Sunday, 23 May 2010

Koan for Cocker

A throw-away line of Jarvis Cocker's in a Guardian interview, "I would like to believe in an afterlife; it makes things more palatable. But I'm not banking on it" struck me as neatly encoding a fundamental linguistic/philosophical truth. Take Cocker's observation and replace the word "afterlife" with anything at all and the sentence retains its sense: 

I would like to believe in an orange bluebell.
I would like to believe in an effective mayor of London.
I would like to believe in intelligent life on another planet.
I would like to believe in a free market. 
I would like to believe in a Lib/Lab coalition.

We're all free to believe in any of these things, and we would all be wise not to "bank" (unfortunate word perhaps) on their existence. Precisely because there is no afterlife IT DOESN'T MATTER IN THE END, or to put it another way IT'S ALL MATTER IN THE END. 

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