Living a good life before it falls out of your hands

My brother and I were talking about the 1988 movie Heathers, which we saw three days ago. The basic idea of the movie was that a girl named Veronica (portrayed by Winona Ryder) becomes tired of her clique of friends and particularly how one of her friends (a girl named Heather Duke) acts towards her, so she teams up with a young man named J.D. (Christian Slater) to kill her, along with two high school “jocks” named Kurt and Ram (one of whom tried to advance on her) and make it look as though they had killed themselves, only for Veronica to discover that, after they died supposedly by their own hands, they wound up becoming more loved and popular than ever despite that they were airheaded and unpleasant in their worldly lives. As Veronica put it, “suicide gave Heather depth, Kurt a soul, and Ram a brain”. She also discovers that after their deaths teen suicide ends up being glorified in her school to the point that when the least popular girl genuinely attempts a suicide and survives, it is derided as simply an attempt to be popular, that the adults turn the deaths of Heather, Kurt, and Ram into a cause, and that J.D. starts killing more kids and plans on blowing up the entire school and making it look like a mass suicide all in accordance with his bleak and nihilistic view on the human condition (and that she was on the slippery slope to becoming a monster like him).

We were talking on some of the essential points of the film, particularly the scene wherein Veronica rushes to counsel one Heather McNamara to prevent her from committing suicide after the latter announces her intentions to do so on a TV show via radio. Veronica tells Heather that had she killed herself,  her death would be used as another statistic in the “U S Fucking A”. I pointed out to him that it made sense in the real world because in death you leave behind your worldly life, and logically this means that the life you lived in the past is no longer under your control. This effectively means that your life can be taken up by others for their own purposes and interpret them in any way they wish and you wouldn’t be able to stop them because you have died and are now in whatever state of existence you believe you will attain after life, and that loss of control is probably a crucial force behind the fear of death. It occurred to me that this may form part of the reason to live a good and worthy life, because that life can serve as a beacon of light and inspiration to others, whereas as a scandalous and bad life would be taken as yet another example of the “evils” of humanity. The only problem I can see with that idea is that it might end up amounting to living for others instead of yourself.

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One response to “Living a good life before it falls out of your hands

  1. I think a quality life is about doing what makes the individual feels good about themselves, which differs from individual to individual. I agree a life that is unhappy is a wasted life. The dead don’t care, so the effect is what is done now in life, whilst a legacy will never be enjoyed in death.

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