Sunday, May 24, 2009

Dolce and Gabbana Shoes or a Doctor of Philosophy

To unravel philosophy is impossible. Opinions encompass its entirety, and no facts can be taken from an airborne train of thought. Using brief fragments from one apology and then attaching our own vague generality to the end, is no more innovative then adding salt to a recipe.

I failed Intro to Philosophy, so I’m no Hobbes. Well, I shouldn’t say I failed. Studying what I thought would be the answers rather than giving my own, forced me to an “F” before I withdrew. These days though, I understand what’s expected when engaged in similar discussion. Poop in my hand, throw shit out there and see what sticks. Then, I was 18. Philosophy was a joke. Any answer you gave earned a brutal verbal beat-down…..because you should have known, there are no right answers.

In the documentary “Examined Life,” interviews with people whom I assume are profound intellects on human thought, were dumbed down to relate common philosophies with everyday streetwalking. Although it’s difficult to transform these planetary blowhards (who would likely trade one of their testicles for a signed Star Trek DVD) into a calm-talking Dr. Drew, subtly soothing the bubbly herpes outbreak of any club-grinding alpha-male, some truly relevant comparisons actually did rise to the surface.

Each individual seems to be asked the same questions, ultimately ending with “are we supposed to search for meaning in life?” Excellent, and each equally different, points of view arose such as experiencing as much as possible especially when those events lead to nowhere. At one point, two dogs playing tag could not be translated into anything but enjoying themselves; and I applauded such restraint.

One of the philosopher's revived an analogy he'd used 30 years prior when referencing the material things we purchase. A woman sees Dolce and Gabbana shoes in Bergdorf Goodman’s, and buys them for $1,000. He then puts her in a situation with the shoes on, “you’re walking by a knee-deep pond and you see a small child drowning, but no one’s around to help. No time to take off the shoes…what would you do?” As every woman normally proceeds “I’d save little Stewie Griffin, even though he’s always trying to kill his mother, and completely ruin my new pumps”…….he responds, “if you’re willing to destroy those shoes to save 1 kid’s life, you could save more than 20 by donating that $1,000 to Oxfam.” The lesson learned is that being a moral/ethical person is not chucking a balled up dollar at a homeless man and smiling because it’s now up to them how they use it. It’s what you could’ve done beyond the dollar; how much further you could’ve gone to better everyone and why you didn’t. Sitting eating my Goobers, sipping a mammoth Diet Coke and lounging with my feet on the chair in front of me, I began to feel real shitty about what I've spent my money on.

The next best thought provoking monologue came from a guy who looked like he’d dressed himself in tin cans, rotting banana peels and the pubic hair of a bison. Befittingly, his narrative revolved around the Department of Sanitation and our unconscious effort to block the whereabouts of our shit. To be taken as literally as possible, it disappears from our mind the minute it’s down the pipes (or in the garbage as they hovered around him at the local dump). To instead, learn about the amount of waste each of us commits a year to this earth and then work on adjusting it……even a subtle change by everyone would have an astronomically positive effect. However since he doesn’t suspect we will, we should then embrace our trash as an equivalent part of this world before it finally gets fed up with us. Upon its ultimate unhappiness, the world will again revert to catastrophe beyond our Hollywood imaginations, and place us all where our dinosaurs currently live….our gas tanks.

As aggressive as these dames and gents may seem, it’s no different than the drunken debates between you and your buddies about politics and religion. No one’s right and everyone disagrees regardless. None of them deserve to point the finger anywhere but at themselves for the amount of time they’ve squandered reading books about philosophy instead of guiding small burrowing worms out of young Namibian children’s feet. They could’ve nailed miles of boards and sheetrock up at the nearest Habitat for Humanity or dunked thousands of ladles into vats of chicken broth at downtown soup kitchens instead of listening to hundreds of hours of babbling lectures on their society’s disenchantment of reality. Forget about the lady and her D&G shoes, let’s turn the tables and put these hypocrite high-browed know-it-all’s knee deep in their own twisted analogies.

You have $175,000 in your hand and you’re walking a path that forks. One way leads down a little dirt path where there’s 6 villages on the verge of starvation, 4,000 people altogether. The other, solid cement and lit by halogens straight towards a marble building. Above the door there's a sign “Come on in, be a Doctor of Philosophy.”

Try and tell me now, why there’s no right answer to the question. Try and tell me now, how much further you could have gone to better everyone, and why you didn’t.

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