Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Go, Dick, Go!

I can't believe some folks are actually grousing about Dick Clark's appearance this past New Year's Eve. I heard Howie Carr and many of his callers this afternoon saying he should not have gone on national T.V. in his post-stroke condition. I didn't see the show, but it sounds like the folks who felt uncomfortable or depressed by Clark's appearance are caught up in typical American mortality-denial. Clark has been a sort of puer aeternus in American pop culture, and seeing that his is a frail human body (as are all of ours) apparently has some folks thinking about things they'd rather ignore.

One of the great lessons I have gleaned from Buddhism is that the very transitory nature of our existence is what makes it so special. Without the ever-present risk of death or infirmity, whether it come suddenly or gradually, life would be of no intrinsic value. One reason I have problems with Christianity as a whole is its insistence that this life is just a precursor to eternity. (Of course, many Buddhists have traditionally believed in reincarnation, and a goal of Nirvana. In many ways, this leads to the same problem.)

As far as I can tell, this is it. The sooner we adjust to that fact, the happier we'll all be.

Go, Dick, go!



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