Today I think I will listen to a little Mozart and do a little zazen. These seem sensible activities for someone who feels pervasively cranky -- tired of posturing, sick of doctors and their pills, irked by the infirmities of the body, less willing to think and act on the behalf of others.
In the movie "Brazil," a wonderful and depressing view of the future from the Monte Python crowd, there is a scene in which a rebel -- someone who acts outside the lock-step norm -- is being chased through a mall. A wind comes up and with it, hundreds of feet of computer paper. The paper, like a spiderweb, ensnares and enfolds the rebel until there is nothing left to see but a pile of computer paper.
When a friend, with whom the rebel was trying to escape the forces of conformity and mediocrity, turns back to help the rebel, he frantically searches through the paper, ripping it aside in an effort to save this life. Deeper and deeper he digs into the paper until, in the end, he reaches the floor of the mall: The rebel has disappeared altogether, as if the whole world had turned into some South American dictatorship in which people are simply "disappeared," and the vice-like grip of mediocrity has won ... again.
Zen students will have sage advice for this straitjacket world and how to unravel its wiles, but now and then there are peels of self-centered disgust and dismay. Sick of doctors who cannot distinguish between "being alive" and "life;" sick of pills; sick of kindnesses once expected and exercised; sick of spiritual and political efforts swathed in pomp and little substance; let someone else cook and plan and take care and think for a change ....
Someone like Mozart is probably sensible.