Monday, July 4, 2022

The Personal Experience Must Be the Apotheosis

Another after-tremor from my recent Seemers Always Win post...

A meaningful percentage of my food writing fans harbored an eager desire to eat with me. In their minds that would have been "the ultimate."

I never understood this. You know what "the ultimate" is? Reading the words I bled through my pores for hours and hours to arrange as artfully as I possibly could. That's the ultimate. Me using every nano-joule of energy and talent and commitment to offer the most sparkling, captivating, and nutritiously useful output I could possibly contrive.

But some viewed the writing as a mere after-report of something awesome that went down during the consumption of the grapefruit. A photocopy of some deeper thing. And they wanted the deeper thing.

Eating with me - hearing me make oddly opaque small talk, observing my poor table manners, and sitting patiently while I frown and strain to gather my impressions and try to identify that goddam spice - felt very much like eating with anybody, only a little worse. But a number of people imagined that's where the shining glory was.

Similarly, I always found it perplexing that people kept asking Stanley Kubrick to explain the ending of 2001. As if the really GOOD part of the film experience comes when you sidle up to the bedraggled, chubby director and engage him in conversation. That's the gold ring right there. That's the good stuff.

The $20M film he spent three years shredding his adrenal glands to bring into existence? That's just some movie. A fussy arty confection. The real deal about the ending can be gotten by asking him about it.

I know I haven't done a great job of connecting this to the "Seeming versus Being" puzzle. But I'm sure these observations stem from the same delusion.

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