I see dead people

einstein-quotes-17

everywhere on the internet. I usually don’t mind. There are many things about dead people that can certainly be interesting and relevant, especially if they’re famous. Obviously, none of us really care about those who weren’t. I’ll come back to that later, but I have to put this out now: I will not stop referring to them as “dead people”.

So, dead people, what’s the magic? Well, they’re obviously dead, so the general consensus is they hear, see and impact nothing. That’s what people feel of course, even though many of living humans are spiritual, or so they claim to be. These ancestors are very important when it comes to keeping the family honor and tradition, but not so much when you’re going down on that skanky chick you met at PB after downing a fifth of Vodka. Actually, hold the Vodka. Where was I? Oh right, people being selectively spiritual, this also means those who are dead can be evoked upon at a moment’s notice for many uses. On the internet, you can see them at the side of the Caucasian Young Knight Association (I do not own the rights to that), blocking criticisms left and right. Off the internet, we could see everyone, ranging from your everyday English teacher to the highest of politicians employing this rather successful trick. Most of the time, these are either done “in the name of”, “as a tribute to” a dead person, or involve a quote from them.

A brief visit to a the dream land of dead people quotes would do us some good. I have every reason to respect Einstein, but his quotes has been pulled so many times into places where they don’t belong that I’m starting to resent his fame. He was a brilliant scientist, great. However, his views in life means nothing to anyone. Before you tell me they’ve been pulled out of context, know that this is the same for all quotes. They are specifically pulled out of context to be succinct and digestible to the masses. “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” I heard that too many times, and I criticise that view every single time. Everyone thinks because a person’s dead, we must suddenly respect what they’ve done and not talk crap about them, unless they’re Hitler or something. I can tell you, without a shadow of a doubt, that none of these people are perfect. If that is so, why are you clinging onto what they say so much, provided they had nothing to do with the context. I certainly wouldn’t mind hearing what Einstein thought of theoretical physics; but when it comes to philosophy, or cooking a chicken, his opinions mean nothing. This isn’t to say that they’re necessarily wrong, just not worth mentioning as a point of reference.

Now, onto the spirit of dead people, in the living kind of way. People like to say they do things for someone else, in this case for a dead person(s). That’s dangerously presumptuous, and pretentious, on many levels. Unless that dead person specifically personally wished for the action, or has taken action in life that a reasonable person could agree that supported the action; it’s nonsensical. No, I do not live life well because of dead uncle. He was a great man, and I’m truly sorry for my family’s loss, but I have nothing to do with him. We never met, as he’s dead by the time I was born. My apologies, grandfather, but I don’t do anything for him, or in memory of him. Similarly, the reason one should protect the constitution of the United States isn’t because of the image of George Washington rolling in his graves, but because it affects the lives and well-being of hundred of millions of, living, people. Poor dead people, abused even in death.

That doesn’t mean I view everything reminiscing of dead people as utterly worthless and childish ploy with no legitimacy to anyone but those blind to authority. Far from it, in fact. I pay respect to my ancestors just the same. I light joss sticks for my uncle every time I visit his grave. Being a decent human being doesn’t equate to touting the fact that the person is dead to work to your ulterior motive, is to actually feel for these dead people. How much that impact your life depends what kind of belief you subscribe to, and I’m in no position to judge. However, that gives no one the excuse to shield themselves from hardships of life by coating themselves with floating ashes and decaying flesh.

I suppose I have to digress. People have probably already missed the point by now. I cannot be expecting anything to change, mostly because I’m not calling for one. Funnily enough, this reminds me of a Confucius quote: “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” All you have to do is get up, brush your teeth, go to work, eat three meals a day, take a good dump and go to bed. It’s just really boring.

Oh, and if you’re still wondering about the thumbnail image, I probably have already wasted my breath.

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