Thursday, October 15, 2009

That's definitely the last time I'm puking into my crotch

Fictional works that deal with immortality frequently touch on the way in which it is a curse as much as it is a blessing. The most common one is about love, and how everyone you will ever love will be dead within a few decades. The second is the indifference to human suffering that comes from personally viewing centuries of people living and dying, nations rising and falling.

This is why I found the ending to Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End to be so unsatisfying. [SPOILER ALERT BUT REALLY YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN THIS MOVIE BY NOW] At the end, Will Turner is badly wounded, but instead of dying, he becomes the new ferryman for the souls of the dead. This means that he will live forever, and he also gets to see Elizabeth one day out of every ten years. The problem is that Elizabeth isn't immortal, which makes this just about the worst job to take simply because you're in lurve. She's going to be alive another fifty years, tops, and then what's Will going to do? Quit his job as ferryman? Find a successor who can stab his heart and send him to the world of the dead? Davy Jones at least had a better deal going for him, being able to get his freak on with a goddess one day out of every decade, because she was just as immortal as he was.

All I can think is that Will is eventually going to start getting his son and his grandchildren to set him up on dates.  "I'm not asking very much of you here," he'll say. "You don't even have to visit me for Thanksgiving or Christmas. All I want is a nice piece of tail that one day every ten years that I come back to shore." He'll probably just find a successor, though, because using your descendents as a dating service almost seems worse than an eternity of stubbed toes.

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