I saw a movie once, Kill Theory is the name, and I can tell you the movie had a sobering effect on me. Plot: A guy goes on a climbing trip with his girlfriend and close friends (read BFFs) and they meet with a misfortune. After an accident leaves all four hanging on a rope which can only support the weight of one, they stare hopelessly into the face of death below. In a (as the guy later says) very rational moment, he sees that it is either he cut his friends off or they all plunge down into the hereafter. He decides that heaven can wait for him…but no such luck for his friends, except if they miraculously find angels along the way down from who they’d borrow wings. Saw, saw, saw, his knife goes at the rope below him. His companions fall: Thud! Thud! Thud! He climbs to safety, sheds a few tears for his friends and eventually gets rescued. For all his trouble, he is accused and convicted of offing his friends and is sentenced to 3-year stint in an asylum.
Okay, cut to eight teenagers holidaying in a summer house and they are held hostage by the crazy guy with an ultimatum: kill yourselves. Last man standing by 6am leaves (and lives). Failing that, they all die. Some wanted to stick together till the end, some decided to strike out on their own. Some actively began the elimination process and the movie got underway. This is where I stop telling, as progressing with the story will contain spoilers for anyone who wishes to see the movie. If you really want to know what happens next, there’s always Wikipedia.
My aim here is not to tell you the story; my aim is to pose the dilemma to you: To kill or not to kill, that’s the question.
So, let me be more specific. In the guy’s shoes, what will it be? “Hey, friends, we’ll see each other in the afterlife” while you proclaim the Musketeers’ Anthem “one for all, all for one”. Or will it be “Sorry old pals, it’s nothing personal but I still have a good run left on this machine to want out of the game. So long, guys.”
On your marks…get set…GO!
The decision not to kill seems to be a valid goody-two-shoes option. And it does not assault our delicate sensibilities. Hey, let’s hold hands and sing ‘Amazing Grace’ while getting ready for a modern-day, Masada-like self-extermination scheme for the sake of friendship. I mean what’s life? A journey that lasts, at most, 120 years compared to earth’s 4.7 billion years with 6 billion more on the same voyage. A greater part of the life you spend goofing off. And there is no guarantee for longevity: you could lose the life you just saved to almost anything almost immediately after. Could anything be more puny and inconsequential—sort of like a 0.000001 in an equation of billion valued variables? Look on the bright side. You will be doing the world a favor by freeing up some scarce resources for others and will be making significant (how significant?) efforts in the progress of current population control attempts. You should even be raring to go if the afterlife is half of what it’s cracked up to be. And you hold hands and shut your eyes tightly…only peering from a squint, now and then, at your friends just in case one has a change of mind at the end and wants to pull a fast one on you and beat a fast exit. Hell, you are not a mind reader.
On the other hand, the big picture might not interest you a bit. The self-preservation rule of man kicks in. It’s MY life, it screams. I don’t care how life, in general, is puny. It’s all I have, the movie I play the lead role in. Everything else pales into insignificance before it. Die with my friends? Oh hell! Make like a pigeon and fly-crap on that idea! I am the only one that matters. Check out: nobody even spends up to half the time you spend with yourself with you. Not mother, not brother; neither friend nor lover. So who’s your best friend? Guess who you’d be rooting for? Definitely not your ‘heartthrob’ or your ‘apple of an eye’. Hey, these days a malfunctioning heart could get switched for a better one. And don’t get me started on the apple of an eye. Hah, you could get an eye patch. Damn thing makes you look so cool it seems like an incentive for losing an eye. So the idea to die with friends almost seems laughable. What friends? The ones who would rarely give you a much-needed boost? They’d rather offer you some bottles to give a false cheer because that would be more cost effective. No sir, in this world, it’s every man for himself. So that option is a waste.
You may try to be all civil and courteous about this business. Like in the cliffhangers’ scenario, they, in all fairness, decide to toss a die to determine who lives. Highest number wins. Jody, get your dice out, let’s see who gets out. So they roll dice and the third guy down wins. Well, Jack on top has the knife and that doesn’t cut (no pun intended) it for him. No way! I wouldn’t let anything as chancy as a dice dictate my life. He suggests another elimination process. Fattest one lets go. Andrews, I saw you on the bathroom scale and I know you are 2 pounds overweight. You know it’s probably for the best before the heart attack comes. It wasn’t a good idea to stuff your face in the beginning. If the situation were reversed, I would approve of this fair decision. Goodbye. Saw, saw, saw. ARRRGGH! THUD! Okay, now who has cancer? HIV? Malaria? Cough and catarrh? Lisa, I saw you sniffle. Is that a cold? No fair, I was just crying for Andrews. Oh Lis! Shame on you! At least be honest. The truth will set you free. And so will the lie. Saw, saw, saw. Jody, I got more brains than you and I’m more likely to impact the world positively than you. That’s not true; I’ve always done better in school than you. I meant street smarts, dumbo. Saw, saw, saw.
When push comes to shove (pun pretty much intended) you stand alone in the world. So it is the survival of the fittest (or sharpest). No brother in the jungle, as they say. You say, that’s cruel, Ebuka. But I say in this world where some are in plenty, even colossal excess, a lot are dying from starvation. Some countries are burning food for fuel or dumping them in waters for economic reasons, while in some others, people go to bed hungry. They are strangers, granted. What of the way people switch friends when they climb up the social scale?
So if I happen to be locked up in a house with acquaintances (let me not be so insensitive to say ‘friends’) with the request to give everyone a dirt nap or the opportunity to kick buckets before 6am the next day, I will find the most effective weapon and back into the farthest and least accessible corner. And pray nobody makes any sudden innocuous motions towards me (even if it is to ask the time). I’m not going to start anything but there’s no way I’m going to trust something like anybody’s altruistic feelings. I happen to take the aggressive defense approach very serious. And something had better go down before 5.30am or all bets are off.
What?! I’m just saying that’s all.
Written by theYakadude