Friday, September 30, 2011

Monty Python's The Meaning of Robin of Berkeley

Now that Robin is -- apparently -- no longer a licensed psychotherapist, she's spending a bit less time distance-diagnosing President Obama with severe mental illnesses and speculating that his "narcissistic personality disorder" may have been triggered by a blow to the head like movie amnesia, and more time reflecting on the formative (and uniformly traumatic) events in her life.  Like that one time she saw Rosemary's Baby:
I saw the movie sometime after it came out, though I was only a teenager.  I can’t imagine how shocked I must have been.
(To which commenter Chris Vosburg, who has corresponded with Robin, helpfully replied:  "Well, Robin, you could ask someone who was there at the time, I guess, like, oh, I dunno, YOUR FUCKING SELF?")

This week, she once again uses her clinical skills to connect with her readers, by reminding us of that universal tendency of 4th graders to obsess over their own mortality.
Obama and the Meaning of Life
When I was a young girl, I would often lie awake at night and ask myself what was the meaning of life. Why was I here? What was this strange existence all about?
This is a right of passage most girls of Robin's generation went through, usually after hearing the Burt Bacharach-Hal David song "Alfie (What's it all about?)," from the 1966 film starring Michael Caine.
 These questions usually triggered feelings of panic.
You know why elementary school boys find little girls icky?  Because they burst into tears whenever you punch them in the arm or suggest their existence is a random spark in a vast and meaningless void, a cosmic accident which is all too quickly remedied by the icy embrace of Oblivion.

In fact, I remember when my sister was little, there were months when she would only play with one doll: Malibu Barbie's pal, Existential Crisis Midge, who never left the Dream House, and would just sit around the finished basement in her sweatpants, taping Brother Theodore segments off Letterman.
Of course, I had absolutely no idea what was the meaning of life -- and I had no one to ask. No matter how much I wracked my young brain for an answer, I hadn't a clue.
It's true, adults are often useless when a 7-year old girl in a party frock demands they furnish a rational counter-argument to nihilism.  And our school books weren't much better; I recall being even more confused about the possibility of authentic morality after reading that one story where Tom, Betty, Susan, and their dog Flip go to the sea shore, and Tom impulsively shoots an Arab on the beach.
As I grew up, I found some soft spirituality, in the form of Buddhism and Sufism. I loved to read the Sufi poems -- I still do; I feel comforted by the poets' adoration of God. Buddhism also gave me a road to dealing with suffering, as well as some vague notions about what life was all about (as in, being awakened to the "truth," whatever that means).

But it's been only in the last couple of years of my life that I finally have a clearer idea of why we are here, and what this wondrous and brutal existence is all about. It took my whole world being tossed around like a pair of dice three years ago, and then thrown out there in a completely new configuration. Somehow, for reasons I'll never know, everything looks different. 
And what was this world-tipping event which shattered Robin's spiritual contentment?  Spoiler alert:  It was Obama's election.
And now I finally have some answers, because they are all contained in a book I'd never even seen before, called the Bible.
Along with her childlike dread of the abyss, Robin also suffered from a lifelong fear of opening nightstand drawers in hotels.
Just like Dorothy in the Land of Oz and her ruby* slippers, the hidden jewel was there all along. I was just kept away from seeing it by a culture that detests and fears anything having to do with God.
And just like Dorothy, all Robin had to do to possess this jewel was to kill a witch, as both the Bible ("Do not suffer a sorceress to live" -- Exodus 22:18) and L. Frank Baum recommend.

And if you're wondering about the asterisk on "ruby," the footnote reads: "*Thanks to readers for the correction."

As you may recall, American Thinker got tired of moderating comments on Robin's posts -- or rather, the person assigned the task found Robin herself insufferable and possibly, fictional -- so now you have to follow a link to her personal blog and leave your comments there. (Incidentally, Robin reacted to the whole comment moderation kerfuffle the same way she reports reacting when the light bulb burned out in her Easy Bake Oven and she concluded that God is Dead):
We all go through it: the harsh wake-up call that things aren’t as they appear to be. [...] Just this week, I’ve been dealing with people undermining me whom I thought I could trust.

As a recovering liberal, I’ve had the shock of a lifetime learning that many of the threats to our country come from within. [...]

With the sabotage going on in my life, last night I couldn’t sleep a wink. I lay in bed disturbed, thinking of these people who want to harm me.
Anyway, so I clicked over to Robin's blog to see what the correction was, wondering if she confused the book's Silver Shoes with the movie's Ruby Slippers.  Nope.  She thought Dorothy was tromping around Oz in sensible Emerald Brogues.
Commenter:  Sorry, Robin. Your editor has let you down again. “Dorothy in the Land of Oz and her emerald slippers.” They were ruby slippers.

Robin:  You would be a great editor yourself! There was something about emeralds in Oz, wasn’t there? Maybe I’m thinking of the Yellow Brick Road (LOL). Of course, it’s been a while since I saw the movie!

Another Commenter:  The Emerald City, where the wizard lived. It’s kind of ironic that the city with the fraud-wizard was green, isn’t it? (;-})

(I assume this is either a joke about the bankruptcy of alternative energy company Solyndra, or else the commenter believes photo-voltaic cells are actually occult objects designed to collect some form of ancient, extra-dimensional eldritch power that is beyond human ken.) 
Robin again:  Thank you! The emerald city, the ruby slippers, and the yellow brick road — so much like the magical world we live in, if people would only look!
...at the screen!  Where the movie is showing!  And then, maybe, retain some of its more famous, iconic, and culturally inescapable elements!
For people to look in the eyes of a newborn baby and think humans are some cosmic mistake . . . has to be one of the greatest delusions of life.
So while admittedly getting a few of the minor details wrong, Robin clearly grasped that the main point of this 1939 MGM classic was to serve as a singing and dancing rebuke of Darwinism.

Anyway, back to her search through the cut-out bin of the cosmos for that one Monty Python DVD...
I asked a friend the other day how often he ponders the meaning of life. He is a brainy Ph.D. who immerses himself each week in heady tomes. To my surprise, he answered, "Never."
Because he correctly and instantly divined that any other answer could be interpreted as a willingness to hold a conversation with Robin.  He is brainy!
I see the doom and gloom around me in the vacant faces of all the lost souls. They have no idea what is going on -- not just with their idol, Obama, but with this whole strange existence. 
I agree there are many reasons to be sad nowadays, but this is a recurring theme in Robin's writing:  the light goes out of a child's eyes every time Robin walks into the room; people shoot her hateful or lesbian-filled looks; or step on an insect just to make her frozen yogurt turn to ash in her mouth.  So before I accept that this localized malaise is a reaction to Obama's fall from godhood and not Robin's presence, I think we're going to need a control group.
A minority of them are starting to wake up politically, to realize that Obama is no savior of the oppressed. Instead, he's simply a puppet doing the bidding of people like Ayers, Soros, the SEIU, and God knows who else. Rather than transforming this country into a utopia, he's helping to make it a nightmare that no one can wake up out of.
Fortunately, what with a Universe devoid of meaning, and all the comment moderators undermining and sabotaging us, everybody is lying awake at night, winkless and unable to get down into the nightmare-filled sleep from which they fail to wake up out of.
Just to clarify things: it's Obama who's putting a sledgehammer to the economy; it's Obama who is aiding and abetting the uprisings in the Middle East; it's Obama who is sending out the signal that it's open season on Whitey. Not George and not Dick Cheney, but Obama, Obama, Obama.
For those who doubt Robin's political science bona fides, I should point out that she holds the Fulbright-Jan Brady Distinguished Chair in Pat Buchanan Studies at George Washington Glass University.
We fight each other because we are pawns in a spiritual battle between good and evil. The most important decision of our lives is which side we are on. Will we choose God or evil? It's as simple as this.
Do pawns get to choose?  Traditionally, they haven't had have much of a voice in where the giant hand moves them, nor do I remember the start of a match ever being delayed because some of the white pawns decided to switch sides.
If we choose God, this involves more apparent sacrifice, e.g. no more whoring around, tormenting conservatives, or, in general, being Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. But the rewards are so enormous that we, as humans, have not even an inkling of our great fortune.
You know me, I hate to be argumentative, but before this pawn gives up blogging, I'd like Robin to furnish a link to the chapter and verse in the Bible which proclaims that "tormenting conservatives by disagreeing with them is a sin on a par with soliciting a prostitute for diaper play".
Around where I live, most people have chosen to turn their backs on the only Force that will give them real hope, not the manufactured kind.
They're just mad that George Lucas keeps fucking with the original movies.
Not coincidentally, I see mostly empty or frightened or angry faces around me.
Yeah, I know we've covered this, but I'm really going to have to insist that you hide in the bushes with a pair of binoculars and then report on bystanders' facial expressions.
And yet, the answer is so simple and accessible -- and it's been there all along, just waiting for them to open their eyes and look. They can do this at any time...just like the metaphorical Dorothy in the Land of Oz. They simply need to ask with all of their heart and all of their soul to go home again.
Just click their cubic zirconium Crocs together three times.

20 comments:

M. Bouffant said...

taping Brother Theodore segments off Letterman

Damnit, I wish I still had all my B.T. tapes. Wait, YouTube, perhaps?

Jimbo said...

I am a parent of an adopted daughter. We lived a long time in Indonesia, which is why we were only able to adopt her. She is a case example of nature vs, nurture. Now 13, she is an amazing striker on her soccer team, something she wouldn't have experienced at all in Central Java. But she is also a great student. She was adopted and so was a crap shoot. Turns out she is a serious jock and a serious student but a very funny personality. Always a surprise.

gocart mozart said...

"For those who doubt Robin's political science bona fides, I should point out that she holds the Fulbright-Jan Brady Distinguished Chair in Pat Buchanan Studies at George Washington Glass University."

I am ashamed to note that I get the Glass reference.

Scott said...

Ashamed? Far from it -- we cater to the elite clientele that gets that Glass reference. Around here, gocart, you're right smack in the middle of the demographic.

Anntichrist S. Coulter said...

(FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKK GOOGLE!!!!!)

Ugh. Sartre ref. Thanks for the headache.

a cosmic accident which is all too quickly remedied by the icy embrace of Oblivion.

(all together now!) HELLO, OBLIVION!!!

Oh, and also: You know why elementary school boys find little girls icky? Because they burst into tears whenever you punch them in the arm...

Wanna BET?

heydave said...

With the sabotage going on in my life...
Is that icky, strange person in the mirror bothering you again, Robin?

Scott said...

Oh, and also: You know why elementary school boys find little girls icky? Because they burst into tears whenever you punch them in the arm...

Wanna BET?


Or...uh...(gulp!)...vice versa.

KWillow said...

Should someone tell Robyn that "The Wizard of Oz" is also a metaphor for the author's believe in a silver-based economy rather than a Gold-based one? Then she'd really have trouble winking at night.

Anonymous said...

Every time I don't get a reference here, I say; Oh, pshaw, it's a bloody American thing.It helps me from feeling Out Of Touch.
Colour me clueless.Sigh.Again.Sigh.
Suezboo

Ugluks Flea said...

RoB's columns have the same sort of feel as some of the AoL search data release from 5 years ago. My favorite was the "I Love Alaska" one, - user 711391.

Shown obliquely, but often with great pathos, it's a peek at the banal misery of a modern nuclear family falling apart. RoB isn't nearly as oblique, but leaves just enough detail out of her columns to hint at what a slow motion train wreck her life must be.

Li'l Innocent said...

I once, back when the craters of Luna were young, got high in Berkeley - very high indeed, on u-know-what brownies, without meaning to. I was hungry, and a roommate had laced these yummy chocolatey things with supermighty ingredients without my realizing it. Well, I wound up walking the pavements of the town and, you know what? I SAW SOME OF THOSE FACES, JUST LIKE ROBIN! A grad student friend found me kind of quivering in a cafe, took me over to her apt., and played the White Album for me to ease me down. Don't know if that would work for a recovering Liberal, though.

Funny she fixated on Obama. Maybe she, too, once ate Brownies.

Jimbo said...

This "dialogue" is truly snarkolicious. However, I find it hard to believe this "Robin" person is real and not just (an admittedly marvelous)fiction. I mean no real person can be that idiotic/delusional, right?

luminousmuse said...

Robin has amazing staying power as an entertainer, considering that she only plays the one note and it's always out of tune with itself (not so easy to do.)

Speaking of music, "Alfie" is the 60s song that's risen the farthest in my book since I first heard it. Back then, with ears filled with rock, I heard it as bad cocktail music; now I think it's one of the perfect marriages of melody and lyrics. Plus Dionne Warwick's vocal.

jackd said...

Ah, Brother Theodore: "I have stared into the abyss, and the abyss stared back. Neither of us liked what we saw."

Anntichrist S. Coulter said...

I'll never understand why they let that little git Jude Law soil the loverly memory of the original "Alfie." Yes, he's an unsuppressed slut, a total DB, but you still have no choice, you kinda HAVE TO love the prick. Something about Caine and that authentic cockney, I guess...

Carl said...

Buddhism also gave me a road to dealing with suffering, as well as some vague notions about what life was all about (as in, being awakened to the "truth," whatever that means).

Does she often wake up not knowing where she is? I mean, I've sometimes been roused from a deep sleep to not know what truth is, only to find out it was the trash collectors throwing the cans around.

Brian Schlosser said...

"And now I finally have some answers, because they are all contained in a book I'd never even seen before, called the Bible."

I may have done six impossible things this morning before my breakfast at Milliways, but there is no way in the world I will believe that Robin grew up in California in the age of Reagan, Pat Boone and Rev. Schuller's Crystal Cathedral and never heard of the freaking BIBLE.

I mean, I didn't grow up following sports, but I wouldn't expect people to believe me if I said "I was often bored in the summer, until I discovered this game I had never even seen before, called Baseball."

And if they DID believe me, I couldn't blame them if they thereafter dismissed everything I ever said as being the product of a feeble and terminally dull mind...

Brian Schlosser said...

Oh, and also: "It's Obama who is aiding and abetting the uprisings in the Middle East"

Let me just repeat that again: "It's Obama who is aiding and abetting the uprisings in the Middle East"

Guh... Buh... Whu... Brain... dying... can't... think... any... more...

Brian said...

Robyn only pawn in game of life.

Anntichrist S. Coulter said...

Brian talk like ESL fortune cookie.