Longevity is the sine qua non of modern culture. To die is to fail. To outlive all your contemporaries is to triumph. Never mind the quality, just rack up those years. Dying is virtually taboo, the ultimate social faux pas that inconveniences relatives, spoils hospital statistics, delays traffic, deprives the consumer economy of one more shopper and dents the profits of both the pharmaceutical industry and the ‘care’ sector. That’s plain rude! You really shouldn’t be so inconsiderate! But how best to postpone the day of reckoning for as long as possible? Is there a sure-fire way to indefinitely delay that dreaded appointment with the Grim Reaper? I have the answer; a solution that will allow you to virtually LIVE FOREVER. It’s so simple I’m surprised nobody has thought of it before. Here, in yet another scoop for this blog, is what you need to do.
Time is relative, not absolute. Albert Einstein (1879-1955) proved as much a century ago, and we all know time flies when we’re having a good time and drags when we’re having a bad time. So, to stretch time to the point where you experience it as never-ending one only has to construct a life of unendurable misery – an easy task for the average human, who is never far from existential unhappiness anyhow. Take your own personal idea of hell on earth and make it a reality. For instance, off the top of my head I can imagine little worse than, say, awaiting judicial execution on death row in a maximum-security penitentiary in Texas. Time would more or less stand still in such circumstances. Every minute would feel like a day, every day like a year, every year like a century. Life would become infinitely long and for all practical purposes you would be immortal. Each individual will have their own idea of what constitutes utter wretchedness, all you have to do is to bring it about. In my scenario above, one would take a flight to Houston and murder a rich white man; but if that is too pricey, there are countless cheaper alternatives – ekeing out an existence on Jobseeker’s Allowance in a Tremorfa block of flats would achieve the same result at a fraction of the cost, for example. See? This strategy is foolproof!
Of course, you might be independent-minded enough to reject the prevailing orthodoxy and opt for a short, sweet life rather than hang around interminably waiting for the chance to spend your last days dribbling in front of Bargain Hunt in the Sunset Rest Home. In that case, eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you’re trace elements.