Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Death and reading.

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.


Chief_Sceptic said...

Some 5 \ 6 years ago, suicide actually seemed (briefly) a good way to end my personal anguish.

My Norwegian 'ex' had (without either warning or discernible cause) buggered-off, taking my money and cars and house contents with her (and she followed up by trying for half of the house that I paid for !).

All that I could have taken in my stride, but she also took our two small children, and denied me access to them (legal or not).

It was the latter issue that sent me into a downward spiral of despair and depression - BUT - I then realised that considering suicide was clearly the product of an "abnormal" mindset and gave myself a good slapping and moved on.

However, I sympathise with those suffering from (say) untreatable pain - but, suicide, no - I'd just hold a massive party and go out happy !!!

JuliaM said...

Oh, some people can see the point of suicide only too well...

Paul said...

What would you like them to say about you when you die?

I would like 'Look, he's moving'

Oldrightie said...

"What I won't do is book an appointment with it."
UBU, a great statement and one with which I concur. just imagine, you've booked it, taken the pill and someone bursts in screaming "They've found a cure!"
Thank you for the link, by the way.

Dioclese said...

In my piece today I tried to make the distinction between euthanasia and assisted suicide, but it seem to me that everything in the press today seems to be about missing this point.

One of our eminent peers says that legalising assisted suicide is legalising murder. No, it isn't. There is a big difference between deciding to kill yorself and then doing it and, on the other hand, someone taking the decision for you and then murdering you.

I wish the do gooders who are so vociferously against legalising assisted death would understand this very important difference and stop confusing the two...

English Pensioner said...

As you get older you tend to think about such things from time to time and I have reached the conclusion that there are possibly two circumstances when I might wish to be dead
Firstly, if I was paralysed and couldn't move, but my brain was operating normally.I think I would be screaming in mental agony without anyone hearing.
Secondly, if I was in such pain as I just couldn't stand it any more; this however seems unlikely as pain management by most hospitals and doctors seems to be very good, albeit at the cost of shortening the patient's life.
I can't envisage any other circumstances under which I would seek to die,although I can imagine loosing the will to live, but that is a totally different thing.

Dave H. said...

Is Dignitas run by a guy calling himself either Dr G. Shatterhand or E.S. Blofeld? He has form for setting up suicide facilities and unsavoury Swiss clinics.

Anonymous said...

I do not know, but I could envisage myself in a comatose state physically, but if I was still 'aware', I could see myself enjoying thinking. This would be especially true if I could read or watch TV (provided that I could decide what to watch!)

My wife has had MS for over 20 years. All is not lost, even though she cannot walk and has other problems. I look after her. Whenever I 'get down a bit', I ask myself, "Does looking after her hurt? Does it take a long time? Is it difficult?" In all cases, the answer is, "NO!"

She has her own interests - mostly watching her favourite programs on TV, but we go to Majorca 3 or 4 times a year. It does not hurt - what is the problem? We haven't visited a doctor for years - her condition is stable. The last thing that I want is interference from those who would wish to make my 'job' more difficult.

My thinking, as regards the dogooders is this: "Can you cure her condition? No? Then f*ck off!"

That thought is addressed only at those who come along and say, "You should be doing 'this or that'" Note that it is always ME who will be doing 'this or that'. They will f*ck off home afterwards.

The anti-smoker zealots are just the same as the 'dogooders'. They say their piece and then f*ck off home, leaving a trail of destruction behind them.

How do they get away with it? I will tell you. They are SOCIAL SERVICES! If you cross them, they can throw the book at you and accuse you of heinous cruelty. Dealing with these people is like walking on hot coals. BEWARE!

But the POWER that they have is based upon CORRUPTION in the sense that they do not have to account.

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