In Which Our Alter Egos Discuss Life’s Purpose, Kierkekaard, and Peach Cobbler
If you missed our previous episode, click here.
Reporter: Hello everyone. Thank you for giving us another chance today. I know we haven’t made the best impression the last few times.
Editor: Speak for yourself.
Reporter: What? You think you make a good impression? Don’t make me laugh.
Editor: I’m the only one who makes sense, so yes, I always make a good impression.
Reporter: (sighs) Maybe we should just start our discussion. And when we’re done, we can eat the Peach Cobbler I made. Is that all right with you?
Editor: Yes. I searched the room so I’m satisfied.
Reporter: What do you mean you ‘searched the room’?
Editor: I checked it for booby traps. You think I’m going to trust you again? I’m no dummy.
Reporter: Oh, for crying out loud. I only did that because you bound and gagged me!
Editor: Hey, whoa, calm down. No need to get your panties in a knot.
Reporter: I’m getting my panties in a knot?! … I … But you … Ugh! Writer, do you believe her?! … Writer? … Where’s Writer?
Editor: She’s over there, looking out the window. I think you’re boring her again. Hey, Writer! Get your ass over here. Reporter’s going to say boring stuff and then we get to eat cobbler.
Writer: Hmm? Oh, I’m sorry guys. I was just looking at the prettiest little–
Reporter: Never mind that right now. We’re going to talk about really important things, and we can’t do it without you.
Reporter: Hush! You’ll hurt her feelings.
Writer: (sits down) Oh, hi Editor. I see you got down from that big net.
Editor: Yeah. No thanks to either of you.
Reporter: Okay, so I’ve been doing some research–
Editor: Surprise, surprise.
Reporter: And I think our biggest issue is that we have conflicting viewpoints and cross purposes, and that is causing us a crisis both of identity and consciousness, leading us to a disassociation with our inner being.
Editor: My, what big words she uses.
Reporter: Shut it.
Writer: Did I hear you made peach cobbler?
Reporter: Yes, but it needs to cool a little before we eat it. Can we focus please?
Editor: I like how you have to tempt us with dessert in order to make us listen to your big words.
Reporter: There’s nothing wrong with having a good vocabulary! Besides, I didn’t say anything a child couldn’t understand. You understood what I said, didn’t you Writer?
Editor: Listen, I don’t see what the big issue is. So we don’t get along. Big whoop. You can’t go through life expecting to get along with everyone.
Reporter: Yes, but beings how we’re actually the same person, maybe we should try?
Writer: You know, that’s something that confuses me. I mean, how can it be that when one of us is trapped in netting–
Editor: Meaning me.
Writer: Yeah. So if one of us is trapped, how can the rest of us eat pie? Wouldn’t we all be trapped? Or all eating pie? How does this work exactly?
Reporter: Uh… let’s not think about that right now. Let’s talk philosophy instead. It’ll make more sense. The other day I was reading some Kierkegaard–
Writer: (claps hands excitedly) Oh goodie! I love Kierkegaard! He’s my absolute favorite philosopher!
Editor: You have a favorite philosopher?
Reporter: Writer, you surprise me. You understand Kierkegaard?
Writer: Oh, he’s the best! Have you seen his picture? I’m telling you, he was one sweet Danish philosopher.
Editor: Dear God, help me.
Writer: Did you see what I did there? — calling him a sweet danish? — Do you get it?
Editor: Writer, how many times do I have to tell you? We always get it.
Reporter: Please, both of you. Now listen, Kierkegaard said, “The most common form of despair is not being who you are.” And I think that nails it, right there. The three of us are at such cross-purposes that we wind up not accomplishing anything. And that causes us to lose sight of who we really are and what we’re meant to do.
Editor: Yeah, so?
Reporter: So? That’s all you can say? So?
Editor: What do you want me to say? Listen, if you’re expecting a group hug out of this, you can forget it right now.
Reporter: We don’t need to hug. I just think it would be helpful if we stated our main purpose. I mean, Editor, if I were to ask you what the point of our existence is, what would you say?
Editor: Isn’t it obvious?
Reporter: Enlighten me.
Editor: The purpose of our life — no, make that the purpose of every life — is to improve. Everyone should be improving, otherwise they’re just wasting oxygen. We need to be constantly seeking perfection in everything we do.
Reporter: You’re kidding me.
Editor: A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for? That’s Emerson.
Reporter: I think that’s Browning.
Editor: Are you sure? It sounds like Emerson.
Reporter: Pretty sure it’s Browning. You realize perfection is impossible, right? You can never reach it? What you’re describing is a life of total despair. That hardly helps in this situation.
Editor: Okay Miss Smartypants. What do think our purpose is?
Reporter: Smartypants? That’s what you came up with?
Editor: I’m hungry okay? Isn’t that cobbler ready yet?
Reporter: Soon. Listen, the purpose of life is quite simple. It’s to learn.
Editor: To learn?! You’ve got to be joking.
Reporter: Think about it. From the moment we’re born, we’re learning. That’s what life’s about. You want improvement? Fine, you do it by learning. Everything comes from learning. Knowledge and Wisdom. Thinking and Reason. These are the cornerstones of our entire human existence.
Reporter: What are you, five years old? I’m being serious!
Editor: It’s total drivel. What about people who can’t learn? What about people who have no mental capacity for it, or no access? Is their life meaningless?
Reporter: I didn’t say their life was meaningless. You’re putting words in my mouth.
Editor: Let’s hear what Writer has to say. It should be good for a laugh
Reporter: Okay, Writer, what do you think the purpose of life… where’d she go?
Editor: Dammit, Writer, are you at the window again? I swear, she’s got the attention span of a gnat!
Writer: Oh, sorry guys. Say, come over here and look at this. There’s the sweetest little finch out on this tree. See his yellow breast? Isn’t he the most beautiful thing you’ve seen all day?
(They walk over and look out the window)
Writer: You know what’s funny? I bet he doesn’t even know how beautiful he is. He doesn’t even think about it. He just is. He just goes about his life, being a finch. Thinking like a finch, singing like a finch, experiencing life like a finch. And because he completely embraces his finchness, at this moment he is the most beautiful little finch in the world. Just by his Being.
(She turns to them) I’m sorry, what did you ask me again?
Reporter: (swallows hard) Uh… don’t worry about it Writer. It wasn’t anything important. Say, how about we have some peach cobbler now? Editor, are you ready for peach… Editor? … Editor, are you crying?
Editor: No! I just got something in my eye, that’s all. (sniffs) Yeah, let’s have that cobbler. About damn time, too.
Perfectly Peach Cobbler
- 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
- 1 cup flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup milk
- 4 to 5 cups sliced peaches
- 1/2 to 1 cup sugar
Turn oven on to 375 degrees. Put the stick of butter in a 2 1/2 quart baking dish and set in oven as it preheats.
Mix together flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt. Add milk and beat well. Stir remaining sugar into peaches (use more or less sugar, depending on how sweet your peaches are).
When butter is melted, pour batter into center of dish, spoon peaches over the batter. Do not stir. The batter will rise to the top as it cooks.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until crust is golden brown.
Serve warm with ice cream, if desired. (Of course it’s desired!)