Just quick ones at the moment. I am engrossed in a book (ignore the 'out of stock' and order it anyway, it'll turn up just the same).
So, floppy-hatted author Terry Pratchett has watched someone die and that's now the ultimate in reality TV. What's next? Convicted murderers on TV given the option of life in prison or a bullet to the head? Yes, my sick sense of humour did in fact picture the Countdown clock going while they decide. Admit it, so did yours.
Do-do, do-do, do-do-do-do, bang.
Justice will be fun when I'm dictator.
Suicide is a difficult thing to discuss. I've never tried it myself, despite nearly thirty years of urging by several people, but I've known a few who did - and no, I didn't cause any of them. Most were to do with money. I can't comprehend the depression that people need to sink into in order to decide that they'd rather be dead. As far as I'm aware, this is the only chance I get at life and even if reincarnation is true, what if I were to come back as someone in a tin hut in a shanty somewhere, or as a Miliband? I mean, however bad life gets, it could always be worse.
To me, it's unthinkable. I will never kill myself. If I end up old and mad (well, older) and consigned to one of God's waiting rooms, the staff will kill me. I'll drive them to it. I will not voluntarily die, in fact I am determined to hang on as long as possible because I know that when I die, I'll be a 'smoking related death' even if I get flattened by a falling piano or fall into the whirling blades of an electricity non-generating device. I refuse to be a notch on the Dreadful Arnott's dead smoker scorecard. Sheer bloodymindedness has kept me going so far and will keep me going for a lot longer.
It is a personal thing and every suicide case is different. I know not everyone thinks like me, which, on reflection, is probably a good thing overall. I would not, for example, make a very good diplomat. Nor could I ever be a waiter, a teacher, or anything involving being patient with idiots. Some people get so depressed that life has no meaning. I can honestly say that even when penniless and on the streets, I have never experienced such feelings. If things don't go my way, I go the way of the things until I'm back in control of my life. Some people can't, I've met them, I don't understand why they can't but that's just people-differences, I suppose.
Some people have terminal illnesses, but in the end we are all terminal. I wouldn't like to know how long I have left but if I did, I'd write faster and drink more. One last chance to drop something offensive into the world and then I'd be dead and they can't get me. Then again, being dead, I won't be able to enjoy it. No, on reflection, there are no upsides to being dead. Even pain is an experience, and death is the absence of all experience.
It's sold as 'the end of pain' and it is. It's also the end of everything else. The absolute end of all physical experience, and not something to be embraced at any cost. Certainly not voluntarily.
Others think of it in different terms. Anna Raccoon considers the effect on the family. Oldrightie is disgusted that something so private should be televised. Mummylonglegs wonders why simply dropping the old fogey off a cliff or holding a plastic bag over their heads isn't just the same.
Me, I simply cannot understand what sort of mental state is necessary to even consider killing myself, or letting someone else kill me. I'll die one day, we all will, but I don't worry about it because there is nothing I can do to avoid that day.
What I won't do is book an appointment with it.
And when the day comes, I want to be the one in the floppy hat.