Figure out if life is
serious or not
OK, so there's this part on page 88 of
my copy of Breakfast of Champions, which is a book by Kurt Vonnegut. And
anyway, this guy, Kilgore Trout,
who is a not-so-famous science fiction
author, is hitching a ride with a complete stranger, who happens to be
the driver of an 18-wheeler that
has the word "Pyramid" written on the
side of it in all capital letters. And they're rambling about things, kind
of like I am now, and the driver says to
Trout that he can't ever tell if he's
And Trout replies, "I won't know if I am
myself until I find out whether life is serious or not." He says, "It's
dangerous, I know, and it can hurt a lot.
That doesn't necessarily mean it's serious,
So, you're asking yourself what this has
to do with the Opinion section, eh? Well, here's where the opinion part
comes in: Trout's got a point.
People are too serious these days, especially
college students. Yes, I'm generalizing; I might just know some really
people and you might not be one of them.
But, seriously, there just aren't enough slackers these days—that's not
to say we need more, but we
do need more romance, comedy, art and
poetry —and room for human error.
(We also need more Weezer, because Weezer
Did anyone see that recent issue of Time
magazine with the big story about overachieving 21-and-22-year olds who
recently graduated college
with A and B grade point averages and
can't find jobs because the economy is less-than-booming right now?
Well, I could have been one of them. I'll
be 22 one month from today, and I'm a lowly sophomore. But life is great,
college is fun, friends are
important. "Gather ye rosebuds while ye
may," right? Carpe diem, or whatever.
It's just that so much stress and sadness
exists in the world, when really all people need to do is loosen up a little.
I used to believe there was a
time and place to be serious, as there
was such to be goofy. But when the lines between the serious and goofy,
genius and insane,
wise-beyond-years and totally regressing
are blurred a little bit, guards can be let down and life can be lived.
Real life, you know? Not just going
through the motions of living, but actually
I sure as heck hope this doesn't sound
preachy, 'cause I don't have all the answers. Oh, my gosh, I'm almost 22
years old, and I don't know the
meaning of life yet ... no, I don't, and
I'm not going to pretend to.
And I'm not going to grow my hair out so
that by the time I am a 30-something professor I can put it in a bun to
match my gray suit, either. And I'm
not going to be too old to get drunk with
the freshmen this fall. (They'll have to get their own tasty beverages,
of course; I'm not about corrupting
young people.) And I'm not going to suddenly
stop digging pop-punk music; I mean, A New Found Glory just put out a new
album, and I just got a
Superdrag CD today.
Of course, I'll study. I'll read everything
and make mostly As like I always do, but at the same time, I'm going to
be young. There is more to college
than getting a piece of paper or meeting
a future spouse, which is what a lot of people my age talk about. There's
more to life than what a person
does. Beauty is inherent in nature, even
a city consumed with human nature. Sometimes a sunset in the polluted sky
can be just as
breathtaking as one in a clear sky. We've
got colors here some country folks have never seen, and I know, 'cause
I just returned from nowhere.
Sarelli, a sophomore university studies
student who would like to wish Keenan Singleton a happy birthday, can be