Life Has No Meaning… Kinda

When I hear the phrase “there is no meaning to life”, I’d almost agree except for one exception- I believe there is no universal meaning to life.

After our class discussion about existentialism, it became abundantly clear to me that no matter what the opinion of life was, everyone had their mind made up on a specific meaning of life. Some argued that love is the ultimate goal, while others stated that we are all just avoiding death.

Our own individual experiences with life shape what we believe the meaning is, and that’s what I think makes this conversation so interesting. Existentialists can argue that one theory makes the most sense, but in actuality we all are clueless as to what the meaning of life actually is. Religion, our upbringing and experiences, our thoughts and ideas- they shape our own explanations for why we are here.

It’s hard for me to gather the words to explain my thoughts on existentialism because it is so universally confusing. No matter what we believe the meaning of life is, there is the underlying truth that no one really knows why we are here. The only thing we can do is come up with our own explanation to help rationalize this absurdity called life.

Evening Thoughts on Complex Individuality and Mutual Recognition

As I read over the criteria list for the blog post, nothing quite struck me right away. My summer reading book Exit, Pursued By a Bear was mildly entertaining at best, and no other book I’ve read recently contained any depth. However, while taking a break from my Criminal Minds obsession this summer, I tried watching the new hit HBO series Euphoria. Although the show is filled with drugs, sex, and lots of sparkles, there is something else that makes it so captivating: the complex individuality of each character.

Like no other show I’ve seen before, Euphoria accurately depicts the struggles of high school, addiction, abusive parents, and every thing in between. What truly amazed me when watching it was the way it that showed life for what it is: really f-ing hard, but something beautiful at the same time. Without romanticizing the struggles of each character, Euphoria demonstrates that every single person you´ll encounter is going through something, whether you know it or not. The show does not focus on one specific character, but rather how each of their complex stories are intertwined in some way.

Nabokov´s concept of mutual recognition goes hand-in-hand with the idea of individuality because it recognizes that each person is more than just a binary, that we are all complex, unique humans. And such is the beauty of real life: we are all complex individuals that are living our own story in tandem with one another.

No Escape from Stereotypes

Although Escape from Spiderhead is written as being futuristic, it actually accurately exaggerates very modern stereotypes that people hold about women and prisoners. Although never stated, Abnesti treats the prisoners as though they are hardly human simply because they are criminals. When talking to Jeff, Abnesti asks him, “How many kids do I have?” as if to remind him that because he has children and a life outside of the prison walls, he is somehow better than him. This reflects the misconception that some might hold that criminals are simply criminals, not complex human beings like everyone else. Furthermore, the story refers to the belief that women are objects and can only be used for sex. When Jeff is thinking about having sex with Heather, he refers to her in his head as an “unworthy-seeming vessel”. Even though at one point he felt love for her, the word “vessel” shows how he, maybe even subconsciously, feels that women are only objects designed for his pleasure.