So. Apparently, at some point during that shimmering life of his, William Shakespeare said that;
“Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
I don’t happen to know whether that was coming from one of the plays he worked on, or rather a direct quotation, but indeed the witty aphorism has made its long way in the realms of quotations. Nowadays we may have disgraced this piece of Shakespeare’s philosophy, however, because no matter how artful it may have been, it is now a hackneyed cliché. One among many.
Fortunately that is irrelevant.
Personally, I recall to have encountered that saying somewhere within a Zen-esque writing that I studied last year. Back then it was rather enlightening; mainly because it makes quite some sense, and partially because it has some scent of rebellion against the more objective sense morality— that is incidentally being held by the vast majority of human beings. In summary, that was one hell of a quote. And I get to quote Shakespeare too. That’s like, intellectually sexy. Nowhere as sexy as quoting Camus or Feuerbach, but what the hell.
Well that was sexy, until the aphorism’s shortcomings of being clichéd started to kick in. Reportedly, as Mr. McDuck revealed to me some time ago, the said aphorism was quoted in a Final Fantasy Versus XIII trailer. In case you’ve been living under a rock somewhere for the last decade, that is the name of one upcoming installment for the Final Fantasy video game series. While I have no problems with Final Fantasy in general, this version of Final Fantasy (the one with the Shakespeare bit) will predominantly feature this guy: [picture]
No way I’m going to relate to that kind of ‘tough warrior’ with such a shampoo-commercial pretty boy quality. That’s just not happening.
In summary, the disposition of the quote shifted from a classy, scholarly quote one can find in either Renaissance plays or Zen literatures— to a quote a deranged weeaboo can pick up after oozing over the coolness of an emo kid’s antics. That is calamitous! Now whenever I were to don the quote, I’d be mistaken of stealing it from a Final Fantasy trailer!
So, that’s just not happening. I never used the quote again. There are plenty others I can use, so.
* * *
Time passed after the quote-abandoning incident, and I found myself not feeling pretty good. I dawked and flunked. So there are stress; emotional strain, suspense, and stuff. I tried to analyze the problems, and determine what to do afterwards. What to do? Is it good if were to take this decision? Or would that one be better?
I noticed that there is something that’s wrong— and it somewhat follows from the Shakespearean adage we were talking about.
That being; my analysis tends to be more optimistic when I was walking in the midst of an evening rain, alone striding in the streets, in between the cars that rip the highway in lightning speed, whilst bathing in the awe of raindrops and the faint glitters of the streetlights. Whispering in my ears were epic wails like that of Sabbath‘s Planet Caravan, Metallica‘s Orion, or Coldplay‘s Chinese Sleep Chant.
Reciprocally, my analysis would be gloomier whenever I think of it in a dirt cheap Indian restaurant that reeks with curry stench and annoying street Singlish— all while chowing down a layer of sweet canai that’s just too terribly sweet to the point that you just can’t possibly eat them without worrying about the future of your dental health. The joint was showing cricket, a game whose rules I simply don’t comprehend, in television and at the same time I’ve got worries about my laundry, my portable music player (she’s busted), and my unhealthy diet. I was one sorry fellow, and so were the analysis of my problems.
So I wonder— was Shakespeare right? That implies that ‘good’ and ‘bad’ were all simply (in a Zen layman term) illusions. That also implies that all of the whole horde of ‘inspirational’ bollocks, ranging from motivational books to religious approaches, are right after all: Life sucks, so when you’re unhappy, lower your standards, i.e. be a slightly more pathetic human being, and therefore you’d be content.
Or was he wrong and this was some kind of ‘unconscious fallacy’?
Someone please kindly exhume Billy from his grave so we can do consultation.