Friday, 24 October 2014

24/10/14 - Life, or whatever

Life. It’s a theme that often features in JuicyPips, variously espousing the importance of your actions, or dismissing the futility of them. Depends what sort of mood I’m in, really. But it’s probably time to pull these two diametrically-opposed theses into some sort of order. Give you two clear arguments so that you can just pick one. Yeah? So let’s start with the cheery, positive perspective…


Life, it goes without saying, is something to be cherished. When you think about your existence in mathematical terms, the likelihood of you being here at all are phenomenally small. Your parents were feeling amorous on that particular night nine months prior to your birth (or were sticking to a clinical calendar of dates and cycles, whatever), and of all those sticky little swimmers, you were the one that got through and made it to the egg. And as if those numbers weren’t mind-boggling enough, their parents did the same, and their parents, and their parents… when you follow the thread all the way back through the timeline of humanity (or, if you wish to stretch it yet further, through the evolution of all multi-cellular life forms, or even right back to the Big Bang), the chances of there being one of you, right here, right now, are really very small indeed. Well done. You made it.

So, what are you doing to celebrate this tremendous good fortune? Sitting there on the sofa in your pants, eating a massive bag of Doritos and watching an episode of Not Going Out that you’ve seen three times before? C’mon, that’s not what your grandfather shot a Nazi in the face for. That’s not why that diplodocus sneezed. That’s not why that single-celled protozoa started thinking about morphing with others to form clusters. Get out there and look at the world! It’s huge, and every part of it is the product of just as many mind-boggling coincidences as you are.

Your legacy, you see, will resonate through the ages. You only get to do this once. Think about the entire lifespan of planet Earth, compared to your own really quite short life. You will never, ever get to do this again. Make the most of it! Have fun! Look at stuff! Achieve things that your great-grandchildren will be proud to tell their friends about!

You have your health (and if you don’t, hell, you’re still alive), you have access to clean water, nutritious food, medication, support networks, and you’re able to read this, which means that a) you’re sufficiently educated to be able to read, b) you have access to the technology with which to do so, and c) you have the time to waste on entertaining yourself. OK, the world’s full of war and crime and natural disasters and shit, but it could be worse.


So, part two – the other side of the coin:

Yes, it is staggeringly impressive in statistical terms that you – specifically, you – came to exist. But don’t be too impressed with yourself, it’s not like you’re the only human who managed it. You are, to paraphrase Fight Club, not a beautiful or unique snowflake. There are several billion other people who got there too, most of whom couldn’t give a shit about your enthusiasm over the probability of it all.

You are a meaningless spec in space-time. The human race will eventually die out, that’s a certainty, and the planet will boil away into oblivion. Take a step back and look at the Earth from space, slowly rotating regardless of your actions, the universe just getting on with things - you play no part in this, you’re a grain of sand in an infinite hourglass. Humanity as a species is a disease upon a rock that would be in much better shape without us.

When you think about the age of the universe, years become largely irrelevant. What’s a million years in relation to the solar system? Chicken feed. But a million years to the human race? Where will we be in a million years’ time? Nowhere, that’s where. Extinct. Cosmically speaking, we’ll be of very little consequence – as important as the ice they found on Mars, or the glimmering tail of a comet; little more than an oh-that’s-interesting diversion. Nothing you do today means a single damn thing. So what if you forgot to eat breakfast or record EastEnders, or your roof’s leaking, or you’ve got a headache? Nobody cares. In the grand scheme of humanity, none of this has any value.

The best thing you can do is just try not to be too much of a dick. Don’t kill anyone, yeah? You might as well enjoy yourself while you’re here, it’s not as if it matters, but you won’t have any fun if you’re in prison – that’s a group of people who really have a handle on the futility of existence and the disregard of consequences. Exploit your freedom whilst maintaining a keen sense of how easily it can be removed.
Fuck your pension. Fuck saving up to buy a house. Fuck eating healthily and drinking in moderation. Fuck being nervous or shy or caring what people think. IT DOESN’T MATTER.

(n.b. It’s probably best to take both of these arguments with a pinch of salt, I may not be the most stable source of lifestyle advice…)

No comments:

Post a Comment