Thinning the herd: The real solution to population control

Sometimes I get the feeling that we place too much importance on our own survival. I’m not speaking about the survival of our species here, just about the survival of individual members of our species.

Modern medicine, combined with unparalleled advances in technology, is saving and preserving human lives at an unprecedented rate. To put it another way, it is becoming harder and harder for people to die.

On the surface this might seem like a good thing, but with a little careful examination, I have recently come to see how misguided our efforts to save and preserve ourselves actually are.

It seems as though we have come to see life as a virtue in and of itself, regardless of whose life it is, or what they do with it.

Conversely, the argument could be made that some lives would be better off if they were ended. Some examples would include Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin or Bil Keane. “Sure,” you’re probably thinking, “but these lives should only have been ended to save other lives.” In this case, you’d be right.

Had someone killed Hitler or Stalin, tens of millions of other lives could have been saved. Similarly, the sooner Bil Keane joins Grandma and Grandpa in the clouds, the sooner we can all pretend that The Family Circus never existed.

But I want to take this argument a step further than the obvious statement that murder and The Family Circus are pure evil.

In addition, we should learn to devalue others as well. If warning labels on everyday products are any indication, some people are simply too stupid to survive, no matter how hard the rest of us try to protect them from their own mental ineptitude.

For example, my girlfriend’s hairdryer sports the following: “Warning, do not immerse in water.” I realize that warnings of this kind are mainly for legal purposes, but could we ever really fault a company for not warning people to avoid bathing with hair dryers? If anything we should encourage companies to avoid such warnings to thin out (and smarten up) the population.

The late great comedian Bill Hicks was an outspoken proponent of hallucinogenic drugs. One of his best lines about the dangers of LSD applies equally well to, say, the dangers of operating a toaster:

“Always that same LSD story, you’ve all seen it. ‘Young man on acid thought he could fly and jumped out of a building. What a tragedy’ … What a dick! Fuck him, he’s an idiot. If he thought he could fly, why didn’t he take off on the ground first?”

If we spend our entire lives holding stupid people’s hands to make sure they don’t kill themselves by shaking a Coke machine, we will wake up one day only to realize that we’ve wasted our own lives.

I say: Let them drink their free Coke … Or at least try.

J. Williamez is a local musician who hopes you survive long enough to check him out Wednesdays at Shannon’s Irish Pub.

Published in Volume 64, Number 6 of The Uniter (October 8, 2009)

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