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This is the water of life

Thursday, 9 May, 2013

In May 2005, David Foster Wallace, the most brilliant American writer of his generation, delivered the commencement address to the graduating class at Kenyon College Ohio. He talked about the difficulties of daily life and “about making it to 30, or maybe 50, without wanting to shoot yourself in the head.” On 12 September 2008, David Foster Wallace committed suicide by hanging himself.

[iframe src=”http://player.vimeo.com/video/65576562″ width=”100%” height=”480″]

“Because here’s something else that’s weird but true: in the day-to day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship — be it JC or Allah, bet it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles — is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It’s been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness.”

Congratulations to The Glossary for its inspired transformation of David Foster Wallace’s words into video.


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