Archive for October 22nd, 2007

October 22, 2007

Death be not proud.

Back from the radio station where Tony and I chatted with UNC- A Pointe-a-Pierre candidate Wade Mark over the phone. It was interesting but unremarkable as Wade has been on the political scene for a long time and he has said pretty much all he has to say over the years. My TV guest today was Nadra Gyan , former head of the Wildlife Division and now running as the PNM candidate for  St. Augustine ( no irony there…nope..can’t see any). She is as enthusiastic as a fry cook at a Crisco convention. Nice to see someone so worked up about politics but who knows how long that will last after a few mat throwdowns.

While driving back from the station and negotiating the various new and wondrous diversions occasioned by the government’s last minute attempt to install an interchange that should have been built almost two decades ago, I pondered death and the problem it poses for so many of us. The exercise helped me keep my mind off the infernal beeping the Mondeo has been engaging in of late and was rich fodder for my brain. The reason we keep going on in life…the meaning if you will…is easy for me. As I may have mentioned previously, the answer is extremely simple – we want to see what comes next and, like humans for millennia, we fervently believe what comes around the corner is ineffably better than what came before. Death, however, is a different matter because it is inevitable and so completely final. As a non-religious person I do not believe I will have a consciousness after my demise and yet, to be frank, I am really not afraid of death per se. What I am afraid of is dying in boring, embarrassing or banal circumstances as most of us do.

There are those fortunate enough to die while dangling off a rock-face on Everest, addressing the General Assembly of the United Nations, rescuing a carload of orphans from a raging flood or whilst in an intimate situation with a member of the Swedish Royal Family. Most of us die in the bathroom dealing with bodily concerns, while sleeping, in a hospital bed or just keeling over while typing something at work. I know i will probably face one of these fates sooner rather than later given my favourite daredevil sport – smoking. What I would prefer would be to slump dead on the steering wheel of a Maserati and crash into a pylon wiping out power to the entire Eastern seaboard of North America. Is that so wrong?

Leaving a legacy is also important and when I was younger and, to a lesser extent, even today I thought writing a great piece of literature would be my way to immortality. Most people seem happy thinking their progeny are their easy road to immortality but that is such a facile solution it barely deserves comment. Suffice to say if a physical act and your family name is the best you can do then you are on the same wavelength as billions of people worldwide. I know I have a considerable body of broadcast work to my name but that is by nature a volatile legacy. My writing, similarly, is of a time limited nature. It is unlikely that anyone digging up a travel book or an article with my writing in it in 1000 years will find the hotel recommendations especially useful. My only consolation is that some of my work in the past ( not my current cable TV work ) is speeding into the universe at the speed of light and will eventually meet some civilization that can watch or listen to me a few decades after they absorb the intricacies of “I Love Lucy”. No doubt they will be shaking their heads.

As I go, in lieu of a useful closing line I leave you with a list of my ersatz dinner tonight since I didn’t have time to have any..

  1. 8 chocolate chip cookies.

  2. 5 Crix mini spinach and cheese crackers.

  3. 2/3 pack of roasted almonds.

  4. 2 Diet Cokes.

  5. 1 cup of Maxwell House™ coffee.

  6. 1 stalk of steamed asparagus I found in the fridge when I got home.

  7. 1 1/4 inch sliver of avocado sprinkled with salt cut from the bit I have in the fridge.

  8. 1 grape Gatorade™.

  9. 1/2 a leftover lager I had in the fridge from yesterday.

I laugh in the face of nutrition.