Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Culture of Death, My Ass!

So-called proponents of life have gone into apoplectic shock about the impending death of woman who doesn't even know where she is, who she is, what she is, or where that bright light is coming from.

Meanwhile, those who support the removal of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube claim that she should be allowed to have "death with dignity". I wonder if these same people feel this way about soldiers dying in Iraq.

Ever since the Schiavo case made national news, Rush Limbaugh has been ranting and raving about this case being an example of a "culture of death" that we now live in.

I think he's back on drugs.

The reason that the Schiavo case is so tragic is that everyone who claims to be speaking for Ms. Schiavo really isn't. Her parents want to keep her alive for them, not her. Her husband says she wants to die. Do we really know that?

As for the people who have nothing to do with the case but who decided to speak up anyway, they are projecting their own views about what they think Ms. Schiavo would want and even have the gall to refer to her by her first name as if they've even met the woman. Excuse me while I vomit.

The truth is that Americans just don't deal with death well. We are so comfortable in this country and see death so rarely that when it does happen, it freaks us out.

The problem is that death is a part of life and a healthy one, at that. We are all going to die. (Yes, even you.)

It used to be that people learned about death growing up and accepted it.

People who grew up on farms or hunting still learn about death as children through the death of animals.

People who are in the military learn lessons about death on the battlefield.

During epidemics of smallpox and bubonic plague, people dealt with death everyday. That was a culture of death.

And people who were in New York City or Washington on 9-11-2001 learned about death, as well.

As for the rest of us, we all fear death. We grow up in suburbs. We never have to want for food. We go to doctors if we are sick. Death? Death is that scary thing that old people have to deal with. Death is that thing that happens to that poor bastard whose house got broken into.

Sure, we joke about death. We watch movies about it. We sing songs about it. (We metalheads do, anyway.) In the end, it's all bullshit. We're fooling ourselves. We don't know shit about death and we end up making excuses for people to die.

For conservatives, they have to be murderers or be fighting (in a war) for God and country. (i.e. We are killing people for the good of society.)

For liberals, it is people making the choice to prevent or end a life out of alleged compassion because they believe that the individual would be to miserable to want to live anyway. (i.e. We are killing you for your own good.)

All of this is well and good, but considering the world we live in, these are not practical views. We fight wars outside our own soil. We can keep a person's body alive who seemingly has no brain function. How do we decide who can die and who can't? Wait a minute. Why are we deciding anyway?

In some tribal cultures, elderly members who felt they had no more to contribute would ceremonially go away to die. Some Americans insist on keep their brain-dead grandparents alive on respirators and shitting into a bag. Aren't we noble.

Gone are the days where we gather around our loved ones deathbed and say goodbye to them as we thank them for gracing us with their presence. Now, we sue doctors for not performing miracles.

I can sum up death in two words: Shit happens.

A person you love very much is going to die. Deal! Culture of death? Don't make me laugh.

Of course, that's just my opinion. Please don't kill me.


At 8:11 AM, Blogger winklett said...

I can't help but agree with your assessment of the situation. People definitely do not deal with deal well in our culture, and this fight over Terri Schiavo proves it.

At 10:53 AM, Blogger winklett said...

I meant deal with DEATH, not deal with deal. DUH!

At 8:02 PM, Blogger moseydotes said...

Good read, Mike. I have to admit that I do very much prefer my death to the accompanyment of a bone-crunching bass line and amps cranked to eleven. Goes down much better that way.

And of course you know my opinion of the whole Schiavo situation already, having read it :-)

Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the blogosphere today.



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