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Friday, June 21, 2024

I have a Wrestlemania theory about life.

When I was younger, I was a huge fan of the World Wrestling Federation.

I had a subscription to WWF magazine, dozens of action figures, the fake wrestling ring - the whole nine yards.

I watched wrestling on television every week and followed all of the big events, especially Wrestlemania.

Wrestlemania IV, the first I was personally aware of, was advertised as the "Best Wrestlemania Ever!"

Then the next year came, and with it Wrestlemania V, which was supposed to be the real best Wrestlemania ever.

That is, of course, until the next year, when I discovered that Wrestlemania VI actually was the best ever, at least up to that point.

Even though I was a dumb kid, I was able to figure out they couldn't all be the best. It was equally unlikely that the most present Wrestlemania already was and always would be the best.

It has taken me a lot longer to realize life is the same way.

I always find myself clinging to the belief that the present semester is the hardest, laziest or most stressful of my academic career.

Before I realize it, the end of the next semester comes. When it does, that semester usurps whichever superlative title applies at the time.

In the moment, it is always already the most difficult or most whatever.

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This moment is ultimately all we have to work with as individuals. The past has slipped away, tarnished in selective memory, and the future is merely a figment of our imagination. Both are placed in subjection to the present moment.

In reflection, we see life experience is a composition of an infinite number of moments sliding into one another, but we are adamant about taking this moment out of that movement.

We insist upon crowning this fleeting forever moment as an unflinching, unbiased point of origin.

We have little trouble finding people who firmly think the current president is the worst president ever or others who think the world has never been as dangerous as it is now. More than a handful espouse a worldview they assert is without flaw while every other person who ever has or ever will espouse a differing worldview is a moron for doing so.

Those who insist the present moment is the proper lens through which all things are properly viewed are guilty of the worst kind of bias.

Life is unwaveringly undecidable.

We are each prompted to decide at every moment. That is why we cannot restrain ourselves when it comes to critiquing our existence. Every moment gives birth to a brand new context, one that always already exists.

Keeping this in mind, we can freely consider this semester to be both best and worst, as well as all points in between. We are not condemned to suffer it, nor should we push ourselves to squeeze every drop of goodness from it before it disappears. As the saying goes, this too shall pass.

All that being said, there is no doubt whatsoever about a single thing: Wrestlemania VI was the best Wrestlemania ever. To this day, I still can't believe that the Ultimate Warrior beat Hulk Hogan for the WWF Championship.

Michael Belle is a political science graduate student. His column appears on Wednesdays.

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