Book 16 - John Dies at the End by David Wong

Two friends accidentally gain the ability to see into hell. They ustilize this ability the same as pretty much anyone would. With confusion, difficulty and a major lack of understanding.

There isn't a whole lot to say about this book. Its a very simple very entertaining read that isn't filled with any deep symbolism or any intense thought provoking passages. It doesn't pretend to be. It manages to do its job perfectly, simultaneously keeping you hooked and entertained throughout. If you make it though the book without wishing you were John, I don't really know what to tell you. You soulless machine.

My one gripe is the book takes a hard left turn about 3/4 of the way through and changes alot. in some ways that just doesn't tie in with the rest of the book. It seems like David Wong stopped writing at some point and when he came back took the story in another direction. This makes some of the passages near the end a bit difficult to parse. Still fun though.

Cheer up. Its not that bad!

Recently we found the oldest galaxy yet. Some megaboffins in some big building got together, pointed some mirrors and some telescopes and did some spells with some candles and out popped a picture of this old foggie;

Look at that bad boy. 12.4 billion years old and still pulsing away, looking barely 10 billion.

But I'm not here to talk your ear off about some utterly unknowably immense ball of fire and gas from the ass-end of the universe. No, I'm here because while I was reading about this fantastic, amazing, jaw dropping discovery, I started reading forums and web pages about it. A poor move on my part, amateur even. I should have been prepared. I've been around the net enough to know what comments and forums are usually like. What I found was a bunch of idiots saying that this discovery only makes us even more insignificant, only punctuates the pointlessness of life and the ironic duality that science presents us with, simultaneously making the world an amazing place, while giving us concrete proof that there is no point in it all.

What a big load of assholes. For a moment they even had me, they pulled me in with there toxic cloud of utter negativity. I sat for a moment and went "yeah, its a shame isn't it." Then something snapped in my head and my apathy turned to anger. Not at the universe as you might expect, but at these dickholes, these self important little shits. How dare they.

They arn't alone. Infact its the In thing these days to ramble off about how humanity is but a single drop in a vast ocean and our lives are as a single blink of an eye in the life of the universe. I hope these people all blink into incoming traffic. All our achievements will all turn to dust and every memory and idea ever formed will someday be gone. Pessimism.

But here's the trick. You want to know a secret? Really? Ok come close, listen in. Keep it quiet now. They are wrong.

Yep, really. Utterly, Wrongingly wrong.

These people are also trash. These are worthless people, secretly masturbating to this fetish of a doomed universe where all of human achievement amounts to nothing, because that makes life easy for them. Pessimism is the easy road. If the universe is ending and there's nothing we can do, why worry? Fuck it. Sit back, let life pass us by. They cruse through their pathetic lives infecting others with their vile poisonous worldview, somehow justifying this utterly nihilistic look on life by twisting science and stories like this to fit their needs.

While reading this stuff I was hit by the realisation that these idiots probably support their local football team more than they support their god damn species. But I can see you guys, yes you, you dickwad. Tutting and smiling a smug smile. the same smile that you put on when another amazing discovery or theory is made, happy to know that your nothing life is just as meaningful as the lives of these super human scientists, because in the end, what difference does it make?

To be a bit more eloquent, and nice to the people on the fence on this whole thing, let me explain why and how these pessimists are so awfully wrong. and Smile. Please.

First of all, I want to clear this up. Science. Science isn't a tool by which we can stare our own pointlessness in the face. Its the tool with which we make ourselves so so much more than a blink of an eye. Its the jack we use to prop open the eye, to stare into it and to scream at the top of our lungs. Science not only makes us the single most important thing in our solar system, and possibly beyond, it gives us the power to know we are important, if only you look at it with a slightly less final look at everything. With time, with more super scientists, slowly, science will even save our species from any and every eventuality up to and including the heat death of the universe. Yes. Really.

People forget our achievements so easily, or minimize them to the point of nothingness. Even normal people who just plan dont have a stance on how to look at the universe sometimes forget, I understand that, some of this stuff seems to happen so far away and so unreal sometimes, it becomes easy to forget. But really when you think about it, in the short time we've had to work it all out, we've done some bloody cracking stuff.
Pictured: Something We Actually Actually did.

And the next comment is obviously "but look at all the horrible things Nems Look at the waaaaaaaaaaars and the faaaamine and the deeeeeath" and yes its horrible and terrible and sometimes when humans do bad things we do bad things. This hurts more if you're constantly trying to see people for what we are as a group, amazing, intelligent, nice people. Some people are horrible though, I know that. I just don't think that's a good reason to decide that humanity is worthless. Amazingly though, science helps even here. I know it may seem terrible but Science and technology has made war a much easier and bloodless thing. Time was to fight a war you needed numbers, raw, meat grinder battles and that's about it. Now you need robots, a small standing force and an airforce. Time was a single virus could wipe out humanity, now science is curing every aliment that attacks us. Time was if the weather wasn't perfect, no crops, and without the crops, you'd die. No more are we hunted beasts, flapping in the wind of nature and bending and breaking to the random whims of an angry planet. We are now this planets masters. Using our massive brains and our immense understanding we are able to plant our feet, turn and face Nature and smile in the face of what is now our equal.

Next, Our apparently unalterable course to our timely demise. This is the kicker I think, you can laugh at me over the whole science issue, because we're obviously going to wipe ourselves out. Mankind is a bunch of raving lunatics waving nuclear weapons around like an overplayed metaphor about a cat. I'll actually grant this to the naysayers. Yes, if we manage to blow ourselves to hell before we leave this planet, then we're boned. However, that's right I said however, don't let your fucking guard down with me you dreary bastard, We're getting off this rock. Soon. Sooner than you negative nancies think. within our lifetimes we're going to see the start of the movement and within a could generations, mankind will be living on two massive rocks in the void. I beseech anyone and everyone to come up with some method by which humanity can be wiped out when it lives on two different planets. Humanity becomes immortal.

That's about all I have the energy for really. The end message of all this is that its more likely than not that we're going to come out aces. We're the greatest thing this solar system has produced and we have potential to be an immortal race that will shape the very universe we now look at in awe. With science and ingenuity and drive, the only thing holding us back is attitudes. People who rally against science for interrupting there own personal power trips, religions, "spiritualists" and of course, the same pessimists who twist what is a pure and amazing tool to their own, evil needs.

Boom, stitch that.
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