Pulling at Death’s cloaktail

I guess with increasing age comes the inevitable demise of many of the people who shaped ones life, they generally being older to start with. Be it Spike Milligan, Fred Wedlock or your grandparents, they had a part in shaping how you turned out. It’s natural to miss them even when, for those cultural icons, you didn’t actually know them. A short distance of light ago, Leonard Nimoy exited this dimension, and now PTerry’s gone too.

PTerry, or Terry Pratchett to be slightly more mainstream, or Sir Terry Pratchett OBE to be strictly accurate, wrote some stuff that caught the imagination. And now, in this world where the opinion poll and the petition hide us from the truth that we do not in any way influence those who sup on finer china, there is a petition to DEATH to return him. I haven’t signed it.

There is a question, simple in part but potentially fractal once you squint more deeply into it. Who are we? I argued on social media that I would’t call back a man who had had such a narrow escape with one of the most dreadful of diseases – Alzheimers – so that he would continue along the inevitable path to the death of self. He wouldn’t thank us for that. In truth he may Will us into Interesting Times as punishment.

“Oh, but we wouldn’t call back the Alzheimers”, they respond. But are they then in fact calling to the person, or to the imagined person. PTerry who wrote Mort and Equal Rites in the late eighties may not have known he had the disease, but by the time he wrote Wintersmith, and I Shall Wear Midnight he certainly did. Perhaps we’ll read The Shepherd’s Crown with some background perceptions.

unseenWe are the sum, at any point in time, of all our experience. Perhaps that is the sole purpose of our individual existences, to experience the ‘verse and carry the story along. To excise any facet of our past life would be to change the future; they’d even made some decent films on that subject.

So, would you have PTerry back, pre-Alzheimers, and possibly not have all the books he wrote? Why? You may not even have heard of him then. Heh, in some altered realities you might not have been born.

Journey well, Sir. I hope you remembered the apple for Binky. And if you see Douglas Adams, tell him so long, and thanks too for all his words. See you in L-Space. /| bish (Bachelor of Fluencing)

5 responses to “Pulling at Death’s cloaktail”

  1. And almost as soon as I’d written the article above, the news came in of another major influence on my mis-spent youth.


    Fly well, teapot pixie. Slip back up the Oily Way.


  2. Well said sir, we all seemed to be of the generation who lost some of our icons early, Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Marc Bolan, Mama Cass and Jim Morrison…a few of those had the lived hard and die young tag. The phase I am now in is the “hell they are my age ” phase. This hits us even harder and makes re-evaluation more important (and urgent). I realise I have been blessed with a fantastic marriage and lovely children, I still have a few bad habits that need sorting out, I daren’t become too saintly though because it freaks my kids out….


  3. I could not have said it any better ,as a person who looks after a person with Dementia, it is very hard to get any help as its effects are different to each person .
    hope you are all keeping well, xxx


  4. interesting read, do you recall what company Terry Pratchett worked for when he wrote his first book ?


  5. Indeed. In fact although we missed each other by a few months I spent some time in CEGB HQ Bedminster Down. I did get to meet him at a Discworld event back in the last century and we spoke about the then energy mix and some of the small gods that lived in the basement (and nipped into the pool of an evening). 🙂


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