Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Who Wants To Live Forever?

I've been in a morbid mood recently. Don't know why, too much Roman-ing, probably. Pretending to be people who are dead, and all that. Ah, isn't history fantastic?

Anyway, I'm about to commit one of those heinous crimes that normal people aren't supposed to do, and that means I'm some sort of psycho-socio-path who'll end up killing everyone for kicks. Yay!

When people ask you - in what can only exist as some sort of hypothetical question, whether you want to live forever, you're supposed to say no. Oh no, I want to do a load of stuff until I'm old, and then die when I'm bored. Yes, very good, now let's talk about something that matters. It's as if society pre-conditions everyone to think that immortality is a bad thing, that its too powerful, that too you'll see too many bad things happen. Like, I don't know, cot death or something. Or the Royal Family.

But let's actually think about what's actually been said. "I don't want to live forever." Therefore, at some point, in the far future, most likely, "I want to die." Er, what?

I don't understand a lot of things (such as why people find onion not only bearable, but pleasant to eat, I mean, what the fuck happened there?), but this is a biggie. This isn't suicidal, there's no hint of "I want to die within the next few minutes (quick, kill me now before Big Brother comes on!)," but there is a very strong hint of "I can foresee a time when I will, not just accept my own mortality (which just causes problems when you don't) but welcome it."

Here's another big question that's sort of important to the whole thing, and therefore, of course, I cannot hope to answer. One of these days, "42" will work, but until then, I'll just apply some PSP (look at the title you idiot, I'm not advertising a games console as some sort of philosophical guru) fucked-up-logic, and see where we end up. Here we go:

What is death?

You can take this anywhere you want, but it's fairly clear to me that death is the ultimate destruction of me. This isn't losing a leg in a car crash, or an orifice in some horrific sex accident; there's nothing there that a well adjusted individual can't adjust to. This is loosing my very being. I don't, really, need a leg, or various other orifices, so long as I exist. So long as I can think, can consider, can imagine (all the people...). That's what death will take away.

This is all totally hypothetical, of course, it's a post about immortality, for fuck's sake. I'm not considering that I could survive without a body, and just float around in space for, literally, eternity. But I could. Nothing else, just me. Nothing to see, and nothing to see it with, nothing to hear, and nothing to hear it with, nothing to feel, and nothing to - you know where I'm going with this. Maybe I'm being really short-minded and, as so often before, stupid, here, but I reckon I could be quite content in that situation. I mean, obviously, given the choice between my current state, or some sort of non-existent-yet-existent ghost, it's a no-brainer. I like playing guitar too much.

The alternative is, of course, none of that. Absolute nothingness, where I can't even think. Hey, welcome to death!

It seems to me that this very noble tradition of refusing immortality is based on the premise that we are in a way, immortal. Just we have to "die" at some point to go to some sort of heaven/hell/underworld/reincarnated form/super orgy to "live" out the rest of infinite time. If that were the case, excellent, I look forward to it. But I can't accept that. I simply can't do it. The notion of there being some sort of science-defying realm is simply too ridiculous. The language is quite telling, as well: dead people aren't going to sleep after a long day, or having a rest after some hard work; people generally wake up from those stages.

Yes, it's all opinion, and I don't want to go off and say that everyone's wrong (which of course they are), but it seems to me that once you get over the fact that this is all there is, it's illogical to want to give it up. Why choose non-existence over existence? Doesn't make any sense whatsoever. So here we go (and yes, it does feel like a total cop-out using Queen lyrics here, but it sort of fits in better than anything else, and they're not as shit as, say, the bane of Floyd, Scissor Sisters (ugh, I feel dirty...)):

Who wants to live forever? I do.

Yeah, there'll be bad times, and shit times, and times that'll make me want to kill someone (I'm looking at you, Cameron), but they'll just make the good times feel even better. And when I'm all that's left? I'll be the most important being in the universe, and let's be honest, that's pretty epic. Even if it only means that I could survive the Total Perspective Vortex.

Don't worry, I'm not going to go off and turn into some nutter trying everything to stay alive. I can accept my mortality, if not welcome it.

Secret Bonus Ending!

I'll often have music playing whilst typing these, some Floyd, maybe, Yes, Jethro Tull - the usual suspects. I branched out a bit today; using Youtube's wealth of weird random shit, it was orchestral versions of the usual suspects. And by sheer, genuine, coincidence, as I was about to finish this, an orchestral version of the prophet Jagger's words blasted into my ears, that sort of summed the post up perfectly:

Angie, ain't it good to be alive?

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