Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Bench of Existentialism

"Mama always said, 'Life is like a box of conscience. You never know what you're gonna perceive.'"

One day, while devouring what could be the world's most tasty ice cream at Leopold's Ice Cream, my boyfriend and I noticed a souvenir slate from the movie The Core affixed to the wall. In discussing the movie and how ridiculously unrealistic it was to think that, in the event that the world stopped spinning, a nuclear bomb set off in Earth's core would make magma flow in a different direction and prevent the world from stopping, the actual question arose: What would happen if Earth stopped spinning? 

Technology be hailed, we had the answer(s) at our fingertips. Our own guesses on the effect of this planet deciding one day to just say, "Fuck it. I'm dizzy, and spinning sucks," were a little off, but the answer was somewhat interesting. 

Apparently this happens.

According to Witold Fraczek, not only does this person have a very-hard-to-pronounce name, but also the water on the planet would shift to the poles, leaving a band of land in the middle, which caused the next following questions.

By the time we had come to the learned conclusion that we, as humans, might not be as fucked as primarily thought, my boyfriend and I had found our asses sitting on a bench in a square near the ice cream shop. As we discussed the end of mankind via destructive, unpredictable tempests and half-year seasons of summer and winter, the words "centrifugal force" emerged.

"There isn't such thing as centrifugal force," I told my boyfriend in a smart-ass voice. I wasn't being mindful of my pretentious tendencies, and I nearly immediately apologized for being an ass.

"Then what is it that keeps us from flying off the planet?" He asked out loud, not really to me, but more to his fingers, which were typing away on his phone to find the answer. 

The answer, of course, was that centrifugal force does not exist, but centripetal force does. According to Newtonian physics, centrifugal force is a false cause to the effect of centripetal force, meaning that, in the response to the mere belief that centrifugal force exists, masses press themselves against Earth so that they don't fly off. You know, like how as a kid, you clung for dear life on the bars of one of those spinning whirly-gigs at the park while your brother and sister spun it faster and faster, laughing maniacally and chanting, "YOU'RE ADOPTED. YOU'RE ADOPTED."

"Sororicide" and "Merry-Go-Round" are synonymous.

Well, boys and girls, this wasn't the end of discussion. In response to the idea of centripetal force equating to the effect of the mythological being named "Centrifugal Force," my boyfriend asked the question: "If something doesn't exist, but we apply a name to it and react to it, then does it exist?"

Great Poseidon's Salty Asshole, the man was starting to talk like a hobo hitching a ride on the 12:15 Express to Crazyville. He was instilling the idea that, even if something did not physically exist, if it had a name and an image or idea of what it could be, it existed. Just like that.

"While we go crazy, do you mind if I just stare at your tits for comfort?"

Say that I believe that there is a seriously power-crazed sea creature that lives under the sea and will one day surface and rule us with magical tentacle-y powers, and his name is Cthulhu. And because Cthulhu wants to enslave the human race, we lost our abilities to breathe underwater so that we were less susceptible to his hypnotic powers.  Guess what? By this premise, he does exist! BOOM. THAT JUST HAPPENED.

The question was discussed, and as we dug deeper and deeper to the core of knowing our existence, like that stupid drill in the movie The Core, we hit a crossroads of intellect. We had reached the argument where Descartes enters into the arena, which was a very good thing, because it served as a warning that, if we continued to discuss our existence or how we know that wind exists, our brains would melt into a puddle of gray ooze, bubbling with diseased bat-shit craziness and apocalyptic cardboard prophecies. If we stopped thinking about the ultimate questions to life and our existence, our minds would be saved by the thought-blocking power of Ignorance (now on sale in bulk at any Wal-Mart), and we could live a long, foil-hat-free life.

We opted on the latter, and to recuperate from our brush with shared brain-melting fates, we drank a few to come back down to the good-ol' Merry-Go-Round Earth. 

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