Weekly Whack: Existentialism, Sega, and Michael Winslow
Existentialism, Sega, and Michael Winslow
November 9, 1997

Here are two more entries from my journal. Once again, it's not a real Whack, but it's good enough. Hopefully you can take time from posting to the fab new guestbook to read it.

My Existential Self Vs. Sega

I'm an existentialist... I think. Well yeah, I dig that existential philosophy. "Existence precedes essence," John Paul Sartre, I love all of it. "Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself. Man is responsible for what he is." We weren't created in the image of God, we are the ones who create our own image of ourselves. "Every truth and every action implies a human setting and a human subjectivity." If things suck, it ain't God, it's us. "I am Existential Man. I am responsible for myself and for everyone else. I am creating a certain image of Man of my own choosing. In choosing myself, I choose Man." I love that. I want to choose myself, I want to choose man. "Existentialism first makes every man aware of what he is, and makes the full responsibility of his existence rest on him." That's great. I want the full responsibility of my existence to rest on me dammit. Well at least I think I do. I mean that's a pretty large weight to carry. It's like we're all alone in this world. There's no God or Devil guiding us or misguiding us. We are all alone at the driver's seat. That's scary. A part of me is up for the challenge though. I want to live life to the fullest, unlock my greatest potential. But then there's the part of me that just wants to play Sega. I mean it's fun. I love the whole John's Madden's Football, NHL Hockey, Coach K's Basketball, Sonic the Hedgehog. They're fun. I love the music, the sounds, the beeps and buzzes, the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat. I love all of it. Now does playing Sega go very far towards defining myself and defining humanity? No, and that's where the problem starts. It's like Sega is a trap. I'm on my existential quest to define myself and humanity, but I'm constantly sidetracked by my urge to play Sega. And it's not just Sega that sidetracks me, I wish is only was. It's everything. There's a huge wall blocking me. And this wall is made up of everything that has no meaning in my life, but I can't give up. I'm talking about a wall made up of Sega, cable television, music, movies, sports, computers, the Internet, cars with loud speakers, good food, and money, money, and more money. It's a huge wall that is constantly being added to. And behind this wall is me, my life, my meaning. And I'm not the only one trapped behind this wall, we all are. All of humanity is trapped behind this wall. And we will continue to be trapped behind this wall because most of us are too damn complacent with our meaningless lives to do anything about it. They say fuck it, I have a wife, I have two kids, I have a house, I have a car, I have a job, I watch my football games, I drink my beer, I eat my food, I have a good time. Fuck it. The hell with myself, the hell with meaning, the hell with humanity, I'm having a good time. Who needs meaning when you got Sega? And I would be lying to you if I said that I don't think I will get caught in the same trap my whole life as well. Sure right now I'm young and idealistic. I still think I have a fighting chance of finding meaning in myself and in humanity. But there's a part of me that still defines myself by how many touchdowns I can score in John Madden's Football. I guess there will always be a struggle inside of me. It's my existential self versus Sega and everything else that makes up the wall of complacency. And the winner definitely takes all.

Michael Winslow

I was watching Police Academy 2 the other day. I always wondered what the hell happened to Michael Winslow. I mean at one time Michael Winslow was the man. You know who I'm talking about, that guy who used to make all those funny noises. There was a time when that guy was the single most popular man in America. I wonder if he enjoyed his fifteen minutes of fame. I guess that's all any of us can do, enjoy what we have for as long as we have it, as much as we can. Do you think he ever felt unfulfilled with his life because his sole claim to fame was that he had the freakish ability to make weird noises with his mouth? That had to be what killed his career. He must of suddenly realized that his life, his career, was nothing but a farce. Do you think when he was a kid he used to dream of someday being rich and famous by being some schmuck who can make funny noises? Was that his plan when he was in high school, or in college, or whatever? Maybe he wanted to be president, or a lawyer, or a doctor. Maybe he wanted to help people. But no, he got none of that. All he got was some money, and his fifteen minutes of fame. I wonder if he ever tried to bring some meaning into his career. I could just picture him on stage at some dive of a club outside of Vegas and saying, "Before I make the sound of a toilet flushing, I would like to point out to you that it is just not the sound of a toilet flushing, but it is a symbol representing the downfall of American society." Or how bout, "For my finale I will now make the sound of a baby crying because her mother was thrown off of welfare." Could you imagine that? It's like Michael Winslow: Funny noise maker and social crusader. But no, it's just Michael Winslow the funny noise maker. And it is for that reason that his career, his life, and his dignity went right down the toilet. (Cue sound of toilet flushing).