Rage, Rage, at the Dying of the Light, and Please Let Me Go Suddenly…

baby cradle

I wonder- sleeping? dead? doll?

There is something just not right, something incomplete and unfair, in an untimely death.

A good friend of ours, who claimed at one point to be an atheist, died Saturday night.  It was not a pretty death (if there is such a thing) nor was it a quick or painless death.  The poor man had dealt with cancer for the past four years- a bout of colon cancer that almost killed him back in 2010, and the stage 4 lung cancer he was diagnosed with back in April that finally spread throughout his body and slowly, painfully and agonizingly did him in.  To greatly summarize the gory story, this guy spent the past month jacked up on every narcotic known to man, and was almost always straight out of his mind due to the cancer spreading to his brain.  Nothing could quiet the unimaginable pain associated with cancer spreading like wildfire, not even the Tramadol and morphine and whatever other heavy duty drugs that the hospice people have at their disposal.   Cancer is a pretty shitty way to die by all accounts.  I don’t say that to trivialize his pain or the pain that his widow is still going through and reliving all those horrors, but words just can’t paint an accurate enough picture.  I pray to God that I don’t die that way, and that I would be spared the awful reality of being a primary caretaker of a loved one dying that way, because I don’t have that kind of courage or strength.

Since everyone has to die, I could only ask to go the way my maternal grandmother did- suddenly, via a massive stroke that took her from walking, talking and being completely normal to being pretty much dead as a doornail in an instant.  It really sucked for the rest of the family, but it actually gives me some peace knowing that she didn’t linger around and suffer for months or years, slowly and painfully deteriorating until she was unrecognizable.

Stephen King said it in his book Pet Sematary: Sometimes dead is better.

pet sematary

I am not in any hurry to take the Dirt Nap- nor am I in any hurry for anyone else I care about to bite the big one either- but I still have a really hard time with suffering, and watching people sort of fade and melt away before my eyes.

Maybe that’s what that whole “mid-life crisis” thing is- understanding that personal mortality is about more than just the Dirt Nap- it’s the little bites of decay and loss and downhill slide of entropy that we endure every day.  Things like the realization that my eyes don’t adjust to close vision when I have my glasses on, or that the people I went to high school with look like my Dad’s friends- and that a good number of my Dad’s friends are dead.

The places are either gone or drastically changed, and that’s not even been from the distant past.  I usually don’t have too many reasons to go downtown- save for the paper nightie appointment once a year- because I go to a different primary care Dr. and his office isn’t downtown.  Yesterday I decided to take my granddaughter to the art museum (which I must recommend, as they have lots of fun stuff for kids) and I was amazed on the way down High St. to take her back home at observing the OSU campus.  At least temporarily, campus has been de-skankified and yuppiefied almost beyond recognition.   I think they’re trying to overcome their reputation of being the Midwest’s #1 school to get robbed and raped.  Good luck with that.  Especially on the night of the Michigan game.  Leave your car- and yourself- at home.  Watch the game, if you must, on TV.

Of course, campus gets a makeover about once every 20 years.  It will take about a year or so for the current renovations to get trashed, and when you think it can’t get any nastier, some builders come in with bulldozers, raze most of it, and start again.

Maybe that’s what’s going on with me.  I could use a renovation.


Home improvement is nowhere to be found in my box of talents.  Believe that.

I would like to expand my education- not necessarily in a formal way, because, sadly, most so-called institutions of learning are all about the almighty dollar and/or all about filling young people’s heads with socialist/globalist garbage.  Even poor Steve-o had to take two courses that I believed were total politically correct garbage- one course in “cultural sensitivity” and another on “our global economy.”  The first course mostly informed him that as a white male he is/was responsible for all of the evils in the world today, from inequality in the workplace to global warming (both concepts are crocks of crap, IMO.)  The second was supposed to be on economics but it ended up being a formalized diatribe on how industrialized nations are victimizing tribal peoples in third world holes, and how we should bury our cars and wipe with reusable cloths.  That would have been sort of funny, except that his major was automotive science. 

I think I will embark upon a self-directed expansion of knowledge, even though I know that my biases will play into that.  It’s no worse than a tech school requiring my son to take courses in BS to graduate.

A Change In Trajectory, and Don’t Mess With the Almighty Matrix

free throw

Try as I might, my free throw attempts usually ended up somewhere in the next county.

I can aim a pistol reasonably well (within 15 yards,) a shotgun moderately well, but a basketball, not at all.

When the weather in beautiful central Ohio bites (so I can’t take a road trip) and (when he’s not screaming at the dogs for their loud breathing) Tipsy Mc NumbNuts  is sleeping off his hangover, I have time to read.  I finally had time to read 11/22/63.  I almost didn’t buy it because I thought I’d heard all the JFK conspiracy theories, and I’m not much of a fiction reader to begin with.  I did buy it because it was written by Stephen King, and, as is the case with most of his books, (liberal political bent aside) it was worth reading.

If anything it was sort of a sad story, and in a perverse way it shared the same moral of the story as Pet SemataryFor those who have yet to experience that particular tome, it ends on an interesting (if not deliciously macabre) note and reflects a pervasive theme in a number of King’s books.


Dead is better.  At least if you’re supposed to be dead, that is.

Not “dead is better” in the serial killer sense or in the jilted lover sense, (or even in the John Hinckley Jr. sense) but in the sense that screwing around with the natural circle of life can have unintended repercussions.  As much as I miss my grandparents, for instance, I wouldn’t wish any of them to be alive today.  All of them were ill and had lived out long lives before they died natural deaths.  Wishing people to live beyond the time of natural death seems a bit sadistic, especially considering that if my grandfather had lived (he died in 2006) he would be 99 this year.  He had heart failure and kidney failure, neuropathy from diabetes (couldn’t feel his feet) and was almost completely deaf when he died.

Being healthy and active at 99 would be another matter, as we humans will cling tenaciously to life when we can, but today it seems as our longer lifespans bring more illness, infirmity and misery than anything else.  The technology can keep one alive, but most of the time it doesn’t do much for your quality of life.  Sometimes the disease- and the end it brings- is better than prolonging the inevitable.

Science can keep people alive that should have long since been dead (and yes, I belong in that category at least three times over) and in the case of the young that might be a good thing, but it’s a mixed bag.  Science can keep your vital signs going on, but at what cost?

What ends up being missing?  When do we break the boundary of the matrix and then really start screwing things up?  How far can we screw up before the process necessarily leads to an end or a reset?

space time pee wee

I wonder what this thing does?

A big part of me believes it’s the hubris of humanity that believes that every little popcorn fart can change the world.  I mean, you have the global warming crowd going off about cow farts.  I can imagine a cow can put off quite a bit of methane, but in the grand scheme of things?   A cow is big, and it farts a lot, but really?  How much authority and how much leeway do we have to screw things up when we really try?  And how long have cattle been domesticated and processed into tasty meat?


If cows fart like that, then why aren’t they powering our cars?

The Butterfly Effect is an intriguing concept in physics in which it is implied that every slight change of trajectory- even the gentle flap of a butterfly’s wings- can change the course of the weather or otherwise alter events to come in the future.  There’s no mistaking me for a physicist, but I can see how it can work.   How can anyone know ahead of time what the consequence of just a slight change in trajectory might be?  It seems sort of rogue.

Perhaps a better question is (and I am assuming that the universe has an order, that it was created, and necessarily has a Creator) what exactly is within our power to change?

What do we risk when we try?