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Life Is More Meaningful When The Consequences Are Hefty And Severe

A friend of a friend suddenly died last December. He was about 40 years old. Who knew what killed him. He just slept and didn’t wake up. Forever. Finito. That was that. But I wonder: when people expire like that, what took their life?

I’ve been reading the writers Charles Bukowski and Kurt Vonnegut. Also been listening to a lot of Alan Watts. Because of them, you can probably guess the stage of life I am at. I’m at the Don’t Give a Shit stage. I do have the feeling that I may later regret this approach to life, but it’s where I am. In the meantime, reading about life on the edge of society will teach you a thing or two about life.

Thing one: if you live dangerously, you will experience danger. Even if you have a good reason to veer towards a vicarious existence, the universe will not temper its reaction because of that good reason.  For instance, if because a woman sleeps with your best friend and breaks your heart, you choose to in return have coitus with all the women in your path, be prepared, consequently, to experience herpes.

If you pick hard drinking, night after night, as the way to cope with the daily punishment of your job (the job you have to endure so as to feed your family), still be prepared for liver illness.

Thing two: nevertheless, live. Inasmuch as ideas have consequences, pick your consequences and live. As much as you can, find the stories in which you’d like to star, and take the lead.

The most interesting people in the world aren’t the safe characters whose lives aren’t dramatic enough to make a gripping movie. They are weird people who don’t make common sense decisions.

In movies and TV, I’d point to Deadpool, Harry Bosch, Billy McBride, Ray Donovan, Alan Shore, Earn (Earnest) Marks. Mostly self-aware characters with loads of talent but not one bit of care for proper conventions. Ironic humans. Kind, but not very good with following the rules.

We cannot all be Alan Shore, though. It will be too expensive if we all were. The world still needs boxy, reverent, sensible people. People whose lives is a euphemism. Besides, as I said, not everyone can pay the price — the price to be misjudged often — that odd people have to pay.

One of my favourite players in real life is about 20 years older than me. He’s never been married. He parties every day of the week, including Sunday. Makes money as a hard working scientist and spends most of that money as a patron of the Arts. Lives by himself most of the time.

Sometimes I fear for him. When he gets old, will he be alone. If he sleeps and doesn’t wake up, will there be anyone in the house to know that he’s slept for longer than usual. Who knows.

Should he change? No. Of course not. If he does, he becomes another assembly-line ageing worker, droning about bills and reluctantly looking forward to his expiry date.

Consequences are what make a life. For the interesting life, the consequences are just as remarkable.

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SAM

I poke at ideas to see what's inside. A lot of times I generate my own. Sometimes, people pay for those ideas. And, obviously, I like to tell stories about creativity.

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