Monday, September 7, 2009
Is Sherman absurd?
Sherman’s Lagoon is a comic strip featuring a shark named Sherman who lives at the bottom of a lagoon with his coral reef friends, such as Filmore the sea turtle. This was a bit from Sunday’s strip:
Sherman: “Fish are always going somewhere. Where are they going?”
Filmore: “Appointments, meetings.”
Sherman: “Boy, I wish I had appointments and meetings. I’ve got no place to be.”
Filmore: “That’s because you haven’t found your purpose in life.”
Sherman: “My purpose?”
Filmore: “Yeah. Something that will get you going every morning. You wake up, you see it. And you start chasing it. The purposeful life.”
Sherman: “I don’t think that’ll ever happen to me.”
(The punch line is when he sees his wife coming and disappears, at which his friend observes “At least he’s got something to run from.”)
We enjoyed this strip, as it is an obvious parody of human busyness. Replace “fish” with “people” and it becomes spot-on social commentary.
The absurd, which is what this blog is all about, offers a different perspective than the rat race view pursued by so many. The absurd man accepts that life has no meaning and he uses this insight as his ticket to freedom. Like Sherman, we don’t think we’ll ever adopt the “purposeful life.” But unlike Sherman, we have no wish to join the crowd in chasing something that doesn't exist. We take life as it is.
So, on Labor Day, we reflect on the meaningless nature of existence. Enjoy your day off from the rat race. And if you choose, every day can be like today, as the absurd man well knows.
Posted by Inigo Montoya at 10:22 AM