Missing old friends

Calvin & Hobbes last strip

 

I knew Calvin & Hobbes when they were printed in Portugal for the first time by the newspaper Público. My father bought it every day and I read religiously every strip until one day I grew out of it.

My 20’s had that effect in me, I left behind some of the best things I had as a kid… Fortunately, when I entered my 30’s, I went back and started to pick up all those pieces again. Calvin and Hobbes were like two friends for me, and while it saddens me a lot, not being there in those last strips, I was glad I actually read the last when it came out.

Now, with 35, I’m reading all Calvin & Hobbes strips, not only to see what I’ve missed but also that one day, my kids can welcome the feisty 6-year-old kid and his pet tiger in their lives, as I did.

BTW, if you are a Calvin & Hobbes fan, you might want to check out this documentary, Dear Mr. Watterson. It won’t let you down.

 

The Meaning of Life

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Perhaps the oldest question in the history of civilization… it’s the also the one question with the most number of answers. Their validity is another issue…
I often say that life, and all its aspects are terribly subjective. Even death. It all depends on how you experience life itself and the end of it, either yours or others. It all depends on how you experience reality.
Being a parent has opened a door I long left closed. The door to fear. The door to pain. The door I’ve kept closed for a long long time. I’ve chosen to become numb to reality’s dark aspects, unfortunately when you become a father, a parent, your life isn’t yours any more.
There is this being which becomes the center of your life, the most important aspect of your reality, and suddenly the numbness dissipates. The aspects of the world you live, specially the dark ones, become gradually darker, because you know that sooner or later you’ll have to protect your children from them. War, famine, sickness, greed, violence, all the darkness, that part of life you choose to ignore becomes brutally loud. It’s there and it’s going to be part of your child’s reality as well. How to cope? Can you surpass it? Can you escape it? Can you still leave it outside?
How can I explain my son and my daughter that there are people living in the streets? How can I explain them that every day, millions die with nothing to eat? That another million dies from cancer, AIDS, leukaemia? How can I explain that we live in a society that values more sports players and pop stars than doctors who save people’s lives and scientist that make this world still escape (barely) from ignorance? That people are killed in stupid discussions about sports? That wars are waged in the name of religions and gods, that are no more than lies? And that the money that could change all this, is spent in those wars or feeding those religions?
So… What’s the meaning of life?