There were a lot of things I enjoyed about Caitlin Moran's How to Be a Woman. This is merely one of them:
If we wonder why people are so apathetic and casual about every eminently avoidable horror in the world – famine, war, disease, the seas gradually turning piss-yellow and filling with ring-pulls and shattered fax machines – it's right there. Heaven. The biggest waste of our time we ever invented, outside of jigsaws."
"Personally, I like the fact that we're going to die. There's nothing more exhilarating than waking up every morning and going, "WOW! THIS IS IT! THIS IS REALLY IT!" It focuses the mind wonderfully. It makes you love vividly, work intensely, and realize that, in the scheme of things, you really don't have time to sit on the sofa in your undies watching Homes Under the Hammer.
Death is not a release, but an incentive. The more focused you are on your death, the more righteously you live your life. My traditional closing-time rant – after the one where I cry that they closed that amazing chippy on Tollington Road, the one that did the pickled eggs – is that humans still believe in an afterlife. I genuinely think it's the biggest philosophical problem the earth faces. Even avowedly nonreligious people think they'll be meeting up with nana and their dead dog, Crackers, when they finally keel over. Everyone thinks they're getting a harp.
But believing in an afterlife totally negates your current existence. It's like an insidious and destabilizing mental illness. Underneath every day – every action, every word – you think it doesn't really matter if you screw up this time around because you can sort it all out in paradise. You make it up with your parents and become a better person and lose that final 14 pounds in heaven. And learn how to speak French. You'll have time, after all! It's eternity! And you'll have wings, and it'll be sunny! So, really, who cares what you do now? This is really just some lackluster waiting room you're going to be in for only 20 minutes, during which you will have no wings at all and are forced to walk around, on your feet, like pigs do.