The Final Cooling

by Daniel Oakes | January 25, 2023

lifter at the bottom of a squat

The best at murder are those who preach against it
and the best at hate are those who preach love
and the best at war finally are those who preach peace

– Charles Bukowski

I've always struggled to comprehend life and death's incongruity. I find it hard to mentally process how one minute an individual can have such a rich personality, and then the next they are simply refrigerated in a crowded morgue. I've never understood it. Well, I suppose I understand it. But like I said, I just can't process this fact.

There's two ways I've been able to somewhat help myself sort out this mental kerfuffle – the latter, I suppose, more helpful than the former. The first way is to say, “To hell with investment in my life; the universe will someday implode. The more I invest, the more I will inevitably be let down in the end. I'll simply distract myself until death by playing video games and eating pizza and chocolate.” And the second way is to say, “I know the facts of life, but I will embrace them. In fact, I will actually relish existence and laugh in the face of death. I will strive to get the most I can, while I can.”

What does the second option look like in practice?

I once had a friend who said something that at the time I found a bit peculiar. He said he enjoys steak because he knows it's been slaughtered for him. I didn't understand this concept until one day I happened to take off my rose-tinted spectacles and realized that we are all eating meat or being eaten ourselves by creatures in the grave. I realized that it's important to relish the power we have over others before we inevitably become too weak and butchered ourselves. There's a reason we feel nothing for the fly. It's just too small. You can see where I'm going with this?

To laugh in the face of death is to be big and strong. To exert force and not be exerted upon.

Those who disagree with this are in denial about the nature of existence. Usually it's the weak who deny the facts of nature because it's their way, ironically, of exerting control over their domain. The strong preach strength and the weak preach weakness. There's simply no escaping the Will To Power.

There's four key ways we can exert our power.

  • Own a gun
  • Get physically strong
  • Preach weakness to others
  • Machiavellian coasting

The first two options aren't always available to everybody and thus preaching weakness has always been a very viable choice. In fact, Margaret Thatcher said socialists would rather see the poor poorer than the rich richer, so long as the gap is closer between them. Thus what looks like a preachment of “compassion” is actually just another avenue of exerting power.

But, life is a fine line to be trodden. Get too powerful and, well, look what happened to Julius Caesar. Get too weak in order to force others to feel obliged to help you, and eventually nobody will care about your pronouns and you'll be swatted like a midge.

And thus, it's the Machiavellian among us who ultimately thrive. It's best to be strong and cunning. To present ourselves as meek and humble, but squat 400 lbs.

In our race against the time till refrigeration, I think that's the best way. Don't you?  

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