Mortal politics – The River Reporter

Posted: October 29, 2020 at 8:56 pm

By SKIP MENDLER

(Applause.) Thank you. Thank you very much. Please yes, thank you please, be seated. (Applause continues.) Thank you again. (Applause subsides.)

My dear friends and fellow mortals:

It is my distinct pleasure, as well as honor, to address this fifth gathering of the Mortal Americans Party, and to accept your nomination to be your candidate for Prime Speaker of the New American Democratic Republic. (Applause.)

In the Mortal Americans Party, we have, at last, I believe, found the one thing that ultimately unites us all. Our friends in the Transhumanist Life Extension Party and the Eternal Life Party may disagree, of course, and we look forward to our ongoing discussionsbut for now, we have come together here today on one basic fact:

Were all gonna die. (Applause.)

Liberals, conservatives, atheists and believers alikeall races, genders, variations, mutations and modificationswhatever our backgrounds, whatever our present circumstances, whatever our dreams for the future, we have learned that we must always keep that one inalterable fact somewhere in our minds and let it inform all that we do.

For too long, we tried to pretend that death didnt matter. We kept it in the closet. We tried to hold it at bay with vitamin supplements and dentures, Viagra and facelifts. We idolized youth and kept the elderly at a safe distance.

But the pandemics, and the years of upheaval they have caused, have changed all that.

There is no one way to cope with mortality, of course. Some of us are of the eat, drink and be merry philosophy. (Drunken cheers from the Hedonist Caucus.) Some of us take refuge in the comforts of spirituality. (Shouts of Amen! and Namaste!) Some of us embrace the dark aspects of fatalism. (Silence from the goths under the bleachers.) We respect and honor each others decisions, as we would have our own respected and honored. But I think we who have come here, at least, have agreed that it is important to do what we can, in the time that we have, where we are, with what we have been given. (Applause.)

We have learned that it is not just about us, but about those who preceded us in history, and those to come, who will take up our path in the future. We have learned both to take the long view and to live with gratitude in the moment. We have learned that short-term personal gain is unfulfilling when compared to helping our fellow mortals cope with the pains and challenges of life. We have learned that we cannot be uninvolved in the lives of others, however hard we might try. We have learned that while it is good to live independently and self-sufficiently as possible, there is no shame in asking for help. We have learned, painfully, that unbridled self-centeredness, the idea that I gotta get mine, and to hell with the rest of you, does not workneither for an individual nor a nation.

Most of all, we have learned that todaythis momentis ineffably precious. We must use it as best we canwhether it is to go vote, to help a neighbor, to take care of ourselvesbecause we do not know if we will be given another chance.

So let us move forward, my friends, towards the inevitable, with uplifted spirits. Give out of your heart, as our slogan goes, until your heart gives out.

Let me leave you with the words of Phil Ochs:

And I wont be laughing at the lies, when Im gone

And I cant question how, or when, or why, when Im gone

Cant live proud enough to die, when Im gone

So I guess Ill have to do it while Im here.

(Applause.)

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Mortal politics - The River Reporter

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