It’s always been important, but when social media started to knock and intrude into lives which morphed into fake news and insta everything, this led us to where we are today. Today often feels like we’re everywhere and nowhere, and, in our own ways, trying to find the point to anything.
All this everything made me think of a trippy little animated special aired in 1971, based on a story written by the multi talented Harry Nilsson. It was narrated by Dustin Hoffman, and through songs by one of my all-time favourite songwriters, introduced us to Oblio, his dog Arrow...and to The Point.
Oblio was the only boy in the Land Of Point with a round head. To cover this “pointlessness”, he had to wear a pointed hat.
As with quite a few things around that time, the idea for the story happened after Nilsson, a friend of the Beatles, especially John Lennon, the Monkees, and Frank Zappa, had dropped some acid. They were wild times.
Nilsson mentioned how on this particular trip, he looked up at some trees and saw that all the branches had points. Even house tops. This made him realise that without a point, everything was, well, pointless. Anyway...
When Oblio incurs the wrath of the town’s evil count, he and Arrow are banished into the Pointless Forest.
There, just as when Alice fell down the rabbit’s hole and met the Mad Hatter and all the other odd Lewis Carroll characters, Oblio comes across three fat dancing sisters, a pointless man pointing in all directions, which didn’t make any sense at all, and a stoned Rock man made outta stones.
The next day, Oblio met a walking, talking wise tree who explained that everything has a point. He returns to The Land Of Point to mention this and angers the count again who knocks off Oblio’s hat only to see that instead of a round head, he now had a pointed head.
Guess the point to all this is that many of us are trying to find the point to so many things today, especially the point in bothering to do anything. Where’s any of this leading?
This feeling of pointlessness is why so many seem to be doing so little these days even though supposedly working from home.
Well, what’s the point of this if nothing comes out of this supposed work? Guess one could ask the point in doing anything at all? But if this happens, what’s the point in even being here? And where exactly is here? And is here actually really here or over there?
Maybe the point is that there’s no point at all other than doing something meaningful with your life and how everything happens for a reason. In Hong Kong, I look at the work of the artist who goes by the name of SurrealHK and understand the point he’s trying to make.
Same with Gary Larsen and his far out Far Side cartoons.
It’s what makes my Facebook friend Matt Barros take photographs of sculptures he creates out of rocks to challenge us to look at things differently.
It’s what made every episode of Seinfeld make sense though they were all about nothing.
Maybe having a point is pointless? Maybe what really matters is knowing what’s pointless and keeping away from any of this and those who talk, but don’t have a point and make no sense?
Think about it. Or don’t.