Thursday, March 30, 2006

I get my thing in action

I really got into the Existentialists when I was in school -- maybe it was the whole Paris angle and the thought of Sartre and de Beauvoir hanging at Les Deux Magots, but at the time I was convinced that it was the philosophy of doing that interested me -- that we are all about our actions. Or, assuming it was Frank Lloyd Wright who said it: "What a Man Does, That He Has".

Either way, it occurred to me not too long ago that the ideas behind Existentialism showed up on my radar much earlier than that philosophy class in college -- and that would have been on Saturday Mornings in the '70s, perched in front of the TV, watching HR Puffinstuff, The Boogaloos, Scooby Doo, and -- one of my favorites that no one I've ever asked can remember -- The Hudson Brothers Saturday Morning Variety Show.

In the bridge between shows Schoolhouse Rock would air. Loaded with goodness, packed with subversion, it taught me to sing the Preamble to my country's Constitution (which still makes me all misty) -- and it also taught me the fundamental underpinnings of Existentialism, by wrapping them in a little ditty called Verb:

I get my thing in action
To be to sing to feel to live
Verb! That's what's happening!
I put my part in action
To run to go to get to give
Verb! You're what's happening!
That's where I find satisfaction
To search to find to have to hold
Verb! To be bold!
When I use my imagination
I think I plot I plan I dream
Turning into a creation
I make I write I dance I sing
When I feel really active
I run I ride I swim I fly
Other times when life is easy
I rest I sleep I sit I lie
Verb! That's what's happening!
I get my thing in action!
Verb! That's what's happening!
To work to play to live to love.

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