Thursday, November 03, 2005

Philosophical Critique with a Wink and a Nudge

Towards the end of the 20th century, acclaimed novelist and philosopher Terry Pratchett presented to English-speaking world his theory of "The Trousers of Time".
In short, when a person made a decision of sufficient gravity, at a crucial turning point in their life, that person went down a trouser leg of reality, while the other trouser leg remains- a parralel reality based on the consequence of a different choice.
This begs the question of decisions made at knee-level: Does the trouser leg split again? What about a momentous choice right after that?

It goes without saying that the Cosmos summarily dismissed the theory- I'm sure there was a memo or email or something.
Facing a space/time cluttered with trousers that noone could wear -at least, noone who needed trousers- the Cosmos fell back on it's comfortable default, eloquently summed up as, 'Sometimes things just happen. What the hell.'

Pratchett's Trousers had elegance, though, and the underpinnings of truth- namely, that humans make important decisions somewhere between their navel and their groin. Says all that needs to be said about our species, really. We did it all because we were hungry, or because we were horny. Or sometimes both.

When examined more critically, however, the Trousers become a bit more shifty. Let's change perspective a bit. We'll take the upright Trousers of Time, and lie them down on the unrivetted side. Now, at the crux of a life-changing choice, you find yourself in the cavernous waist (that you tell everyone is two sizes smaller) of the Button-Fly's of Your Life. Standing beneath the Zipper of Eternity. Whatever works for you.
So, now what? On the side with the change pocket, you spot destiny, and on the other sits Fate? Now, I don't claim to be an authority, but I don't picture Fate as one to be hanging around a freeway on-ramp with a sign reading, 'Free to good home,' nor Destiny in a stupor on an off-ramp, his sign reading, 'Will manifest for beer.'

Anyway- the point is, life looks a lot different if you ever get a chance to knock it on it's arse.