Sunday, November 11, 2012

Nurse The Hate: Hate Your Destiny

Over the years I have lost a tremendous amount of money betting on the New York Jets.  This is well chronicled on the Whiskey Daredevils song “Jesus Walks Beside Me”, and is a fact of which I am not particularly proud.  I would also like to point out I do not blame the New York Jets.  It is what they do, their purpose if you will.  You can no more blame the Jets for not covering a big game than you can blame a dog for chasing a cat.  Every one and every thing is hard wired to play its role in this grand drama of life.  The Jets exist so they can crush your dreams. 

I know in my heart of hearts that if Jesus were to walk the earth again, he would lose his shirt on the Jets.  The Jets would have the game well in hand, make a late fumble, and as time expired lose on a gut wrenching field goal.  Jesus would explode in rage, throwing his 16 oz Pabst can at the TV screaming horrible obscenities while I looked on uncomfortably. While that experience might seem interesting on paper, I can assure you that on closer inspection no one wants to see The Son of God lose his temper.  Let’s not even think about the brooding afterwards…  

The Jets are going to lose today.  I know this.  I know it is disaster to take the Jets with the points this week in Seattle.  I know that I am destined to lose, but I am unable to stop the events that are about to unfold.  We have all been there.  You can clearly see that something awful is going to happen, but you are so committed on a path that you are powerless to prevent the actions from playing out.  It really calls into question the conflicting ideas of freewill and destiny.  For example, if I am destined to take the Jets and lose this week, can I prevent it by going the other direction?  Or would that actually be my destiny and my switching the pick would be the illusion of choice? 

You can certainly make the argument that destiny is just revisionist history as a way to explain the chaos around yourself.  Let’s say a couple is celebrating their fortieth anniversary.  They are from a small town.  They met each other in grade school, and had been together ever since.  They tell everyone that will listen that they knew they were perfect for each other.  Were they destined to be together, or was it because they had limited options in their small town?  I mean, what are the odds that you find your soul mate sitting in your first grade class of 14 kids on a planet of 7 trillion people?  It’s a lot more comfortable to think there was a purpose that you were together, instead of grappling with the notion your real soul mate was peddling her bike by a windmill in Holland or maybe making shrimp tempura in Tokyo. Meanwhile you decided to stay in Pig Knuckle Arkansas with the prettiest of the seven available girls instead of looking around out there.

I had to listen to a woman drone on about how “God’s plan for her had changed” due to her failing out of community college.  I can understand why she would say that.  Who wouldn’t want to credit The Almighty with this turn of events?  It’s a lot better than admitting you were too lazy to do the work and that’s why you flamed out.  Suddenly you aren’t a fuck up drop out.  You are someone that has been assigned a still to be revealed task from God Himself.  That’s exciting stuff there!  Now your life has meaning again and you can find wonder at your new low paying job at the Car Wash.
That being said, I think we all know firsthand the experience of having something feel “wrong”.  I don’t mean like if you found yourself tied up on a rack in a sex dungeon in Hamburg, or if you came to the realization that the bank robbery you were in the act of committing was probably not a good idea.  I’m talking about something being amiss, and you can’t ignore it.  You have a nagging feeling you cannot shake.  I’m talking about the “feeling in your bones”.  In that case, have you strayed from your divine etched path and are being nudged back to where you belong?  How long can you ignore the obvious?  You are betting on the Jets and there is no stopping it.  Has it all been written in advance?  Is it possible to actually decide anything?  Is this foolish wager on the Jets just a small-predetermined footnote on my personal story?  Why am I compelled to make this bet?  Why am I compelled to feel this way?  I have no rational explanation.

So here it sit in my kitchen.  I am going to bet on the Jets +6.  There is no stopping it.  This is because I think the Jets will lose, but by less than seven.  Or maybe it is because I have always been destined to bet on the Jets and this explanation is what I needed to allow myself to think that I have made choices and have the illusion of control over my life.  For if I have no actual control, why do I even trouble myself with any effort at all?  Without free will, what is life at all?  But if there is no larger narrative, are we really just alone in the void?  Are the choices I make and the effort involved in these part of some Grand Plan, or only a by-product of it?  Perhaps there really is a Plan and it will all happen according to that Plan.  But perhaps my destined fate is to lose with the Jets once again.  Maybe these continued losses on the Jets are the way the cosmos are telling me to stop betting on the Jets at all and I haven’t been listening.  Or is this just a random choice that has no meaning at all?  Is everything a series of random choices, all of them ultimately unpredictable?  Is there meaning to any of it?  Is there actual free will?  Man, I gotta lie down…

Jets +6

Overall Record Vs Spread:  6-8


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