Thursday, March 29, 2007

Cars in swimming pools and confused hipsters

You never know when you'll accidentally drive your car into a swimming pool. In this article, there's a video that tells one story: notice how bewildered the woman who sunk her car looks. Cars crash into swimming pools all the time. Twice in February, 2007, alone. The crisis of sunken cars in suburbia does not discriminate, no matter how famous, or powerful, or smart you are, you may be out driving one day, only to find yourself, and your car, suddenly submerged. One of the members of The Who crashed a car into a swimming pool, on his 21st birthday. How would you feel, cold and dripping wet, sitting on the pool deck in a stranger's back yard, wondering how you're going to get your car out?

A sidewalk evangelist came to campus to campus today. This is as absurd as a car in a swimming pool, because the wingnuts that this guy attracts aren't willing to honestly consider his point of view, he's not sowing on good soil. This is actually as absurd as two cars in a swimming pool, because the wingnuts try to convince the evangelist that he's wrong, and he's not really listening with the intent of changing his point of view.

One of the hipsters became very angry. The idea that sinners ought to go to hell is offensive to this hipster, who yelled at the evangelist; these quotes are as exact as I can remember:
"God loves everyone!"
"Everyone is going to a good place when they die, no matter what they believe!"
"Who are you to judge me? God doesn't judge me!"
"God is love!"
The dialog became more unstable:
Evangelist (calm, but loud, as always): Yes, God is love, but God is also just.
Hipster (spit coming out of his mouth): No! God is pure love! God doesn't judge anyone!
Evangelist: So we shouldn't judge child molesters?
Hipster (still yelling, angry): We should take those damn child molesters, and we should love them! I follow Jesus, and Buddha, and John Lennon! I'm the greatest man in the world, and all of you should think the same about yourselves! [I am not making any of this up, especially this last bit. You know that I am not that creative.]
Around then, the hipster left in a huff.

In UHF, Weird Al's character, George Newman, is leaving a desperate message on his girlfriend's answering machine, having accidentally stood her up for dinner, "Teri! I'm sorry! Come on, give me one more chance, please! Come on, Teri! Teri! Oh! Oh! I'm in hell! I'M IN HELL! TERI! TERI! PICK UP THE PHONE!! PICK UP THE PHONE!! PICK UP THE PHONE! OH! OH! TERI!" It's funny, because I know that I do things like that, I have my own little existential crises, and they're that pathetic; I laugh at myself, and that's probably a good thing.

I saw this hipster screaming angrily about how much God loves everyone, and my first reaction was to laugh. He was very confused though, and this was obvious to everyone but him. It's not right to laugh at someone else's existential crisis. I was wrong. This is very sad, and I should have cried.

I suppose laughter would have been appropriate, if the hipster, himself, would have seen that his absurdity was on a par with that of a car in a swimming pool. Upon his seeing that his presuppositions had reached their logical conclusion, this could have been the beginning of a beautiful transformation. Every time that I watch UHF, after George gets dumped by Teri, I laugh as he tries to get her back, for his own sake, and fails, because I know that his rejection and failures, the absurdities of his life, open the door for him to realize how much he needs other people, and how he should be more concerned for other people than for his own dreams. I wonder if this hipster will experience a similar transformation.


  1. I think your profile picture ought to be a picture of a car in a swimming pool. Perhaps with your beard photoshopped in.

  2. That is correct. However,
    1 There aren't any pictures of cars in swimming pools that look good at profile pic size. They are ideally viewed mural-size.
    2 I can not photoshop. I have no skills. Otherwise, a beard, or, perhaps, a Colonel Mustard, would be appropriate.

  3. You're probably right about the evangelist not sowing on good soil. On the other hand, I'm not complaining, because it caused my friend Joe to ask me about the gospel today at lunch.

    Hipster is the right word. I always forget that word but it's such a good word.

    And you really, really love the word existentialism and its derivatives.