Thursday, April 28, 2011

Who the fuck is Albert Camus, and why the fuck should you care?

Short of sounding homoerotic, Harrison at Capitol Commentary seems to provide me some inspiration on some topics that I think are good.  He mentioned in his article yesterday that he's a fan of Albert Camus.  I thought to myself, "hey, I'm also a fan of Camus," so why not do an ode to him, eh?

I’m wondering if I’ve mentioned him before, and if you’ve asked yourself that question.  I know I asked myself that question not so long ago.  But now I’m totally gay for Camus.  If having a historical bro-mance with Camus is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

Camus happens to be one of my all-time favorite authors.  Although I’m not a huge fan of his fiction, I am a mega-nerd for his non-fiction stuff, particularly the stuff compiled in the book Resistance, Rebellion, and Death.  Camus is unlike any other writer you’ll read, because he totally blows your fucking mind.

“Jack, could you please get off Camus’ nuts!”  Eat my ass, HTNS.  Camus is ballin’ out of control on levels that you can’t even comprehend, and here’s why.

Camus is not the only guy that sees that life is absurd, but he shouldn’t be categorized as an absurdist.  I’m sorry, but the notion that we are supposed to spend eighty years on this planet, working our asses off to make ourselves happy, all to just die and not be able to take any of it with us is retarded.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a Christian or an Atheist.  If you believe in God and heaven, then nothing in this life matters except being moral, and being moral doesn’t always make us happy.  If you’re an Atheist, then, well, nothing really matters after die then does it?

So if nothing matters then what’s the point of life?  Camus asks that question in the Myth of Sisyphus, and he stops short of saying that we should just kill ourselves.  When you think about it, if life is pointless, then wouldn’t suicide be the only logical conclusion?  Why waste your time?

We waste our time because we’re human.  Being human means being able to shit on the face of absurdity and find enjoyment and happiness in life anyway.  I once wrote a paper on this very point and how this all pertains to politics when I was in college (being a political science major and all).  At the time I was struggling with Camus’ insight on humanity, let alone what it has to do with politics.  But I eventually got it.

Politics is about people.  And since politics is about people, that means anyone who even thinks about politics has to understand people.  We have to understand what it means to be human, and I think Camus got it right.

It’s our indomitable will to succeed and be happy, despite the joke that is life, that distinguishes us from animals.  We have the potential to impose our will upon the physical world around us, to make it our own so that we can thrive not just physically but emotionally as well.

So that’s why the first half of my pen name is Cam.  So who the fuck is Camus?  He’s he guy that reminded us that humans can be happy, even when they are being shit on by douchebags.


Silverfiddle said...

Another excellent post. Camus and Sarte are both highly readable, even for a Christian.

If you are an atheist, then life is absurd, but you already covered that very well in your post

Jack Camwell said...

Thanks friend =)

Camus is my favorite non-fiction author/philosopher. He's the man. He actually didn't care too much for Sartre, dispite their similarities.

Actually, life is still absurd even if you're a Christian. If you believe in heaven, then being happy here on earth still means little, as your earthly happiness won't matter in heaven.

Life is absurd no matter how you look at it, but we're supposed to enjoy it anyway. Enjoying something that is absurd is what makes us human.

Silverfiddle said...

Well stated...

Peter McCullough said...

If I kill myself then I'm conceeding that our warped God who put us here will compensate us with a nirvana of some sort for our years of putting up with earthly bullshit and if I don't kill myself then am I conceeding that the warped God who left us here has a more diabolical fate awaiting us on the otherside? If I eat the bread and mayonaise sandwich I die from cardio-vascular complications, if I don't eat it I die from hunger yet if I eat it and still die from neither than maybe the mayonaise had a bad expiration date on the jar and yet if I eat it even though the expiration date on the jar is expired and don't than the FDA is full of shit. Life and death are nothing more than never ending contridictions.

Jack Camwell said...

That's why it's better to laugh at it than to be bothered by it.

As The Joker said, "it's a funny world we live in."