24 October 2012

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are tired

Feeling like an extra in the film of someone else's life (ironically while sitting under a poster for his film of someone else's life)
The Irish Film Institute, Dublin, Sunday 21st October
There is a chapter in Nassim Nicholas Taleb's The Black Swan (not the Padme/Ballerina film, the much better book on randomness and its effect on the human psyche) devoted to the narrative fallacy, the tendency we have to take unconnected events and weave a story around them that links them all together in an attempt to impose our own order upon the chaos around us. We see patterns where there are none, and place ourselves at the centre of these because we are, of course, the hero in the story of our life.

My life, of late, has been an extended fallacy, as told by a narrator who clearly holds me in little regard. Events endured range from the genuinely traumatic to the pathetically mundane, but when encountered in steady succession these singular static moments are transformed into one's own personal zoetrope of misfortune, finding yourself reduced to a hapless bystander mesmerised into inaction by the flickering light of your own imagined catastrophes. In such a paralytic fugue it ironically seems easy to deal with real tragedy, but the unexpected appearance of chicken in your take-away tofu dish can suddenly reduce you to tears, wondering what you did in a previous life that has caused the universe to punish you so.

While the story told this week may not have been mine and mine alone, being Rosencrantz or Guildenstern still takes its toll.

This week, I am mostly... sad. Tired and sad.

Normal service will resume shortly.

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