Saturday, January 23, 2010

Tickle The Phantom

Everything has been figured out, except how to live.

Sartre
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October 17, 2009, a day of infamy in my life, was the day my computer abruptly stopped letting me on the Internet. During the 6 weeks I was marooned I spent a lot of money and logged many hours on the phone talking to tech support people from the computer company, the service provider and AOL. Some of them were nice people, some were not. Some were smart people, some were not. Some were knowledgeable about how to fix things, some were not.

One evening in the midst of my struggle and anguish I spoke to a fellow from Verizon who was obviously intelligent and who knew how computers work and how to be respectful and helpful. He did some tests and came up with a piece of information which eventually led to help solving a part of the problem. When he was finished he said "Is there anything else i can help you with?" I said "No. unless you can tell me the real meaning of life." He laughed and said he hadn't figured that one out yet. I told him that I was 70 and didn't have the answer either, so good luck. We both shared a laugh over that.

Jean-Paul Sartre, 1905 - 1980 was a French philosopher, playwright and novelist. I performed his play "No Exit" once years ago. Sartre was so important to the world that, even though there was no official count, it is estimated that over 50,000 mourners attended his funeral.

During the war he served in the French army, was captured by the Germans and spent many years as a prisoner. It was then that he started writing.

Sartre was an Existentialist, which means, among other things, that he had an understanding and appreciation for the absurd, an awareness of the idiosyncrasies of the human race, an ability to cheerfully face the mysteries and uncertainties of life, in short, a sense of humor.

I owe, in part, to Sartre my own sense of humor, which allowed me, even in the midst of terrible and seemingly unsolvable computer problems, to share a laugh with a stranger over this strange and impenetrable thing called life.

DB - The Vagabond
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Try on a laugh today and see if it fits.
*********************

Weekend Puzzle.
Sing along.
It's fun and easy.

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FAKKU NCJWEHM

RZZN EARVH KJG. PWBWSWGV, XVMJMQMJ UZC WJM.
*************************
Good luck.
1 right ansawer so far
Have fun.
DB

3 comments:

Gerry said...

Since I am up so late, I should comment for it is unusual for someone to blog so lucidly about a writer like Sartre. I liked the idea of existentialism more than I wanted to live by it which I always thought was a philosophical reaction to the tyranny of religion. Camus, Kafka, and Sartre were tough guys for me to really like although oddly I loved Celine's Down and Out in Paris, maybe because I worked in nightmarish cafes (hotel). Simone de Beauvoir I always loved to read, even though I did not think what she said made a whole lot of sense when I finished, but she was so fascinating to read. You can get lost in the French Novelist world. A guy in college insisted I had to read Proust's Remembrance of Things Past so I struggled through it, but the fun was more in anticipating talking about it, as he was the only one I ever met who read it. It is not often you get the chance to bandy names like Sartre, Proust, and so on with anyone. So I had to say so.

Big Mark 243 said...

Gerry is correct... there aren't too many folks who have a clear enough opinion to share their thoughts about Sarte... and for her to add Camus and Kafka to the conversation is bonus!! Now I need to read someone talking about Nietzche and I will be all good!

The conversation you had with the friendly tech... 'Waiting for Godot-ish' to me... but what do I know?

Glad that your situation resolved happily, which is more than Gregor Samsa got for his troubles... or should I have said mankind?

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

I cannot imagine going through life without laughing, and occassionally, making someone else laugh :o)