Brendon is, of course, doing his usual shock jock/frat boy thing in the presentation, but I don’t doubt that the underlying sentiment is sincere, as I’ve heard the same sort of thing from countless people before. We do love us the opportunity to sneer at substance abusers who just wouldn’t listen in middle-school health class, don’t we? Not so “cool” now, are you, stoner boy? Ah, we’ve come so far from the days when early church fathers like Tertullian and Augustine could openly talk about how one of the greatest pleasures awaiting the elect in heaven was being able to look over the ramparts and enjoy the spectacle of all the damned being tortured in hell.

I ask again: aren’t we supposed to be living in a post-Christian world or something? When is Idiot America going to finally get the memo? This relentless drive to moralize about absolutely everything under the sun is so fucking tiresome, not to mention misguided. The majority of human activity simply has no moral significance at all. There are no prizes for effort being handed out at the finish line. No bonus points, no credits, no frequent flyer miles being accrued. The universe does not give a hop, skip and a fuck how you die, at what age, or in what circumstances. John Calvin’s angry God is not going to be mollified if you make it to age 96, bedridden, full of guilt and regret for lost opportunities, and wearing a diaper. Precious few of us ever get to die with dignity intact, whether it comes by way of heroin in our veins, cheese and beef in our arteries, disease in our genes, or whether we just didn’t properly stabilize the ladder before cleaning out the gutters. Given that, you might want to recognize that your main responsibility while alive is to your loved ones, not to a resentful, humorless vision of life as a trial of endurance.