We Are Immortal

I’ve been thinking a lot about legacy; why people do the things they do to ensure they are remembered. I think I’ve figured it out. Most of the things people do after a certain age are to prolong the amount of time that people talk about them after they’re gone. I know that as long as the Internet is around, I’ll still be around, even if I’m dead. Somebody will find these posts, read them, and hopefully talk about it with others, keeping my spirit alive long after I’m gone.

You hear stories about people hoarding absurd amounts of wealth that they could never spend in a hundred lifetimes, I get that it makes people mad, but these people don’t care what you think, they just want to be remembered for working hard enough that entire generations of their family can live comfortably. Sure, the way they get their money might not be the most noble, but the intent has to mean something. I think artists are the same way, except instead of leaving their children a shit-ton of money that will end up making them spoiled assholes, artists leave their impression on the world by showing others how they see it.

Think about Picasso: there isn’t a person alive who hasn’t at least heard his name. He is immortal, even though he died hundreds of years ago. It would be an honor to be remembered for that long after I died, although I may be getting ahead of myself a bit.

You’re Going to Die

It’s true, sorry to spoil the surprise. I’ve long come to terms with my mortality, I’m perfectly fine with whatever’s going to happen because I know that I’m probably not going to be able to overcome whatever happens. You should get used to the idea as well.

You’re going to die. It’s that simple, but nobody thinks that it will happen any time soon. Most of you are right, you’ll die of something simple after you’ve lived a long, happy life. The rest of you won’t be so lucky. You’ll get hit by a drunk driver on your way home, you’ll have a brain aneurysm, you’ll get some awful form of cancer, you’ll get hit by a stray bullet walking home from work, it’s going to happen, it’s just a matter of when and where.

What do you do after you come to terms with your mortality? Whatever you want. Once you understand that this is all bullshit, you’ll start to relax a little bit and stop sweating the small stuff. I like to think long-term: will this event matter in 5, 10, 20 years? Usually, it won’t. I know this sounds kind of shitty, but once you realize that life isn’t that impactful, you’ll start to see it under a new set of eyes.

I’m sure that my mind will change if I have kids and start thinking about my legacy, but for now, fuck that. I never hear anyone talk about this, it seems like talking about dying is something that we’ve pushed aside and made taboo, even though it’s the only thing that everyone on Earth shares with each other. With everything that’s going on in this fucked up reality TV show we call a country, I think that now’s a great time to take time to account for what’s important to you. If you’re scared, I’m sure that’s a totally normal response to the idea that eventually you’ll no longer exist, but being afraid of it doesn’t do anything productive. If you decide that fighting for what you believe in is worth it, go for it and make America proud, if not; stay home and try not to make things worse. I know where I’ll be: on the golf course with a joint and a cold beer, enjoying however long I have left.

The Birth of Inspiration

When I’m uninspired and feel the call of the words, I have a few ways I can shape the flow of thoughts. I figured I’d share a few ways, they might help you if you feel the same way.

  1. Try and change your surroundings. I’m usually most comfortable in my little yellow room with my books and my records, but every once in awhile it’s good to go outside and experience life. I like to go on walks outside late at night, around 1AM. I like it because it’s quiet and there isn’t anyone else around to bother me, so it helps me crystallize my thoughts and put them where they need to go in order for me to have a coherent message.
  2. Listen to music. I have entire playlists for when I’m feeling uninspired, they’re usually full of ambitious music that pushes boundaries, or music that reminds me of a certain moment. I don’t know what it is about music that moves me so much, but when I hear the right song at the right time, it’s like my mind kicks into high gear. If I’m angry writing, I’ll turn on some “fuck you” music, and channel that anger into words and make it actually useful, instead of just being a waste of energy that doesn’t do anybody any good.
  3. Drugs. (I’m kidding- don’t do drugs, just smoke weed.)
  4. Read. I have a small bookcase full of books, and whenever I get lost in the clouds, I pick one at random and read through it. Usually, I go all hyperfocus and end up reading the whole book in one sitting, but that’s because hyperfocus doesn’t care about the passage of time, or responsibilities, or hunger, it just wants to complete the task at hand. It’s fucking annoying if the task is something tedious, but it’s fun when it’s something you enjoy doing, like reading.
  5. Work out. Some of my best ideas come when I push my body to its limit. When it feels like my body is going to shut down, it clears up all of the bullshit on my mind, until there’s only clear thoughts and chest pain. There’s something special to me about running. I know people hate it with a passion, but it’s actually amazing. It’s one of the few things that can turn my brain off for a little bit, and I desperately need that sometimes because I’m inundated with half-baked ideas that I can’t execute. Running gets rid of all of the bad ones, until there are only thoughts I can work with. Try running, it’s good for you.

Are You Fucking Kidding Me?

I don’t like politics, but I feel compelled to talk about the protests and the response by the police.

I’ve definitely gotten out of trouble a few times due to white privilege. I’ve gotten pulled over before, yelled the officer because I’m awkward and don’t handle stress well, and still gotten a verbal warning. If I wasn’t an upper middle-class white person, I’d probably be dead right now.

I don’t like politics, I’m not very informed, but I try to keep up with the deluge of information that flows freely through the Internet. Yes, most of the information we get is probably full of shit, and presented in a way meant to divide us, but is it better to be ignorant, or misinformed?

I know that some people feel differently, that these protests are unnecessary and an excuse to rob businesses and riot, but I disagree. Think of it this way: if you bully someone for years, and prevent them from living a normal life, you don’t get to dictate how they react when they finally stand up to you. Would you apologize for punching someone in the face after they punch you and kick you every day?

I’m torn on whether it’s best to leave this situation alone because of who I am and how I look, but I also think I have a duty to tell people that this is wrong, and we need to change.

I don’t have many suggestions on how we can change, my only halfway decent thought is that police departments need to charge officers for their crimes, and if the public sues them, they should show their full support. Additionally, maybe there could be some system like malpractice insurance that keeps police officers honest and accountable. Maybe that already exists, and I just don’t know about it.

I’ve gotta say: Minneapolis picked the worse possible time to do something shitty. We’re facing a global pandemic that has kept millions scared and unemployed, sports and concerts are canceled, so people have nothing else to keep them entertained, and no job to consider while they protest. It’s literally the dumbest possible time to kill an innocent man on camera.

We’re better than this. I don’t believe in my government, but I believe in the people of my country. We can fix this.