“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” — the more something changes, the more it stays the same.
Except we don’t stay the same … do we?
And look what happens. It’s like Renton says, in ‘Trainspotting’: “Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. Choose fixed-interest mortgage repayments.”
You forget about who you were, all you can think about is what you think you need. Or can afford. And if you don’t watch out, you wind up like Oscar Wilde’s fictional character, someone who knows the price of everything. But the value of nothing.
In a lot of ways, I don’t think I’m the same person I used to be. But in some ways … I hope I still am.
This is me, back in high school, in Pasadena, California.
When I didn’t know any better.
(I still don’t.)
And whether we do change, or don’t — will it really make any difference?
Or was Renton right (again!) when he said: “One thousand years from now, there won’t be any guys and there won’t be any girls, just wankers.”
Then he added: “Sounds all right to me.”
Dude has a point. At least, I think he does. But I don’t really know, for sure. About anything, really. Maybe the saying should be, “la seule chose qui ne change pas, c’est notre ignorance” – the only thing that doesn’t change … is that we’re still stupid.
The one thing I do know is … I’m getting older.
I’m not the teenager I was when that photo was taken (by Suki Hill, a wonderful photographer who was a friend of my old brother Lito). But I still wear glasses. And I still wonder, sometimes, just as I did back then – and have, for years and years and fucking years – just what it’s all about. Life. What the point is?
I still don’t know. That part hasn’t changed, either.
The closest anyone has come to it are the brilliant storytellers in the inspired, insane, and always relevant animated TV show, Futurama —
Hey, uh… What was the purpose of life, anyway?
Who knows? Probably some hogwash about the human spirit.
Sounds about right.
Sounds about right to me, too.