Act 1 Scene 1

The first scene is obviously important as it introduces all characters and their motivations. We learn that the two sisters. Goneril and Regan, are the antagonists (Along with Edmund). Lear gather’s all important people in the castle and we learn about his inheritance. The conversation between King Lear and his daughters shows their personalities as well as the tone of the play. We find out that the daughter who loves him most will inherit his fortune. Goneril and Regan shower him with fake love. Cordelia expressed genuine love that wan exaggerated. We also meet Edward, illegitimate son of Gloucester

Your Lyrics are Getting Way Too Literal

Free at Last” is a song by the band PUP from their album Morbid Stuff. The song falls in the middle of an album dedicated to nihilistic expression and existential woes through melodic/cute melodies and high tempo punk instrumental. The theme of this song is the desire for people to prescribe meaning to their mental health issues so their suffering wasn’t pointless. In other words; when you become depressed and feel as though you’re the only one who truly understands what it’s like, and that there is some deep reason that you specifically have depression that only you can express. While expression is very helpful for mental health issues; relishing in the “aesthetic beauty” of being a depressed artist is not. It’s a punk song, a genre which is very much associated with angsty lyrics, as opposed to PUP’s existential lyrics.

Motivation, it comes and goes

Keepin’ expectations low

So when I let you down

I won’t feel so bad

“Motivation, it comes and goes” is anastrophe, but the lines themselves are very literal. The quote seems to describe the generally accepted mindset of depression; apathy, self destructive, and lack of motivation. The reason this more literal rendition of mental health is refreshing is because it doesn’t try to force any self pity on you. He’s openly just talking about it like it is without making it super deep. They lack of depth is important because having depression isn’t super deep, it’s just another illness. It does not cause one to become a tortured artist that no one can understand.

“Have you been drinking?”

Well, of course I have

Why the hell would I be here if I wasn’t?”

The song has a woman singing “Have you been drinking” implying a girlfriend. But my interpretation of this line is based off of the fact that his response isn’t a recognition of the problem of drinking. Instead, it reads as a genuine “No Sh*t” line. The singer goes through addiction once, gets sober once, and thinks it’s a meaningful moment in his life. Sadly the cycle is going to start again and on the 4th or 5th run of sobriety and addiction, it makes sense his attitude towards it is much more realistic and apathetically accepting.

Just ’cause you’re sad again

It doesn’t make you special at all

And lastly, another very literal line without a distinct poetic element. This line just takes the point of the song and explains it to you in as simple language as possible. It’s not a personal attack on those with depression, but thinking you’re special for being sad is just going to make you more depressed in the long run. Remember that self love is different from self pity. It seems harsh but it’s important to give yourself that reminder or else you will fall into worse mental health issues when the world reminds you you’re not special.

The Suffering of Change

There are positive aspects to life and negative For some it’s overwhelmingly the ladder, others would be the former. Regardless, both deal with change at some point in their lives. If death is the only certainty in life, then change is a certainty as well. People die everyday, and along with those deaths are changing lives. The theme of migration is interpreted in many different ways, which in Exist West is about the scariness of it as well as the overwhelming positive aspect of it for the specific character of the story. Change applies to everyone’s lives, and to give one example that everyone can relate to is almost impossible. One I would assume would be moving to a new house. The suffering of change equates to the suffering of existence itself. When one finds normalcy and comfort in their surroundings in an absurd meaningless reality, they are able to live side by side with their mortality (as long as there actually is comfort). To grow up/mature is to apply the reality of death to your life in continuously changing ways that fall in line with your values. That on it’s own is possible in any environment. But values do not always associate with well-being. One can live by their values and still suffer. The greatest comfort is living a life that gives you all the core human needs, including a familiar environment and routine. To have that stripped away in the name of change (or migration in Exist West) is painful. It’s incredibly difficult to instantly apply your values to a new life because there is a period of suffering you must endure before you’re able to start to get comfortable ang grow.

Life is not a gift

This is just my current perspective, it’s completely subjective, and it definitely stems from self hatred and projection, so there is no real philosophical validity in my thoughts. Regardless, here they are: There is this thing called optimistic bias that overrides any potential validity to an existential argument. Claiming life in general is a gift is a very selfish mindset. claiming that the overwhelmingly incomprehensible amount of suffering on this planet is a gift just because you are alive is straight sociopathic. We all claim to look for the best in life while still wearing our “good person” hats just so we don’t have to accept the actual unbearable pain that others go through. The human ego is unbelievably disturbing and the internal reactions you have in reading this is proof. The feeling of, “oh but I’m not like that, I truly care” No you don’t. You feel empathy, yes, we all do, but you don’t truly care and I don’t truly care. My proof is that I’m here typing this and you’re here reading it when we both know this accomplishes nothing and helps absolutely no one but yourself (also myself) and your ego for thinking your perspective on the world holds some magical levity that makes you a good person. This isn’t calling out anyone in particular because it’s all of us. We simply cannot care about anything more than our own lives for survival. I am a hypocrite, we all are. The counter argument to this is that “you can’t just decide that for everyone.” And you’re right, I didn’t decide it, your biology and internal subconscious defense mechanisms did. Why did my parents have me? To give their lives meaning? Why do we all want to have kids? To give all our lives meaning? It’s selfish to ignore what’s going on and pretend you’re above your biology. It’s literally engrained into us to reproduce like every single animal on the planet, we just attach some “deeper meaning” to it because we don’t want to accept the fact that this decision was made for us when we were born. There is no reason to have kids that doesn’t involve the parents desires. But what if you want your kid to have a good life? What if you’re going to raise him well and give him a happy environment? This is where our ignorance comes full circle; there is still all the unbearable meaningless suffering in the world. It didn’t go away just because you were able to ignore it and focus on your kid. Again, I am not better than anyone. I suck as much as everyone else, but trying to force “self love” into my head as an excuse to not think about the truth in front of me is so conflicting. Yes! Amazing! Why didn’t I think of that? I don’t have to think about it all the time! I don’t have to constantly have the weight of suffering I could never understand on my shoulders because it’s not happening to me! I can stare at my phone and feel like a good person because I’m “against bad”. This article is meaningless, it accomplishes nothing. Our thoughts on how the world works and should be perceived are meaningless because of the infinite amount of experiences we’ve never had. I don’t know why I’m sharing this, It goes against the basis of what I’m saying, but it also goes with it as I also suck. I also think that my privileged view of how the world is meant to be perceived is correct. It’s something I can’t control and you can’t either. The ego hates to be wrong. It denies it but it absolutely hates it. At least our generation is wasting time online rather than having eight kids because they were bored. Moral of the story is I literally don’t know anything and your interpretations on the morality of the subject are completely valid as to pretend I understand anything is narcissistic; also, please adopt.

Nabokov and Good Reading

Nabokov’s perspective is very interesting and easy to digest. You can’t look at a book before you’ve read it the same way you can look at a painting. The art is only fully displayed for you when you re-read. This is similar to re-watching movies and getting different things from it each time. This is because you know the story and you now have that leverage to interpret the dialogue or imagery. I have shown friends shows with major plot changes that assume they can review the show after watching a couple episodes. This is very frustrating and annoying. It is a fair point to make that when you dip your toes into a story that you don’t always want to go all in from the get go. Not every piece of media has an attention grabbing opening that hooks you. Some times, you have to swim a little farther before your caught on the hook. There is no solid answer to solve this small conundrum. There is advice and second opinions but that’s it. An example for me would be when I began watching Neon Genesis Evangelion, I automatically interpreted the entire show to be about a depressed kid who gains confidence through fighting with giant machines. I’m so glad I came back and finished it because it is one of the best written shows ever made

Good Country People

Hulga is the only character in the book who I believe actually understood what mutual recognition was. It’s not to relate over assumptions that you understand anything well enough to gossip. It’s not saying “That’s Life” because no one knows what life is. To call life anything is entirely subjective and any guess as to why we are here is wrong. We have the most disgusting history that stemmed from nothing but human greed for more, but people are convinced that the modern world must mean we’ve changed, and the next generation will be different. No, when it comes to motivation, self interest is the only sustainable force that drives human beings. Empathy comes and goes but our desire for self satisfaction, validation, and any other motive of serotonin always prevail. That’s not to say there aren’t good people, or at least people who act on values that are morally acceptable. There are countless examples of it on a day to day basis. There is a lot of people fighting for absolutely good reasons, and there’s people who do a lot to attempt to make humanity better. But that was true all throughout history. There have always been good people but the evil people are always the ones who gain control because their scummy practices to achieve power are more effective than being a decent human being. I believe Hulga understands this.

Human need not apply

While it’s a pleasant optimistic view to point out that humans will always have our humanity to keep us grounded, my pessimistic counter argument would be that horses probably thought they were pretty special until they were replaced by cars. There is no such thing as humanity anymore. Everyone is allowed to live in their own bubble of information and media. Objectivity has gone extinct, and we are nothing but the dead horse the market is going to keep beating until we’re dead. Meaning is pointless anymore as it doesn’t equate to progress. Human emotion is now our biggest flaw. We’re too far down the rabbit hole to even remember what it was like before we fell in it. Everyone had their own narratives, their own story, and their own sense of individuality. But two factors that are soul destroying in my opinion is that we aren’t even just consumers anymore. We are the product. Our emotional, spiritual, and sense of humanity is being manipulated 24/7 for money. We are an entire generation trapped in this prison of apathy and hopelessness where creativity is discouraged. The people in charge of our future don’t want us to think at all and just consume, and the people encouraging us to express ourselves are being replaced by AI. There is a new problem, made very evident if you apply even the most simplest forms of objectivity, humans aren’t needed any more. Concerns include how humanity is going to emotionally deal with this transition that contradicts what we have believed for so long