naipaul vs. camu?

The sun is up round here finally and warming up things. The first few bulbs are peeking through the snow flattened lawns and flower beds. Was thinking on my way in to work this morning how I have not surfed for two weeks and how that affects the daily machinations of my grey matter. When I surf a lot I don’t think about anything else but surfing. I obsess and ruminate about waves, boards, my style, and my lack of style, skill, other people in the water, and a whole range of other things that have nothing to do with actual act of riding waves. So in a way its nice when I haven’t surfed for a little while and my brain can have a break from so much triviality and explore other aspects of life.

-which brings me to what I was thinking about on the bus this morning. There’s a new biography on VS Naipaul due out any day now. He is a contentious man and his arrogance and brash attitude have not deterred him from plentiful accolades. A staunch critic of post colonial rule, Naipaul is a man who concerned himself with the goings ons of the world. Then there’s the other person I was thinking of today. A fictional character named Meursault who falls into an absurd chain of events which eventually cause his early demise. And yet his reaction is cavalier at best. Camu, in his ultra famous novella, tries to convince us that everything is everything and that is that. I don’t buy it for a second.

Did you see the cover photo on the New York Times this morning? If that photo is not absurd then I am lost. I dare anyone to look at that photo, taken what seems like seconds after a powerful explosion, and tell me that things are as they should be. I feel hopeful in this time of warming sun and buds on trees. But I cannot help but feel cynical too in a time when I think more about how I look going backside at the chest high right hander than how my lifestyle affects that of others. Am I so callous? Or is my idea that humanity is humanist a sham and a lost cause?

Perhaps you have an insight on this matter. Perhaps you would tell me that I should eat as much Toro as the shokunin can slice in an hour before they are all gone from the deep blue. Or maybe instead you would urge me to give up animal flesh as its production is truly one of the biggest contributors to environmental degradation. But who’s to say what is what? That is why I suppose we have the ability of rational thought –so that we can think about our actions and make appropriate choices towards our future. I reckon it would be wise to make the right choices for my own health and well being first and foremost. But who’s to say.

1 comment:

Gazelle said...

My only insight is not my own, but one that rings true to me - live mindfully, according to the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh.


The world is too mad to do otherwise and not suffer as a result.