I’ve been thinking about death a little bit lately. Not in a particularly morbid way or with any depth of emotion of course, I’ve just been thinking of its place in life, society and popular culture. And I gotta say, I’m for it. Euthanasia, abortion, death penalty, let’s do it. And things that lead to quickened death; smoking, obesity, extreme sports, religion, I am down. I'm basically down for any activity that thins out the population and makes it easier for me to get a table at Dench for breakfast on Saturday mornings.
Despite writing a terrifically insightful essay* in year 12 about how Euthanasia should not be legalized do to the impracticality of implementing a policy that would not be inherently racist and class-ist, for which my then English teacher, John Duke, called me a “fucking little cunt” with all the repressed anger a 40 year old man living in Stawell can muster, I am totally down with Euthanasia. My only caveat, people need to get a permit to commit euthanasia and the method of death has to be totally original. You could slip on the bathroom tiles, electrocute yourself watering the Christmas tree or create some domino, Honda TV ad contraption with a series of marbles, knives and syringes of morphine.
*insightful into the mind of a contrary 17 year old boy not the euthanasia issue.
I once slept with a Christian who considered herself pro-life and had a crucifixion tattoo on her inner thigh. Let me just clarify. It wasn’t just a Christian cross; it was Jesus dying on the cross. And it was near her vagina, on the inner-thigh, kind of where you would expect a “slippery when wet” tattoo would reside. Let me just say I definitely used protection. For multiple reasons.
Not only do I think less of these fetuses should be born, I’m in favour of retroactive abortions, Ex post facto abortions if you want to get all legal, where we abort people who are currently alive but that should have been aborted. For instance, anyone who has a vanity number plate, or listens to Kelly Clarkson or whose name is The Jonas Brothers could be retroactively aborted. Unfortunately their already lived existence cannot be.
The Death Penalty.
I once thought the death penalty was an inhumane way of dealing with societies ‘problems’ stemming from some archaic beliefs rooted in the middle-ages. That was until I started watching reality television.
The problem with the death penalty and why it fell out of favour, as I see it, comes down to 2 factors. Firstly, we just applied the death penalty to narrowly in regards to the amount of crimes it could be used for. Murder. That was it. How boring. Throw in some random ones. Make things interesting; really make people watch their P’s and Q’s. The penalty for being convicted for littering: Death!
Secondly, it all went a bit south for the death penalty when we stopped having public executions. Bring that shit back. Turn it into TV. Have a reality TV show around it, So you think you can Death Row. The victim can choose his own form of execution. Make it the half-time show at the football. Give them a chance to survive, if the can do the rubik’s cube in under 2 minutes you get to live. Judge Judy can give stay of executions. Let’s make it less about justice and more about entertainment. Heck, we can even kill the odd celebrity here and there (Darrell Summers anyone?). I tell you, people would skip church to watch that shit on TV.
A little while ago I was re-watching one of my all time favourite TV shows, The Sopranos. Such compelling characters, intricate relationships and a truly sustaining storyline. It wasn't until later in the week of my Sopranos marathon did I realise how significantly it had affected me and how dangerous television can really be.
I was browsing in my local secondhand bookstore, minding my own business, as all unblameworthy characters ever are. So guy comes up to me, leaving his kid behind to browse the picture books and he asks, "Hi, where would I find the text books?" As quick as you could say The Stugots, I said, "how the fuck should I know?"
Two days later, walking home from the milkbar down the road, a beggar asks me for some change. Now I normally don't give change to panhandlers but I will make an exception when they do it in my hood. I'm very community mind, of course. Into his open palm I put one dollar and thirty cents in change and he just stands there with his palm still open, looks at his palm, then looks up at me, then looks back down to his open palm, which now is $1.30 richer.
"What?" I ask.
"More?""More? You want me to take it back? Now get the fuck outta here!"