I don’t remember who first said it. Probably some of my friends during some party were I was too hammered to know the long and short of it. But although I might have been drunk as few, I still remember what was said to me; “Your life is like a Greek Tragedy, without the Greek and without the tragedy”.
Now, I have no idea what this person meant, and it’s likely he didn’t either. But the more I thought about it (after the party, the hangover and the general feeling of dinosaurs playing ping-pong inside my head) the more I started realizing that person was right. For removing the Greek and the tragedy from the Greek Tragedy, what are you left with? Nothing.
Alas this may seem uncomfortably cynical, pessimistic and negative to many, at least that’s what life has told me. Well, not so much life itself as the people entering my life from time to time. I keep disappointing them. Whenever the discussion of the sanctity of life emerges and we talk about the miracle of birth and how this world must be saved, I get the feeling of a tumour sucking out my brain until the inside of my head is like a hollow globe. Now you might say “This doesn’t belong in a story about YOUR life, this is about life in general”. And while that might be true, I still find it hard to talk about my life without expressing my view on life in general.
Take hobbies, interests etc for instance. I take no pleasure and draw no experience or pedagogical value from writing in plain English what I do on my spare time. My grammar would not benefit from this either, no more than writing an essay about the meaning of life. I would say though, the person who writes down the answer to the meaning of life should be allowed a few typos here and there. However, failing to resolve the assignment given to you from your teacher isn’t very good for your grade or your reputation, and I certainly don’t want this I’m writing to be in vain. So here goes. My life and the stuff I do:
And so the miracle of birth begins. Although I don’t know why we call it that. Every other yinyang on the planet can drop a litter of these needy little crickets every nine months; I don’t see the miracle part. A miracle is more like raising a kid who doesn’t talk during a goddamn movie theatre. Anyway, the miracle of birth as they call it, was were I started out, as most people. No skis on my feet though. No backpack on my back either. I can’t be a very good Norwegian.
After my birth (cut out by the way, not head-on) I was just…raised. Kids are so small; they got to be raised from the start. Like a statue or a mountain. I learned how to speak and walk, only to be told to shut up and sit down. I survived phrases like “Don’t you understand Norwegian?” We kids always had answers for those questions. We couldn’t utter them though, that would result in quite a beating and grounding for life. But every time we got that “Don’t you understand Norwegian?” we knew exactly what to answer: “Not fully, no”.
“How many times do I have to tell you?” We’d think about it a long time and then say to ourselves: “Six!” The worst however, I got from my mother (It should be said beforehand that my mother and father have never lived together while I’ve been alive). She said “I have tried to be…both a mother and a father for you.”
“Go fuck yourself!”
They really don’t appreciate the irony…
Well, should I let you in on every little detail of my life; this story would be both boring and inaccurate. So let’s just jump ahead in time. We have major events taking place at age 9. I moved to Romania to live there for a year (10 months). If this was my mother or stepfathers idea I don’t know. However, my stepfather is Romanian and they figured it would be fun to try out the Romanian way of life for a year. My stepfather enjoyed the Romanian way of life for 30 years before he came to Norway. Can’t imagine how fun it was, since he came here. And my mother, as soon as we got there, decided to stay indoors in the city most of the time. So I and my sister were the only ones experiencing the Romanian way of life. You know…being beaten up by crazy rural women, chasing cows through meadows every day, not being able to talk to people, drinking water from the sewer, scraping your living off rocks every day…(I’ve lost track of why I’m doing this).
I came back alive, however, about ten moths after departure. And I found out the year on a Romanian school actually did me some good. I didn’t really learn anything the first year after I returned. But the lack of challenges was reflected in my enthusiasm for the homework. I didn’t really…do it. But as the years passed I met new challenges. And when I was around 10-11 years old I caught interest in movies and cinema (before that it was soccer like every other mindless kid my age) and has been my passion in life ever since. Since I was 15 I’ve been writing for an online Norwegian filmsite (Filmlisten.no) writing news, reviews, biographies etc. We’re still on volunteer-level, but hopefully that will change and I’ll make some money off of it.
We’re approaching present time fast, aren’t we. Let’s just go there. I’m currently very into the works of J.R.R. Tolkien (have been for a couple of years) and I’m currently reading The Silmarillion for the 4th time. As one surely is aware of The Lord of the Rings has been made into three huge motion pictures. I am currently looking forward to seeing the last part: The Return of the King, coming to a theatre near me a week before Christmas.
Now, to be brief, some of my interests: Norse mythology, the Gothic subculture, Metal-music, mocking everything that is written in the bible (lover case ‘b’), IRC (Internet Relay Chat, which loosely translates to “Lack of Life), Tom Waits – The greatest songwriter and singer in the world, James Bond, Astronomy, home theatre technology, collecting movie posters, american history, whisky (for drinking, not for reading labels), dogs, my own independence and straightening out the carpet (those little bulks make me furious).
Can we say I’ve talked enough about my life then? Good. If you feel I’ve done my homework you might as well stop reading now.
You might want to tell me “Well, at least your life is not nothing, as you claimed early in the text”. I’d say that depends on the individual person’s time perspective. If you read my biography as my teacher in 2003, you can say “Well, even though this is a brief summary of his yet short life, he has already taken part in many things.” That might be said about every human on the planet.
Now let’s do it my way. Say we transform my life into a stone. And the history of the world is the sea. And the splash it makes when it hits the water will show the effect my life has had on the history of our Gaia. The stone wouldn’t even be visible to God himself. Not that he exists anyway. And even though my indifference for life is dominating, I have no desire for death. I can still enjoy my time here. But I seek no higher meaning or purpose. There is no sanctity of life. We mad that up. Why? Self-interest. We’re alive. You haven’t heard much from Martin Luther King on the subject. What’s the latest from JFK on the sanctity of life? Nothing, they’re dead. And save the planet? Give me a goddamn brake! It’s still self-interest! This planet is in no need of healing…we are! We need the rainforest and the ozone layer. And we put out little plastic bags to prevent this. This planet has been through earthquakes, volcanoes, continental drifts, solar flares, sunspots, magnetic storms, the magnet reversal of the pole, hundred of thousands of years of bombardment by asteroids, meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic raise, recurring ice ages…and we think some plastic bags are going to make a difference? The best way for this planet to heal is to rid itself of us, humans.
And I think it has started already. Our time here is ending, we will be fazed out soon. We have the Ebola, Malaria, AIDS, Sars, conservatives, democrats, worldwide terrorism, and religion, all very effective tools in our way towards Armageddon or Ragnarokk or whatever one might call it. But we may linger yet. For a little while. Thanks for reading my Greek free, tragedy free, Greek Tragedy, and may the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house.