The Work is What Matters, I Guess?


I believe we all have the same ailment: acute awareness of our impending death. No one gets out alive, no matter how rich or special they are. It doesn’t matter if you’re Ozymandias or Ozzy Osbourne. You are going to be dust.

There are only two things that carry us into eternity. The first, children, is something I’ve opted out of. The second, creative work, is something so unbelievably transient in a historical sense that it will drive you mad. Even if you make it for a time, chances are you’ll be forgotten. What a buzzkill, right?

There was a performer in Paris in the 1890s named Le Pétomane. He was a flautist. A professional farter. He would perform spectacular feats with his butt, like imitating thunderstorms and sounding out popular tunes. This was an act her worked on in the army and later to the delight of his customers while working in a bakery. He took the act to the stage shortly after and was the toast of the town for quite some time. Few people even know about him these days. Farts have pretty much always been funny. Even in ancient plays by Aristophanes you’ll find the occasional low-brow toot humor. Everyone remembers that scene in Eddie Murphy’s version of The Nutty Professor.

What am I advocating here? It’s tough to tell. I don’t even know exactly. Maybe it’s that even if all you have is a strong fart and a sense of humor, it’s better than nothing.


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