Les Choses Sont Contre Nous

We have all had the harrowing suspicion, rising at times almost to a dreadful certainty, that the inanimate objects of the world are arrayed against us with bloodless and implacable malice. We pop the window open on a fine spring morning and it falls back down, shattering the glass. We grab the only pencil at hand in urgent haste to write down a number before it flies from our memory, and the point breaks off. We lift a jar of mayonnaise by its lid, which comes off in our hand; the jar smashes on the kitchen tiles. Our keys conceal themselves behind the toaster. The picture-frame leaps from the wall for no apparent reason. The doorframe interposes itself between our little toe and the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Leave it to the French, who have always understood that we are doomed, to build upon this woeful scaffolding an intellectual edifice, a school of philosophy. It is called Resistentialism, and has been described as being “largely a matter of sitting inside a wet sack and moaning.”

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3 Comments

  1. Charles says

    Cool! Now I can develop a philosophical underpinning to the question of why our couch insists on sneaking into our bedroom at night and kicking me in the shins.

    Posted June 25, 2009 at 1:17 am | Permalink
  2. jack says

    I think that we can point the finger at bad (non human-oriented) design for many of these examples.

    Posted June 25, 2009 at 2:35 am | Permalink
  3. JK says

    Now I realize why my pickup only requires jump starts when I’m in a rush.

    Posted June 25, 2009 at 5:15 am | Permalink