December 1st, 1948 – An unidentified man is found dead along the beachline of west Australia near the unsuspecting town of Adelaide. Penniless, his sprawled form lies propped against a seawall, face frozen in haunting incredulity, a cigarette tucked behind a single ear while another languishes half-burned, perched upon the lapel of an unfashionably-warm coat of American make. He stares across the water, silently pondering a fate that would baffle detectives and frustrate codebreakers for the next 70 years.
On my first international trip, I had no idea what to expect from a land whose language I could barely utilize to ask for the bathroom or even a “biblioteca”. We invited others, feeling safety in groups was the key to infiltrating a country plagued by drug trafficking and cartels, but ultimately departed alone, figuring the water-locked tourist-trap would be safe enough. So what exactly DID we find when we left the comforts of the United States?
Just what should we be looking out for, now that every human whim has an outlet, some form of social acceptance where most bizarre circumstances don’t even merit a second glance? How exactly do you spot true “crazy” in American culture? (Don’t expect answers.)
If you’re anything like me, you grow ever more cautious with each approaching day. That student has a backpack! Is he a terrorist? Is that badged man concealing a gun?! Unfortunately, weapons are here to stay so whether or not you are going to get murdered at your workplace falls squarely on the second part of the equation: a person’s willingness to use that weapon. Unfortunately, a bevy of modern-day products and social norms make it especially tricky to notice who is deranged enough to end your life. (It is worth noting that “insanity” isn’t always harmful, but we’re not too worried about that kind, now are we?)
I’m taking a massive shot in the dark here, but this article continues up on my postulations regarding what awaits us in the after-life, good or bad. In part 2, we will explore some various concepts of Hell propositioned by movies, our religious leaders, and a few theories of my own. Remember kids, there are no “educated” guesses on this topic, since we’re all just creating the myths as we go along. Popular media is as valid as any source, so reach your own conclusions.