It’s the time of year when life as we know it begins to change. Our long, warm, sunny days become short, cold, and gray. Life all around us begins to shrivel up and die. I’m referring, of course, to our never-late-to-the-party season: autumn—elder brother to Father Christmas and Mother Nature’s pimp.
Fall is our reminder that the best part of the year is now over. So suck it up. Life is about to get a lot more difficult. If I were a drug user, I’d have to imagine fall to be the drug user’s final hit before rehab. Enjoy it while it lasts; you’re about to get locked up for six months with nothing but chamomile and reruns of Hawaii Five-O.
This is the time of year when many people in our society celebrate the changing of the seasons. I really don’t see what all the fuss is about. People find fall beautiful and often comment on the changing color of leaves. “Look at the beautiful leaves––they’re changing colors,” one might say. “Isn’t fall beautiful, what, with the color changing on leaves and all?” another might say.
“The leaves are dying!” I might say. When you see a majestic bird recently struck by an 18-wheeler, you don’t comment on its beauty, do you? Would you say “Look at that doe-eyed, little deer lying peacefully on the side of the road. I think it’s taking its last breaths. What a wonderful sight!”?
Sound depressing? It shouldn’t be. At this time of year I’m reminded of an Associated Press article I read that has that Halloween sort of vibe. The article encouraged those with an affinity for the morbid to check out a website called MyDeathSpace.com. At first, I was confused about what MyDeathSpace.com was. My first thought was probably similar to yours: “Here is a website for people who are frustrated with their current social environments and want an online vehicle to acknowledge their discomfort.” I mean, think about it. How many “death spaces” do we all have?
Death Space #1 – You’re waiting in line at Target as the 95-year-old woman uses a debit card for the first time in her existence. You can literally count the minutes until the cashier will inevitably take the card away from the old hag and do it herself. Yet you sit there, impatiently, waiting for the show to unfold.
Death Space #2 – I think we’ve all been here before.
(For more relatable situations like this, check out: www.pleaseshutup.com)
Death Space #3 – You’re waiting in line to pick up a new license. It’s not that it expired, it’s that you lost it. Well, you didn’t really lose it. You put it on the table that night when you had your friends over and everyone did that thing where you show each other what’s in your wallets. But then you get drunk and don’t want to drive, and Liz is being her typical self—crazy—and you just want to get her out of there. So you offer to drive, but then Jim—also crazy—is trying to be the responsible one but always ends up getting way too drunk to make any sense. So you just kind of look at him, as he leans, and try to remember why you’re friends. You decide to put both Jim and Liz in a taxi. The next day you find out that Jim accidentally grabbed your ID instead of his, but it doesn’t matter because he left it in the cab.
Maybe I’m alone here. And maybe I spend too much time in lines. The point is I assumed that the site discussed our personal death spaces as a way to create a sense of camaraderie. A way to say, “Hey man, I’ve been there. I think about putting my boss in a Porta-Potty and tipping it over too.” Well, I was wrong. MyDeathSpace is actually a social networking website for the recently deceased members of myspace.com. If someone dies, you submit his or her death and people can chat about the––sometimes grotesque––details. Oh, and there’s a forum section where you can complain about things like the new features of Facebook that really T you off.
What!? Are people really into this? Are we really so voyeuristic? Burning ants with a magnifying glass: okay. Discussing profiles of dead friends: not so okay! Maybe I just have no clue of what it’s like to be this creepy. I think the darkest thing I’ve ever done was get up in the middle of the night and pee without turning on the light.
I suppose we’re all entitled to our own niche likes and dislikes. You’re able to like the changing of leaf colors for example. And I’m entitled to loathe you.
In the meantime, this begs the question: Can a forum like this really be considered a social medium? Hell, these people are dead.
Author: Eric Swenson