Just Here for the Show: The Art of Not Giving A F**k (Featuring Tom Hanks)

The shortest-possible re-enactment of a mind-melting conversation I had this week.
Playing the parts of Berna and Mike G: Berna and Tom Hanks. Respectively.

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TomHanks

The only point of our individual existence, in the biggest sense, is to be a pawn in human evolution.

.

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twittah(Blinking for two minutes straight)
… No, Tom. I’m a unique mother-effing snowflake — Barney and Hallmark have told me so since, like, forever. Now let me Twitter about this great sandwich while I contemplate who I am and/or will be.

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TomHanksSee, I’m not saying that our own accomlishments & dreams aren’t important or impactful — Michael Jackson, for example, was a light under the ass of music and entertainment as we know it. But 200 years from now, 2,000 years from now (assuming we make it past the next 3), you will only have been a microscopic stepping stone to where humans will be –  smarter, faster, stronger than anyone can imagine – because and regardless of the life you lived and mistakes you made. Big or small. Famous or homeless. Twitter and/or Facebook.
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twittah

So you’re saying that my life is a big deal to me, but as much as I fidget and squirm over my next middle-management position change or what I’ll be on PerezHilton for one day, life doesn’t give a shit?

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TomHanks

Basically. One day, our kids’-kids’-kids’-kids are gonna look back at us and go, “Those bitches had it ALL wrong,” like we do today. We’re just a phase. You’re just a phase. No matter how you’re living, ur doin it rong, anyway.
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twittahSo all this death-cult/Greek-system-malarkey about seeking to “become a part of something bigger than themselves” is also bullshit, because we already are?

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TomHanks

Yup. And all this shit you’re worried about – careers, money, your “personal brand”? Useless. Besides plain ol’ survival and the protection of loved ones, we worry and fear about trivial things because we think we’re in control — we’re not. You have no time for shit you don’t love, period. You wonder why I breakdance and do theatre and read all effing day?

. twittah

(Crying at this point) Why?!

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TomHanks

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Because I want to. Because it doesn’t matter. Because I’m just here for the show.

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With this, I’m not suggesting we’re living a pointless existence.
I’m suggesting we take it all too goddamn seriously.
Everything truly good in my world, the tastiest and most heart-filling things, came when I least expected or prepared for it. Maybe if I loosened the death-grip I strive to have on, y’know, everything… a little more serendipity will seep through m’fingers.

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Now, these are questions I really do want answered. For me.
For once in this nauseating self-promoting social media circus, I WANT A CONVERSATION HERE.
Please, I’m practically begging you — give me all you’ve got.

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What’s wrong with this line of reasoning?
Is there danger in checking out of the rat race?
What are you running for? What the hell are we all running for?

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2 thoughts on “Just Here for the Show: The Art of Not Giving A F**k (Featuring Tom Hanks)

  1. Tyler Hayes says:

    Great piece 🙂 I think I have this discussion, only internally with myself, on a daily basis. My scientific (and sci-fi) brain tells me what your friend said is true, and I espouse these thoughts to others as well.

    On the other hand, my feeble human brain tells me what I do must be important, thus to hell with it all! Even though I do still think I’m just here for the show, I’ll be damned if I don’t make it as much my show as possible.

    Do what you want, enjoy what you do, love those you do it with. Never end a sentence with a preposition.

    Here’s a question: what if you lived forever? Would your life still be meaningless compared to the infinite existence that is the Universe? Or, at least, maybe just a little less meaningless? Time is an illusion, and depending on what argument we have we can make it seem as harsh or caring as we like.

    Imagine a world where you were educated only on facts, without any bias whatsoever. If the first question you were ever asked was, “What if you’re forgotten in 2,000 years?” then how would you respond? I mean LITERALLY, why does that matter? In any sense? Go back to the fundamentals and answer why this question is important at all. There are a million higher-level issues that convince you that you know the answer right now, but you (we) need to get to the bottom level again. The beginning. The most utterly basic aspects of why we ask ourselves this stuff.

  2. bernadetteanat says:

    Tyler Hayes — you run a damn good show. I truly appreciate your take on this big globby amorphous topic.

    Y’know, what else is there besides (at least) taking it into your hands and making this show as interesting as possible? I’m not sure if the point is to making it about ourselves, about others, “a hybrid of both” — which seems to be the best answer to everything these days. All. Everything. Both.

    Here’s another “do what you” quote that my Theatre & Therapy professor sprinkles upon us everyday: Do what you can, when you can, with what you have. Everything else is out of your control. If we were to study and average out the emotional lives of all human beings, I feel like it looks generally like this:

    1. Not knowing anything (childhood)
    2. Thinking you know everything & trying to control it (adolescence)
    3. Realizing you don’t know jack & trying even more desperately to control it (Hello, twentysomethings)
    4. ________?
    5. Stop trying to know and control everything and just BE. (Our grandparents.)

    Do you think there’s such thing as skipping steps 2-4 and just living by the “do what you”‘s? Easier said than done, of course — and one could argue that the struggle of 2-4 is what makes 4-5 so awesome. 3’s like us make sense of things by blogging, and the confusion leads people like me to great minds like you.
    So maybe the struggle ain’t so bad.

    We ponder because we know it’s all going to end one day. So if we lived forever, life would absolutely lose most (if not all) of its meaning. The reason we get UP in the morning is because we can; because we’re not dead yet. I think the absolute bottom level of many things – including the reason humans established religion, WHOLE other topic – is the fact that nobody really knows anything except that we have expiration dates. Everything else is just a guess.

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