Where things will go your way...or they won't

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Courage (For Hugh Maclennan)

I am a huge T-hip fan and apropos of some recent decision making, I found this quote from them relevant.

"...So there's no simple explanation
For anything important any of us do
And yea the human tragedy
consists in the necessity
of living with the consequences
Under pressure, under pressure"

While searching for it I found a site by people who are clearly bigger fans of The Tragically Hip than I am. They explained that these lyrics were paraphrased from the Canadian author Hugh Maclennan's book, “The Watch That Ends The Night.”

“But that night as I drove back from Montreal, I at least discovered this: that there is no simple explanation for anything important any of us do, and that the human tragedy, or the human irony, consists in the necessity of living with the consequences of actions performed under the pressure of compulsions so obscure we do not and cannot understand them.” (274)

I suppose sometimes my "obscure compulsions" lead me to a sort state of inaction that make almost any decision making impossible. So, as always, I simply exist in stasis and allow the world or people to do what it does without my input.

The problem is that I do not have a particularly Zen attitude towards these consequences. In fact, I usually find myself defiant and self-destructive in regards to the results of my inaction. Which leads me to question the use of the existential(and correct) attitude conveyed in the above passages. The capriciousness and essential meaninglessness of life is unarguable, to my way of thinking, but leaves something to be desired, at times. Instead of evoking freedom, it leaves one feeling the desire for a rubric or morality bigger than yourself. I imagine this feeling is at the root of fundamentalism of all sorts. My problems with authority of almost any kind prohibit me from embracing any kind of absolutism or fundamentalism, hence my present quandary. For which, as usual, I find solace in music and again the Hip deliver in the song Springtime in Vienna.

"We live to survive our paradoxes
We'll live to survive our paradoxes"

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