Tomas Kalnoky has proven a poet whose words are never from my mind. As Here’s to Life1 will no doubt ring through my head through much of the upcoming Bioethics Discussion on Suicide, as I sit down to pen my upcoming class-concluding “philosophies”, I am more than half tempted to begin the speeches with Kalnoky’s question beginning the song “Would You Be Impressed?”:
Would you be upset if I told you we were dying
and every cure they gave us was a lie?
O, They mean it when they say we’re dead and doomed
and every single symptom brings us closer to the tomb.
And who will take the credit for our swift, impending fall?
Because it’s not my fault.
It fits, perhaps biasedly, in with my conception of the work confronting those of us along biomedical lines. In the end, we must be a practical lot. Hand in glove with practice is reality and hence, I am of the belief that we need to look squarely at “where we end up” because the reality of the situation is (as ever) “every cure they gave us” will not remove the fact of our pre-ordained personal and total extinction (i.e., “our swift, impending fall”). It helps to look to the horizon to know how much further you have yet to go. Plays called on first and ten are not those called at fourth and inches.
The interested reader/listener is encouraged to check out more of his lyrical/musical brilliance on display with one of the funner music videos I can recall, below.
- For example: “Hemingway never seemed to mind / the banalities of a normal life / and I find / it gets harder every time. / So he aimed a shotgun into the blue / placed his faced in between the two / and sighed, / ‘Here’s to life.’ “