I was reading about a dead guy, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and another guy who might or might not be a pedophile, Woody Allen, and also about a few guys I read about in the paper who died recently around here in NYC. Guys who have names no one remembers and did things that all of us do now and then. I also saw a piece about a guy who did something extremely bad to a lot of people but he did so quietly and was only recently found out. Another guy saved a woman from a burning car.
I don’t remember his name.
And if you think you’ve got this thing I’m writing all figured out about how I’m going to rail against celebrity as being the fluffy version of pigshit (it is, by the way) and that crass commercialism for commercialisms sake is evil and bad, bad, bad, well, of course I’m going to fuck with you now. I don’t care about any of that. It doesn’t mean a thing to me.
Not even a little bit.
What I’m thinking is that Mr. Hoffman and Mr. Allen (and Dylan Farrow for that matter) and the two dead blokes from around here as well as the objectively bad dude and the reasonably heroic one are pretty much all the same to me. Meaning that they are not “me”. Like you are not me. Like the Queen of England is not me. Like a dying 3 year old being eyed by a vulture in Sub-Saharan Africa is not me.
Or any of the approximate 7 billion other people on this planet who are, to a person, not me.
The thing is that when It really comes down to it, when it matters whose heart is beating, then it is me that I think about. Certainly not from a “who’s better” or “who’s more important” aspect but from a “who do I control” perspective. Oh I’m sure that many people think Mr. Hoffman was an important guy as they probably did for Mr. Allen (and Dylan Farrow for that matter) as well as the two dead blokes, etc. As well as the opposite with many people disliking in various ways, all of those people.
My point is that they have nothing to do with me living this one life that I have on this one planet where I find myself. Nothing. In fact, more so than that…absolutely nothing.
100,000 years ago when we were just starting to form groups and were transitioning into agrarian societies, we knew about, probably, less than 30 people our whole lives. That’s “knew about”…we actually only knew (in the sense that we communicated with them regularly or were responsible for them in some way (daughter, father, son, mom)) less than 4 or 5 people (tops!) our whole lives. These people had a life/death effect on us in various shades of importance because they were literally extensions of our own capabilities. We used them to extend our reach, our gathering and our hunting…
…but then planting crops and establishing boundaries for territories, villages, food storage, etc., went and fucked that all up.
Villages got bigger and turned into towns with governments and rich people and poor people and society started being a thing with people who ran things and wanted to be known for doing so. Word of mouth segued to news pamphlets to newspapers to radio to TV and now 24/7/360 wall to wall, can’t evade, round the clock, in your face EDUTAINEMNT!!
And we’re forgetting…
…we’re forgetting that there is only one person ever standing on the savannah, there is only one person ever waiting for rain, or looking for signs of a wild pig, spear in hand…there is only one person ever staring at the sky wondering why, and how big, and how small…there is only and forever
Regardless who else died…is a pedophile (or not)…is evil or good…there is always and forever…
Take care of that person. Expend your energy on that person. Treat that person as if it was them on the front page, them in the spotlight, them being viciously hunted through the press…
…and the universe, the world we stand and live on, the other people around us…
…they will take care of themselves.
Believe. Go. Do.