It has struck me more forcibly than usual lately that one of the principle reasons that we humans are so deranged is that, as far as we know we are the only living creatures who are aware of the inevitability of our eventual deaths.
Or, as the controversial ‘antipsychiatry’ psychiatrist R. D. Laing (1927-1989) memorably expressed this dismal reality, that “life is a sexually-transmitted disease with a 100 per cent mortality rate.”
That we are, to say the least, uncomfortable with this fundamental fact of life is demonstrated by all the desperate strategies we’ve dreamed-up to try and deal with it.
All the way from outright denial, especially when we’re young enough to kid ourselves that we’re bulletproof, to imaginatively investing ourselves with allegedly “immortal” souls.
Some of us laugh in the face of fate, as in Woody Allen’s oft-quoted declaration that “I’m not afraid of death; I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”
While others, like the recently-deceased Robin Williams, sadly choose suicide over natural death, presumably to avoid further pain and uncertainty and also perhaps to play a kind of practical joke at both their own and the grim reaper’s expense.
But most of us simply soldier on, in hopes of postponing our dates with destiny as long as possible, and in the meantime striving to console ourselves however we can.
Many of strategies for delaying the inevitable, however, like dieting, exercising and avoiding such potentially deadly consolations as alcohol, nicotine and other similarly addictive drugs, may, as some wit whose name I forget famously said, not so much prolong life as render it so dreary as to seem longer.
But at least boring ourselves to death in hopes of extending our lives doesn’t hurt anybody else, let alone hasten the mortality of our fellow inmates on this earthly death row to which we’re all condemned.
Unlike the murderous attempts by self-styled “martyrs” to cheat death and win admittance to some kind of “heaven” by sending their “enemies” to hell.
From ancient Romans who crucified Christians in placation of pagan “Gods” through later competing Christian sects whose supporters sought “salvation” through killing-off “heretics”, to those Muslims today who slaughter people of their own and other faiths for their own self-interested ends, homicide has somehow appealed as a means of achieving eternal life.
And until mankind discovers a more efficient method of deterring these maniacs than by killing as many of them as possible before they can do their worst, as the U.S. and its allies are currently striving to do with airstrikes against ISIL, ISIS, or whatever you choose to call the deadly infection currently raging in Iraq and Syria, they will remain a mortal threat to all humanity.
As will their self-styled “moderate” supporters and apologists, like Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, who, despite his pious to pretence to support national unity and harmony, recently exhorted Umno members to “emulate the bravery of ISIL if the party is to survive.”
Indeed, Najib is the very epitome and personification of the depths to which human hypocrisy can descend about death as about everything else. Considering his cold-blooded if not outright contemptuous disregard of those routinely and systematically killed by his regime’s corrupt police force and fake anti-corruption commission, his capacity for self-serving displays of compassion for the victims of such disasters as MH370 and MH17 comes across as nothing short of obscene.
As does the contrast between the grief that he and his accomplices and supporters pretend to profess at the fate of Palestinians killed by Israel, and the utter lack of interest in, let alone sympathy for, infinitely greater numbers of victims of Islamic terrorism around the world.
Admittedly not Najib himself personally, but Umno members and supporters under his patronage, and thus with his implicit approval, have even gone so far as to make an issue of Muslims’ involvement in an interfaith memorial for the passengers and crew of MH17.
BN assemblyperson for Slim, Mohd Khusari Abdul Talib, uploaded a picture showing the young Muslim member of the opposition DAP, Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud, placing flowers at the memorial, with the comment “What is this young, Malay DAP member doing? Is she trying to become DAP’s tool to deviate the faith of young Muslim women?”
And the notoriously sexist, stupid and shameless Umno MP for Kinabatangan, Bung Moktar Radin, re-Tweeted the picture with the snide caption “see what has happened to this Malay leader in DAP???”
For her part, bless her heart, Dyana countered these comments with the statement that reciting prayers and merely putting down flowers to mourn the unfortunate could not jeopardise her faith.
Adding, according to Malaysiakini, that “those who think it does should reconsider the strength of their own faith,” and further stating that “I am not easily confused like how Umno leaders always assume we Malay youths are.”
“Events like this make Malaysians understand one another better and bring us together,” she concluded, thus neatly putting her finger on what frightens Umno/BN to death.
The very thought of Malaysians uniting in their common humanity instead of dividing along racial and religious lines in the way the regime tirelessly promotes behind the blind of its lying “1Malaysia” slogan is terminally terrifying to Najib and the gang.
Having presided for decades over the deaths of everything the Malaysian people could possibly expect of a proper government, everything from honesty, transparency, truth and justice to free and fair elections, they will do anything to prevent the people from uniting in grief for all they have lost.
But they can’t hold back reality forever. Political regimes, like people, are incapable of eternal life. So nothing is more certain than the fact that Umno/BN will finally die. And that, far from grieving at its demise, future generations of Malaysians will dance on its grave.