Ocean Breathes Salty


“You wasted life, why wouldn’t you waste death?”

I listened to this song many, many times before it dawned on me how existential it is. It’s just so flippin’ cheery! You bop around and sing along and you don’t notice that you’ve just delved into depths beyond what the average pop song has to say. Modest Mouse long ago graduated from being an underrated indie band, but popularity aside, I still think Isaac Brock deserves a lot more credit for his lyrical delvings. I mean, I wasn’t planning to sit and question the true meaning of existence this morning, and now I am. What does it mean to waste one’s life and what constitutes making good use of it, anyway? You certainly can’t make that judgement for another person. I’m not sure you can even make it for yourself. Am I going to lie upon my death bed and regret that time I didn’t steal that one guy’s fancy watch while he was asleep? (I deeply regret not having stolen that guy’s watch.) Most people would say the obvious thing – that how well you’ve lived your life depends on the difference you’ve made in the lives of others. But what if you were unhappy and unfulfilled the whole time? What if you regret having raised all of those children when you could’ve been doing something nice for yourself? Did your grandmother, on her last day alive, look around at the family she raised and secretly decide she would have been better off if she’d taken a bus to Hollywood like she had dreamed of doing? The inevitable conclusion, I guess, is that the value of your life is what you make of it, because life has no inherent value.


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