Just wanted to dot a few I's and cross a few T's on l'affaire Pearl. She seems for all the world like she is on the road to recovery. It's not certain how long that road is, or what "recovery" looks like in her case, but it appears she only burned through a couple of lives; she got five or six left, methinks, and here's hoping they're far between in the losing.
So unless anything changes with the old broad, this will be my last Pearl update, unless anything changes for better (hey! she's regained sight in her right eye - AND she knows what 'make me a sandwich' means!) or worse. You've all of you been very kind with your good wishes and thoughts, and - well, the phrase "you have no idea how much that means to me" is overused and cliché, but I've been thinking a for a while now and I don't have words to say it any differently: you truly have no idea how much that means to me. Thank you all.
So here's the thing: Cranky, in a comment on my previous post, used the term "crossing the rainbow bridge," which is an argyle-sweater euphemism for when a pet dies. Now Cranklin, you know how fond of you I am, except when you kick my ass in WWF by sixty pig-fucking points, but I confess that that phrase just goes up my ass sideways like few others do. Not only is it just so Reader's Digest gentle, whitebread, obnoxious and superfluous (kitty heaven is already a euphemism; do we need a euphemism for a euphemism?), but it also ties in to the rat's nest that is the sum of my feelings on the afterlife (warning! religious/philospohical content to follow).
How very seductive is the thought that one's loved ones are just waiting for you in paradise; that all one has to do is obey the tenets of his religion, be a decent fellow to his fellow man, practice charity and forbearance, and an eternity with Dad and Grampa awaits him (Grampa Maurice, not Grampa John; John was kind of a prick).
It's a dangerous thought, exactly because it's so seductive. It's a porous life preserver thrown to a drowning man; it's false comfort, and it's fucking cynical, because it's so obviously not true.
"But," says my evil twin, let's call him Harry, "what of the almost universal tales of a feeling of going through a tunnel and seeing a bright light? How can so many people tell the same story and you still sit there and deny the existence of heaven?"
Well, look: let me suggest something to you. It could be that the sense of going through a tunnel, then seeing a bright light, is nothing more than the dying brain's replay of its very first experience, that of travelling through the birth canal and seeing the bright light of the operating room.
Do I believe this? Not really. But here's my point, and it's important: There isn't a single shred of evidence to support either theory. The two explanations are with exact precision equally plausible. I choose to believe neither theory; I think they're both preposterous. But I will NOT - I absolutely refuse with every (admittedly flabby) sinew in my body - to credit (or blame) a benevolent god in the sky every time a question pops up that I don't have an answer to.
I believe that science, and the scientific method, is the only way of getting to the truth about anything, however painstaking and glacial the process is. But the beauty of science, the aspect of science that makes it pure and keeps it pure, is that "I don't know" is a completely valid answer. You put forward a hypothesis about something, then you endeavor to prove it. If you do, you write it up and expose it to the community, and they'll run their tests independently of yours and if they get the same result, why, you've got an answer, by gum. You know: SCIENCE.
I know this is a bit of a rant; it's probably not wise to blog at 2:30 in the morning. But since the old man died I've come to understand just how seductive the idea of an afterlife is, and to what extent the whole thing is a bottle of snake oil. Step right up to Doctor God's Decompositional Nostrum, ladies and gennamen! One swig and you'll think you'll see Aunt Agatha again!
This is rapidly turning into a polemic against religion, which was not my intent. But since I'm already all in, what is with you Christians and proselytizing? For the love of Benji, you people are relentless! I mean, it's just absurd. If you want to be a Jew, you have to go to where the Jews are. You want to be Hindu, you go find the Hindus. But you want to be a Christian, just answer your door at 8:45 in the morning. Stop it already! You think I LIKE slamming the door in your face? Well I FUCKING DO. Now get off of my land because in precisely three seconds you'll be trespassing.
Lastly, most really religious people are old, and they smell funny. Like vitamins and pee, as Eric Cartman observed.
This ends today's rant. Now back to regular programming, which is already in progress.