I would do anything for love, but I won’t do set theory

Remember how this blog started to go downhill with stupid analyses of bullshit songs that got stuck in my head ? Well today let’s talk about a little success of american pop culture called “I would do anything for love”, by Meatloaf, most notably famous to be for having been featured in Scrubs s04e01. Here is the song:

but you don’t need to listen to it: the part that struck a chord with me is the refrain/title line that is sung in the show and marked part? of a generation in the US or not? idk:

And I will do anything for love, but I won’t do that…

And I kept going over and over it in my head, wondering what the hell did it mean?

I mean it HAS TO have some kind of deeper meaning reflecting a view of the world exposed by the composer right ? And the harder it is to understand the deeper the meaning probably is, reflecting pon the absolute truth of the world and stuff. I mean put on lyrics with no discernible meaning at this day and age in the music industry ? Who would do such a thing ?

but riddle me this. He would do ANYTHING. meaning any thing. Take a thing. Do you have it ? He would do it.

(impressive right it’s like magic only it’s just written text)

The question is: what’s left ?

My first guess is to take a bunch of things, but it can be considered as a group of things and this group is technically one thing (like a list of task, he could do the whole list). Even if you consider an infinite list of tasks. It is an infinite list of tasks, it’s a THING, meaning he would do it.

At this point i’m pretty impressed by his ability to do things and his writing skill. And this inductive reasoning brings to mind my favorite ever paradox about set theory that I want to mention here, and it’s called Russell’s paradox.

We’ve seen that set of things are still things. You can conceive of sets of sets, right ? (for instance think about the set of even numbers and the set of odd numbers, those are two sets, here you have a set of two sets).

What about the set called S containing all sets that do not contain themselves ?

– if S does not contain itself, it fits the definition in blue and therefore must be contained in S !

– if S contains itself, then it is an element of S thereby validates the condition in blue.

This set cannot contain itself, nor can it not not contain itself. Isn’t it like super rad ? It means that we’re fucked and math is wrong. Well almost. It means that not everything is a set, there are objects that can be described by rules that are not sets. We call that class.

Therefore, as a logician, the only possible conclusion is that the singer was not willing to do a class of things that is not a set. A possible example is the class of all sets, that is to say he won’t do all the possible list of tasks at once, which is fairly understandable.

you_broke_my_heart_by_roseweave17-d5ihsk5

But where a simple logician would sigh satisfied after destroying the known paradigm to smithereens and creating a new domain of mathematics to toy with, yours truly can’t help but wonder… Isn’t a class a thing too ? Wouldn’t that awesome dude do it for love too I mean if he can do all the lists of tasks he may as well do them all.

Then what’s left ?

Nothing ? But nothing is something since we can talk about it. I’m almost sure that this brave hero is willing to do nothing if needed.

And there philosophy brings us some light, for if nothing is something, is it really nothing? And there we come back to Lupasco’s “Included middle” theory which we mentioned when transcending the swag dialectic, which is here very fitting. Every concept is actually a mix of three entities, itself, its negation and a third inclusive meta-entity. Could this intangible encompassing entity be what the song referenced? Not nothing, not something, but the ever so hard to describe relationship between nothing and something? But if I just mentioned it, then is it not a thing that the singer could do ?

I have to admit that it feels like chasing a mirage here, every time coming up with an answer only to have it swallowed by the limitless ability of Meatloaf’s lead singer. At the heart of it all, what we’re looking for is a concept that cannot be conceived. And it’s a tough one. Descartes was a firm believer that there was such a thing. But we just gave a definition right here, allowing us to talk about it and thereby giving it at least some sort of existence, kind of a class-concept. I do not pretend to have a clear answer, and maybe there is no clear answer that anyone could bring. Maybe not even Meatloaf’s legendary allmighty singer. Maybe answering this existential philosophical debate is precisely the thing that he won’t do for love…

PS: do check out the Existential Comic about Riemann’s paradox

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The Meaning of Life in Spice Girls’ Wannabee

WARNING ; the following blog is a deep philosophical essay (I kinda miss highschool), but I’ll try to make it pleasant to read nonetheless and cut the chatter that you usually put in an essay to reach the line count (yeah we all do it). Keep it essential. Now buckle up your seatbelts because I’m about to bring you to a whole new level of overthinking you didnt know could ever exist.

I’ve been talking about this for a while now. It may become a youtube video at some point but I thought “what’s the harm of doing a blog post first anyway”. There is something about Wannabe from the Spice Girls that has always bothered me, and I think we should talk about it. For starters, here is the song.

You’ll listen to it and think hey this sound like a brainless regular pop song, right ?

sceptical

There’s one part that has always been puzzling me. The apparent meaning of the song is pretty clear, this girl says her bffs are the most important part of her life and she’s telling her boyfriend that he should get along with them. So what the fuck is this about :

 I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want, 

Isn’t it a little bit emphatic for this simple message ? Like… repeating the whole sentence twice, and then the really twice… but it goes further.

So tell me what you want, what you really really want, 

Now there are two of them, building up the tension around what this person really wants. This seems important. That’s the one thing she really really reaaaally wants. Well I guess it will settle it. Is this bff/boyfriend story this important (note that this is the beginning of the song, this problematic hasn’t even been introduced yet, so we’re talking about the unadulterated raw desire of this girl’s heart) ? Or is there a secret desire in the bottom of your heart ? Come on lady, show us what you think. What matters the MOST in the whole universe ? What do you REALLY want ? What is this song really about ? I mean the number of occurrences of really is simply too high to be ignored.

And what if this question wasn’t directed to the singer, but also to the listener, breaking the fourth wall. Do you know what you really really want ? In this sentence, the listener is both the asker wondering about their place in the universe, and the askee, pushed by a seemingly brainless popstart to a forced introspection, to enter a collaborative meditation to push the boundaries of self-understanding.

I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want, 

More tension building. Come on, this part is even more memorable than the refrain. This must be the true heart of the song. Be it in the philosophical treaties of Pascal and suchlike or in the lyrics of Avenue Q, it’s often agreed that “everyone is a little bit dissatisfied“. Man has been considered by a lot of philosophical theories as incomplete, missing something, which would be the underlying cause of any unhappiness. According to them, this relentless longing is nothing more than the meaning of human life itself. If this song proposes to unveil it, I don’t know about you, but I want in! What better place to deal with such an important and crucial topic than in the middle of these petty teenager considerations ? Wouldn’t the contrast highlight all the more the true meaning behind anyone’s life ?

So tell me what you want, what you really really want, 

Are you for real ? I’m begging you on my knees, much like this second voice which probably represents the audience.  I mean it seems the whole song builds up to this exact point with such insistence… The tension is unbearable. The meaning of life, the crux of mankind’s relentless longing is about to be answered. What does mankind really want ? We are clearly approaching the climax, and we could discuss how this tension building mirrors sexual intercourse or we could move on to the big answer everybody is of course by now waiting for.

I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna,

come on…

I wanna really really really wanna 

yes, that’s it, almost there, yes. Meaning of life…

zigazig ha.

Almost like an inflatable balloon deflating (insert sexual orgasm reference). A letdown. Is that it ? What does it even mean ? Let’s have a look at this meaning of life.

  • A first guess would be to think that this is plain gibberish. And that’s ok. It means that the true meaning of life is complex and cannot be captured by words. This gibberish is simply the symbol of the impossibility to comprehend with language this missing piece in the heart of men. After all, what did we expect. This is a vast and complex question, and the Spice Girls tell us that there is no simple and clear answer.

But we can certainly push it one step further, after all, “meaning zigazig” has 150k google answers.

  • Apparently, a Spice Girls newsletter explained that it doesn’t mean ‘nothing,’ but rather it means anything. It can mean having a laugh with a friend, watching a good movie, just something that makes you happy. Would the meaning of life reside in all those little moments that constitute a human life ? A little succession of moments that build up to a semantically relevant life.
  • A fair number of theories postulate that it means orgasm, which would fit well with the construction of this whole part of the song (buildup, plateau, relief, etc…), which you know I’m totally ok with, I can see the meaning of life being communing with another person, another self, bypassing its condition as individual separated from the world by joining to a physical and spiritual level another soul.
  • The wiktionnary definition for zig is “a sharp turn” and “to zig” is “to make a sharp turn”. Zig a zig would then be taking a turn. Would that be a representation of the everchanging human existence ? After all, semper eadem sed aliter, everything ever changes, the only constant in the world is change itself.
  • There is also a distinct possibility that this is gibberish only made up to hum along the music. But couldn’t life also be that simple ? Following along a song, empty minded, forgetting about this relentless void inside of you by communing with the absolute that is the music. Would this nonsensical answer suggest that the meaning of life is this nonsense itself, that is to say that the language and all the reflexions it allows are nothing but unnecessary complications that only bring us down ?

But one thing is for sure: the meaning of this piece of lyrics, much like the meaning of life, is ambiguous and unclear. The multiplicity of interpretations is very telling. Is it unattainable or do you have to chose it yourself ? Or maybe it’s all of these at the same time, merging in a complex multifaceted indescribable absolute.

What about the fact that this is all coming from one of the most brainless pop songs ever written ? Isn’t that also telling ? That the essence of our existence can be glimpsed anywhere for those with the eyes to see it. Or maybe that it resides in the simplest things. A song, an unbelievably cliched brainless life… Isn’t it a nice thought to consider that, much like any atom contains a whole universe inside of it, this dull pop song contains the whole meaning of life ?

The Lonely Shepherd

Un petit message pour dire que j’ai upload ma première vidéo de qualité a peu près potable (cad ou le son ne sature pas xD). C’est une libre adaptation d’un morceau que vous reconnaitrez peut-être de la BO de Kill Bill, que j’ai trouvé très joli.