We mentioned in class the other day how “dying young” can be considered a “bad death”. However, I came to thinking about our current young culture of YOLO (Thank you Drake). “You only live once” has perfused through so much of our culture, especially for young populations, that death is a far off thing. Right now, people feel they’re invincible, living on extremes and partaking in behavior that contributes to a slow and invisible death (the booze and buzz for example). The typical college scene thrives off of this image of do-whatever-you-want because, hey, what do you have to lose (besides your one life)?
I was listening to Lana Del Rey’s “Born to Die”, and I thought it summed up this idea in an interesting way. The lyrics:
Let me kiss you hard in the pouring rain
You like your girls insane…
Choose your last words,
This is the last time
Cause you and I
We were born to die”
In an interview Lana says, “When I was young I was overwhelmed by thoughts of my own mortality, but I also found fleeting moments of happiness in the arms of my lover and friends. This track and the record are about these two worlds–death and love–coming together.”
Our culture is so obsessed with death, but in a variety of ways apparent in our social media. The underlying theme I see, especially in music, is that regardless of how or when you die, death is universal. We are all born in this world and at some point we all leave it. It almost is like we are born to die, for death is inescapable for everyone. Why not go all out then and “live like you’re dying”?