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Chris Cornell Commits Suicide

May 20th, 2017 by Michael Tabor

Image result for chris cornell

Chris Cornell, lead singer and frontman of the grunge rock band, SoundGarden, hanged himself in his hotel room only hours after performing a concert on Wednesday night. Chris was 52 years old and seemingly “had it all” – more money than any one-person needs, fame, celebrity, friends, family, loved by family, loved by millions, super-talented and revered. What is going on??? Another suicide that just doesn’t seem to add up (to some ignorant people anyway).

Clinical depression is not something that’s “all in your head” nor is it something that you can just snap out of. The best book I’ve ever read on this subject was by the late William Styron titled ‘Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness”. This memoir in fewer than 200 pages encapsulated what it’s “like” to be clinically and suicidally depressed. Describing depression lucidly and in concrete terms is virtually impossible. Styron did an amazing job by teasing out the details metaphorically i.e. “like being in an overheated waiting room for eternity with no relief in sight…” …an unfathomable suffocating, choking and drowning feeling…”  Simply the epitome of hopelessness, helplessness, futility and unspeakable FATIGUE + the horrible feeling of “I’m never ever going to escape this…all is lost. Everything is dark, lonely and ugly.

Check this out: 121 die by suicide each day and 93 of them are men. According to the CDC, most of the men are between the ages of 45 – 65 and an overwhelming number of the suicide victims are white (7 out of 10) and counterintuitively, many victims seem to be financially independent ($$ does not buy happiness). When people are struggling to eke out a living, they’re less likely to kill themselves.

Can you imagine the pain and agony Chris Cornell was in??? Stangling yourself to death!!! Could you do that? Even if you were stricken with a dreadful terminal disease like ALS, that way of offing yourself just doesn’t seem possible – at least to me anyway. So WhaDaYaThink? WhaDaYaThink? I hope you have found peace, Chris.

This is eerie…Chris basically saying goodbye.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ao7HSRFYWI

 

 

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Shelly Kagan’s Lecture Series on Death

April 29th, 2017 by Michael Tabor

Image result for secularisation death and dying

If you’re secular and you dread the thought of death, then this is the lecture series to watch (provided you have time to watch all 26 lectures). I first saw this about 5 years ago and returned to watch it again and again in its entirety because for me, it taught me that if there is nothing after this life here on Earth, then there is absolutely nothing to be frightened of. I was truly liberated from that crippling fear of non-existence. I had never been happier in my life. But, 3 years ago I had an NDE (Near Death Experience) and I don’t know if it was a glimpse into the afterlife or a trauma-induced hallucination. (I’ll blog about my experience some day. Thus far I’ve been unable to put it into words.) So I’m back to square one again.

Nevertheless, I highly recommend this. Shelly Kagan covers everything here. Not only did he mitigate my fear of death, I learned how to better think like a philosopher when confronted with any difficult circumstance, situation or issue.

Must – see!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2J7wSuFRl8&list=PLEA18FAF1AD9047B0

 

 

 

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Mike At The Movies

March 7th, 2017 by Michael Tabor

Be Here Now

Image result for be here now andy whitfield   Image result for be here now andy whitfield  Image result for be here now andy whitfield

This is a documentary film about an extraordinary man’s struggle with terminal non-Hodgeon’s lymphoma. His name was Andy Whitfield and he was the star of the series ‘Spartacus’. After having achieved all this huge success at first as a male model and then an actor, he was diagnosed with this horrible stage 4 cancer at the age of 39. Andy Whitfield was a beautiful man both outside and inside; when you see the guy, your 1st reaction is “Damn, why do some guys get all the breaks in life ?”. I mean I don’t think you can get a more handsome man with chiseled facial features, stunning blue eyes and a perfect physique – 6-pack and all. And no I am not a gay man but yes even a heterosexual can’t help but admire this Adonis and say to themselves that lucky guy must get all the girls or anyone he wants.

This was an important film for me because of my own personal health issues. I know all the stages and the ups and downs, hopes and disappointments, strides and setbacks, the chronic agonizing pain…. Seeing this documentary has inspired me to be a better person, to only hope to be ½ the man Andy Whitfield was in every respect. In this film you see what a great husband he was, a father- so kind, loving and nurturing. Andy was as brave and courageous as a man can be and he never gave up hope right to the end. Not to mention his extraordinary intelligence, wit and charm. Watching this and seeing him fight through the chemo, radiation and alternative treatments I kept saying to myself – please God don’t let him die – please save him but it was not meant to be (spoiler alert – sorry)

The one scene that really tore my heart out was when Andy got the terrible news that after dozens of rounds of chemotherapy he wasn’t going to make it. Hearing the news, Andy didn’t cry or get angry, he just sat silent and then turned to his incredibly loyal and loving wife and said I LOVE YOU! Please see this movie – you can stream it off Netflix. It truly is a story about courage, love, resilience and everything that is beautiful in life. This life truly is a gift and Andy Whitfield has shown me in this film how to better spend the rest of my life, how to be a more loving person, to have more gratitude, and when the time comes to die like a man. RIP Andy Whitfield and as he said to his 2 beautiful children at the end – my body is broken like a butterfly with broken wings but I’ll always be with you – always.

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“What A Drag It is Getting Old”

March 10th, 2014 by Michael Tabor

Oops, I’m slower, older, and certainly not as quick – witted, hence, I actually got the song title wrong, it’s actually “Mother’s mid - lifemid-life2Little Helper” by the Rolling Stones. What’s so weird is that the “helper” is valium i.e. it is among the benzodiazepine family such as Klonopine, Librium, Xanax, etc. which doesn’t give you a boost at all, it just makes you tired and want to sleep for eternity – lol.

I’m blogging about this now because though I’m not ‘90’ (I’m 50 – btw, unlike ‘40’ there is nothing redeeming about turning ‘50’ – it s**ks !!!) Right now my my back is killing me, I’m tired, and I looked at the mirror just now and it looks like I’ve been hit by a truck.

Oh well, I now know that none of my grandiose dreams of writing the next great novel, or doing anything remotely important (Is anything really important when you look at the big picture and observe the cosmos ???) are over & that’s that !!! I know this is a snarky remark, but 99.9% of the people living right now will be dead and gone forever before we reach the next century. The good news is that I am not afraid of the inevitable end and I’ve realized that the only, truly important thing is to really appreciate EVERY single day right NOW !!! Being in the near – twilight of my life I’ve also learned to appreciate and love my loved ones (and cats) more than ever.
So Whadayathink ? What do you think ? I don’t want this to be a depressing blog, because, quite frankly, I’m not sure I’ve ever been happier in my life (who wants to live forever – uggghh!!!)

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My Lucky Star

February 22nd, 2014 by Magdalena Tabor

Linda. With the one tiny braid in her long blond hair. I had one just like it but mine was a deep dark brown.lucky star
Linda. The tiny gold star hanging on a chain at her throat. It was mine but I gave it to her. It was inscibed “My Lucky Star”.
Linda. Sitting at the kitchen table eating home baked cookies with my mother while I changed out of school clothes. You’d think the two of them were best friends instead of us. Chatting away and giggling.
I remember the first time I met Linda. I was maybe twelve, just on the brink of forming real friendships. Growing out of adolescence and into…….a “teenager”. I had a friend around the corner named Joann. One day Joann introduced me to a friend she knew from school. That was that. No more Joann. Linda and I became nearly inseparable doing the sort of things girls at that age do. Experiencing “first time” things together, although in my eyes, Linda was the more worldly of us two.
Like all best friends, Linda was the first person I ever confided in. The first one I shared the most personal part of myself…..my poetry. (She cried and I figured it was good). My “Diary Of a Mad Schoolgirl”, the side splitting journal of our day to day antics, embellished to make it even funnier.
Time passed. We formed other friendships. Got married. Moved away. But always, there was Linda. Outgoing. Fun loving. Adventurous. Writing me long long letters about her travels. Islands here. Paradise there. Dog mushing in Alaska. I was a little bit jealous after reading that last one. Kept it for awhile and then threw it away. Threw them all out, not out of spite but Spring Cleaned Linda into oblivion. Wish I had that letter now.
One day, several years ago, her mother called me from Florida. That was where they were all living now. Linda had had some surgery done. Something cosmetic. Unnecessary. It went wrong. Caused a series of strokes almost killing her. In a way it did. She went blind. Temporarily at first, then again, this time for good. As if that wasn’t bad enough, she lost almost all of her memory. Couldn’t even remember close family members. Not even her husband….her kids….Me.
I couldn’t get my arms around it. Doesn’t remember me? How can she not remember me? Me. Her best friend.
All those memories. Those ridiculously hilarious moments. Gone. Just like that.
I still spoke to Linda. Called her up and tried to make her remember but hit a wall every time. She just couldn’t. Instead, we’d make small talk. A thick black line drawn between us. As definitive as an iron bar. In my mind I was screaming…..I don’t want to talk about the weather! This is me, Goddammit! Maybe I should have screamed it out loud. Maybe she would have finally remembered the real me.
I even saw her once more. She came to New York for her daughter’s wedding. She was sitting on her aunt’s sofa and couldn’t even stand up by herself. They had to help her. She nearly broke my neck hugging me. That hug told me something unlocked. Something clicked. That she remembered “something”.
Yesterday I got another call…. Linda died. Linda. My Linda.
If what they say is true, then she has not only gained immortality but has regained her sight, watching me cry my eyes out. She’s still wearing that gold chain I gave her all those years ago. Hey. Remember me? I’m your Lucky Star.

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“Dr. Death” Kevorkian Was One Creepy Dude

October 15th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

drk1drk2drk3

I am for one, 100% for euthanasia, and the belief not being any different from what we do with our beloved pets, only makes sense, to peacefully end the life of a human being who can never be cured, has zero quality of life and is only in pain and suffering needlessly.

Having said that, the person to whom you should never turn if you had for example terminal cancer or ALS, would be the ghoulish Dr. Kevorkian (he died anyway 5/26/1928 – 6/3/2011 . I initially thought that Dr. K., though a little eccentric, and a little too obsessed with the macabre, was actually doing, though monumentally depressing, a very necessary and noble deed. However, I just discovered the very, and I mean very disturbing artwork of “Crazy Jackie.” Check it out….it is not for the faint of heart.

A whole book could be written about the moral and ethical practice of euthanasia but I just wanted to throw this up on WhaDaWeThink and get your reaction.

P.S. – We here at WhaDaWeThink, have made an editorial decision to make our blogs basically short and to the point. For months, we’ve had complaints from people who have stated that, though we love your blog, we just can’t read and respond all of the time. Hence, we’ve clipped our blogs a bit in the hopes that maybe this will meet your needs in your very busy day in a world with a prodigious glut of information.

So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ?  “Crazy Jackie !!!” – lol

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“Let’s Swim to the Moon”

May 29th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

“Before I slip into unconsciousness, I’d like to have another kiss … ” Jim Morrison was obsessed with death and talked, sang, and wrote about it his whole short life right up until he met his very own end on July 3, 1971 in Paris – he was only 27. Jim died peacefully in the bathtub they say of – excess, alcoholism, pneumonia, a heroin overdose (though Jim didn’t like the drug) a heart attack … nobody knows for sure. There are conspiracy theories galore and they’re all over the web including the possibility that his death was a fake (another Elvis thing) but sadly Jim Morrison did in fact die and the sad truth is that those who knew him well were not in the least bit surprised; Jim was coughing and throwing  up blood months before and why there was no autopsy and more importantly why his loved ones didn’t help him get some sort of medical attention is a mystery. Nevertheless, Jim and the Doors died in 1971 despite 2 of the remaining band members – Ray Manzarek  (Magdalena wrote an obit. A couple of weeks ago regarding his death) and Robby Krieger tried to revive The Doors with Stewart Copeland as drummer and well …that’s another story.
Since Magdalena’s blog about the death of the amazing keyboardist/bassist Ray Manzarek, I’ve not been able to pull myself away from listening, reading , and researching all about this incredibly original rock band who not only were way before their time but explored death, chaos, edge, uncertainty, revolution, etc. like no other group before – as some people would say, they were the Yang of Yin, the Beatles talked and sang about love and The Doors threw in our face Vietnam and darkness.

Certainly for me, at the age of 49, there are better, more educated writers who can quench my existential thirst, but The Doors were special – no doubt about it. The members of the band were educated and thoughtful; they actually named the group after Aldous Huxley’s ‘Doors Of Perception’ and were heavily influenced by the poet William Blake and the beat writers: Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs, etc. and Jim read all of Nietzsche’s work. I liked what critic, Henry Collins, had to say about the singing of Jim Morrison – his voice was controlled, rich, masculine, almost balladeer (believe it or not, Jim loved the crooners i.e. Frank Sinatra) and then that tenderness would morph into this wild, feral and ferocious animal!!!
The band really began with a chance encounter with Ray Mancerek and Jim Morrison meeting at UCLA film school – both were never really that serious about EVER becoming rock stars (Jim always wanted to be a poet and Ray contemplated practicing law) but as we all know… the rest is history.
Well, WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? Are/were you a Doors fan? What I enjoyed the most was Morrison’s improvisational style; you never knew what he would do next, he was a dangerous, scary, exciting Adonis. The band was also not your three chord, typical boogie back then, the music was jazzy, bluesy and simultaneously beautiful and very odd.

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Mankind’s Nemesis – Religion!!!

May 6th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

It’s 2013, the Human Genome Project was completed a decade ago in 2003 – the entire genetic make – up of a human being (which incidentally was initially estimated would take a century or so to sequence. It took 13 years. We neglected to factor in that science and technology moves exponentially not linearly), the internet as we know it is 20 + years old, and via stem cell research and cutting – edge biotechnology we ARE going to be able to manufacture vital organs, cure cancer, and have answers and solutions for a plethora of other dreadful diseases. Someday we may even understand what consciousness is or the very thing that makes you – you. Just imagine the possibilities!!! Immortality (I personally wouldn’t want to live forever but I don’t think I’d mind a couple of hundred more years or so).

Well if there’s any hope in living longer and enjoying better lives, one thing must go – The inane yet insidious fairy tale – religion. Okay my mother believes in Jesus/Christianity, etc and many other people I love cling to the myths – fine…. But the fanaticism must go, and one religion must go completely and that is Islam.
This killer kid, Dzhoklar Tsarnnaev, who incidentally I’m sick to death of reading and hearing about, could have had it all, but he threw it all away for make – believe stories that happen to be vicious violent nonsensical rubbish taken literally from the outlandishly, spectacularly, achingly and almost hilariously tome, the koran. Daniel Dennett, one of the greatest scientific minds of today calls religion cravenness. I love this word. The OED defines it as cowardly, contemptibly timid, and pusillanimous. That’s it – the fear of the fact that everything, and I mean everything including the great universe itself lives and will someday die. Why does that upset people???
So WhaDaYaThink ??? What do you think ? How do we become progressive and ultimately eradicate ignorance? I’m not overly concerned about folks who like Proverbs and the teachings of Jesus as long as it’s held in check. I mean DO NOT interfere with stem cell research, accept that evolution is a fact, and lets work together to make better lives for ourselves and our children.

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Do We Survive Our Death or Is there Life After The End of Life ???

March 26th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

Or how about – “After I have finished eaten my ice cream cone, is there anymore ice cream left to be eaten?” These questions seem absurd, for the answers to which are built right into the questions itself. “After the game is over, what happens in the game?”

Nevertheless, we conscious, sentient, self – reflecting human beings have been asking whether or not there is life after death since time immemorial; in fact, the notion of whether there is life after the end of life is considered to be one of the greatest mysteries of all time. Yet, if you ponder the question, and for not all that long, the answer has got to be NO. Or is it ???

So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? This is an example of a Zen koan.

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Cancer: The Master of All Maladies – Is it Possible to Find a Universal Cure ???

January 22nd, 2013 by Michael Tabor
After being diagnosed with cancer, one feels horrifyingly frightened and unspeakably alone and alienated; imagine the milli – second before the big bang occurred type of loneliness or if you happen to have a monotheistic worldview, dwell on the utterly terrifying concept of being GOD – you know the Christian God – barrenly and existentially alone.
Today I read an article from the science journal ‘Nature Chemistry’ which stated in a nutshell that scientists have discovered a “quadruple helix” which may suggest a clue as to the root cause of how and why cancer cells proliferate so prodigiously. Since cancer is “viral – like” in terms of our body and white blood cells not recognizing a foreign invader and the fact that every cancer is different, many oncologists are skeptical about whether or not they will ever find a universal cure. Just think of cancer as a terrorist type of beast that hijacks your normally – functioning cells and tells your DNA in essence to “follow my orders – I’m your new captain” , then grows wildly(resulting in sickening tumors) and ultimately the satanic beast sucks every last bit of life, to the marrow and until it kills you – the host. But, today’s announcement has given us some hope.

Cancer in this country and around the world is so widespread, that the saying “If you live long enough, eventually you will get some form of malignancy” holds a lot of weight once you look at the statistics. 600,000 Americans will die of cancer this year and more than 7 million people around the world will succumb to this most deadly disease. We have made tremendous strides and have come a remarkably long way in terms of 1. Diagnosing the disease (get your annual checkup) and 2.Treating cancer, the 3 major ways: a. surgery b. chemotherapy or c. radiation or a combination of all three, if you catch it early enough.
One of the nastiest types of cancer is acute leukemia, which is really cancer of the white blood cells (the very cells that are in normal situations, supposed to protect you from illness) – one nurse I can recall her saying that “when a patient has acute leukemia, you are always on super alert, because being a blood malignancy, even a paper cut is an emergency. I bring this up, because many years ago in the ‘90s, a good friend and colleague of mine lost his daughter to Leukemia and even though I have not heard from nor seen Ed L. (the father) in a long time, tears well up and I have to immediately distract myself so I won’t become profoundly depressed.

This is a short essay so I can’t elaborate on anything other than the fact that this discovery of a “quadruple – helix” is incredibly exciting stuff. Without getting into medical jargon (+ I’m not an oncologist) this makes me feel quite optimistic, because just think – what makes cancer such a Goddamn formidable disease is that we CAN’T isolate the healthy cells from the malignant ones so whatever form of treatment (if you get it in time) you choose you invariably are going to kill healthy tissue as well (collateral damage is a useful metaphor).

So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? There isn’t a person alive today, who hasn’t personally been affected or who hasn’t known someone who has died of cancer. I know it’s unpleasant, but the obvious full medical exam is in order and when you’re my age (almost 50) i.e. the finger in the butt or colonoscopy and for women – please don’t put off mammograms and pap smears. Have a long, happy, and healthy life everyone.


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