||Empathy, I think, is nostalgia moving sideways.|
||Or maybe it's the other way around, and nostalgia is empathy for yourself.|
||Except that empathy is only an accomplishment if you empathize with people who aren't like you,|
||that you understand aren't like you.|
||"A Cruce Salus"
||So nostalgia can only be introspective empathy if you understand that you do not stay the same.|
||Totholz (ein Raunen aus dem Klammwald)
||But of course this is also the difference between coming home again, and never having left.|
||And so maybe this is another way of delineating life-philosophy antitheses:|
||"Accident and Error"
||on one end, various formulations of the belief that there is a perfect point-state to which we should aspire;|
||on the other, a desperate, voracious faith in infinity,|
||and the relentless conviction that there is more to know and hear and experience.|
||And if you believe that arbitrary stases are unsustainable,|
||"Misery Is Only Company"
||Balance And Composure
||"Run From Me"
||(and there's a subdomain for the debate about whether "unsustainable" and "unverifiable" are the same|
||(or how we could be sure...)),|
||then there is basically 0 and Infinity.|
||"Happily Ever After - Full Version"
||Dogmas are inherently reductionist, and thus nihilist.|
||End of the Dream
||"Until You Break"
||Until You Break
||Which is too why "atheism" is how only a theist would describe the rejection of theism.|
||Kobra And The Lotus
||"Specimen X (Mortal Chamber)"
||Not believing in gods is not a moral philosophy any more than not eating grapefruit is a nutrition plan.|
||Danny L Harle
||But on the other hand, a plan is an investment in denial of the unknown.|
||I don't know what I'm going to eat tomorrow.|
||Two Steps from Hell
||"Aesir (Ethnic Version)"
||I mean, not grapefruit, but other than that, it could be anything.|
||Sometimes, at work, people say "The perfect song for every moment."|
||Symphony of the Icelands
||And, to be fair, it's somewhat easier to talk about how much somebody might pay for perfection|
||than it is to quantify the value of an endless vertigious immersion in irreducible human creativity and awe.|
||A Little Light
||But the idea that there would be a perfect song is nihilism again in an appealing disguise.|
||Blood Stain Child
||"TRANCE DEAD KINGDOM"
||It implies that there can't be a new right answer until circumstances change,|
||Inget kommer ordna sig
||or at best that the moment after "I heard the perfect song" is just "the moment after I heard the perfect song".|
||"Calm Before The Storm"
||This is vision-statement Calvinism.|
||And we all realize, I think, that if you actually have one perfect song, you don't need a streaming music service,|
||you need good headphones and a feed tube and a will that says who gets your headphones.|
||"Abbracciami perdonami gli sbagli"
||But traces of this reductionism linger in the idea that, well, there's not one right answer, but if only we knew more about you, we could figure out the right answer now.|
||Their Dogs Were Astronauts
||What time is it where you are?|
||God Of Nothing
||"Dead & Dreaming"
||What are you doing? Are you helping your daughter counter-sink an LED into the windshield of her Derby car?|
||Saihate Aini / Brain Washing
||Are you trying to figure out what the cat is trying to tell you?|
||Sawaranu kimini tatarinashi
||Are you trying to walk more than 3.75 but less than 5km before 1pm PDT?|
||Did you over or underdress? How did you choose that hat? Why do you even own that hat?|
||"The Long Way"
||What is your amortized emotional loss from the famous people who died since the last time you talked to your parents?|
||"Too Many Love Songs"
||To believe that any number of these questions lead you towards fewer answers, instead of more, is to believe in nothing.|
||El Otro Yo
||"Te vuelvo a amar"
||To believe in right answers is to misunderstand the nature of questions.|
||We ask questions to release some tiny amount of the internal pressure of our own ignorance.|
||Why do we even own those hats?|
||Why only those hats?|
||Where can we get more hats?|
||If you're going to wear those hats, you're probably going to need different headphones.|
||If you're going to keep getting out of bed, you're going to need different clothes.|
||Bad Cop, Bad Cop
||If you're not going to die yet, you're going to need more songs.|
||"Owning Your Okayness"
||And if you're going to use up this communal air, make sure it makes some kind of faintly amazing noise when you breathe back out.|
||Captain We're Sinking
||This is what passes for infinitist dogma: you are an erratic, inefficient, ingenious machine for converting nutrients into new joys.|
||Sometimes this is as simple as cheering for something already cheered.|
||Sometimes it requires resistance,|
||or holding obsessively still for long enough that the joy finally gives up and reveals itself,|
||"Tam da Şu An"
||or moving joys around to new positions.|
||Kyla La Grange
||This philosophy rises out of subsistence solipsism when you understand that new joys are themselves in turn new nutrients.|
||The next new song you hear may catalyze the process that overthrows your government, or isolates the virus that makes people think it's wrong to tax the rich.|
||"Wat Zou Elvis Doen"
||The next new song may make you dance two steps as you turn a corner,|
||Metanoia, Pt. VII
||and seeing you dance will make the bus driver pause a second longer,|
||"Love Is Not Forever"
||Beyond the Silence of These Years
||and a boy just catches that bus,|
||and an experiment succeeds, or fails in a new way,|
||and now it is possible to understand what the cat is saying after all.|
||The cat is saying "Dance with me. No, not like that. That isn't dancing."|
||And you say "So what is dancing?"|
||And the cat says "If you feed me dinner now, even though it's only mid-afternoon, I will show you."|
||"La Mejor Venganza"
||And you feed the cat early, and then it curls up on top of your laundry and falls asleep.|
||Hunter and The Bear
||And you Like some updates from people you sort of know, and post a picture of the sunlight hitting a spatula,|
||"Kamelemba (Radio Edit)"
||and then you remember what the cat promised, and you wake it up gently.|
||We Deserve This
||"You were going to show me what dancing is."|
||"The Great Vast"
||Vol. 1: Solar
||And the cat looks at you quietly for a long time, until your own mind starts telling you "I wasn't ever going to show you what dancing is."|
||You didn't get a cat so you could benefit from its knowledge of technique.|
||You got a cat so it would fall asleep on your laundry and you would take the time to notice other quiet things like exactly where sunlight falls.|
||There is no perfect song for this moment, because this moment isn't the sum of all the previous moments,|
||it's the swirling, intolerable, awesome uncertainty about all the moments that come next.|
||"Historyja Majho žyccia (Eurovision 2017)"
||Historyja Majho žyccia
||We cannot guess the right soundtrack to your life|
||"Hey Hey Hey"
||while you are still living it.|