Rohit's Realm

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February 26, 2007

Wallowing in Existential Angst

Given many of the entries I have written over the past year, it may seem to many of you that I have turned into one of those wretched waxing-philosophic hipster assholes who has drank one too many cans of PBR and now, just will not shut the fuck up. All things considered, you would not be all that wrong. Who is this despicable new Rohit and what has happened to the incorrigible cynic that specialized in spewing venomous hatred upon ultimately irrelevant trivialities?

Simply put: my life never had meaning; in the past year, it has ceased to have purpose as well. I have left the simple, well-defined college years behind for the platitudes of adult life and in the process, become lost in a quagmire of existential angst. The novelty of a large disposable income and the freedom of weekends without homework have long since worn themselves thin; all that is left is the mundane routine of the same people and places, the same activities and interests, the same hopelessness and complacence. Is this what the rest of my life will look like? Working myself into a stupor and then sustaining that stupor with various mind-numbing pursuits so as to compensate for an otherwise overwhelming sense of despair? And if so, what exactly is the point?

All of those are mighty good questions, none of which have even a single iota of an answer absent the miraculous discovery of religion. Hardly anyone I know can claim otherwise. Perhaps some find their purpose in their career, but what of the blinding futility of most people's existences? Will you really make a difference in what you do or will you simply live and die as just another cog in the proverbial machine, content in your pursuit of the fastest car, the biggest house, and the best H.D. television? Others find it in their friends and family, but what of the ultimate temporality of all those entanglements? Will you actually have a meaningful impact on those around you, or will you simply expire as uneventfully as you arose, missed briefly only by those required to do so by blood or bond?

In the past year, I have vainly sought an answer to these existential questions. I have scoured books; I have searched within; I have tested the patience of those around me, all to no avail. In short, I have become that awful PBR-drinking hipster asshole that we all know and loathe (only I prefer Miller® High Life®). Despite all this soul-searching, I have found nothing. I have no answers to these questions—certainly not now, perhaps not ever. So, then, the perennial question: why do I continue to wake up every morning? I honestly could not tell you. Perhaps a better question is: why do you?


a year or so ago, i personally was convinced of this truth, and was very amused to find it today, in an old dilbert comic, of all places:

if a cynic refuses delusion consciously, then how can he/she possibly be happy? [other than drinking every waking moment]

and delusion by definition doesn't require you to not be conscious of it*; so join the optimists and be ecstatic in the delusions of silly superficial things, knowing full well they are are nothing but that.

* sorry for the double negative, i can't think of a better way to write that...

I wake up every morning to read Rohit's Realm. And after that, to eat good ass food.

mmm... ass food is delicious.

Pv, interesting perspective. I agree that sometimes it is possible to revel in paper-thin concepts of success; in fact, that's likely how I continue to wake up—secretly harboring unabashedly optimistic viewpoints on life. But what happens when you can no longer fool yourself? Then, that's true despair.

Check out Vladimir Nabokov's Despair. It's an excellent read about the same arguments you brought up...

Check out Bertrand Russell's "The Conquest of Happiness." Still relevant and useful!

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