Three Stupid Reasons To Stay Alive

If you honestly can’t muster the will to live, I’m the last person who should be telling a genuinely depressed, standing-on-the-ledge at-risk youth what they should be thinking about. A more sentimental and profound person might say something like “you’re not ending the pain, you’re ending any chance to get better,” or something else that hits right in the feels.

However, it’s not just the genuinely suicidal who think about killing themselves. Some of us consider it on a regular basis, whether we’re a cubicle dweller, dating a girl with a baby-voice, or trapped under a mountain of student debt. Still, there are some very commonsense reasons not to go softly into that good night, no matter how depressing, annoying, or uncontrollable things have gotten. I-I-I-I’m Stayin’ alive. Here’s why:

1) The Golden Age of Television

While it may be depressing to begin to think of your life having no more meaning than the fat TV and junk-food consuming inhabitants of the spaceship in Wall-E, you should remember that before that crazy robot messed with the system, all of those blobby humans were quite happy with their iPads constantly starapped just above their heads.

And why shouldn’t they be. TV critics have been saying for years that we are currently in the Golden Age of television. This makes a lot of people guffaw, when you notice how much garbage there is out there with The History Channel transformed into the hillybilly reality show and alien Jesus network and so many other reality shows on their sixth, seventh, eights, and 20th season.

But it’s because there’s so much out there that there are so many diamonds in the rough. Mindless TV shows compete against each other, but ever since The Sopranos and Oz, the race has been on between talented TV writers and risk-taking producers to create the most interesting and entertaining dramadies just witty enough to make us feel ok for not having read a physical book in five years.

And with services like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Go, you can watch episode after episode, often without even clicking a single button to go to the next one. Netflix literally will keep playing unless you tell it to stop. Watch every episode of Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, The West Wing, True Blood, Weeds, Orange is the New Black, Nurse Jackie, Dexter, Luther, Shameless, The Walking Dead, The Wire, Downton Abbey, Homeland, Mad Men, and House of Cards, and then tell me you can’t muster the will to live anymore.

Then I’ll give you a list of 20 amazing 30-minute comedies. You just can’t justify offing yourself when there’s so much good TV just begging to be watched!

2) You’re already dying, dude

We all are. We have a certain amount of time to look around, taste things, see things, feel things, and eventually our weird gooey machine of a body eventually stops working. We only have so much time as it is. It seems an awful waste of the experience to spend so much of it pondering “how much longer?” when not also thinking “I wish I had more time.” Reminds me of a song’s chorus by They Might Be Giants:

You’re older than you’ve ever been and now you’re even older.

And now you’re even older.

You’re older than you’ve ever been and now you’re even older.

And now you’re older still.

This was probably more depressing than helpful, but still good for a little perspective. Most ways of going out with a bang really hurt, and you’re gonna go out in the end regardless. If you really must hasten your demise, why not go for a Big Mac and a beer instead of the toaster and a bathtub. You’re only got so much time left to see, feel, or experience anything. Might as well milk the small blip you are alive for. Unless.

3) The Borg Collective and You!

Well, not the Borg specifically. If you’ve watched any Star Trek you know the Borg are dicks, but I’m talking about the same concepts.

So say you’re having a hard time going on. All you can think is how isolated you are. How no one understands you. How all alone in the world you are. Well Mr. Emo-pants, have no fear because many futurists say this might become less of a problem than you’ve imagined. As technology moves forward and we better understand the human mind and information theory, many say humanity moving to a singularity is inevitable, after we’re able to create artificial intelligence smarter than us that is able to create artificial intelligence smarter than itself.

The brain no longer will be a great mystery, and we will have the technology to store your thoughts, feelings, and memories indefinitely. Maybe you feel lonely now, all alone on your couch with your laptop, but how could you possibly feel isolated when you’ve got a million interesting neighbors swirling around in your same data cube. I bet you’ll feel right cozy.

So cheer up, whoever you are. If your life is so terrible that you’re existence is one of those media-consuming blog-people in Wall-E, then still, it’s better than nothing. I bet a lot of those chubby guys in Wall-E were on their third re-watch of The Wire, just like I me. Don’t fight it—embrace it. And enjoy your life, whatever perspective it takes you to get there.

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