Friday, March 27, 2015

So you don't believe in Resistentialism?

“ARRGH!” you say, or maybe “drat, darn, damn, crap,” or something stronger as you missed that spring time housefly with your swatter.  Is this an example of the religion/philosophy of Resistentialism*?   Maybe it’s that insecure grip on your $0.89 fly swatter.  Is the Universe mocking you?  DO DO DO DO DO DO DIDLY DO, Look!  Up ahead, there’s a sign post…. You’ve just entered the “Niggle Zone”.  Why miss that fly with your cheapo swatter when you can buy a cheapo swatter and spend just three hours of your time crafting a beautifully customized fine hardwood handle?  And then miss the fly!

Ah, and *Resistentialism?  Resistentialism is as rational a philosophy as any that may be derived from thought or religion.  If you have ever been angered by an inanimate object, then like or not, you are an adherent of the creed.  Modern credit must be given to M.R. James' horror story "The Malice of Inanimate Objects", first published in 1933, and Paul Jennings for his article titled "Report on Resistentialism", written in 1948.  Even Stephen Vincent Benét paid homage to the concept in his poem; “Nightmare Number Three".  But to believe that the ancient Romans, Hittites, and Abyssinians didn’t gnash their teeth when apparently simple things went terribly wrong is to deny the universality of the human condition.  Thank you, Sir Terry Pratchett for “Anoia” the Goddess of things that stick in drawers.  Anoia is summoned by rattling a drawer and crying: "How can it close on the damned thing but not open with it in there?  She shows up smoking cigarettes like a chimney and telling you bluntly that she doesn’t really give a shit about your problems.

There are numerous corollaries to Resistentialism, such as Murphy’s Law (that which can go wrong, will go wrong), Coat’s Axiom (the interesting parts are just off the edge of the map) and, “Why me, Why now”? 

Now, I feel really sorry for all those people that don’t embrace the essential truth of these concepts.  I am tempted to invoke the names of Polly Anna and Pangloss.  How can anyone deny the reality that is before their very eyes every day of the year?  I suppose that wishing and hoping that wars, murderers, and global warming will go away will be sufficient to keep us all safe and happy.  Good luck with that.