No End in Sight

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“On a long enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.”
― Chuck Palahniuk

Youth is a time when we think that everything will last forever. We are ignorant of the realities of live. No end in sight.  Won’t don’t seem to grasp the idea that all that we are and all that we know will one day or another vanished. We often think about a future that might not happen after all. We are mesmerize by these thoughts. In reality, we have no proof that we will still be here in 1 year, 5 years or 40 years. The shortness of life is reality. Like the stoic philosopher Lucius Seneca said: Now I bear it in mind not only that all things are liable to death but that liability is governed by no set of rules. Whatever can happen at anytime can happen today. It’s the great unknown.

In Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club, the author state that we will all die, that the survival rate of anyone is nil. Worst than that, we keep ignoring the idea that we will die someday. It’s the main reason we are living and accepting a lesser life. It’s the main reason we make the meaningless become meaningful. The big car, the swedish furniture and all that crap. It all come back to the “Memento Mori” idea. It means “Remember that you will die” in Latin. What does it mean? You’re 1 minute older than you were when you started reading No End in Sight. Your 1 minute closer to the end of your life. When you think about it,  it’s a breaking point to start to something meaningful. Time is a scarce value. Use it well.

Not only people forget about the shortness of life, but they challenge death. They seem to be afraid of nothing. Death isn’t something they understand. It’s something far away. In Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild, we learn about Chris McCandless, a young man who want to be free society. He makes a Jack London of himself and goes alone in the Alaskan’s nature. He will meet is faith and will never comeback. At some point in the book, Krakauer talk about how young folks think they are eternal. They don’t see consequences to their actions. That’s why they drive fast, do extreme sports, try drugs, go in dangerous countries or try to survive nature. We are like everybody else, we are subject to the law of average. About that Lucius Seneca said:Misfortune has a way of choosing some unprecedented means or other of impressing its power on those who might be said to have forgotten it.Challenge death and it will find you.

The more we age, the more we start to understand that everything will end. One day you have all life in front of you, the other it’s all behind you. This is a cycle. We cannot avoid it. We keep seeing calls to live for the moment. We keep talking about the shortness of life. But the more we talk about it, the more we seem to forget it. It become more an idea than something to act about. Who do you know that really live like he’s going to die tomorrow? Like in the movie In Time, your time is going down. Rien n’est éternel.

Listening to: Wisdom in Chains – When We Were Young

The Death of Robin Williams

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I’m probably not breaking any news, Robin Williams died August 11th. You probably know him for his roles in Jumanji, Will Hunting, Hook, Dead Poets Society and bunch of other movies.

Death is always a surprise no matter how it happen. In the case of Robin Williams, it’s a different matter. I was astonished when I heard that the cause of death was suicide. I just couldn’t believe it. A sickness or an accident would have been way easier to accept. I’ve tried to figure out why he did it. I couldn’t find any answers. Out of curiosity, I’ve started researching about his past. 

Williams was a workaholic He had problems handling fame.  He had a past of alcohol and drug abuses. It is well known that he was taking coke in 1982 (look for John Belushi’s death). In 1988, he said in the people magazine: “Cocaine was a place to hide. Most people get hyper on coke. It slowed me down.” Then, for 20 years he was clean. In 2006, he was in rehab because of relapsed. His demons weren’t anything new. He has suffered from depression in the past. He wasn’t the ideal projection than most people thought he was. I’ve noticed a pattern that most of us have. We think that fame, success and money are necessarily equal to happiness. We are far from the reality. Celebrities are humans just like us. They can feel depress, they can feel bad and they can be unhappy.  We tend to see the life of celebrities as fairy tales. We tend to see them as ideal people with perfect life. Famous people have flaws just like us. 

“I’m shy, paranoid, whatever word you want to use. I hate fame. I’ve done everything I can to avoid it.” – Johnny Depp

People are fast to judge that he was weak, that he was selfish to commit suicide. No matter what we can say, the man was in deep pain. He couldn’t handle it anymore. Most of us don’t know how it feels to be famous. How would you react if all people you cross in the street knew who you are? Some people can simply not adapt to fame. Johnny Depp is good example of someone who disdain fame. On my part, I know I would totally hate it.

33 years ago, Robin Williams addressed the dark side of fame in the Mork & Mindy Show. He was playing an alien meeting Robin Williams. He was doing an investigation about fame on earth. At some point during the episode, he said:Being a star, sir, is a 24-hour job and you can’t leave your face at the office.It’s like he was already seeing fame as a prison.