“We’re all gonna die.”
That’s what Billy the Indian Dude tells Carl Weathers in the Oscar snubbed Predator. It’s the only line in the movie I remember. When some mundane calamity befalls the office, I wait for that brief pause, and say, “We’re all gonna die.” It’s always good for a chuckle.
A nervous chuckle. Chief Billy isn’t exactly Voltaire, but the big man speaks truth. We’re all gonna die, and the Angry Czeck is pissed off that nobody’s doing anything about it.
Why isn’t the Bush Administration pouring every resource into this? Shouldn’t Alan Greenspan be assigned to the project? We’re worried about social security? The deficit? Terrorism? Shit, we’re all gonna die! All the people on Earth right now? Say “adios.” In 100 years, they’re all gone. Replaced by other people who are all gonna die.
We’re all gonna die, and nobody is even talking about it. The Angry Czeck has an angry life insurance policy, but deep down, I don’t think it’ll ever be redeemed. I’m betting that in some volcano lair, a government-funded scientist is brewing the necessary formula to stick a stopper in death. For rich people. I plan to be rich. That’s what keeps me from writing a Will.
We’re all gonna die, and I just ought to get used to it. But fuck that. Why should I just bend over and accept it, like everyone else? Death is the great equalizer, but I’m smarter than everyone else. Shouldn’t I be able to find a way to beat this thing?
Even a crappy magazine like Maxim addresses death better than our most venerated thinkers. Maxim recently published a list of 100 Worst Ideas of all Time. I thought Number One would be Hacky Sack or the Frisbee. But Maxim said the worst idea is the world for all time is death. Damn right! Death is a stupid idea.
On my way between Memphis and Knoxville, I was assaulted with a multi-fonts message on a highway billboard: Where will YOU spend eternity? How come the only people thinking about death are the nuts? The guys that drove passenger planes into skyscrapers were promised a hundred virgins. I’m not sure how long it takes to go through 100 virgins. I’m no Wilt Chamberlain, but it wouldn’t take the Angry Czeck an eternity before and I had 100 women wondering why I never call anymore. Even the guys taking death seriously aren’t accurately projecting the logistics
Religious people try to look at peace when confronted with death. They cast their eyes in the sky and start talking like Mister Spock. They speak of eternal peace and joy. Listen, fool, you don’t know! What happens when we go to Heaven? We play cards with Moses? Play harps? You don’t know! And they know they don’t know, too. You can see panic in the eyes. Nobody has ever come back from Heaven and said, “Man they got a pool up there!”
We’re all gonna die, and deep down, we’re all wondering how. Croaking of cancer or a heart attack are always the leading candidates. Yawn! I read a story about an old guy who was diagnosed with inoperable cancer. Instead of waiting around for his first injection of morphine, he decided to hell with it. First, he convinced some guy to take him for a ride in a bi-plane. Then, once they reached a significant height, the old guy just leaped out of the plane! The best part was, the old guy crashes through some high-tension wires and splattered into a backyard before a family grilling burgers. What a way to go! Those kids will always remember the old dude diving out of the plane. Here are some more cool ways to go:
1. Stepping in front of a freshly fired cannonball
2. Lightsaber to the eye
3. Leaping a flaming motorcycle into the Grand Canyon
4. Getting hurled into outer space
5. Partying too hard with Kid Rock
6. Too much sex
7. Shot down (dowwwwwwn) in a blaze of glory
8. Saving the planet from a meteor
9. Jumping into the sun
I once read about a man who cut his own head off with a chainsaw. The local police had to spend money conducting a test to determine whether or not cutting your own head off with a chainsaw was possible. The test confirmed it so.
One of my favorite movie death scenes is found in The War Wagon. Suspending all logic, John Wayne and Kirk Douglas convince the chief of an Indian tribe to drink an entire bottle of nitroglycerine – to explosive effect! Now you’re going to tell the Angry Czeck that Terms of Endearment had a better death scene? Fool! The War Wagon!
We’re all gonna die, and there is no good way to go. The worst part is, we as a civilization are getting lousier and lousier at it. Used to be when you died, somebody carved you a big stone statue that would last hundreds of years. Now we accept a quick cremation and a tiny metal marker than will fade before your wife starts dating again. Fuck that, I say. When the Angry Czeck goes, I want a big granite statue of a man with a shield riding a lion. Shit, I don’t even care if the guy looks like me.
Several years ago, when the Angry Czeck was too young to worry about trimming all the hair in his ear, I worked at a Religious Lumber Yard. Everybody but me and another guy were related to the owner, who doubled as a preacher for a non-denominational church. Between lugging sacks of cement, one of the guys gave me a pretty neat explanation for death. God uses Earth as a kind of recruitment center for His divine army, was how the theory went. From this earthly coil, the Lord accepts the most devout into his regiment for a Holy War to be fought at some apocalyptic future. God can do anything, but He still needs an army. I never learned exactly what this army was supposed to fight.
Science has no real understanding of death either. On the atomic level, we are all made of the same atoms that create mediocre entities like tuna fish and Bryan Adams. Yet, once we back away to the more familiar macro-level, we are all unique and capable of performing amazing feats. Back to the micro-level, once we pass away, our atoms simply disband and disperse into the cosmos, where some atoms may become elements of oxygen, and others become ingredients to new people. But the atoms never stop vibrating. They are still atoms, the most basic of the basic building blocks of reality. Yet, all things pass away from reality, whether you are a plant or Michael Jackson. It’s weird.
Shakespeare and Marlowe do a nice job of contemplating death (Hamlet and Faust being two of literature’s most penetrating explorations into the void). Today’s entertainment seems more bent on the quantity of the body count rather than really exploring the meaning of death. Wouldn’t it be nice if Vin Diesel sneered, “From this mortal coil, I forthwith remove you!” before machine-gunning a truckload of thugs? No?
Nobody wants to die, yet life is cheaper than ever. I recently caught a showing of Revenge of the Sith. Thanks to a the two-liter portion of Diet Coke I drank during the film’s two hour run time, my bladder nearly exploded like a Death Star. Jitter-bugging in line at the bathroom, I found myself behind a father and son. The boy looked to be about four years old. The father, a Knoxville version of Hamlet, was vocally contemplating the film’s tragic conclusion. “Yep. Obi-Wan should have finished the job while he had the chance,” he mused, referring to Obi-Wan’s decision to leave Anakin to die. What a nice lesson for a four-year-old. Killing is the solution, son. Don’t think twice about it.
Much like life, this post has to end somewhere, and as the Creator of this Blog, the Angry Czeck submits that it end with this paragraph. It’s okay. It’s going to a better place. One where sentence structure is always perfect and there is never need for a spell check. A happy place where verbs get along with adjectives and nobody dangles a modifier. May it rest in peace.