Procreation, Pleasure, Pain, Passing away… Sex and death are entirely connected, yet so divorced from each other in how we perceive them. Or should I say, our Western society chooses not to connect them. Ever. Now that I think of it, “we” are uncomfortable speaking about both sex and death, even separately. Sex ed, STDs, terminal illnesses, school shootings, the afterlife, bodies… Uncomfortable creepy crawly conversations. Taboos. For such an “advanced” age, it’s no wonder there are so many problems. Why have I chosen this as a topic for a blog post? It’s one of those convergence of things that I came across in the last couple days, along with stuff I have thought about for ages. Now… I wrote too long a blog post last week. I’m prone to this. So instead of writing voluminously, I’m just going to post links and photos and videos. Let’s see if you all can connect the dots. Or at least enjoy this seemingly meaningless set of things I’m presenting. At least sex and death, as topics, can be pretty…interesting…on their own. Enjoy your mortality, folks!
Your Friendly Neighborhood Mortician
Caitlin Doughty went to the University of Chicago right after I did, and through mutual theater acquaintances on facebook, I came across her website, The Order of the Good Death, and her incredibly funny and informative videos. Her mission: to bring back mortality into daily life.
Fuck the Pain Away
Your friendly post-feminist ultra out-there rocker, Peaches,writes and plays the instruments and performs all her own work. I think it’s brilliant. Years ago I created a performance piece that some of you may have seen in Chicago entitled Inventing Eve. We closed with “I’m the Kinda“. Here’s her breakthrough song, “Fuck the Pain Away.”
Alien Diseases in Deep Space
In the season 5 Star Trek Voyager episode “Disease,” love is likened to a disease. Young Ensign Harry Kim has sex with a gorgeous alien and develops a biochemical bond. His skins starts to glow and everything, and leaving the alien causes him to suffer lots and lots of aches and pains, and could be potentially fatal to him. Here’s the “dramatic” trailer. Oooh, steamy!
Send Your Remains to Outer Space – FOR REAL
I’ve been researching ways of disposing bodies. Why? Watching Caitlyn’s videos got me thinking seriously about how I want to be disposed of. Yes, this is going to sound a lot like “what I want to be when I grow up,” but instead is, “what I want to be after I die.” So, after I donate as many organs as possible, I want to donate my body to “science,” and after they’re done with me, there’s a sort of “green” chemical liquification sort of alternative to cremation they’re doing in England, and then I want my remains sent out to space. Yes, space, as in outer space! For a few small thousands, they will fly a few ounces of your cremated remains on a rocket into space. I MUST do this. Check out this amazing company Celestis. They really ham it up – each launch has it’s own “mission” name, like “The New Frontier Flight,” and they call the dead, “The Participants.” There are several options, an orbital flight, a return flight, a deep space flight, and even a final resting place on the moon! If I can’t get there while I’m alive, I might as well get there when I’m dead. Lots of famous people have done it, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, his wife, actress Majel Barrett, a few Star Trek actors and astronauts, and lots of ordinary people ride alongside them.
I can’t help but think about the ramifications of sending human remains into space. I know that ashes have no remaining DNA. But I can’t help but think of this Star Trek TNG episode “The Chase,” where the crew of the Enterprise is in a race with other alien species to solve a genetic puzzle. Some sort of algorithm was imprinted in the DNA of many species of aliens, a result of a very advanced species who were alone in the galaxy who scattered their DNA among many planets. I’d like to imagine my DNA bringing life to other planets. See this moving video clip:
So I ended up writing a lot. So what. I hope you enjoyed the videos.