This Essay Is Not About American Sniper

by Akim Reinhardt

American SniperI was gonna write something about the Clint Eastwood film American Sniper. Seems like a topic of the Now. Something the internetting public can really grab onto and scream about.

Clint Eastwood: Sentimental warmonger, or artist of more nuance than leftists and pacifists can discern?

U.S. sniper Chris Kyle: Troubled war veteran of humble origins whose experiences are a sharp prism for viewing America's exploitative class divides and tragic foreign policy, or a remorseless, racist killing machine who's murderous life and violent death reflect much of what's wrong with the nation?

That kinda thing. People love that sort of stuff. Gets ‘em all jacked up, clickety-click. Plus, I just saw the movie and have some ideas of my own. But you know what?

Fuck it.

I don't wanna talk about moral ambiguity. I don't wanna dissect global politics. I don't wanna filter through the finer shades of artistic vision, intention, and reception. I don't wanna delve into any of those abstractions. I don't wanna tap society's pulse and jump on the topic du jour. You know why?

Because life is meaningless.

As I sit down in front of this keyboard, I can't bring myself to care about what 3QD readers want or would enjoy reading. I can't be bothered to speculate on what type of essay might once again garner me a citation by Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish or land me back in the Huffington Post.

None of that matters. Because nothing matters. Nothing at all.

Meaning and truth are just illusions that humans chatter about incessantly because they can't stomach the sheer meaninglessness of it all.

The Earth is a snowball of cosmic debris. The possibility of life on it is a longshot accident that came in like a broken down nag in the 10th race at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens (a real dump if you've never been). To consider the evolution of single cell floaters into multi-cell life forms is a far more boring prospect than even the droning monotone of the dullest high school biology teacher could suggest. Just that jump took over two and half billion years.

The rest of it? Some dinosaurs, some meteorites, some mammals, and us.

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