Significance

I guess we’re at the height of Academy Awards voting time, because The New York Times (and the L.A. Times, too, I imagine) is full of big ads for nominated pictures. I usually skip over them, but an ad for “Sideways” today includes a funny piece of dialogue in which the self-pitying would-be writer protagonist states his brutal view of his insignificance:

“Half of my life is over, and I have nothing to show for it. I’m a thumbprint on the window of a skyscraper. I’m a smudge of excrement on a tissue surging out to the sea with a million tons of raw sewage.”

It’s actually a funny moment. And it reminds me of other dramatic statements of the triviality of our existence and efforts in the universe. Particularly, formulations like “that’s not even a fart in a windstorm” and “so-and-so is just a pimple on the ass of progress.” Perhaps not as high flown as the “Sideways” example, but still — cherished outbursts from the past.

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