Chaos…Can’t Live With It & Evidently Can’t Live Without It.


There’s this scene in the movie, THX 1138 where these people are imprisoned in a place that is dead quiet, white and seemingly endless. One day, they decide to see where the dead quiet white space ends, if it ever does, and so they started walking.

Eventually they come to a door. They stare at the door, for a while, not sure what to make of it. Then finally they open it. The result is that they are suddenly  ucked into a vortex of chaos that was the writer’s vision of the world outside the dead quiet white space.

I don’t remember what happens during the rest of the movie. It’s not really important because that was the image that stayed with me. And I think about it from time to time. Like a song that get’s stuck in your head.

I Think A Lot About Chaos

Especially when I watch shows like Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown. He always seems to walking around in the midst of complete chaos in the countries, especially the Asian countries, he visits.

I wonder a lot about how people manage to live in a world like that and not go mad. I don’t really have an answer. Maybe it’s because madness and chaos are brothers or sisters.

I think about chaos when I watch the BBC World News. They’re always showing you some war or insurrection somewhere. You see thousands of people out in the street protesting this and that. You see lots of soldiers firing guns without actually aiming at anything in particular and you see the masses of people who have been displaced by all this chaos and you wonder…how the hell does it all keep from imploding?

Internet Chaos

The Internet is filled, in its own way, with chaos. If you have Google Chrome and you are trying to get anywhere, you have to run a gauntlet of ads and other messages. Then when you get where you’re going…say it’s to read some blog on a big blog site…you have to deal with the chaos of pop ups and videos every couple of paragraphs. Then there are all the ads over on the right. Blinking at you like hookers in the seedy part of town.

It just seems like it’s all trying too hard to cram as much chaos as possible onto every page.

Sometimes its so distracting that you forget why you went there in the first place. And because, by the 80/20 Rules Of Just About Everything, 80% of it is all pretty much forgettable crap anyway. So that in itself is a quiet form of chaos that builds in your head as you keep searching for something worthwhile.

Media Chaos

Social media sites bombard you with chaos. Twitter is the worst. It’s just an endless stream of stuff that means nothing to you. At least on Facebook, the chaos is generated by people you mostly know, so it doesn’t hurt your head as much.

While I was making the hot chocolate that I’m drinking as I write this, I had on a sports talk radio station. More chaos. This station I listen to has two announcers in the afternoon. They are both idiots and seem to be competing with each other to see who can talk the fastest and loudest.

What happens is that, after a while, you don’t hear anything.  Next thing you know you’re swearing at the radio and shutting it off. The chaos is winning.

Email Chaos

Every day, I have about 150 to 200 e-mails that I have to go through.

The vast majority of them are about nothing. Somebody wants me to represent their company in North America selling a widget I have never heard of. Somebody else is offering me the opportunity to make thousands for working just a few minutes a day. There’s always some banker from Africa who has 8.5 million dollars in an account that belongs to my dead uncle Cyrus. And some chick who read my profile and wants a long term relationship with me.

More chaos. It’s quieter but the effect is still the same.


Hollywood movies are probably the purest form of chaos imaginable. All these superheroes and super villains destroying cities and planets in a chaotic display of CGI showmanship and Dolby Surround Sound.

I could go on. But I’m afraid this post would only end up resolving itself into a chaotic mess.

Because that’s the deal with chaos. It’s like feeding your whole world into a high powered tree shredder. All that comes out the other end is some sort of mulch. Little bits and piece of stuff that you remember. Most of it is completely useless.

Chaos & The Intellect

Last week, Phil Friedman and I were writing about the how the Internet was making us dumb. But it’s not just that. It’s the chaos that we deal with from the time we wake up until the time we hit the pillow. All powered by sugar and carbs and caffeine.

It’s the chaos that haunts our dreams as the little bits and piece of stuff we remember from the chaos of the day manifest in weird stories that only confuse us even in repose.

One could logically argue that chaos is the root cause of most of that ails us and that many of us could do with a stint in a dead quiet seemingly endless white space where our brains could stop churning and our lives could slow down to the pace of our own heartbeat.

Not that that will actually happen anytime soon. But it’s a nice thought.

JIM JAN 2016I have  been a writer pretty much all my life.  For most of my adult life, including now, people actually pay me to do it. They pay me to art direct a lot of the stuff I write too. I am also a mentor, blog post editor and a pretty decent photographer.

I write to help people and companies large and small with their marketing and I blog primarily to help people get better at communicating. In today’s world, that’s almost a public service.

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Text Copyright © 2016 by Jim Murray. All Rights Reserved.


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