For some reason (possibly some kind of “psychological masochism’ involving an inability to avoid analyzing stupid ideas), I found myself unable to refrain from giving Karl’s “theory” about the burned-out license plate bulbs more thought than it actually deserves.
predictably, this “theory” has a multitude of implications which Karl is either too stupid to comprehend, or has simply ignored:
The first such implication is: IF “The Cosmos” is actually attempting to “communicate” with him by causing an inordinate number of license-plate bulbs to be burnt out on automobiles in the same parking-lot where he is loitering – it necessarily means that the individuals who drove those vehicles to that location are UTTERLY LACKING in personal “agency”, in any sense of the term.
Well, let’s stipulate that this phenomenon is actually taking place. It follows that the particular automobiles with the burnt-out license plate lights *had to be* located in the specific parking-lot where Karl was going to be loitering (Wal-mart, the laundromat, Sheetz, etc.) Thus, the *driver* of that specific vehicle was, in effect, “predestined” to go to that particular location – at that particular time – *merely* so that Karl would be in a position to notice the burnt-out license plate bulbs.
Thus, if the individual in question actually believes that he or she “decided” to stop at Wal-mart to pick up some cat-food, that belief amounts to a DELUSION of their part. Whatever “purpose” they (mistakenly) believe motivates their presence at that specific location – at that specific time – is reduces to a mere rationalization, which is only made possible because of their IGNORANCE that their “true” purpose for shopping at that specific wal-mart, at that specific time was in order for one specific part of their vehicle (the license-plate bulbs) to serve as a “medium” by which Karl could receive some sort of “message”.
This *in turn* requires that they were “predestined” to run out of cat-food at that specific time – else, they wouldn’t have had any ‘reason” to go to Wal-mart at that specific time.
In other words, in order for the Cosmos to send “a message” to Karl, EVERY OTHER Wal-mart shopper must be reduced to the status of non-volitional pawn, who just happens to be *deluded enough* to (mistakenly) believe that they “chose” to shop at that particular wal-mart, because they were running low on cat-food.
Now, admittedly, this scenario actually works out in Karl’s favor, in that it not only strokes his narcissism (Ie: it’s ALL ABOUT HIM), but it *also* (implicitly) absolves him from culpability for being the sort of purposeless asshole who wastes his life loitering in a Wal-mart parking-lot, chain-smoking Kreteks, and listening to “Paranormal” radio-shows (instead of actually doing something to make his “computer museum” happen).
See, Karl “can’t help it”. He was “meant” to be loitering in that specific parking-lot, at that specific time.
Either way, Karl “wins”:
He gets to pretend that his empty, idiotic, failure-ridden existence is the real-world equivalent of “The Matrix” – and that he (as “The One”) – is receiving esoteric messages from “the Beyond”. (“Follow the white rabbit”, etc.)
At the same time, he gets the PERFECT EXCUSE to use against anyone who would DARE question why he happens to be loitering in the parking-lot, instead of actually sorting through the hoarded E-waste, or working on his (never to be completed) “prototype” designs for the transceiver control-head, or whatever the hell it was.