves against the blue vault. These streaks of flame take darker tones; the azure spots turn to a nacreous pallor; the shrubs, the pebbles, the earth, all now seem hard as bronze; and throughout space there floats a golden dust so fine as to become confounded with the vibrations of the light.
posted by vronsky at 8:52 PM on December 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


I don't know about Sam Wo's, but the crab curry at the original Somboon Seafood on Surawong Road is truly one of the great experiences of life.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 9:01 PM on December 11, 2009


Being there together is enough.
posted by Kinbote at 9:06 PM on December 11, 2009


Four Tet. Richard Feynman. Hot Baths. Clear frozen Midwestern days. Scrabble. Loose leaf tea every morning. Settlers of Catan. Merino wool.
posted by Dmenet at 7:10 AM on December 12, 2009


The ability to click through to a poem by Wallace Stevens surrounded by ads for Toshiba, Overstock.com, OfficeMax, Michael Kors handbags, Sunseeker by Magellan, or is it Magellan for Sunseeker, Advanced Fertility Services, and a request to complete a customer survey.

And Joan Didion.
posted by DMelanogaster at 7:15 AM on December 12, 2009 [1 favorite]



One of the best music videos ever made.


posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing

I LOVED THIS. NEW FAVE BAND.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 7:52 AM on December 12, 2009


I just can't get over the aggressive middlebrow-ness muddle of Allen's "serious" movies. Just give me Love And Death, please.
posted by The Whelk at 8:31 AM on December 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


I LOVED THIS. NEW FAVE BAND.

Sweet! Halcali do make amazing videos. Por ejemplo:

Tandem

Marching March

Electric Sensei

Baby Blue

Any one of these puts me in the bestest mood for the rest of the day.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:43 AM on December 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yes, thanks for this, MSTPT.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 11:27 AM on December 12, 2009


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