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it was a musical thing.
August 18, 2010 4:58 PM   Subscribe

the unsettling truth about life (slyt), via trey parker and matt stone
posted by Avenger50 (34 comments total) 63 users marked this as a favorite

 
Then when you wake up one day about forty years old, you say “My God! I’ve arrived! I’m there!” And you don’t feel very different from what you always felt.

And there's a slight letdown, because you feel there's a hoax. And there was a hoax. A dreadful hoax. They made you miss everything. By expectation.

Look at the people who live to retire, and put those savings away. And then when they’re sixty-five, and they don’t have any energy left, they’re more or less impotent, they go and rot in an old people’s “senior citizens” community.

Because we’ve simply cheated ourselves, the whole way down the line. We thought of life by analogy was a journey, was a pilgrimage, which had a serious purpose at the end. And the thing was to get to that end. Success, or whatever it is, or maybe heaven after you’re dead.

But we missed the point the whole way along. It was a musical thing, and you were supposed to sing, or to dance, while the music was being played.
Beautiful.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 5:08 PM on August 18, 2010 [14 favorites]


Alan Watts, who basically brought Buddhism to the West.
posted by GuyZero at 5:12 PM on August 18, 2010


I really enjoyed that, thanks.
posted by Man Bites Dog at 5:15 PM on August 18, 2010


Can anyone tell me how it ended? I couldn't make it out over all the singing and dancing I was doing.
posted by mannequito at 5:16 PM on August 18, 2010


This was too long, and I have way too much work to do. Could someone please summarize for me?
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 5:19 PM on August 18, 2010 [5 favorites]


Too obscure. But I think I understand the cymbalism at the beginning.
posted by hal9k at 5:32 PM on August 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


I feel this would pair well with that NYTimes post a few doors back about how twenty-somethings must have inferior brains because they're not rushing to get married and have kids like they used to.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:33 PM on August 18, 2010 [10 favorites]


It turns out what matters is not that they killed Kenny, but the journey that brought them to the point at which they killed Kenny.
posted by tula at 5:34 PM on August 18, 2010 [11 favorites]


Wow Libertarian Buddhists now, huh? You really have to hand to Parker and Stone, seriously. They never stop surprising you.
posted by drjimmy11 at 5:37 PM on August 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Previously.
posted by Drastic at 5:42 PM on August 18, 2010


That was pretty cool. I want to read more about this Watts fellow. Just as soon as I'm done hugging my wife.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:00 PM on August 18, 2010


Alan Watts Theater
posted by homunculus at 6:16 PM on August 18, 2010


Ack, here's the link: Alan Watts Theater.
posted by homunculus at 6:20 PM on August 18, 2010


this is old, but also marvellous - I am watching it in my head as I type this :)

At a profoundly dispiriting and horrible time of my life I read through Watts' book 'This Is It', crying, trembling, and was utterly comforted.
posted by Sebmojo at 6:30 PM on August 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't think this is by Parker and Stone.
posted by ripley_ at 6:33 PM on August 18, 2010


There are three of them produced by Parker/Stone, collected here.
posted by not_on_display at 6:41 PM on August 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is why religion makes me sad.
posted by LordSludge at 7:49 PM on August 18, 2010


Alan Watts is not zen.
posted by rainy at 8:07 PM on August 18, 2010


I'm not really sure I get this, but I assume it applies to the part of the world that can loaf and still secure enough calories for themselves and their offspring?
posted by Phalene at 8:23 PM on August 18, 2010


While dancing and singing, though, one mustn't forget to chop wood and carry water.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:52 PM on August 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Buddha was a trust-fund junkie
I could be enlightened too
If I could sit there watchin' paint dry
Instead of listenin' to you
posted by brevator at 10:38 PM on August 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm not really sure I get this, but I assume it applies to the part of the world that can loaf and still secure enough calories for themselves and their offspring?

You mean hunter-gathers? Sure, I guess so, but it has lessons for other groups as well.
posted by Bookhouse at 10:41 PM on August 18, 2010


This is why religion the education hoax makes me sad.
posted by Wuggie Norple at 1:09 AM on August 19, 2010


That was lovely thanks. Now what do I do now I know that I have been hoaxed?
posted by therubettes at 1:57 AM on August 19, 2010


See, I think there's a fundamental decision that one has to make at some stage, which is: do I ever intend for someone to be dependant on me? Not vaguely "oh Bob, could you help out with this thing for a bit", but full on dependant for everything - essentially, kids, although partners, parents, siblings can full under this (although broadly speaking they are able to look after themselves).

And if you decide no, no one will ever be dependant on you but yourself, you're free to go off and do literally whatever the fuck you want. Because it's just you.

And if you decide yes, then you've got more questions, the most pressing being "what sort of life do I want these dependants to experience?" And I'd imagine for most people the answer is "a better one than I had", because I suspect people are generous like that. Which means that you need to be in a position to provide, which means that often you don't do what you want, or what makes you happy, but what provides. Because I think that while "do what you love and you will be successful" is true, the success isn't necessarily in material terms but in terms of being good at what you do and also being happy in yourself. And sadly you can't take those last two to the bank.
posted by djgh at 2:39 AM on August 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


Test Prep for Kindergarten:
Ms. Stewart can’t afford tutoring for Chase; other parents can. It’s unfair that entrance into kindergarten level programs is being gamed by people with resources, disadvantaging the most disadvantaged kids from the get go. I think it’s egregious. Many people will agree that this isn’t fair.

But the more insidious value, the one that almost no one would identify as problematic, is the idea that all parents should do everything they can to give their child advantages.
Old-Fashioned Play Builds Serious Skills:
Clearly the way that children spend their time has changed. Here's the issue: A growing number of psychologists believe that these changes in what children do has also changed kids' cognitive and emotional development.

It turns out that all that time spent playing make-believe actually helped children develop a critical cognitive skill called executive function. Executive function has a number of different elements, but a central one is the ability to self-regulate. Kids with good self-regulation are able to control their emotions and behavior, resist impulses, and exert self-control and discipline.

We know that children's capacity for self-regulation has diminished. A recent study replicated a study of self-regulation first done in the late 1940s... "Today's 5-year-olds were acting at the level of 3-year-olds 60 years ago, and today's 7-year-olds were barely approaching the level of a 5-year-old 60 years ago"
posted by TheophileEscargot at 3:25 AM on August 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


And this is why I am currently in my third lengthy period of voluntary unemployment. Because I work for ten years, becoming increasingly depressed and frustrated with every passing, grindingly repetitive, pointlessly stressful day, and then I reach a point where I say "Fuck it, fuck the future, fuck the risk, fuck the savings, fuck the pension, I'm stepping out of the wheel for a while, and hang the consequences."

I think having done this is the only reason I'm still alive at all. I only wish I'd had the courage never to step into the damned wheel in the first place.
posted by Decani at 5:19 AM on August 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


I assume it applies to the part of the world that can loaf and still secure enough calories for themselves and their offspring?

You mean the whole world? Yeah, it applies to the whole world.

Alan Watts is not zen.

Who said he was? He was an entertainer.

I love Alan Watts. LOVE.

I'd imagine for most people the answer is "a better one than I had", because I suspect people are generous like that.

Better != more material goods.

In fact, it's awfully hard to define "better," especially when the events and circumstances that shape lives are often out of our control.

I only wish I'd had the courage never to step into the damned wheel in the first place.

Amen.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:42 AM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Now what do I do now I know that I have been hoaxed?

Wait 'til there's no one's around and I'll tell you.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:47 AM on August 19, 2010


I'd imagine for most people the answer is "a better one than I had", because I suspect people are generous like that.

Better != more material goods.

In fact, it's awfully hard to define "better," especially when the events and circumstances that shape lives are often out of our control.


I was thinking more along the lines of:
- Food on the table
- Roof over the head
- Presence of parents in a stable environment

Then really my definition of better becomes "giving your kids the opportunities you wish you'd had at their age"

e.g.
- You want to go to college? Sure, we've saved up because we wish we had the chance.
- You want to be able to take up an instrument? Sure, we can probably stretch to that
- You want to take up a sport? Sure, I'm around to take you to practice

I'm not suggesting that more stuff = better, far from it.
posted by djgh at 10:48 AM on August 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Thanks for posting this!
posted by The ____ of Justice at 10:55 AM on August 19, 2010


And this is why I am currently in my third lengthy period of voluntary unemployment. Because I work for ten years, becoming increasingly depressed and frustrated with every passing, grindingly repetitive, pointlessly stressful day,

Usually takes me around ten months (or weeks depending on the boss).
posted by philip-random at 12:44 PM on August 19, 2010


thanks for posting this. we have a bunch of these old lectures on audiotape, but who has a cassette player any more? and the old Mark Watts films on VHS - but who -- etc etc?

so it's nice to see that old Alan Watts has made it over to the You Tubes.
posted by toodleydoodley at 5:05 PM on August 19, 2010


I loved this, thanks.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:25 PM on August 19, 2010


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