Taking things for granted

Much of the humor of the Louis CK clip below derives from the fact that he is right: we take things for granted. We take things for granted not because (or not primarily because) they are always there, a permanent, stable presence we can rely on. We take them for granted because of their impermanence, their fleeting presence that is largely disconnected from other things. In our consumer society where increasingly the production and reproduction (i.e., planned obsolescence) of things presupposes their replacement, we become in turn increasingly focused on the thing’s immediacy. Unlike the Buddhist (or Spinozist) detachment from things, and in particular the ego, which is inseparable from an appreciation of the connection and significance of all things, we have largely become anti-Buddhist (anti-Spinozist) in that we have become detached from the connection and significance of all things only to become all the more attached to the immediacy of the things before us. Louis CK drives this point home: