Friday, February 5, 2021

Death Takes No Holidays

Knight and Death playing chess in The Seventh Seal

Many people are or are not aware of their own mortality. That may seem tautological, but there are those who just want to get on with their lives, not thinking about finitude and a segment of the population who exist in a state, to quote Kierkegaard, of “fear and trembling.” Actually, Heidegger said you could not attain what he called an authentic state of being without the awareness of death. The expression “he lived like there was no tomorrow” is actually misleading. The person who lives it up is probably someone who believes there will be an unending amount of tomorrows. Now however, the plague and concomitant political discord that has hit civilization has changed things. There are few people who are not made cognizant of the fragility of their lives—on a daily basis. Even Ingmar Bergman who meditated so eloquently on death in movies like The Seventh Seal couldn’t have dreamt up the current predicament in which viruses create lockdowns and threaten to mutate in ever more contagious forms. In fact, The Seventh Seal takes place during the Plague which affected Europe in the Middle Ages. If you’re a dour individual who could never stand the Panglossian optimism of your confreres, you’re likely enjoying the schadenfreude of seeing irritatingly positive creatures grounded like birds caught in an oil spill. Anyway if you have nothing better to do while you’re confined, why not challenge death to a game of chess?

Read "MAGA and Coronavirus" by Francis LevyThe East Hampton Star

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.