I don’t know why, but I woke up today thinking about Christopher Reeves. For those of you who don’t know, Reeves was the living embodiment of sad irony, having spent the first half of his adult life as Superman and the second half of his life as a quadriplegic, due to a horse riding incident gone bad (which, in a strange twist of fate, eerily mirrored one of his rare non-superman roles). As Superman, Reeves was super handsome and presumably banged a ton of chicks and partied like only Superman can. As a quadriplegic, Reeves was an inspirational speaker, outspoken proponent of stem-cell research and a beacon of hope for pretty much everyone. He died due to the inevitable complications that arise when you can’t feel or move your body at all, and well…I guess it was sad.
I say “I guess” because I didn’t really know Christopher Reeves and I definitely had no connection to him beyond his being in some movies that I really liked, and if that was criteria for me to actively care about someone, well, I’d care about OJ Simpson and Jim Carrey. But as it stands, both of them kind of revolt me (for different reasons, obviously). Now, I don’t want to sound cruel, and I don’t want to get off track here (though I am), but everyone dies, and I need to have a pretty strict criteria of who I’m gonna get upset for, or else I’m gonna spend the whole of my brief time on this earth depressed. Superman, while cool, kind of slides in a little past my grief boundary. As such, ya know…I’m sure it sucks for those people who loved him. Anyway, not the point.
The point is, during his inspirational speaker years, he made some speech (and I’d bet my ass that almost all of his speeches contained something akin to this) where he discussed being Superman and how he was rich, he was loved, he was banging hot chicks and partying and he thought he had this great life, and then BOOM, he was paralyzed and he realized that the parties, the girls, the fame, the money, “None of it matters.”
Well, sure. If you’re paralyzed, that’s true. Having working legs, being able to pee voluntarily, moving without the use of a breathing tube and special chair, these are all high-priority things. Getting a few cocktails in the VIP room don’t even register on the radar. Absolutely. I don’t dispute that at all. I think his point was “I should have been hanging out with the people who I really love instead of craving all this empty, soulless attention and validation from random dinguses, but I was caught in the spotlights, man.” But I think that’s a bit disingenuous and naïve. Here’s why:
When you’re stuck in a wheelchair, yes, all the people who wanted to party with/fuck you simply because you’re Superman disappear. Sure. But didn’t he KNOW that then? Of course he did. I mean, that’s kind of the whole thing about working towards success: “those assholes that never gave me the time of day are gonna be kissing my ass pretty soon” is a HUGE motivator for a lot of people.
The thing is, when you aren’t confined to a prison-body, things like going out and celebrating your success and enjoying life are actually important things. Are they the most important things? No fucking way. Not even close, but to say that it doesn’t matter at all is CRAZY. If it wasn’t for those lost, coked up nights of banging chicks in front of a green screen while wearing a cape, Christopher Reeves would never have had the perspective to see his ultimately doomed existence as anything more than a totally unfair shitshow. It’s precisely BECAUSE he reveled in his situation that he was able to keep his head screwed on so straight after he had his accident. You see what I’m saying here? There’s the things that are important: being cool to the people in your family and the people you love tops the list, but then there’s ALSO enjoying life. Because, lemme tell you something, there’s NOTHING that would piss me off more than winding up in a wheelchair sitting around in my mom’s house for the rest of my days if I had just spent the last ten years, when I was SUPERMAN, just sitting around with my mom because that’s “the only shit that matters.” I think, in that situation I’d be saying things like “man, I should have been out there living it up when I had the chance. Now I’m fucked.”
My point is not that Christopher Reeves is not awesome (he is) or that he was full of shit (he’s not). I think his perspective is obviously pretty unique and far be it from me to crap on his inspirational speaking gig, which obviously was tremendously effective in helping people overcome obstacles big and small.
No, my point is that if Superman can end up in a wheelchair shitting into a bag, anyone can. And sometimes you have to say fuck it and have fun while you have the time, or make yourself the time, take the chance because once you’re fucked, you’re fucked all the way.
That said, first and foremost, be nice to your kids, always. They need you, AND, they’re the ones who are gonna be wiping your ass later. Don’t forget that.
Have a good one, folks. Xoxoxoxox
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