Ruined By The 3 Minute Pop Song

We like formulas. Formulas work. Even those of us, myself included, who despise all things mathematical and mourn the wasted hours of our educational careers spent wondering what two trains who couldn’t maintain speed and weren’t even in the same city had to do with us… even we like a good formula.

After all, formulas resolve. There is finitude. There is an end. And with endings there is often that ever-elusive goal of clarity. But that’s the thing about clarity and resolution… they presuppose a world that has endings. 

I long for a good ending. A work day complete or a nicely wrapped-up movie plotline or a big, drum-roll-on-the-steering-wheel, Phil Collins-esque finish to a perfectly crafted pop song. A destination to attain to. But those things are our creations; the things we make always play nice with our set of expectations. We are the selfish center of our world, so of course our creations cater to us. However, the things that matter, namely the other people who we’re sharing air and space with, do not resolve. We do not provide clarity. We are not finite and we do not end. We are the anti-formula. That’s what makes life interesting. It’s also what makes life very hard sometimes. 

I suppose my desire for clarity and resolution is mainly a trust issue. Better put, wanting things to have a neat, tidy ending stems from a worldview where, if I don’t get my way or don’t have all the facts, I do not trust that everything is still ok. I miss trusting. I certainly pay lip service to it, but I doubt it comes as natural to me as not trusting does. I hate that my worldview is shaped more by being a part of a generation brought up on 3 minute pop songs than on being a part of humanity, with all its wonderful and horrible unresolving tension and journey.

In keeping with the theme, I have no resolution to all of this.