Absence of Meaning

Falling through the universe at the speed of life (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)

BY David Glenn Cox

I’m so glad Rod Serling is dead. I’d hate for him to suffer from the surrealism of this modern day. The senselessness, without any intellect, almost a robotic kneejerk reactions. You’ve wronged me; someone’s wronged me. And so, in a senseless act of insane violence, I will kill people to vent my rage. And I will have my vengeance for ten or twenty minutes and make them all pay for a lifetime of grievance . Then either the cops kill them, or they kill themselves and go out in a stupidly ignorant blaze of glory.

But it defies logic, somethings broken. We shoot at each other at funerals now? Duck behind the casket and squeeze off a few rounds. I’m Irish and that sounds extreme, even for our funerals. Or if I’m unhappy with the doctor, screw hiring a lawyer, I’ll just grab my Glock and settle this. It’s like it’s busted out of its pen and can’t be held back anymore. Shooting’s not just for the violent anymore. “Did you put the extra ketchup in the bag, like I asked you to…punk?”

Anything is grounds now, little bombs, little Weebles tottering through society looking for a place to go off. To put on their little dramatics and vent their spleen at our expense. To hurt people because they themselves are unhappy or angry or in pain. I don’t have a bad back, and I know that back surgery is the terminus of a long, long road. That’s not your first stop that’s your last. And I’ve never heard of anyone being told, “You’ll be right as rain after the back surgery.”

So, was it the doctor or the illness he was shooting at? But why shooting? Okay, you’re angry, I get that. But why kill strangers, who’ve done you no harm? To multiply the pain like ripples on the water and to leave behind a stain as your life’s work for others to try and rationalize. Oh yeah, we remember that little asshole. Merry Christmas to you too fuck head! I’m unhappy, so I will make others unhappy. Why? Must we be insane ourselves to understand the illness?

Murder and shooting are a part of our American history. Gunsmoke never began with a lawful arrest and the Vice President always carries her phone. I had read on the Oregon trail, how people would sometimes crack up and go nuts and murder their whole family, but they didn’t involve outsiders. They didn’t try and kill everyone on the wagon train because Uncle Zeke farted all night. Or they felt they’d made a mistake and life was overtaking them due to their insignificance in the universe.

These things are from our past, why are they making a comeback? Is it mass psychosis or something in the water? We lock all the clock tower doors now don’t we, but it doesn’t seem to be working. Is that what the aircraft are spraying into upper atmosphere, crazy dust? Drive us all wild and make us want to kill each other. The backwards masking message of the Faux News broadcast –“Red Queen! Red Queen!” Our top story tonight, what Joe Biden is doing to you! The Durwood investigation, how the jury got it wrong!

Foisted reality, how the wrong team won the Super bowl! It was the largest crowd ever to see an Inaugural. And then the voice on the telephone said, “I think Hillary is trying to kill me.” And then the line went dead! And while we can’t verify that it wasn’t just some crank, pulling our leg calling from a bar someplace, It becomes pretty clear to us; the cops are covering up for Hillary and ignoring a possible murder.

Well sure, they are all murderers, aren’t they? Bill and Hillary and Obama and Nancy Pelosi. If they ever dig up Nancy’s back yard, look out! So, after being told that directly or indirectly, how the world’s not fair and everyone is out to get you. How everyone else is doing it too, or how the world has been brutally unfair to you alone. The terrorists hijack airplanes or plant bombs to voice their political grievances.

Take over a grocery store or an elementary school because you are unhappy with life? To involve others, strangers or children in your murderous tantrums and your genocidal childlike whims. What’s the point, to see who can be the biggest monster of them all and the biggest mass killer on the block? Do you feel better now? Have you got it all out of your system yet? Boo hoo for you.

There was a time in this country when murderous criminals had real ambition and not the lazy slugs of today. They could use their violence guns and mental illness to obtain a nice living. They could kill one another occasionally, to settle their arguments or to show how tough they were to the other gangsters. The gun fighters in the old west would call you out into the street, not spray the saloon with bullets while riding by on a fast horse. Crime without any benefit? Just rob the bank and leave the money behind.

The man who shot Jessie James in the back was considered a coward and not a hero. What makes them think a hero now instead of a coward? To murder the defenseless, that maybe the world will somehow care now about its slight injustices towards you, after you have proven yourself to be a monster.

What is going on here, what makes Johnny kill? What makes Johnny think that murder is the answer to all his problems? What has changed in the suicidal that they now feel they must take innocents along with them? To gain celebrity and notoriety by just being one more mass killer in a long line of mass killers. They want you use their death and murder to validate their existence in the universe when it only does the opposite.

To post their manifesto on Facebook and tell all their friends about how they just shot Grandma with their new gun. What is it saying about us with the constancy of the repetition? Church or school or grocery store, public event, or funeral. Bad doctor, cheeseburger, or bad grandmother. “I said, did you put the extra ketchup in the bag, like I asked you!”

“The deeper the experience of an absence of meaning – in other words, of absurdity – the more energetically meaning is sought.”
― Václav Havel

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