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The Other Side of Everything

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Written on June 9, 2005, and categorized as Secret and Invisible.
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I’m sure, dear sophisticated reader and internet genius, that you have come across the Death Clock by now. Haven’t you. Of course you have.

Well, here’s the date of my death. You have until Sunday, January 27, 2058 (or thereabouts) to buy me presents and praise me to the rafters. Actually if you click the link a few times, years add and remove themselves in a most variable way, which is strange. But then, that’s life, I suppose.

I decided to put it on “optimistic” mode as it is not yet afternoon and my suggestible mind is a groggy wet flannel at this hour and I don’t want to despair just yet.

I used to fret a lot about death. I was convinced that I would die young. I identified with Yossarian in Catch 22 who ran endless scenarios about death and dying through his mind, depressed and scared as he was, stuck in a war far from home. I loved Yossarian, he understood. I read Catch 22 14 times between the ages of 11 and 15. All the way through.

The Inevitability of Death
Yossarian’s one goal—to stay alive or die trying—is based on the assumption that he must ultimately fail. He believes that Snowden’s gory death revealed a secret: that man is, ultimately, garbage. The specter of death haunts Yossarian constantly, in forms ranging from the dead man in his tent to his memories of Snowden. Furthermore, Yossarian is always visualizing his own death and is absolutely flabbergasted by the total number of ways in which it is possible for a human being to die. But Yossarian’s awareness of the inevitability of death is not entirely negative: it gives him a sense of how precious life is, after all, and he vows to live for as long as possible. He also lives more fully than he would without his constant consciousness of life’s frailty. He falls in love constantly and passionately, and he laments every second that he cannot spend enjoying the good things in the world.

“History did not demand Yossarian’s premature demise, justice could be satisfied without it, progress did not hinge upon it, victory did not depend on it. That men would die was a matter of necessity; which men would die, though, was a matter of circumstance, and Yossarian was willing to be the victim of anything but circumstance. But that was war.” Chapter 8, pg. 75

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This thing has 2 Comments

  1. Makrothumeo
    Posted 9 June, 2005 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Don’t worry, there is now a report from a big tech company in the UK that you will be able to download your brain into a computer by 2050 (if you have enough $$) and “live forever”…Personally, I would pass on this one, because I already have a better plan, but that’s just me.

  2. transience
    Posted 9 June, 2005 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    and still i think of the total number of ways in which it is possible for a human being to live. maybe we are all sentenced (doomed?) to life at some point.

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