Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Downside of Immortality


There's a certain appeal to the idea of living forever. Of course, forever is a long time, and you need to fill up all that time with things to do, which can be a problem. As author Susan Ertz once said, "Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon."

There are practical drawbacks to immortality other than boredom. An episode ("Escape Clause") of the old Twilight Zone television series dealt with a mean-spirited hypochondriac who sold his soul to the devil in order to live forever. When his wife accidentally fell to her death, he confessed to killing her so that he could beat the electric chair; his lawyer, however, managed to get his sentence changed ... to life in prison, whereupon he exercised the "escape clause" in his contract for a quick and painless death rather than eternal imprisonment.

There are other downsides to immortality, too, such as these that I found in a meme that showed up on my Facebook feed ...

 - Tearing your favorite article of clothing and discovering that it's irreplaceable because the technique of its manufacture has been lost;

- Realizing you've thought of the perfect comeback to someone who's been dead for three hundred years;

- Not being able to make your favorite dish any more because one of the critical ingredients has gone extinct;

- Having strong opinions about sports that are no longer played;

- Getting a song from the 13th century stuck in your head and being unable to get it out because you don't remember how it ends and you're the only person on Earth who knows it; and,

- Having that perfect pun you've been waiting for a chance to use no longer work because of linguistic drift.

Of course, there's not much point in wishing for immortality when there's a pretty good chance we won't have a viable planet to live on in the not-too-distant future, as discussed in this disconcerting article by David Wallace-Wells.

Gives new meaning to the Vulcan greeting "Live long and prosper," doesn't it?

Have a good day, no matter how many more of them you may have. More thoughts tomorrow.

Bilbo

5 comments:

eViL pOp TaRt said...

All I can say is, "Thank goodness I don't have to worry about immortality!"

Mike said...

Or living your life under a bridge because you ran out of money.

Chuck Bear said...

Live under the bridge with the trolls.

allenwoodhaven said...

You're right, immortality isn't what it's cracked up to be. Seems more like a curse than a blessing.

John Hill said...

There can be only one!