The Orion

The meaning of life? Stop looking, there is none

William Rein

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Illustration by Miles Huffman

It’s human nature to assume distinctiveness. Lacking that, the desire to excel magnificently in one specific avenue, unique or not, and stick with it until death. Man’s great motivations and suppositions fuel our conception of purpose.

Specialness comes from the ability to do what no one else has. I rap and give head better than anyone I know, but does that make me special and validate my life? Christ no.

There is a certain pain to being common.

The truth is everything has been done before, and every thought is just inspired by something else. Originality is a myth. There is no one in a million, only one of a million.

We live in recurring paradigms reinforced by meaningless tradition.

Nothing that happens is going to be important, now or ever. I don’t think this is depressing necessarily, just truthful. Albeit, I think that in the same way people think their pessimism is realism.

Yet our species is willfully intent on survival, beyond and before death.

People live to perpetuate their existence postmortem. The choice of children to surpass them, the creation of art to memorialize them: Our actions are fatigued attempts at immortality.

The human condition is a two-step program that begins with regurgitating ancestral values and neatly organizing them on a plate for the next generation. Just don’t let the tradition touch the innovation, because they taste bad together.

In fact, the only purpose of living seems to be to not acknowledge any purpose. Ninety-nine percent of life on Earth never asks why. Only the existential nature of the human has construed such a pointless, inconvenient question.

The gift of life is to waste that life on a completely meaningless existence.

What is eventual, after all — graduation, work, settling down, family. The future is a model concocted from archaic values with little practical worth and minimal deviation.

For those arguing their sole purpose is to have a good life, it seems pointless as well. Pleasure only goes so far as a carnal, mental or emotional fulfillment, and pain is just as ubiquitous if not more.

Meaning is dead. It died when that Martinelli’s-in-wine-glasses type love was replaced by paying-your-bills-on-time love and doing-the-job-you-love love.

Why listen to me though, the melancholy drool of a millennial looking for fulfillment 10 years too early. I pursued pleasure as any driven hedonist until the revelation that blow jobs don’t, and would never, actually matter.

Objectivism killed the dreamer, and my dreams had an insane budget until the funding was cut by indoctrination. People don’t want others to be themselves. People don’t want freedom or others to be free or even nature. And people are awful.

The point being, sometimes life ends up being like fruitcake. Or not at all, more like a ham sandwich. Or a fruit cup.

Opinion articles usually have an optimistic note, with a future orientation and sarcastic, happy consciousness. The difference is that opinion articles are written at three in the morning as an assignment, and this was written as a surrender.

William Rein can be reached at [email protected] or @toeshd on Twitter.

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The meaning of life? Stop looking, there is none