sex, money, and miscellany: talking about what matters

can’t get up

In Uncategorized on September 15, 2009 at 6:05 am

When I was in elementary school there was a commercial for an emergency alert gadget. This was before cell phones, and the ad showed an older woman falling, getting hurt, and calling out, “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” Then she’d push the button on the gadget and the emergency personnel would show up to help her.

In that case, of course she wanted to get up.

But what if you don’t need to? What if you don’t want to? Some thresholds are one-way valves; like the ones in our arteries, they keep the stuff that’s been processed from the stuff that hasn’t been handled yet. They keep us moving forward, despite the tendencies of physics and habit to draw us backwards. If you fell down a slide, or off a wall, back may not be the way to go. Humpty Dumpty may indeed be better as scrambled eggs.

How are you doing? What’s next? And how do you know you don’t like being scrambled unless you try?

  1. I think I see what you’re saying, but the “how do you know unless you try” argument works better with reversible changes, and Humpty Dumpty is a classic example of an irreversible change. If I’m not mistaken, you seem to be arguing in favor of suicide. If the change kills you, how do you expect to know that you like it better? Are you presupposing an afterlife, where you can look back on your death and say, “Wow, that was a good move!”

    I’m not saying we shouldn’t take risks; I just think we have a responsibility to the people who care about us to consider whether the change is likely to be an improvement before attempting it. Shoot, we might all be better off with rampant genetic engineering and toxins in our food and nuclear waste in our water and a drastically altered climate — how do we know unless we try? Because we have professional help (concerned scientists) to help us weigh these options and make an informed decision. And Humpty Dumpty should get professional help before indulging his fantasy of becoming scrambled.

  2. Hmm. Scrambled is a good term for something in the past, say an traumatic event. It seems like you’re arguing for the not processing of it. Leaving it in the past as it is. However, .what if. it is possible to not necessarily make sense of it, because sometimes events in our lives just don’t make any sense, but it might be possible to gain some understanding of a traumatic event (like Humpty’s falling off the wall) by sorting through the scramble?

    Maybe Humpty Dumpty .can’t. be what he was before. But maybe he doesn’t have to be scrambled either.

  3. No, no, no, I’m sorry it came across that way; I’m looking at some changes as reasonably irreversable, not suicide, say, but…like planting a seed. You can’t put the seed back in the husk, but it’s okay. Maybe Humpty Dumpty was supposed to evolve into scrambled eggs?

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