Try this: Think about your own future: What’s the chances of that actually happening? We might not be responsible for what actually happens in the future, but certainly what we think might happen is all in our imagination, therefore partly in our control. Yes, possibly it’s informed by logic, careful planning, or maybe it’s just a leap of faith but we have to will it (in time) and leap (in time). And by the time we will and leap, that action is past.
Similarly, and more obviously, the past, rooted in actual historical occurrences, is brought back to consciousness through memory, a construction, our own construction of what happened, and we forget a lot. (This proves particularly annoying to Kenny – that his friends don’t seem to remember that he died, again and again and again…) Kenny remembers, and we can check his memory (if a cartoon character can have a memory) by scrolling back through past episodes, but even then…
I’m being ridiculous here – you remember. But you might also forget, like Kyle… Or you misremember. In any case, memory is a process of re-creating the past from traces.
So this crazy animation represents a point I am belaboring. Just to get to the present moment…
Which is already past….
It’s way past by the time I cut and paste this text into the blog, but it was already past by the time I thought of it, even before I wrote anything, even in the present moment by the time I thought of it as present, or as a moment.
And not just because I’m slow. If you were thinking about your own past, present and future… well, think about it. There it goes, you just thought about it in the present moment, and it’s past now. By the time the present is brought to conscious awareness it’s over. That’s my point, and I’m sorry if I’m belaboring the obvious.
I just love Kenny.
When Kyle objects that maybe it’s not so bad that Kenny can’t die, that maybe it’s a good thing, Kenny loses his temper. The point isn’t about being dead; it’s that dying hurts. “It fucking hurts,” Kenny shouts and pulls out a gun. “See? Try to remember this time,” he shouts at his friends and then shoots himself.
Here’s where Kenny really isn’t a Christ figure: “Accepted death on the cross” is a phrase used in creeds, that can be misleading. Jesus didn’t embrace the cross; he was nailed to it. Jesus didn’t kill himself; he was murdered. And once was enough, and it wasn’t suicide; it was murder. It’s a lot different.
But there are some similarities to Kenny’s reality is all I’m saying… that the present moment may not have any structure in consciousness. It certainly doesn’t have a narrative structure: past, present and future. So, like Kenny, we live in infinity even if we die. Even if we’re born again (like Kenny) or rise from the dead (like Jesus.)
We live in infinity, this unstructured timeless present/presence, unlike Kenny. He’s just a comic character, but he makes this much clear which is only one reason why I love him.
[Check out this tribute video: