We’ll Always Have Paris

Most things are best left to the imagination.
Most things are best left to the imagination.

Does anybody actually have time to read blogs or anything for that matter?

If truth be told, I need several lives. Fortunately, Reincarnation is there for each and everyone of us. At least the Buddhists don’t differentiate between believers/good and non-believers/bad. On a whole, they are far less judgmental and critical than the Catholics with their pre-planned itineraries of: GOOD people this way please and the BAD turn right at the corner and down the escalator which will take you to where we all know where.
The Buddhists are simply different. More tolerant, more open-minded and, you would have guessed it in a blog written by me, rather communist in their spiritual everything-for-everybody approach. However, quite progressive for their time, the commies did away with religion altogether, or rather substituted it with Manifestos, 5-Year-Plans, hammers, Gulags, ill-fitting clothes, rudimentary use of language, smiling children in uniforms waving flags and cars running on salad oil.

Replacing one ideology with another was an easy task because humans in general abhor independent thinking, so someone telling us what to think and what to do is always preferable to making the strenuous effort of using our own brain cells. For our dear friends the Creationists out there (I admit I also firmly believe the earth was built in 5 days) – how much more proof do we need that humans came from sheep?

The commies, because they couldn’t use the Heaven/Hell concept for their dogmatic purposes as that was strictly bourgeois-imperialist stuff and reincarnation being just way too out-there for them, came up with Gulags instead. If you weren’t Russian than there would be something similar called Work-Camp or Personal-Improvement-Institution. Hell was dispensed manually by saying, you bad, go Gulag. And thus no one really was worried about what might happen to them after death.

But back to my several lives, which, if I had the choice, would spend one lifetime doing only one thing. Exhaustively. I’ve listed seven but in this current one I’m not a cat, so this list could be extended with more nice occupations.

  1. Adopt all children in need.
  2. Watching films, starting with a Charlie Chaplin box set.
  3. Swimming in shark-free salt water.
  4. Sitting in cafés watching people whilst eating Apfelstrudel.
  5. Getting lost and entertained reading blogs.
  6. Being Charles Bukowski.
  7. Hike/bike around the world and climb every peak there is.
No desire to be reborn whatsoever.
No desire to be reborn whatsoever

Although Buddhism and Reincarnation are high up on the list of desirable states of mind/being, I can’t really get my head around the possibility of coming back as an animal. Chances are I either get eaten by my fellow fauna members higher up the food chain or by my former fellow humans, reared or hunted or simply made extinct. Not a nice thought.

But let’s say I would really spend my life reading one fabulous blog after another and then, SURPRISE! I wouldn’t be reborn but just die forever? That would really upset me, thinking  how I wasted one lifetime on WordPress, no matter how good that time was.

Therefore, considering that this might be my only chance of earthly living, I have to do a bit of everything. So every time I do A LOT of something I get stressed thinking about my precious earth-time being eaten up by me doing THAT?

And when that fear of missing out strikes, I quickly shift my attention to something more worthwhile. At times I get so distracted, I can’t finish one task before starting another. Which means on the way to the loo I pass that picture I’ve been meaning to hang and then I do that and I forget what it was I wanted to do in the loo.

That’s all very interesting, but what about Paris?

All this verbose meandering, you might have guessed, is only a pretext to inch wordily towards the one thing that truly matters. Love. For Rick Blaine and Ilsa Lund Paris symbolised the Shangri-La, the romantic dream they once shared and which burst like a bubble-gum bubble. Not because they had relationship issues, heaven forbid. It was the TIMES and CIRCUMSTANCES which drew them apart. I’m wondering, didn’t Rick want to get old and demented with Ilsa? Is it better to leave the dream intact because then no amount of reality can spoil it?

But then we would never know, would we? So why didn’t Bogey just deviate from the script and lip-sync instead:

’Kay babes, that softie doesn’t deserve you but I do.
I’m fed up being the martyr, the lonesome bar-fly
with the sorry face. So why don’t we just set up shop
and get real?’

And Ingrid would look at him slightly confused and nervous (not remembering that bit in the script) let out a dry cough, steal a searching glance at the director (who shrugs his shoulders) and then look at Bogey with a blank stare into which the audience could project all their doomed loves all at once.

Boogie Paris_cropped

Alas, I wasn’t scriptwriter on Casablanca, but I suspect that if I would have made Rick and Ilsa move contentedly into a one-bed ground floor flat in a Moroccan blackmarketeering coastal town with shifty officials and unpleasant Germans, no one would have heard of the film.
That bloody coward Rick. Unfinished love-stuff makes for the best films because it leaves your heart aching and remember all those who were lucky enough to get away.

I think we can safely assume that you (in this case Rick) are not a better or more worthy being because you sacrifice yourself (and we already established you won’t go to Heaven either). No one really sacrifices themselves for someone or something. Not even Jesus did. He just had a strongly pronounced Death Wish. There are people who think their own Life and Desires are worth POOP so they ‘Sacrifice’ them. Also, in this way they can feel sorry and resentful for the rest of their lives, which many people seem to prefer.

At this point all my suppressed Anger is boiling up and if I ever hear anybody using the s-word again, I promise I’ll use my slingshot.

That’s all very good, but what about Paris?

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17 thoughts on “We’ll Always Have Paris

  1. “Casablanca”… this is definitely an all time favorite of mine for so many reasons! Impossible to count the hours I already did and will spend on watching it. We’ll always have Paris, especially if we have never been there as lovers..;-)

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      1. Yes, absolutely, “Chinatown” is one of a kind, too! And I think endings like yours and all the other ones that occurr in our heads are one of the reasons for “Casablanca” keeping its fire burning…

        Liked by 2 people

  2. And speaking of La Ville Lumière (the City of Lights), perhaps all Casablanca needs is a remake, something along the lines of Last Tango in Paris.

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  3. I often joke about being reincarnated as a cat, because damn they have it easy! Regardless, I’m not much into religion of any sort, but definitely identify most closely with Buddhism. Not saying I’m ready to convert on the spot, but I do value many of their ideals such as those you have listed here.

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  4. Well – being cynical, love is just a set of endorphins. Evolution has rewarded us with seeking out someone to pair our genes with by making us feel good. It all in the name of procreating genes.
    But then there are those that get rapturous and full of endorphins at the thought of God or Allah, to the point where they are perfectly willing to torture, kill and terrorise in his name.
    As I am an antitheist who believes that religion is the cause of many of the world’s power struggles and creates too many floods of negative brain chemistry I will veer towards Love.
    One life – no gods – no heavens – just a beautiful universe, endless wonder, creativity and love. It may only be brief, only chemistry but I adore the endorphins! Long live love!

    Liked by 4 people

  5. For me Bhudism is the only religion that comes near to being understandable. You live, you die, your energy can’t be destroyed so it is taken up by another living thing and so on ad infinitum. If you read the words to On Ilkley Moor B’aht ‘at, the traditional Yorkshire song I based my short film on, it says the self same thing but in its own dark way.

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