Tuesday, December 11, 2018

All retch and no vomit



I've been watching YouTube videos of British philosopher Alan Watts' lectures lately. Actually I am just listening to Alan Watts since he died in 1973 before the world captured every moment with a digital camera. Watts was one of the first Western philosophers to embrace Zen Buddhism (and kind of understand it).

In one lecture Watts used the phrase, "He was all retch and no vomit." I realized it was a intellectual version of "all hat and no cattle."

And why am I listening to lectures by a dead British Zen philosopher who died at age 58? Because I have to have something to do in between playing matches on Fortnite.

Oh, and I'm passing through one of my soul searching phases. I've also been meditating for ten minutes a day using an APP called Calm. And I went on a crystal craze for a bit, surrounding myself with various quartz crystals.

I think I'm over that, though.

I have also been watching alot of TED talks, too.

It's not too different than reading self-help books in the 80s and 90s.  Nor is it different than being in therapy. The result is pretty much the same. I keep hoping someone has an answer and than I realize that if they really had an answer, they wouldn't be trying to sell it on YouTube or charging you $150 an hour to ask you what you think.

In all fairness, Watts isn't trying to sell his own brand of snake oil on YouTube. He is dead after all. It's other people trying to sell his regurgitated snake oil on YouTube.

The regurgitating reference brings us full circle to most of the YouTube philosophers and TED talkers who are all retch and no vomit. But if I hear one more platitude about finding something you are passionate about and making that your vocation, I will throw up.


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