Finality and uncertainty make for strange bedfellows. The former provides the comfort of understanding and to understand is to finally be in control. The latter is an intoxication, our most primal addiction. The unknown is the only emotion that shows the full range of our humanity, ping-ponging between hopeful and anxious and angry- but never peace. Eventually, we long for the power that comes with knowing. It is our one taste of immortality.
Great television shows are judged on their ability to manipulate this process. Build complex webs of mystery and then quickly transition into perfectly tying up loose ends. We have a tumultuous relationship with The Sopranos because they reneged on this contract with their consumer. Six years’ worth of intricate subplots climaxed into a black screen of infinite chaos. I would suspect that the most prominent beef non-believers have with God is how He approaches the concept of endings. In a world rife with uncertainty, there lies a different level of egregiousness involved in a child perishing at a time unaligned to an ending we tell ourselves is fair and sensible.
Therefore, we believe it is our responsibility to ensure uncertainty continues to be followed by an ending that produces tangible closure. As such, we pass down from generation to generation a monotonous version of how and why the end comes. Things end because what once was has now decayed. Yet, both The Beatles and The Bulls were amid unprecedented periods of fame, fortune, and success when they parted ways. Rather than accepting the premise that sometimes the end does not carry with it the satisfaction of clarity, we dig into more profound and outrageous depths to understand. We look to the imperfect nature of human beings as a secondary crutch for why an end must have come. Perhaps the breakup directly resulted from the insufferable- Michael Jordan and Paul McCartney as the overbearing warlords. If not, it must have been because of the uncouth and strange; Dennis Rodman and Yoko Ono’s of the world. What deeply fascinates us about both The Beatles and The Bulls documentaries is not our admiration for their work but for the unique opportunity they pose to appease our appetites. We must know why things ended to make sense of the brilliance they produced while still together.
Despite this previous introspection, I must still contend with my own theory of why. Perhaps The Beatles and Bulls walked away not because of the fear of it all falling apart but the realization that success was still around the corner. There remained for both a distasteful certainty in the inevitable brilliance of their future outcomes. Each craved the possibility of stepping back into the most sinister of gravitation pulls. The opportunity to fail. The unspoken thrill of anxiety, chaos, and uncertainty that results from one end giving birth to a new beginning. We will forever remain without an answer on why The Beatles or Bulls broke up other than the possibility that each individual party involved needed to feel fully human again. Finality holds the door open for more uncertainty. It never actually closes it. When we truly accept this is when we are at our best. The end.