Saturday, July 25, 2009

"It's people!!!!"

Watched "Soylent Green" this afternoon.

Really, really wishing that I had not, now.

Those kind of "modern grubby city dystopia" movies always make me feel bad - twitchy and unhappy and wondering if our future will be something like that. (Why do they always set them in CITIES? If civilization was dying out, I'd be making a break for the countryside, where I might at least have a chance of being able to grow or gather food.)

The saddest part was Sol (oh, has anyone NOT seen this? where this is going to be a spoiler?)

Anyway, he decides he needs to "go home" at the end, after learning the big secret of the movie.

And in this dystopia, there are "death centers" where people can go, lie down, drink some wine (hemlock? I don't know), listen to music, and watch a movie of (now-vanished) nature. And then at the end of the "ceremony," they expire.

And you know? I'm not at all sure that that (well, without the "recycling" at the end) isn't too far off in our own society.

I have really mixed feelings about physician-assisted suicide. On the one hand, I can see people who are in great pain and great suffering not wanting heroic measures done to save their lives - and that's fine; that's what I'd want myself. On the other hand, the idea of deliberately making someone die because they are old, or very sick, or are tired of life...I think that's somewhere we don't want to go as a society. I know if I were a physician, I would not do it. I would talk about DNR orders, and "no heroic measures" and all that, but I would not make the offer of, say, giving an overdose of morphine.

Because I fear that brings on a slippery slope. The option to die could become an obligation to die, and I worry about that. (Especially with the idea of "health care" being seen as a scarce resource)

And no matter how pretty or restful they make it - with colored lights and music and restful movies and all - it's still something that is wrong to me, and something I hope we never go to as a society.

So now I need to go watch something funny and light - maybe pull out my Animaniacs dvds or the Wallace and Gromit videos - so I have something nicer in my head before I go to sleep.

Oh, and it's going to be a while before I can listen to Beethoven's "Pastoral" Symphony without bad associations. Thanks a lot, "Soylent Green."

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