No one knows the meaning of life for sure, but human beings have the ability to sense when they’re experiencing true, life-altering beauty. We know when there is the now and there is everything that came before the now. It only happens when you witness something truly unfathomable, like the moon landing, or your first kiss, or Kerri Strug nailing that final vault with torn ligaments in her ankle at the ’96 Olympics to win gold.
In that vein, I direct your attention to a YouTube comments section that isn’t full of trolls and venom. I direct you to a comments section that isn’t the dithering, toxic hemorrhaging of humanity that justifies Thanos snapping. In many millions of YouTube comments sections, ignorance pairs with audacity to bring out the very worst in mankind. But in one thread, one glorious, paradigm-breaking thread, all of that is out the window.
Commenters are intelligent and funny. Nuanced and inventive. Dare I say, clever? It’s a sight to behold.
But truly, it’s the subject matter of the video itself that sets the tone; an athletic performance so riveting, so impressive, that it redefines an entire sport and ushers in the birth of a modern demigod, a man named Marc Ornstein, who–if he even is a man–will give you a reason to live. I don’t know what the meaning of life is, but I assure you that Marc Ornstein does. So watch, maybe weep, and witness the epicenter of greatness firsthand.
Here’s the video, and below it are a smattering of the comments I cherry-picked from it, but the section goes on and on and will give you hope that a better world awaits. I give you Mid-West Freestyle Canoe 2007 and its favorite son, Marc Ornstein.