Death all around us.

June 29, 2009

Poor Farrah.  Christ, of all the days to go, you know?

“Coming up later, we’ll talk to Michael Jackson’s former publicist and find out what she thinks of this tragedy which could have been forestalled if his physician hadn’t been such a money hungry, yes-man geek.  Oh, yeah, and some chick named Farrah died?  We’ll take a look at her sobbing fat-head of an ex-husband and watch rare outtakes from her stupid reality show.”

What is it about death that suddenly makes us want to congregate around the wrong star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?

Well, let’s face it.  Wacko Jacko transcended racial barriers.  He was a black man that white people could relate to, and then later in life, he was a white man that black people could relate to.


Q.  What’s the difference between Neil Armstrong and Michael Jackson?

A.  One did the moon walk, the other one fucks little kids.

And we lost the OxiClean guy, too.

But here’s the big pisser of them all:  Losing the Queen of the Blues.

Dead as a doornail.

June 1, 2008

I want to share with you faithful readers a quote that I read this morning (I regretfully don’t know the author at the time of this writing):

“Religion is our human response to the dual reality of being alive and having to die.”

It is, of course, an inevitability that each one of us humans will die. True to form, religion has always sought to fill in the void that is left behind by the passing of someone close to us, with its hollow benedictions and quick, ready-to-use answers for everything revolving around what most regard as the mystery that is death.

Personally, I don’t find much mystery about it – I agree with Mark Twain, who believed that when he died, he would go back to being the way he was for millions of years before he was born, which, as he put it, didn’t cause him the least bit of inconvenience.

But I can certainly understand why people are so uncomfortable with death. Believe me – I’m not exactly gleeful about the idea of my life, as I know it, coming to an end. I have lost people who are very close to me, and I still miss them very much, and wish that they were still here among the living. And although I have heard many convincing tales of visitations from beyond the grave, I tend to think that it’s a very convoluted and misguided form of wishful thinking that accounts for these types of “testimonials”. I don’t rule it out entirely as a metaphysical possibility – but to my mind (flawed as it might be) it seems highly unlikely.

Religion focuses so much on death and the afterlife, about how glorious and wonderful it will be when we are all in heaven with our god. So, if that’s the case, then shouldn’t all these religious zombies be happy when they hear that one of their own is ill and close to death? Why bother comforting that person, or even praying for their recovery? After all, shouldn’t they be jumping for joy, and even sending along well-wishes to be delivered to other long-departed souls? Isn’t that what the struggle is all about in the religious world view – the long-awaited reward of the afterlife?

The author of the quote that inspired this post must realize this fundamental truth – that religion is merely a product of the human mind, created to fill in the blanks where we are wont to shrug our shoulders and give up any further amount of scientific inquiry and logic into those matters that we don’t fully comprehend or understand.

Religious people think that atheists have no regard for human life; they think, how could we, since we don’t believe in the Almighty? I think it’s rather the opposite – since, as an atheist, I believe there is no after-life – no plush rooms filled with olives and virgins and angels strumming harps all day long – then the atheist world view is much more reverent towards life and realizes how truly rare and precious and fragile it is. In other words, we’ve got one shot, people – make the best of it.