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[personal profile] avevale_intelligencer
[livejournal.com profile] watervole responded quite impassionedly to my suggestion for some dialogue that I would quite like to see in a movie, in response to a certain rather tired cliché that I have encountered rather too often in various forms of fiction, and most recently in Doctor Strange, which we otherwise enjoyed quite a lot. She seemed to think I had missed the point of the statement. Since the point she thought I had missed was stated in the immediately following line, I rather think I did get it. I just didn't agree with it.

Quick show of hands. How many of you here reading this (not many any more, I know) actually treat every single moment of your lives as precious? How many fill each and every unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run? How many live every day as if it might be your last? Every moment? Every minute? Every day? Honestly?

Can't see your hands, of course, but I'm open to the idea that I'm the only one here who ever gets bored, ever feels dull and uninspired, ever gets tired and just wants to stop. I've always known I was deficient in many ways, and if I was alone in that terrible vulnerability that wouldn't surprise me. But if by some chance I'm not, if there are others of you out there who have black moments and terrible quarter-hours and days when you just want it all to be over, tell me this: how does it make you feel when someone tells you that you should really regard every moment of your life as precious because it might end at any minute?

Exactly. It's rubbish. As a reason for valuing your life, it's among the least rational of all. When (not, thank gods, if) I have times when my life seems precious to me, it's because I have friends and family, chosen and unchosen, whom I love, and because I have things to say that I think need saying and music to make that I think will make the world just a tiny fraction richer and people whom I believe I could make laugh if I could just get the words in the right order, and because there is more to see and more to do and more to experience, and the notion that all that could be chopped off at any moment by a random stroke of fate...just makes the whole thing seem even more pointless. Half the time when I want to die it's because I know that I'm going to, at some point, and when it happens I probably won't be ready anyway, so it might as well be now when I'm as ready as I'm going to be. What can I say, depression isn't logical.

Life isn't gold. It isn't some useless metal that only has value because it's scarce. Life has value for a whole host of reasons, and the fact that it will end is not one of them. So no. Death does not even give life meaning in that way. It just takes it away. And if you are so far down that the only reason you could possibly have for valuing your life is its temporariness...then that's not going to do it for you either. Trust me on this.

And I wouldn't have gone any further into this, except that a piece of speculative movie dialogue got mistaken for a serious philosophical essay. Which is probably my fault, for not making it clearer what I was doing. I'm sorry. But I stand by what I've said in both posts.
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