alvy-singer

8

I thought of that old joke, y’know, the, this… this guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, “Doc, uh, my brother’s crazy; he thinks he’s a chicken.” And, uh, the doctor says, “Well, why don’t you turn him in?” The guy says, “I would, but I need the eggs.” Well, I guess that’s pretty much now how I feel about relationships; y’know, they’re totally irrational, and crazy, and absurd, but, uh, I guess we keep goin’ through it because, uh, most of us… need the eggs.

3

"After that it got pretty late, and we both had to go, but it was great seeing Annie again. I… I realized what a terrific person she was, and… and how much fun it was just knowing her; and I… I, I thought of that old joke, y’know, the, this… this guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, "Doc, uh, my brother’s crazy; he thinks he’s a chicken." And, uh, the doctor says, "Well, why don’t you turn him in?" The guy says, "I would, but I need the eggs." Well, I guess that’s pretty much now how I feel about relationships; y’know, they’re totally irrational, and crazy, and absurd, and… but, uh, I guess we keep goin’ through it because, uh, most of us… need the eggs." - Annie Hall (dir. Woody Allen)

If the end of human life in the near term would make many things matter less to us now, then why aren’t we similarly affected by the knowledge that human life will end in the longer term? The nagging sense that perhaps we should be is also part of what makes Alvy’s refusal to do his homework funny.

Samuel Scheffler on Woody Allen, P.D. James, and Bernard Williams in philosophy.