The Plagued Parent

posts about surviving our children, the Baby Boomers who raised us, and everyone else with an opinion...


Existentialism can be defined as “a philosophical theory or approach that emphasizes the existence of the individual person as a free and responsible agent determining their own development through acts of the will”; translated from the Dutch “existents-forhold” or ‘condition of existence’.

Calvin is nothing if not a sheer force of will personified.

It should be natural for us to contemplate, ruminate and react to the conditions of our own existence. Many do not.

Most of us prefer to avoid contemplating the conditions of our existence, the argument often being that it’s wasteful of time put to better use — in other words working, going to school, playing, or distracting ourselves from the irrefutable and inevitable truths revealed by our mortality.

This makes Calvin a pain in the butt because he asks.

Well, if you’ve been following along at home this is not the only reason Calvin is a pain in the butt — he is after all a man of many talents. And, he is not a pain because he bothers to ask; it is because he keeps asking, he keeps searching despite all evidence to suggest that he should just go home and watch more TV.

That a such a deeply philosophical mind as his shares the same cranial space as the mind responsible for conjuring Hobbes seems implausible. Actually, I’d argue that a mind willing to ask such questions, to rail as Quixote against inevitable realities, requires, necessarily requires the existence of a Hobbes.

If Calvin is Quixote, then Hobbes is his Sancho.

Art renders it so.

Balancing delicately in the space between profound genius and absurdity, Calvin represents that half of us that mainly toils ceaselessly to create meaning. While Hobbes signifies the silent and timeless half of our selves that knows the real deal — all the elevated speech in the dictionary cannot prevent the sun from rendering our snowmen into slush.

And so, what’s left to us then?

I suppose, at this point, there is really only one thing that offers meaning to meaninglessness…



Part of the Blogging A to Z Challenge

Updated: April 6, 2017 — 11:27 am


  1. I adore Calvin and Hobbes in a way that’s usually reserved for lifetime friends or spouses. I also love existentialist philosophy, so this is a particularly wonderful article from where I’m sitting. At a certain point, with all the rhetoric and arguing and vitriol that’s out and about right now, all you can do is find your sunny field and take a nap. 🙂

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