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.
We 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)
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