If life’s too short, wait until death

Todd Vanderwerff

Todd Vanderwerff

The other day, I woke up and laid around in bed for awhile. Then I had a thought that I didn’t think I would have for a few years. The thought was so shocking that I had to get out of bed.

What I thought was this: Well, you’re not getting any younger. I had planned on not thinking this until I was 30. I’m in my 20s. I’m supposed to be kicking it up and having wild parties and sleeping with actresses and such, not thinking about how I’m not getting any younger. Your 20s are for being cool, your 30s for frantically trying to stay cool and your 40s for grasping at anything that will make you cool again. After that, you age gracefully.

And yet, here I am, dreading the grave already.

But I shouldn’t. If anything, the world proved me right this week. You can accomplish just about anything, even if you’re dead.

This past week, Walt Disney and Salvador Dali were nominated for an Academy Award. This may not seem particularly remarkable, as both men were geniuses and certainly deserving of an Academy Award, until you consider the fact that both men have been dead for quite some time now. It’s not as though they started this project, then died just as it was finished. No, they died a long time ago, then somehow completed their little film from beyond the grave.

Now, I know science is allowing people to live longer and be productive for a much longer period of time than was once thought possible, but this is ridiculous! If Disney and Dali have taught us anything, it’s not that we should fear getting older but rather that we should fear having so much to do that even death won’t put a stop to us completing menial tasks. I would wager that Walter and Salvador would have been quite happy just being dead and not having to work, but for whatever reason, they needed to animate an obscure short about a woman who makes out with melting clock monsters. Or something (I’ve seen it. It doesn’t make a lot of sense, which just proves the old adage, “Salvador Dali was a surrealist.”).

Of course, what really happened was that Disney and Dali collaborated on a short cartoon, then never got the time to finish it. When the Disney corporation and Walt’s nephew Roy Disney found the sketches in their vaults, they threw it together on a bunch of computers and got two men who have been dead for decades Oscar nominations. If Disney was cryogenically frozen like some say he was, I hope they thaw him out for the ceremony. I bet he’s really tired.

I guess the ultimate point of all of this is that if you don’t feel you’ve gotten proper recognition in life, you can always do something after you die. Why, just a few years ago, I read a magazine article about a psychic woman who takes dictation from dead composers. The woman didn’t know how to write music before she began being visited by Beethoven, Bach, and the like and she still doesn’t. Surprisingly enough, the music the composers dictate to her is really, really bad, which either proves that no one in the afterlife has any musical ability or the woman is a fraud. Still, though, it has to give you hope. If you’ve always wanted to write a symphony, this woman can help you after you’ve died.

I do hope, however, that I make enough of an impression on people in my life that I don’t have to do anything in my death.

After all, when Disney and Dali win their Oscars, where are they going to keep them? It would seem a little tacky to leave them by their graves.

Todd VanDerWerff is the editor-in-chief of this rag-tag publication and a wanna-be Hollywood insider. You can share your own thoughts on tinsel town with him via e-mail at [email protected]