I play a great deal of pinball. There is throwback arcade near my house, and I have spent quite a bit of money on Pinball FX2 downloading new boards. It is through this time spent playing Pinball that I realized it is a near perfect meditation on existence. And if you will indulge me for a few moments of your existence, let me explain to you why.
Ultimately life is very simple. You are born you live and then you die. The family that you are born to is beyond your control, in fact being born is not even a choice. You are thrust into existence in an act of aggression This is much like the beginning of a game of pinball. The game starts when the pull back the lever is and the ball is sent onto the board. Much like a woman in labor may need to try repeatedly, there is no guarantee that the ball will reach the board on the first attempt. Once the ball is out there is no putting it back.
A pinball game lasts as long as it does. There is no set conclusion. You will never rescue the princess or reach a kill screen. You may be content with your game when it is over, or you may feel as though you didn’t accomplish all that you desired to. (That damn ramp in the back is always so tricky) You last as long as you can and it’s different each time for each person. You may score a lot, you may not score a lot due to your large comic collection. Perhaps you will even play well enough to earn an extra ball. This however only slows the inevitable. To find any success you must accept that you will never alter the board like life is set up before you get there and instead learn how to find success within the board. But in the end, no matter how good you are, the ball will move past the flipper and be gone. A pinball game like life is fleeting.
Though the real question in all of this is how life was explained prior to 1870?
For more of M.R. Gott and his musings click here.