11 Aug 2009 9 am eastern

it takes a train

When asked why there’s so much pain
Jesus and Buddha will tell me the same:
“Shit happens, and people change.”

Filed under: glamorous, wisdom

26 Responses to “it takes a train”

  1. Nick Burd said on

    Very true. You will be hard pressed to find someone who has not made changes in their life based on influence, weather, time or feelings.

    Thanks for the wisdom. ;)

  2. bama3 said on

    Change must come from the barrel of a gun

  3. Dan B. Lee said on

    That kind of rhymes…

  4. Matthew Oliphant said on

    Pain, at its essence, is simply an acute reminder that you are still alive; and it, as well as life, will always be a temporary affliction.

  5. Hayo said on

    on a thousand year timescale, shit really is irrelevant. and most people too.

  6. Leigh said on

    The people who cause the most pain are the ones who are stuck and refuse to change.

  7. Lanny Heidbreder said on

    No; people don’t usually change. Some of them get medicated, and plenty of them start (and stop) using fake personalities, but hardly anyone actually, really, truly changes.

  8. Ara Pehlivanian said on

    You can’t prepare for change, nor can you avoid it. You can only adapt to it. If you don’t, it will kill you.

  9. Berserk said on

    On changing one self (re Lanny):

    All the world’s a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players;
    They have their exits and their entrances;
    And one man in his time plays many parts

    * * *

    On adapting (or not) to change (re Hayo):

    On the pedestal these words appear:
    “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”

    * * *

    It takes a train … to cry?

    Now the wintertime is coming,
    The windows are filled with frost
    Don’t say I never warned you
    When your train gets lost

  10. George Hess said on

    …and people change – their underwear?

  11. D Bnonn Tennant said on

    Hrmm, not to rain on the parade, but I’m pretty sure that isn’t the response you’d get from Jesus.

    Shit doesn’t just happen in Christianity. That saying implies a very random, disordered universe—whereas God says, “I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create evil, I am the LORD, who does all these things” (Isaiah 45:7), and “who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come?” (Lamentations 3:37-38).

    Similarly, neither do people change. On the contrary, “can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil” (Jeremiah 13:23). And who is accustomed to do evil? “The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one” (Psalm 14:2-3).

    Maybe you weren’t meaning this post so seriously, but from the responses so far people seem to be treating it as wisdom, so it’s only fair to point out that the biblical wisdom is at odds with yours (:

  12. Richard Fink said on

    The scene is the main dining room of a Catskill mountain resort hotel. Two middle aged women are sitting next to each other as dinner is being served.
    One of them turns to the other and says, “My god, the food here is terrible, isn’t it?”
    The other replies, “It sure is. And such small portions, too!”

    Life is like that, isn’t it? It’s full of pain and suffering but dammit, there just isn’t enough of it.

    (Quiz: Woody Allen is a lot funnier than Buddha, methinks. Which movie is this from? I’ve forgotten. C’mon New Yorkers, help me out here…)

  13. Nagarjun said on

    Buddha and Jesus will also encourage you to ask, “Will this sh*t matter in 5 years?”

  14. Mark W. said on

    Yes, but Jesus and Buddha would both say that “shit happens” because of wants and desires. Buddha’s solution was to try to eliminate all desire. Jesus would say to put them in the proper order.

  15. AdamW said on

    It’s from Annie Hall.

  16. Lazy KB said on

    You have to take the bitter with the sweet.

  17. DN said on

    This is so incredibly not the place to go into it but, @ D Bnonn Tennant, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    @Berserk – Nice selection!

  18. DN said on

    Okay, so I shouldn’t have been so glib there, but the selective quotation is pretty caricature-ish. Perhaps you’re keeping a hyper-strict distinction, but I don’t think it paints an adequate picture. Aaanyway, back to the show.

  19. D Bnonn Tennant said on

    @DN: what caricature? I simply picked particularly clear examples of the general principles within Christianity so as to best make my point. God’s sovereignty and providence over human actions is a prevalent theme throughout Scripture. I am a Christian myself—you’re welcome to examine my credentials at my “other” site. How would you treat the saying “shit happens” from a Christian perspective?

  20. Richard Fink said on

    Thanks. Annie Hall. Thought so but wasn’t sure.

  21. DN said on

    @DBT: I really don’t want to belabor this point since, as you pointed out, doing so doesn’t correspond to the intention of the lyric. The phrase ‘shit happens’ doesn’t necessarily denote randomness, so I think your passages are not engaging it on its own terms. But it was the contention that people don’t change that got me (regrettably so; apologies for my flippancy). You quote a Psalm and a prophet; besides the interpretation issue, both have corresponding passages calling people to repentance/conversion: by definition a change about the person. So, without even getting into the technicalities of the economy of grace, ‘people change’. From a wide Judeo-Christian perspective, then, the phrase as a whole applies. Loosely, generally, as its structure and content suggest it would.

    And, pardon my begging off, but I think to go further here is to hijack the thread pretty thoroughly with long posts (with likely no end in sight), providing hours of diversion for the interested parties (us) and general annoyance for everyone else. If you’d like to correspond elsewhere (via your blog, email, whatever) I’m sending you my email so that can happen. Cheers.

  22. ABS said on

    Annie Hall is one of my favourite movies. I am looking to see Whatever Works also by Woody Allen.

  23. Jimmy Boss said on
  24. Rick said on

    Are they buddies?

  25. Zak said on

    Should\’ve disabled comments on this, Jeffrey.

  26. Krystyn said on

    That sounds like a Leonard Cohen poem.

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