Saturday, January 1, 2011

What Is It?

GeoTagged, [N29.89810, E81.30031]

What the hell is this bright ball of Fire in the sky? Oh shit, we're all gonna die!


Oh. Sun? Right. That's supposed to be there.

It's the first day of the new year. If the nutcases are to be believed, it's the last full year we're ever going to experience. Here's a hint: it's not. The Mayans or the Aztecs or whatever hadn't even worked out that dead virgins aren't the currency of the Universe. They sure as hell didn't know jack-shit about it's end (or our end in it).

But what if they were right? I don't want this to turn into one of those what if you only had a year to live things; but what if you only had a year to live? What if humanity only had a year to live?

This is the more important question, to me, because it begins to encroach into the realm of morality and accountability. Since I gave up my illusions about afterlife and the notion of judgement on a grand, divine cosmic scale, I've spent a lot of time thinking about morality, about meaning and purpose.

If I only had a year. If we only had a year (and you can extrapolate this out to 70 or a hundred, later), what would I want to do? What would I consider important? If there is nothing after that year, how should I conduct myself?

A great many of the Christians I talk at (I don't think they hear me), would have me believe that the only thing to do in this scenario is whatever the fuck I want. Pillage, rape, murder (they don't actually say "pillage," but how awesome would it be if they did?).

But the truth is this: my life has no meaning or purpose beyond what I give it. My morality comes into play only in what meaning and purpose I choose to ascribe to life (Curly's "one thing" from the movie City Slickers).

The only thing I can come up with, the only purpose I can fathom, is to make the lives of those around me as pleasant and enjoyable and HOLY-FUCKSHIT-AWESOME as I possibly can. There is no way to live on after this life, except in the memories of our fellow humans, and in the stories we tell and that are told about us.

I feel that I have been somewhat remiss in these duties, of late.

My friends and family might tell a story of me to their children after I'm gone. Perhaps stories of my own will outlive my all too short life. What will they say about me? What impact will I make on the next generation? The one after that? If any, it can only be a small one. There's already been a Santa Claus, I don't think my life story could reach such epic exaggeration and lasting influence.

So I (we) really can't rely on doing right by others in order to live on through them. Not overtly, at any rate. The only reason to be, then, that I can see, is to experience as much of life as possible. To do everything that there is to do and to share it with as many people as I can.

I don't murder or rape or even pillage. Not because there's some all-seeing sky daddy out there who's going to spank me, but because I recognize in those around me, in you, that same predicament. What right have I to take your stuff, your life? No more right than you have to mine.

It may be only our mutual agreement that this is a bad thing that keeps us from each other's throats, but so long as we can agree to it, we can share in the only thing there is to live for.

One another. The shared accumulation of fourteen billion lifetimes all crammed into the last year of humanity.

I guess it's a good thing we've got more than just a year left.

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