Tonight I went to Strand Bookstore near Union Square to see Rainn Wilson (The Office) talk about his new book SoulPancake, inspired by the online site/forum Wilson created allowing modern folks to discuss life, creativity, philosophy, spirituality, and many questions “to chew on.” It’s strange to see Rainn Wilson in person and not in the character of Dwight Schrute, but what’s even stranger is that I expected him to really prepare some groundbreaking and insightful monologue about the philosophy of life. He told fart jokes, made fun of his own status as a mini-celebrity and said it felt great to say s@#& in a bookstore. Rainn also made sure to rub his mouth all over the same microphone he hoped Margaret Atwood used. Yet in all his absurdity, he spoke as a man with honesty and true depth.
Some key takeaways/what I nerdily typed on my iPod Touch notes:
- To attempt to compartmentalize philosophy, religion, spirituality and culture is poppycock.
- Explaining love as little more than a biological connection is also poppycock.
- The very act of being creative is transcendence.
- There is no difference between worshiping and creating a work of art.
- The point of life? You need to figure out what the point is to you.
- It’s easy to be jaded and disconnected, it’s a cop-out. Despite the fact the world is leading us to be this way, it means more to show gratitude and an open heart.
A girl next to me was leafing through the book and said it hurt her brain because it made her think too much. When one half of the book asks you questions no person would dare ask you and the other half asks you to fill in the blank or sketch, you do wonder if it’s worth purchasing. And it is. If you believe it is. For you. I feel even when you have little money or should be saving for something else, there is always a good reason to buy books, watch movie, or listen to a band. I bought it and got a personalized copy to boot. And rest assured – I was incredibly awkward when I met him.
While all day we work to hide emotion and work as little more than robots, it would still be nice to sit down with like-minded people and debate the existing of God, love, and the proper use of fart jokes within a bookstore.