The Meaning of Life

We're just two lost souls
swimming in a fish bowl
year after year . . .
- Pink Floyd (Wish You Were Here)

Life is meaningless. We just go round and round and if we're lucky we'll miss the axe as it comes down to slice us up, or the hammer that comes down to crush us. Winter doesn't end, it always comes round again.

There is no dark side of the moon-
It's all dark really.
- Pink Floyd (Dark Side of The Moon)

I can't tell the difference between life and death. Death is all around at every turn. I'm confronted by it all the time and it's the place we all end up. What's the point? We go round and round, facing it all over and over again - it seems to never end

We're spiralling down to the end. The bad gets worse 'till there's nothing left. Look where we're headed - winter . . . dark . . . death . . . they never end. They just come back again and again. They're always there.

It is useless, useless . . . life is useless, all useless . . . Generations come and go, but the world just remains the same . . . Everything leads to weariness - a weariness to great for words . . . God has laid a miserable fate upon us. I have seen everything done in this world, and I tell you, it is like chasing the wind . . . laughter is foolish . . . pleasure does you no good . . . life came to mean nothing to me . . . It is all useless . . . God makes the same thing happen again and again . . . I envy those who are dead and gone; they are better off than those who are still alive . . . God is going to judge everything we do, whether good or bad, even the things done in secret . . .
(Extracts from the Book of Ecclesiastes)

These words were written well over 2000 years ago and yet they are as contemporary as the songs we hear on the radio each day - the news we watch on television - the thoughts that go through the minds of millions of humans every day - every second.

It would seem that we are all on the quest to find meaning in life. We're always in search of answers, but sometimes we don't even know the question.

High up on a hillside
a preacher tells a story to a crowd,
he tells the same old story.
A thousand times his read that story loud.
He wants to give the answers
but his words are only-
answers to nothing.

. . . Lied for the last time,
cried for the last time,
died for the last time,
deceived for the last time,
believed for the last time-
this time.
-Midge Ure (1989).

I walk away from my town
See which way the wind blows my future
Find what's before me.
There must be something better
Must be something more than I've had so far.
Something new, something good,
Something worth being put here for.
-Midge Ure (1989).

It seems as if God (if there is such a thing) has just left us all to our own devices. Perhaps he/she just wound us up like clockwork and then chucked us out into space to sit back and see how it all pans out. Maybe we're just there for the amusement of The Creator. Worse still, maybe he/she has just designed everything like a massive computer game and now sits manipulating us all for his/her pleasure.

Dear God, is there somebody out there?
Is there someone to hear my prayer?
...Is there some point in asking,
asking for more?
Only God is where we are today-
Lost and alone and afraid.

...Is there somebody watching?
Somebody watching
over the mess that we've made?
We're lost and alone and afraid.

...Dear God, is there somebody out there?
Is there someone to hear my prayer?
-Midge Ure (1989).

What God wants God gets God help us all
What God wants God gets...
God wants goodness
God wants light
God wants mayhem
God wants a clean fight...
What God wants God gets God help us all
God wants peace
God wants war
God wants famine
God wants chain stores
What God wants God gets
God wants sedition
God wants sex
God wants freedom
God wants semtex...
What God wants God gets
God wants boarders
God wants crack
God wants rainfall
God wants wetbacks
What God wants God gets
God wants voodoo
God wants shrines
God wants law
God wants organised crime
God wants crusade
God wants jihad
God wants good
God wants bad
What God wants God gets

Time is linear
Memory is a stranger
History's for fools
(and) Man is a tool in the hands
of the great God Almighty
- Roger Waters, Amused to Death (1992).

Perhaps all this did just happen by chance and there really is no meaning and purpose to it. We're just the product of some chance meeting of two atoms and it'll eventually wind itself down or burn itself out . . .

It is better to burn out than to fade away
- Kurt Cobain (1967 - 1994)

The ultimate unexplored territory is death. Perhaps in death we'll find meaning. Kurt Cobain tried everything in life, seemingly had everything in life. He had fame, fortune, a wife and child, a beautiful home, the adoration and devotion of thousands of fans. He had a gift and he was using it to make money. He was doing what he enjoyed. And yet, it was not enough - there was still something missing. He tried death, and I can only pray that he found what he was looking for. This letter was found next to his dead body after he killed himself.

To Boddah

Speaking from the tongue of an experienced simpleton who obviously would rather be an emasculated, infantile complain-ee. This note should be pretty easy to understand. All the warnings from the punk rock 101 courses over the years, since my first introduction to the, shall we say, the ethics involved with independence and the embracement of your community has proven to be very true. I haven't felt the excitement of listening to as well as creating music along with reading and writing for too many years now. I feel guilty beyond words about these things. For example when we're backstage and the lights go out and the manic roar of the crowd begins, it doesn't affect me the way in which it did for Freddy Mercury, who seem to love, relish in the love and adoration from the crowd, which is something I totally admire and envy. The fact is, I can't fool you, any one of you. It simply isn't fair to you or me. The worst crime I can think of would be to rip people off by faking it and pretending as if I'm having 100% fun. Sometimes I feel as if I should have a punch-in time clock before I walk out on stage. I've tried everything within my power to appreciate it (and I do, God believe me I do, but it's not enough). I appreciate the fact that I and we have affected and entertained a lot of people. I must be one of those narcissists who only appreciate things when they're gone. I'm too sensitive. I need to be slightly numb in order to regain the enthusiasm I once had as a child. On our last 3 tours, I've had a much better appreciation for all the people I've known personally and as fans of our music, but I still can't get over the frustration, the guilt and empathy I have for everyone. There's good in all of us and I think I simply love people too much, so much that it makes me feel too fucking sad. The sad little sensitive, unappreciative, Pisces, Jesus man. Why don't you just enjoy it? I don't know! I have a goddess of a wife who sweats ambition and empathy and a daughter who reminds me too much of what I used to be, full of love and joy, kissing every person she meets because everyone is good and will do her no harm. And that terrifies me to the point where I can barely function. I can't stand the thought of Frances becoming the miserable, self-destructive, death rocker that I've become. I have it good, very good, and I'm grateful, but since the age of seven, I've become hateful towards all humans in general. Only because it seems so easy for people to get along and have empathy. Only because I love and feel sorry for people too much I guess. Thank you all from the pit of my burning, nauseous stomach for your letters and concern during the past years. I'm too much of an erratic, moody, baby! I don't have the passion anymore, and so remember, it's better to burn out than to fade away. Peace, Love, Empathy. Kurt Cobain.

Frances and Courtney, I'll be at your altar
Please keep going Courtney,
for Frances.
for her life will be so much happier
without me. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU

So, what is the answer . . .

What's the question?