Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Breakfast with Socrates

Breakfast with Socrates

Scene: The old man is alone on his back porch sipping his coffee. The sun comes up. He holds the cup in his two hands as if he is cradling a fledgling bird. He gazes out over the cup at nothing in particular. It is June and the sky is blue the trees green. There is the sound of birds singing. It is a beautiful new day.

The Old Man: [Talking to himself] Okay, we have all heard it a million times, ‘Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is insanity.’ 

Well, if that is the definition of insanity, I am all for it. Take Old Tom Edison for example, how many times did he tinker with the light bulb before getting it to light up. And all the while his wife was whispering in his ear, ‘Just give up. This is crazy. Tom, I need my sleep, blow out the candle and go to bed.’

This is the way I see it: there are all kinds of crazy including crazy in love, but that one, unlike the others, passes.

Crazy, how about paying five bucks for a bottle of water? Ask Tom Edison and his wife about that one. And this year this planet is going to buy over 30 billion bottles of it. That’s crazy, but who’s to argue.

Crazy, after all, is just a matter of opinion. You are crazy to wear an orange shirt with blue shoes. Well, Vincent Van Gogh liked orange and blue, and what did that get him? Hey, did you know that Van Gogh’s painting of a bunch of sunflowers raked in a cool 39 million dollars? And his arrangement of irises that he painted while in the nut house at St, Remy got 53 million. Turns out, back then, that everyone but Van Gogh was crazy.

Socrates says insanity is something like a divine release of the soul from custom and convention. No, actually he didn’t say that. I heard it in a play on Broadway. But he should have said that. No, he stuck to the party line that madness is something the gods give you for pissing them off. And what did Socrates get for his opinions, a complaining wife and a cup of hemlock.

No comments:

Post a Comment