Death and Taxes

It’s the old chestnut. Death and taxes: the two inevitable facts of life except taxes are avoidable if you know how, whereas death is not.

The other day a female stand up comedienne named Lucy Montgomery stated on BBC Extra that she wanted played at her funeral Welcome to Hell, a record by a UK heavy metal rock band called Venom. (ouch) She could have been just joking in a kind of Goth fashion but I must admit I didn’t see the joke. It’s one of those things that casually slip out of folks without much forethought. It’s curious that people who deny any kind of divinity or afterlife experience will often admit that Hell exists even if they believe Heaven doesn’t. I suppose the logic is that at least you know that the worst that can possibly be expected is Hell so you can do what you like with no surprises later, whereas Heaven has to be earned. For most people, seeing the manifestations of a heavenly world on earth as expressed in architecture, art or music implies a belief in its existence afterwards and even the most die-hard (excuse the pun) atheist can be moved by such things. Maybe it takes imagination to advance your life to that moment when you leave this world. But imagination is in short supply these days as all the image-making is being created for you by the image-creators of Hollywood or wherever. So the images of Heaven or Hell are being played out there in the mediated reality, not inside us.

How many accountants or actuaries have every detail of their lives worked out to the last penny except for that moment when the axe falls and the angel of death comes a-calling.  Didn’t they factor this in to their Excel spreadsheet? All the taxes dodged and avoided, all unpredictable events insured and still the one certain thing that we know will happen has been completely ignored. Truly amazing.

This post is short. Like life.

About Ian Whiteman

see www.cwdm-portfolio.com
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