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Monday 28 March 2005

Mortality Shit [Am]

I find that every time you contemplate your own death in the absence of rocket launchers, splooge guns, wise cracking fuckos from a never-ending but never-specified part of New York, grapple-hooks, some pointlessly revised exactness of some SWAT equipment or an honest to goodness double barreled shotgun to the face, well, it makes me think that we don't pay a lot of attention to the possibility of imminent death whatsoever.
Get plasma-bumped towards The Edge overhanging a lava filled mortality drop? You contemplate plenty. Piss about in quote unquote real life on the A2 into work driving 2 tons of chariot at 95mph to work? No you don't - you just don't really worry.
Well I don't.
But of course we shall and we will all die. And avoiding it or at least not acknowledging the presence of the influence is just daft. Simultaneously being scared of it also seems like a proper right fucking waste of time.
So here's the question; you're all alive *certain patterns of IRC participation not withstanding* - how do you feel about your inevitable death and how does it influence what you do today?
Cheery? Yes. Pretty fuckin important? Yes.....


  1. Apart from the obvious thoughts re: the wife & kiddies: I suppose I'm not going to miss things, being dead'n all, but, thinking about it makes me miss stuff I know will happen after me clogs have popped. Bit like a party you don't want to leave really. Try & live my life so when things do start to go dark, I don't think "oh, shit, I can't go back & fix X"
    Hope the taxis late...
    (IRC is quiet at present though)

  2. Life is really too short to worry about it ending IMHO. My cousin just died this very morning, unexpectedly. She was 34.
    If it's going to happen, it's going to happen and it is.
    For me, don't try and leave a shitload of mess (financial/organisational) for folk left behind as I ascend to meet my Ghod.
    Enjoy yourself as much as you're able and spread happiness as you go by.
    I've got a wee tenent that I've always tried to live by, "To thine own self be true".
    I may say something shitty about someone, but I'd be able to look them in the eye (and have done) then repeat it.
    95mph, you've a new rule Am. Don't criticise Jay's driving!

  3. Don't think about it. But now I have (thank you oh seeder of Nice Thoughts) -
    I want it to be when I'm 83. I want to be found wearing nothing but some slippers in a pool of cocaine infused maple syrup in a Vegas Casino's public toilet - my left hand clutching a picture of King George III, my right a particularly poorly made Cher wig.
    S'good to have goals :)

  4. one of the guys in work lost a brother to cancer the other day, 22 and dead thru no fault of his own. Now that makes you sit and think about topics such as this.

  5. Actually 95 be damned.... this morning I managed to introduce myself to a member of my county's Police traffic cops at 110mph.....doh....
    Now a ban is discretionary over 90 (which basically means it's all down to how much port and lemon did the magistrates have last night and whether you picked the right school tie) but it's compulsory over 100 with a three to four figure fine. Getting reinsured is a nightmare costing you further hundreds and the train journey is a nightmare while you serve your several month ban. The cop made these points fairly and we also had a significant chat about stopping distances and the perspective of ending life as strawberry jam.
    I've talked to a fair few coppers in my time working for solicitors and I decided there was only one approach. He called me out and asked me did I know how fast I was going - no said I - 110mph he said - no I said. He asked me what I had to say about that and I said the following;
    "No excuses officer - you won't get any excuses from me. I did it and that's my responsibility so no excuses". I then said variations of that for the next ten minutes.
    Ten minutes later he let me go without a ticket or even a producer.
    Moral: Don't ever try and bullshit a policeman. Face up to it and if you're very very lucky, you might get given a break. Respect to this one and funnily enough with this blog and his ten minute commentary I actually will be driving that bit slower to work from now on.

  6. A friend of my sister decided to end his life this weekend with the help of a shotgun. It felt like the whole town had been affected, people getting very pissed and emotions briming over. Fights, tears and a huge number of questions.
    As for me, the only thing that annoys me about death is the fact I wont be able to see what happens to the human race. I don't believe that the thought of my death influences my life at this moment in time. It may in the future, but until then, I'll have another pint of guinness and can you cook my breakfast in a pound of lard please.

  7. Precluding the randomness of life as touched on by a couple of rather depressingly common examples, the self-brought risk factor is probably highest in the EED bunch for me, because of my high-speed motorcycle interests. I've thought about what it would mean if I met my maker on the public or private roads before, and it comes down to basically not giving a shit, the thing that does give me the heebie-jeebies is the thought of sustaining an crippling injury, i.e. loss of a limb/faculty. To this end I invest very heavily in the most high-tech saftey equipment possible for my sport, at significant cost, but even then it's no guarantee of complete effectiveness.
    Because of biking, and more specifically the choices I make to ride fast (don't believe the bullshit about it being other people you have to watch out for, it's all self-brought in my experience and observation), I have a moment once every average of once every half-year that for a split-second, my mind floods my body with adrenaline and then mentally replace my underpants, as the moment where life ends and death begins has just come within a distance all too close for comfort. In this biking world, these are called 'moments'. It's something we live with, and you learn from it.
    If I were to go over the line, and die, well, for the last few years, I've welcomed the approach of not missing out on anything I want to do, where it's possible for me to do so. It's a cliche, but one that rings bells for me; it's better to regret something you have done than something you haven't. I don't want to be remembered as someone who took risks but missed out on so much that life has to offer. I want to be remembered as someone who made mistakes, but had as much fun and good experiences as he could. So far, that's working for me.
    I'm unable to reconcile the thought of my loved-ones (basically one) having to deal with the grief of my loss, but you can put that down to a fault in my personality, I'm inherantly selfish, and I admit it.
    Am... you're bang on the money, you can only be brutally honest, repentful and respectful when touched by the long arm of the law. It's happened a couple of times to me, and I've always played that card, and it's worked for me, I'm not going to play games with the system, I know I break the rules, and at some level, am prepared to accept the consequences of doing so. You're a lucky s.o.b though for getting off, they normally love fucking over city-slickers out in the stix.

  8. He asked the question "Are you a local man sir?" if that's a clue.
    Only other thing I'd say Jay, as this cop made clear to me today (and I believed him actually) was that he didn't really object to people killing themselves speeding as much as he thought it was stupid. What he really objected to after years of scraping people off the pavement, was the people they killed doing it.
    You can't really say much to that.

  9. Have to agree with am there Jay, you're train of thought is a bit ill thought through & well, immature.

  10. He's right to think so, it makes my heart sink when you hear the disaster stories on the bbc news about random road accidents involving people who just shouldn't have been on the roads in the first place.
    Don't ask me to place myself in that logic, I'd like to think I'm causing minimal risk to others, but nothing in life is risk-free. Everyone has to draw the line somewhere and start making compromises on their ideals, otherwise there's no point living your own life.

  11. Life is fragile, taking unnecessary risks is foolish. Of course there is an element of risk associated with any activity, from the moment one steps out of bed in the morning.
    Any risk taking activity should be evaluated based on its statistical liklihood of placing you in a bodybag. Perceived risk is frequently so far off the mark from reality it isn't funny, and not only causes untimely death but on the other end of the scale, unnecessary angst.
    For example, fear of flying is irrational, we all know that. On the otherhand, eating eggs and bacon for breakfast each morning, smoking heavily and limiting exercise to pushing buttons on the TV remote carries such a high death toll, people should panic about it and scream, "LET MEEEE OFFF!!!!", whilst running for the Muesli, exercise bike and personal trainer :)

  12. I have a greater fear of living past 70 than dying at 50. No point living if im aint enjoying it.
    And there just aint no significant deaths in traffic caused by fast driving on motorways with seperated lanes. The real problem is in towns and small country roads. You know the kind where Jay plays. A true meaningless death is that poor fucker that will hit a tree trying to save Jays ass as he cuts a corner.

  13. Living on "Road Race Capital of teh World", I'm faced with stuipid road deaths quite frequently, and very often it is the biker who comes off worse. Thats almost fine, he made the choice, but when you hear about the father of three in the van going the other way who had the bike through his body, you got to wonder if those kicks Jays talking about were really worth it.
    As to the general issue of mortality, I didn't give it a seconds consideration until I had children. Now I hate the thought of leaving them fatherless. I also seem to be faced with them nearly killing themselves almost daily, which is rapidly giving me grey hairs. I'm not sure what it is about parenthood that gives you some kind of weird second sight into a million grizzly ends for your offspring, probably some kind of defence mechanism?
    I do know I really, really don't want to die. I know I'm lucky and I have a full and happy life, and things are easy, and if things get tough I can understand why folks want to jack it in. I dont though, gimme more!

  14. Like Bill's paperclip says "don't run with scissors". With kids it's DONT MOVE.
    No matter what they hold or run toward it can end grisly. A forklift truck from bob the builder "you'll lose an eye, put it DOWN" etc..
    I've noticed I'm getting a fair few grey hairs n all the now. Then again, I'm 35 and not twentysomething like old slim.
    Jay, what exactly are your "ideals" apart from a hedonistic desire to do just what makes you happy?
    Alfa 70 isn't the end of things if you keep your health. My dad is 73 and has several holidays lined up this year and had a good few last year too. He's had several strokes, lost sight in one eye, both knees replaced and had a real bad time with colitis.
    Life can only grind you down if you let it.

  15. Hey, some thoughts from another perspective.
    Life is a bit raw out here. Sure, it can be a lot like Little America, but then whap bang you get a reminder that someone tore up the rulebook and that Jordanian tango is a nasty man who doesn't like you.
    Sitting outside last night in the dark, I watched the sky light up with sporadic flashes from something military going on a few miles away. Sometimes a Blackhawk will drop flares, looking like those slow-burn fireworks on Bonfire Night. Then there's the sound of outgoing artillery. Or was it a controlled det? Or worse? Mad stuff really.
    But those are all front line soldier issues that don't apply to this merc. The guys I share a room with called in on the radio a few hours ago to say that a bomb went off beside them on the road. But it was a small one and nothing is damaged, so they just kept going. They're a bit jumpy after someone popping off an AK at them last week.
    I've not been outside the wire in ages, so there's the biggest risk (worry?) off the radar. It's just risk management in a weird environment. Must try not to roll the car into a canal. Must try not pick a fight with a man with a loaded gun. Must stay sane. Must be safe with my own weapon. You don't exactly worry about this shit at home for chrissakes!
    All sounds a bit selfish with you lot worrying about the kids, or the wife being hit by a bus.
    The best thing I ever learned about mortality is that life is just a ride. What a damn good way to put it.

  16. Seems to me that what Jay is saying here is "i like living life dangerously, and if i happen to kill someone through my mad speeding travel style, then well frankly - it's tough tits because if nobody lives their life dangerously, it's not worth living..."
    Which is perhaps the most selfish thing I've ever heard.
    If you want to speed, do it on a race track or somewhere where hitting something at 110mph is going to do nothing but kill or maim a single person; the speeding motorcyclist that made the decision to pit his/her life against his/her ability to control the machine.
    DO NOT speed in public places or where speed limits are in force. It really is quite utterly simple!

  17. Yes, yes he is. Oh *it* really is quite utterly simple..... sorry....