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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Long Range Planning and Dead Ends

Long Range Planning and Dead Ends

I like to think that I take the long view of life, I see the big picture. I try not to let the splendor of the moment interfere with my obsession with eternal nothingness and death—whichever of those comes first. I think that enjoying the present gets in the way of my far-sighted goal of building a pyramid to honor my legacy when I am gone. I'm making it out of plastic water bottles so it won't erode like those low-rent pyramids made of stone.

I was worrisome even as a first grader. I remember my first trip to the school nurse after I cut my knee sliding after a ball on the asphalt playground. Most kids may have been concerned that the injury I received may have needed stitches. I asked the nurse to answer a simple question for me and not sugar-coat it: Even with this rather unsightly gash on my knee, would I still be able to have an open casket at my funeral, whenever that might be? If my injury would require that I be cremated, I don't know how I would be able to break this disappointing news to my parents. They just wanted the best for me and now another dream of theirs was shattered.

I just read a science article about how the universe is going to end. How am I supposed to act out this charade of a life even when we know that so little time is left? Scientists say we only have something like 15-20 billions years. I'm a realist so this probably means 15 billion years, tops. The Pollyanna's predicting 20 billion years just seem like hippie dreamers to me. I may as well max out a couple more credit cards; I won't be around to worry about paying them off thanks to this whole reverse big bang thing. I'll get a couple of pay movie channels while I'm at it. Fuck it, what's the difference?.

I was supposed to get a haircut today but why bother? I'll bet that even those plucky band members on the Titanic didn't bother getting a haircut after the shit hit the fan. Between sets the musicians probably took advantage of the Titanic's little-known post-iceberg-collision, open bar policy (as sad and depressing as it is to consider the fate of those valiant performers, I take comfort in the fact that since this was in 1912, at least they didn't have to play Hotel California). If there was any sort of decency in the world we'd have an open bar here on earth while we're sitting around waiting for the universe to come crashing in on us like a galactic tsunami. Instead, I'll cash in my retirement and just settle for happy hour somewhere. I hope there's a game on while I'm waiting.

I hate it that you have to buy 10-15 minute blocks of time at most parking meters. 10-15 minutes? Don't they know about the collapsing universe? Why can't you buy parking in increments of 10-15 seconds? What kind of person can plan ahead 15 minutes in these times of uncertainty and rapid change? I would feel like such a fucking idiot if I put 15 minutes worth of change in the meter and then an asteroid crashed into me at Starbucks. If I come back to my car and there is time left I will sit and listen to the radio until the meter expires. If I paid for it I'm going to use it.

For lack of a better metaphor let's just say that when the meter runs out for us in the universe you can be sure that tickets will be issued, there will be a fines to pay—at least if you believe in religion. I suppose that being an atheist is the moral equivalent of not paying for parking and gambling that there isn't a meter maid on duty.

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