On Death

I think about death a lot. And not the good kind like “Metal” or “of the Endless”, either. No, I think a lot about my own demise. Not necessarily about how it’s going to happen (because I already know it’ll be in my sleep, while I’m on top of a pile of money I didn’t have to work for… or spontaneous human combustion), but more what is going to happen at that moment. And it isn’t that I worry about not knowing what will happen or what it’s going to feel like… it’s more that I have a pretty good idea of what will happen when I die, and it kind of scares the shit out of me.

This is what I think happens when people die: You know that very brief moment between when you fall asleep at night and when you wake up the next morning? That split second that sleep seems to take when you have no dreams? That’s death. Only you never wake up, so that split second lasts forever.

And that thought absolutely fucking terrifies me.

I think it’s the fact that the nothingness will never end that scares me. If I knew that something came afterwards… after the moment where life ends and death begins… maybe I wouldn’t pee a little bit every time the notion of eternal sleep pops into my head. And as much as I’d like to believe that there is a heaven or some other place where you go where you can be reunited with all of the loved ones that already passed away (including pets, like my first and second hamsters, both of whom were named Muffin), I just can’t bring myself to think it’s going to happen. It’s such a nice thought, but I am far too cynical to believe that the universe functions in such a way, so as to bring about a perfect outcome when all is said and done. Life is far too messy for everything to work out in the end. Why should death be any different?

Do you know what would be great? Reincarnation. It would take an absolutely terrifying thing like death and turn it into a more nerve-racking experience… like the first day at a new school. But instead of wondering what your classmates will be like or whether your teachers will be any good or whether the pretty girl sitting in the front row will ever acknowledge your existence, you’d wonder about what you are going to come back as. Another human being born in a different part of the world? Or maybe a blood-sucking leech? Either way, it would be interesting to see the world from the prospective of a different creature. And you wouldn’t… you know… completely cease to exist.

Or what about being a ghost? Maybe after I die I can come back as a spectre. I wouldn’t haunt anyone or be cause for alarm. I just want to hang out on Earth and look at stuff. The world is full of things to see, and new things are being made all the time, so it’s not like there’s a risk that I’d get bored and start messing with the living (by, like, hiding their shoes and whatnot). It’d be cool to be able to communicate with other ghosts, but hey, if I just have to bomb around the planet, being invisible and not able to talk to anyone else, that’s okay. I can live with that. Or rather, I can be dead with that. Transitioning from being alive to being ghost doesn’t seem scary to me.

I know that some people will think, look, dummy… you don’t need to worry about death because once it happens you’re not going to care. It’s hard to care about something when you’re brain no longer functions. My response is twofold: First, shut up. And second, while it may be true that I won’t care about death once it happens, I know now that it’s going to happen, and I can’t just not know something I already know… you know? Other people may say that I should just not think about death. It can’t scare me if I put it out of my mind. Well, to that I say, please refer to my first response to the last suggestion.

Here’s another idea. How about instead of dying, we all just live forever? Poppycock, you say? It’s impossible, you say? Well, you know what? If God can create us, then He sure as hell can give us eternal life. Or, if He can’t (because He’s too busy with other important matters, like creating new super viruses that will one day wipe us all out) I’m sure science will find a way to let us live forever. I’ve heard people say that they wouldn’t want to be immortal, because eventually you would be tired of living. I call bullshit. Think of all the shit you could get done if you lived forever. Of course, you would accomplish dick-all if your body turned to mush, but I figure if science can make you live forever, then it can find a way to stop your body from completely falling apart. The moral of this is if you or someone you know is a wizard or deity or some other type of omnipotent being that can grant me everlasting life, please send them my way. Living forever sounds amazing to me.

So, to sum up: Death is nothingness. When it happens, you don’t exist anymore, even though your physical body is still there. This is a concept that scares the shit out of me, and I can’t figure out a way to stop thinking about it. I understand that death ultimately comes for us all, and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. I just wish it didn’t have to last forever.

Sorry this was such a bummer of a post. I wish I had something else to say so that I can end on a high note. Wait… I think I have…

Nope. I’ve got nothing.

DOWNER-BAMPF!

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So you wanna be a blog superstar?

BAMPF! 

Every year, I leave the expansive landscapes of my palatial Ottawa estate and make my way to the Ernest Hemingway Center in beautiful Moscow (Idaho, not Russia) to attend the SBC (that’s the Successful Bloggers Conference for those of you not in the know) and every year I am bombarded by wannabe bloggers who always say the same thing:

Chris, you’re so handsome (thank you) and you have the world’s most popular blog.  How can I be like you? 

So, you wanna be a blog superstar?  You wanna live large?  A big house?  5 cars?  Well guess what, kids?  I’m going to let you in on my secrets.  I am blog and so can you!

There are a few simple things you must do in order to have something close to the level of success that I have with my blog.

1. Write what you know.

You will be tempted to write about things that you think are popular (reality television, motor vehicles, string cheese), but you will come off as a total dope if you don’t know anything about your topic.  You would be better off writing about something you have a deep knowledge of, like your cats, pictures of your cats, or the measures you’re taking to make sure your cats don’t eat you when you die.

Write what you know, and you can’t fail.  Unless what you know is stupid.  Like Superman.  Don’t write about Superman.

Writing what you know is important, but it only works if you follow my next piece of advice as well. 

2. Have a theme.

Maybe you’re lucky and you know something about more than one thing.  Writing about everything you know will only work if the things go well together (like chocolate and peanut butter).  Your blog will be a train wreck if your topics are unrelated (like the Kardashians and talent). 

I’m fortunate enough to know a thing or two about a thing or two (or let’s be honest, everything), so I can blog about a bunch of stuff.  However, I limit my posts to topics that all fall under the same theme.  So far, I have written about Batman, Kevin Smith, alien abductions, female comedy duos and ninjas.  Clearly the theme of my blog is Eastern European politics. 

3.  Post to your blog on a regular schedule.

Posting to your blog on a regular basis will encourage your fans (your mother and your cousin) to keep reading.  If you post one day and then disappear from the interwebs for an extended period of time, people will forget about you (especially your mother). As they say in academia:  Publish or perish!  And like I say:  Don’t eat my burrito! 

4.  Don’t be afraid to borrow an idea and make it your own.

Coming up with a completely original idea is hard.  Sometimes you may need to take an idea from somewhere else and build on it.  Now, I personally don’t need to do this, because I am a beacon of creativity.  I am full of original thoughts and ideas.  (On a completely unrelated note, aren’t Cypress Hill and Stephen Colbert awesome?)  But don’t worry, it’s okay to take an idea that’s already out there and put your own spin on it.  Unless it’s my idea.  Don’t steal my shit.  Seriously.  I have a crack team of computer nerds and lawyers ready to find you and sue you at the drop of a hat (and defend me against any frivolous lawsuits that may come my way.  What do you mean I can’t park my helicopter on Parliament Hill?) 

5.  If all else fails, quote the Simpsons.

Everyone loves the Simpsons.  If you have nothing interesting to say, just say any one of the following:

“Slow down tubby.  You’re not on the moon yet.” 

“The Nye Mets are my favourite squadron.”

“I was saying Boo-urns.” 

That’s all there is to it!  Follow my 5 simple guidelines and you’ll be on your way to blogging success.  Who knows?  Maybe you’ll get so popular they’ll ask you to be the keynote speaker at the next SBC.  Don’t count on it though.  I’ve been the keynote speaker for the last 7 years and I have no intention of giving it up any time soon.  You can do it after I die.  Just kidding.  I’m immortal.  Just kidding.  Or am I?

BAMPF OUT!