It's all you can do July 8, 2010 11:52 AM   Subscribe

A few months ago, a commentor on some thread I can't remember commented that a professor or mentor he had had, said that if a person could see one real thing about the real world and leave a good enough reference to it, in words, art, music or whatever for others to see it too, that was about all you could expect to do with a life. Does anyone remember that?
posted by carping demon to MetaFilter-Related at 11:52 AM (22 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Is this what the kids would call irony?
posted by Plutor at 12:14 PM on July 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


I looked at your other comments and they are well-written. This one reads like it's written by a college freshman. Could you rephrase in a way so that we can understand your meaning a little better and help you find what you're looking for? Apologies if English is not your native language.
posted by vincele at 12:32 PM on July 8, 2010


I don't know where the comment was, but carping demon's request seems straightforward enough to me...

Apparently somebody once said that the highest achievement one can make in life is to discover something beautiful and true, and leave a message about that thing (in any medium) for future generations to experience it also. In this way mankind is always growing, standing upon the shoulders of those who came before. Whoever said this was the mentor of somebody on MeFi, who relayed the observation in a comment on the Blue, or maybe on the Green.

Sounds like a good comment. I'd like to read the original, too.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 12:37 PM on July 8, 2010 [7 favorites]


It's a perfectly clear request. Read more carefully.
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:28 PM on July 8, 2010 [17 favorites]


So like when you see shit that's awesome you should like draw it or write an awesome song about it so that chicks will want to blow you and other dudes will be like 'Dude.'
posted by Jofus at 1:42 PM on July 8, 2010


I looked at your other comments and they are well-written. This one reads like it's written by a college freshman. Could you rephrase in a way so that we can understand your meaning a little better and help you find what you're looking for? Apologies if English is not your native language.

I looked at your other comments and they're not gratuitously insulting. If there's something you don't understand, you could just ask, "What do you mean by ___?" or "Could you be more specific about ____?" However, the post seems completely clear to me. Apologies if you're having a bad day.
posted by Jaltcoh at 1:49 PM on July 8, 2010 [7 favorites]


Yes, Winsome that was the gist of it. The commentor was not saying it for himself, but remembering that some older person in a teaching or mentoring role like that had said it to him when he asked, "what am I supposed to do with my life?" Not telling him what to do, but saying the most that one could expect to do if they were lucky.
posted by carping demon at 1:54 PM on July 8, 2010


> So like when you see shit that's awesome you should like draw it or write an awesome song about it so that chicks will want to blow you and other dudes will be like 'Dude.'

Or at least click the Favorite button so you can track it down easier later on.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:54 PM on July 8, 2010


I read the post a few times and I couldn't make out the meaning. I'm glad you all did. Sorry that my tone was insulting.
posted by vincele at 1:57 PM on July 8, 2010


Burhanistan: That's a great idea that never occurred to me. From now on when I see something like that I'll favorite it. Thanks.
posted by carping demon at 2:04 PM on July 8, 2010


I didn't find the comment by searching, but I did find this.

Good luck, carping demon.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 3:14 PM on July 8, 2010


Another option is to look for my name on the "posted by" line, and whenever you see it, apply favorites as needed.

I don't every say anything wise or enlightening about the human condition, or suggest ways of making a positive impact on the lives of those around you, but a constant feed of favorites has thus far prevented me from fusing into pure energy with enough force to tear the entire earth asunder.

At least, I think it's the favorites. It could also be the pizza.
posted by quin at 3:26 PM on July 8, 2010


I looked at your other comments and they are well-written. This one reads like it's written by a college freshman.

Why didn't your sample set encourage you to give him the benefit of the doubt, instead of choosing the insult?
posted by SpacemanStix at 4:06 PM on July 8, 2010


posted by carping demon
"...if a person could see one real thing about the real world and leave a good enough reference to it, in words, art, music or whatever for others to see it too, that was about all you could expect to do with a life. Does anyone remember that?"

Someone, but not anyone, does remember that.

. . . and now I take a breath in. I contemplate the layers of meaning in my comment, as it relates to the many layers of meaning in this post. I have just received MetaFilterlightenment. I AM THE CABAL.
posted by not_on_display at 4:17 PM on July 8, 2010


Well, it seemed like it was written by a different person entirely. The phrasing and commas threw me off I guess. I couldn't figure it out. It looked like what I read a lot of in another context.

It turned out it was just me, though. As I said above, I'm sorry, without qualification.

I'll see a therapist. I'll to confession or atheist-confession to make amends.

But since you asked, I hardly think my particular insult-comment is the worst of the worst hurled about Metatalk.
posted by vincele at 4:27 PM on July 8, 2010


MeTa: I hardly think my particular insult-comment is the worst of the worst.
posted by Dumsnill at 4:36 PM on July 8, 2010


You people make me want to do drugs.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:53 PM on July 8, 2010


I'm not even sure what's real, here.
posted by neuromodulator at 5:03 PM on July 8, 2010


Vincele: Don't sweat it. My original post was very vague. I've been thinking about this for a while, and when today I decided to ask about it I ended up with a long run-on sentence that was not what one might call "concise." Winsom got the sense of it and rephrased it much clearer than I did. I'm flattered that you looked at my other posts. I have just scanned all the things I've favorited and commented on, and can't find it. I probably didn't mark it at all. I'm just hoping someone will stop by who remembers it. Of course, there's always the chance I made it up.
posted by carping demon at 5:07 PM on July 8, 2010


I definitely remember reading something expressing this sentiment here, so you're not crazy, carping demon! I just tried searching for it for a while, but no dice.
posted by estlin at 11:09 PM on July 8, 2010


I read this and thought of this thread:

“Doing beautiful things is its own reward,” he says, when I ask what enjoyment he can still derive from a trick he has pulled off many thousands of times before. “If you do something that you’re proud of, that someone else understands, that is a thing of beauty that wasn’t there before – you can’t beat that.” He gulps suddenly, like a snake trying to swallow an egg, and when he speaks again his voice has a wobble to it.

“There is that great line in Sunday in the Park with George,” he says, referring to Stephen Sondheim’s 1984 musical about Georges Seurat, “ 'Look, I made a hat where there never was a hat’.” He falls silent again and, as unexpectedly as those coins turn to fish, big fat tears start rolling down his cheeks. “I can’t say that line without choking up, because it states, in profoundly poetic terms, what I have always wanted to do with my life. It’s so simple and so funny, but boy it hits me deep.”
posted by Jofus at 10:14 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


(via Optymistic, btw)
posted by Jofus at 10:52 AM on July 9, 2010


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