How vain it is to sit down to write when you haven't stood up to live?
(In case you missed it)…introducing, The Suicide Coaster!
A colleague of mine sent this article my way, published a few months ago regarding the controversial debate of doctor assisted suicide. Thinking outside the box is one thing—I consider this innovation thinking outside of the BALLPARK.
Rather than basic, traditional euthanasia, Julijonas Urbonas envisions a method in which one can take their own life as
…an intellectual and artful departure from the world…
Keeping talking…sounds way more epic than morphine binging already.
Imagine strapping yourself into this kind of roller coaster seat, pictured above. Can you imagine the suspense? For three minutes straight, you’ll make the 1/3 mile climb (1,600 feet ~ that’s over five football fields!):
“Click-click-click-click-click-click” Up, up, up, up, up. Straight up. In fact, during the three-minute ride, two of the minutes are dedicated to the elevation-defying climb alone.
I imagine you see the light at the precipice—that moment where the hands of time come to a standstill before the indecipherable free-fall. Cue the Tom Petty.
The gravitational force is what kills you. 10 G’s blasting your entire existence. This is one coaster I’d put my hands up on. Described to me at the office as “just barely enough to get you to pass out, where your blood pools to your extremities.” (I liked the artsy explanation much more)
Here’s where the plot thickens. Urbonas describes the agonizingly slow climb as a method to challenge the rider’s decision making:
The rider has a few minutes to contemplate his decision and his life in retrospect. He would find enough time to adapt to the height and get through a series of imaginary fatal falls, while realizing that the objects on the ground are getting smaller…The slightest movement of the car would trigger intense heart-beating and goosebumps and most importantly it would test your decision. Therefore the very top of the tower is an ideal place to give the very last word.
Damn. As if that isn’t intense enough. The rider—THEN—is forced to be the trigger man himself/herself. At 1,600 feet, the coaster makes the rider hit the “FALL” button. Wait, wait—before you slam down on that easy button!
Now that the riders have weighed these pressing thoughts, they can either slam that button down and plummet to a loop-de-loop death, or hit the other button? I imagine it says something along the lines of “get me the hell out of here…but, slowly.”
This raises another radical thought in my mind. Imagine that prisoner on Death Row, —the proclaimed loon convicted of mass-murder, the guy who swears he’ll die with his unresolved innocence—imagine him in line for Texas-style capital punishment. Can a human remain stubborn moments before his annihilation? Why hold a poker face with no chips left in the stack? How to get him to spill his guts; how to con the truth out of him? Forget psychoactive truth serum, shut down the Guantanamo dog pound and tear up that tactical Abu Ghraib list. Send this guy or gal—innocent until proven guilty—up the damn coaster ramp and wire/mike ‘em up for either a humane confession…or the platform/stage to exclaim a last-second “F-U” to society
(Or an apology?)
OK, that is a bit much. I’ll stick to my non-innovative ways for now.
Not trying to get too political on this subject, but I’ve always personally believed a human should have the right to “play God” under the right circumstances. Isn’t it somewhat playing God for us humans to say “we know what you are feeling” to those enduring severe pain on their stiff death beds. Aren’t we playing God enough already when we hook up wires and implement advanced medicine to prolong that person’s unnatural life expectancy in this heavenly world? If we are going to draw a line at all, why does this line continue contorting, stretching, shifting?
What those circumstances actually are is a debate that will continue to dilly-dally on likely for the rest of my lifetime, despite what my home state Oregon believes about dignity and one’s inalienable rights. However, I believe pushing the limits of fear is the perfect way to lift up each and every layer of a life decision that is certainly far more complex than a “LIVE” or “DIE” button. If one is going to have a moment of clarity, it’s not happening in the vulnerable state of a one-window-shared-room-hospital-compound. If you are authentically religious—regardless which sect you follow—can’t we agree that a person about to make that decision might as well be closer to God when doing so? Give them a chance to speak and listen to an element of truth on the highest stage possible. Isn’t it true—the only thing man fears more than death, is public speaking? The audience of fear—our all-time most intimidating critic—is always the one jotting the speech. We know this, it’s a universal axiom.
Regardless how crazy this idea sounds—If I could come up with a name for it, I’d call it “The Continental Divide.”
But who am I to explain what it’s all about, hear it from the visionary himself here.