By Glenn and Bryan
The most important question philosophers and televangelists can answer is the meaning of life. They've never been able to but in this special debate for existential week, Bryan and Glenn finally answer it. No more wondering.
Every day of my life I wake up and hope there's a reason to get out of
bed. Some sort of larger meaning, a point to all the pointless bullshit
that comprises our day to day lives. But there isn't. Even though people
search for meaning and think they find it in coffee, habitual marijuana
usage and listening to chillwave, it's all a facade. We are animals who
were created on accident and thus nothing we do can ever be right or
wrong. That’s why I listen to Thom Yorke’s solo stuff and smoke pot.
Well that’s where I have to disagree, not just with the illicit drug
use and endorsement of the antimusic genre of “chillwave,” but also with
the idea that life is pointless and has no real meaning. Honestly, a
few years back, I was just like you: directionless, depressed, always
looking for my next “high” or something that would trigger one of my
brain’s “pleasure centers.” Until one day, covered in my own sick and
reeking of liquor and low-end, seed-and-twig-filled marijuana, I
realized I’d had enough. I’d had enough of this aimless life, full of
loose women and cheap thrills. I’d had enough of nihilism and focus only
on the self. I’d had enough of being a non-believer. That was the day I
reached in the bottom drawer of my bedside table and pulled a dusty,
neglected Bible out and started reading. I read that Bible until
everything made sense, and I think it’ll make sense for you, too, Glenn,
if you let it.
I knew this was coming and I dreaded it like I'm sure you dread the
apocalypse or the Blu-ray release of End of Days. There is no god and
my borderline addiction to "ditch weed" provides more meaning than your
holy book. We all walk through the valley of the shadow of death, but when we come out on the other side it's just blackness. I’ve read the Bible cover to cover 666 times and at no point
was I convinced my life had any other meaning than to satisfy all my
carnal pleasures and maybe help people - but that’s just me creating my
own meaning. And before you launch into one of your classic
astrological diatribes, the pretend signs based on Greek, Roman and
Mormon gods do not predict my behavior any more (or better) than my
Glenn, if you knew me or my religion at all you’d know that I HIGHLY
frown on astrological divination, sooth saying, reading of tea leaves,
scatomancy, or any other form of occult practice. That said, if you’ve
read the Bible so much, then you’ve encountered the guiding principles
of my life over and over again. But apparently you never truly noticed
them, or else by now you’d know that bothering with trash hash and sins
of the flesh leads to nothing but a life of misery and woe. Tell me,
Glenn, do you know the story of Elijah?
No I don’t know the story of Eiljah. I know the emptiness of looking
for a reason why I’m alive and looking for meaning in my pathetic life.
Do you know the story of Anders Breivik? He was a man in Norway who
was so convinced of the growing threat of the Islamic menace that he
blew up a federal building then went to a teen camp run by the left
political party there and killed over 70 innocent civilians. He was
also searching for meaning because he was raised to believe it exists.
He thought he found it and his killings were the logical conclusion of
this mindset. Please, no more Anders Breiviks and no more meanings of
Bryan: Well, I do believe that the growing Islamic menace is something we
should all be RIGHTLY concerned about, but that’s for another debate and
another time (and probably another website; no more homefield advantage
for you. I’m thinking stormfront.org). But anyway, I searched for
meaning all throughout that book and I think I finally found it in
Fourth Kings (as in the fourth book of Kings, not Kings that are like, a
fourth a normal size or something). The story of Elijah is one of
respect: respect for one’s elders, respect for nature, and respect for
the possible repercussions for negative actions one may commit. I don’t
see how anyone, even someone as jaded as you, could take issue with a
story like that.
I don’t visit Storm Front anymore. My parents put a Net Nanny on our
computer and the one at work blocks out everything with the word “storm”
in it. I don’t take issue with the story you’re talking about but I
can’t see how it provides meaning in our life. You say your prayers,
you talk about your Bible, you talk about your Kings Chapter 4... well
Glenn’s Chapter 4 (in my self-help book I’m writing to get teens out of
schools and into psychedelic drugs) says there is no meaning in this
Let me tell you a story, Glenn. A story about the day before I read the
story of Elijah. I’m walking down the street, minding my own business,
my bag of Chicken McNuggets in one hand and my huge soda in the other.
It’s my life, my choices, I can do what I want. Or so I thought! As I’m
walking to my home, a couple of kids start making fun of my large gut. I
menacingly stare at them, but it does no good. They keep repeating
their taunts of “lardgut,” “grease keg,” and “smelly old fat fart who
smells like greasy cheeseburger farts” (little did they know they were
nuggets in the bag. NUGGETS YOU FU... sorry). As I kept staring at them,
wondering who would raise such petulant children, pondering what kind
of world I lived in where a man of almost thirty years, with an
automobile in his name and only two past due bills this month would
suffer such nigh-constant ridicule, I hoped for some ill to befall them.
Something that equaled the torment they had caused me: something
merciless, ravenous, and unyielding. I imagined horrors no man would
dare witness: skewerings, flailings, skinnings, maulings. All happening
to these children I hardly knew, children whose home life I didn’t
comprehend, whose own insecurities and fears I would never know. It was
then I decided I needed to run (well, swiftly walk, I had things in my
hands) into my home and start reading my Bible to figure all of this out
(after eating, of course).
I flipped through now grease laden pages, and I stumbled upon Fourth
Kings and the story of Elijah, it all became clear. See, Glenn, Elijah
was a man who was suffering from male pattern baldness in his later
years. A man who suffered the insults of children as he walked past
them, the children mocking him for his loss of hair and obvious signs of
lack of virility. Elijah, unlike me, though, was a noble man, and a man
whom God favored. So how did Elijah react? He wished death upon these
children, much like I did. Our story differs here, though: for as Elijah
was a man of God, these children did not suffer the same fate the
children of my neighborhood suffered. Instead, these 42 children were
mauled and killed by bears, never to bother Elijah again. Since that
day, I’ve known my one desire, my one hope: to be a proud man of God who
can summon bears with his thoughts to destroy those children who would
insult my deficiencies.
And I thought I was getting a bit melodramatic by comparing the search
for meaning in our lives to Anders Breivik’s homicidal impulses. If
you were trying to convince me god exists, congratulations: you won.
Now I can say I believe in him but even more strongly believe she will
never give us the meaning for which we so desperate search. But that
doesn’t mean I won’t now begin training my army of bears for when I
inevitable find myself in the same situation as you.
Thank you for admitting defeat! Also, no one TRAINS a bear, Glenn: they
merely deter it from mauling a child for one more day.