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April 04, 2011

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Thomas Kiefer

Couldn't one argue that the conception of a 'plan of life' is bourgeois, analogous to 'career'? Poor subsistence farmers, or the proletariat of old, do not have the luxury of a 'plan of life'. Also, isn't the need for a 'plan of life', and living according to it, indicative of Sartrean bad faith? Namely, that by forging and making oneself live according to a plan, one acknowledges on some level that one's life has no meaning or purpose, but that the freedom that that brings (Nietzsche here) is too terrifying for one to face?
I'm not sure about that though. On the flip side, I see more and more young people who seem to realize on some level that they have no future, and that capitalism and society regards them as 'superfluous eaters' (word up to Arundhati Roy for the use of this term in describing how capital sees such people, which came from the Nazis and how they described their 'useless' population) , and so have no life plan because what's the point...and hence their lives are a mess, with no education, nihilistic partying, having babies, no interests other than pleasure in order to deaden the sense that their lives are already over. In this case, a plan of life would do them a lot of good it seems.
P.S.: Mill's 'harm principle' isn't bad!

Fay Furness

When I was a kid and my parents fought, my mother would tell me, "never get married, never have kids." She had 10 kids and stayed married for 60 years. Now, when I read the news I tell my 10-year-old daughter, "never have kids." She agrees with me that that's the best option. We spend hours in the afternoon working through long division. Her life plans? She and I are going "into the wild" when she turns twenty, after my other two kids reach adulthood. She never questions why she should do long division. When I say that I can no longer relate to society, she says, "but Mommy, you ARE society, you can't escape society even in the wilderness." She advocates degrowth ideologies without knowing it and says the problem with the world is that people are too smart. She, too, is perky and happy and looks forward to the fall of civilization.
When I was cold-war pre-teen, I feared the fall of civilization. I feared everything. It was a similar emotion to what one might feel upon learning one has a terminal illness. Our children know that the illness is terminal and seem to be accepting it with grace. Indeed, they will be needing this grace.

Jodi Dean

You sentence "Our children know that the illness is terminal and seem to be accepting it with grace" is one of the most poignant, powerful, and true things I've read in a very long time. I can't express how struck I am by it.

Fay Furness

Jodi- Thank you. My name is Fay. I'll have to change that profile name of F Furness. At the risk of setting off your intimacy trap trigger I offer my e-mail address: f.furness@gmail.com. There are many things I would wish to discuss, but do not wish to fill your blog comment space with. I've searched your blog for a "personal message" button and found nothing. I hope I'm not overstepping my bounds.

Dennis Claxton

You wrote:

"That seems too much like a Hollywood movie where the credits run right after the hapless couple gets it together and secures their love. It also suggests that everything that really matters happens in one's twenties. And, it's pretty hard to accept as the crucial component of a plan of life when one has been divorced a couple of times."

Do you know this song by Angus and Julia Stone? I listen to it with my 12 year old daughter. Her mom and I were recently divorced after a long separation.

She likes it. I can tell by the way she grins while trying not to look like she is when it's playing. Here are the lyrics:

I blame you Hollywood,
for showing me things you never should
show a young girl,
In a cruel world.

Because life’s not a happy ending,
I’m sure there is some,
like Johnny and June,
and maybe other people too.

They all would have been killed
in the Sound of Music,
they would have found out that
Pinocchio could never tell the truth.

She never would have made it to shore,
the little mermaid. He would have married a whore
from a wealthy family, after all he wasn't royalty.

Cinderella would have scrubbed those floors
till her hands grew old and tired,
and nobody would look away,
that’s the way it goes today.

I blame you Hollywood,
for showing me things you never should
show a young girl,
In this cruel world.

Because life’s not a happy ending,
I’m sure there is some
like Johnny and June,
and maybe other people too.

And maybe other people too (x5)
Like me and you.

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