It’s been a week since my last letter. Such a neglectful Auntie. I feel like such a disgrace. Never mind. I usually revel in being a disgrace. Why change now? Truth be told that I’ve been pondering on today’s subject and drinking a lot of wine. Fortunately, I’m not inclined to become maudlin, or I’d have been in trouble.
Today’s worthy topic is ‘what’s actually fucking worth dying for?’. It’s amazing how many completely disparate things got me thinking about this. First, there were a bunch of nut nut anti government types who holed up on a wildlife refuge in the USA with their guns (apparently they forgot to bring enough snacks which resulted in some very funny people sending them sex toys instead) and attempting to overthrow the government (all 30 of them).
Please don’t get me wrong. While I think that most of these guys are completely deranged and mostly racist, there’s a small part of me that understands their anger and paranoia. When I was young, I did a few things like that – occupied buildings with a bunch of crazies to make political statements. Since those events, probably very much like this one from what I understand, involved an awful lot of weed smoking, (there isn’t much to do when you’re planning a revolution except get stoned, apparently) the paranoia is inevitable. Your Badass Auntie did some pretty wild things in her youth. Once, in particular, I remember being part of a group who occupied the administration buildings of a university in the UK.
So, there are some similarities here. We were a bunch of anarchists and socialists who wanted to force the University to kick some businesses off campus who funded apartheid in South Africa. ‘WTF is apartheid?’, I hear you saying. Well, apartheid was a system that treated black people as inferior to white people and was pretty fucking awful. The USA had a similar system in place too, at one time. Anyway, there was this very cool and inspiring guy called Nelson Mandela, who led the struggle to eliminate apartheid. The guy actually spent 25 years in prison in South Africa and still won the fight and became president. Now, if that doesn’t give you a case of ‘I can do anything I want to do if I really try’, I don’t know what will.
Getting back to the point. We occupied these buildings for a cause. Not everyone was particularly committed to the cause and not everyone behaved themselves well. So, despite the fact that we could claim the moral high ground, we still behaved like a bunch of idiots, were paranoid, thought the government were out to get us and, some of us even believed that there would be a revolution. It’s amazing how easy it is to get swept up into all of that if you’re disenfranchised, angry and frustrated with those in power. But the big difference was – we didn’t have guns. Neither did the police. So, no one died.
It didn’t end so well for those nut nuts in the USA last week. Everyone had guns and one of them was shot by the police and died. Then, your father shared the cutest video ever of you with your baby sister. You stated that you want to keep her safe. A strong statement from a two year old. So, those two incidents alone started me on the path of wondering ‘what’s worth dying for?’
You’ve got relatives that have fought in wars. They obviously thought that it was worth dying for their country in those wars. Thankfully they didn’t die. I’m not so inclined, I must admit. I can’t think of any ideology or nation I would be willing to die for. Given that I’d prefer not to die any time soon, I hope I’m not called upon, but should I be – I’d say, I’d certainly take some serious life threatening risks to protect your Tia. I haven’t spent a whole lot of time with you and your sister, but I’m guessing my instincts would make me inclined to be willing to fight off bears (not that I think it’s likely that I’ll ever be with you when bears threaten) to protect you. Your nature, certainly, is to protect your sister.
Those guys in the occupation stated, many times, that they were willing to die for their cause and some, believed it was inevitable. See, this is where the ‘nut nut’ bit comes in for me. If you think you’re likely to die, you clearly aren’t very optimistic about the success of the revolution you are planning. But then again, you have this whole other bunch of people who are into their religious beliefs and are willing to die for those. In fact, religion is often used as the justification for wars, where lots and lots of people die. Of course, the sensible know that the wars have nothing to do with religion, but with power and resources. Religions are pretty effective at making people willing to die. They offer all sorts of incentives after death.
I wonder if this is why I’m not inclined to be willing to die for much and will do pretty much everything I can to avoid finding myself in a situation, where that may be an option I have to consider. As a faithless individual, I don’t believe that there are any fabulous incentives post mortem. I don’t think I’ll be reunited with my dead loved ones and pets, running hand in paw over the rainbow bridge. I don’t think I’ll be receiving sex, drugs, rock and roll, clouds, angels, horns or whatever else there is to be had in that smorgasbord of theological afterlife buffet.
It will be interesting to see how you grow up and feel about these issues, which are about as life and fucking death as it gets. This is important shit, especially when it gets real. And this is what your Badass Auntie’s wisdom to you is today. If shit ever does get really fucking real, when you grow up – which is very possible given how crappily the world has been managed to date – if anyone ever asks you to be willing to die for something and you just aren’t up for that – come to visit. No one should ever be forced to give up their life for something they don’t believe in. Yes, your government – and most of the others – will try to convince you that they are worth dying for by using religion and fuckery, but you are under no obligation to believe that or participate in that. Fuck ’em. Come live with me and your Tia and we’ll spoil you and teach you that if there is any heaven, it’s in my fucking kitchen.
Much love from your Badass Auntie
I talked to your brother today about being willing to die for stuff. It’s heavy shit and so I’m going to lighten up. Instead of talking about being willing to sacrifice our own lives, I’m going to tell you about circumstances that drive me to want to sacrifice the lives of others. You see, there’s this thing called ‘customer service’. It sounds so harmless and even like it should be a good thing, but that’s where you’re wrong. Deadly wrong; because, after dealing with the interpretation some have of customer service, you’ll wish someone was dead – and it won’t be you.
Sorry sweetie, but I think this is going to be the start of our real relationship. I don’t know you at all, but I just feel like I can vent to you. So, when you’re older, be prepared for calls from your Badass Auntie, bitching about the world. If you were a bit older, this is the call you would be receiving.
CK – Hi Badass Auntie. I can’t really talk right now. I’m with some of my friends hanging out. Can I call you back later?
BAA – Hi CK. No you can’t. I need to fucking vent and I need to do it now. If I don’t, I may have to blow up several buildings and drown a few people. Please don’t feel obligated though.
CK – *deep sigh* OK. What is it now (meanwhile looking at your friends and making ‘crazy’ signs with your hands and rolling your eyes dramatically)?
BAA – Don’t think I can’t fucking hear you rolling your eyes at me.
CK – Hey! Wait a minute. I’m just trying to be nice. Don’t take it out on me.
BAA – Sorry honey. Anyway, I just want to fucking kill my electrician and the only thing good about him consistently not turning up when he says he’s going to is that he’s survived to live another day. Can you fucking believe that he’s told me he’ll be here in an hour every fucking hour for 5 days straight?
CK – Are you seriously calling me long distance just to bitch about your electrician?
BAA – Yes I fucking am and don’t get that sassy tone on with me or nothing from Amazon for your next birthday. Just fucking let me vent and make sympathetic noises and then you can get back to your friends. By the way, which friends, exactly, are you hanging out with?
CK – You don’t know any of my friends, so why does it matter?
BAA – It matters because I want to know if any of them have parents who are electricians.
CK – WTF
BAA – Tell them that if they do have parents who are electricians, I’m going to hunt them down because I’ve decided that the only way I can ever be happy again is if I commit electriciancide and wipe them all off the fucking planet.
CK – You’re being a bit melodramatic Badass Auntie. Don’t you think?
BAA – Melo Fucking Dramatic? Argggggggggggghhh!
CK – Have you had wine yet?
BAA – No.
CK – Go have some wine.
BAA – You’re probably right. See, this is why I love you. Love you. Love you. Love you. Muah Muah Muah.
CK – OK. Talk to you later. Love you too.
So, you’re Badass Auntie wisdom of the day is, I’ve just laid out the template for our future relationship. Get familiar with it. Remember that wine will always be the right answer.
Much love from your Badass Auntie