Which Half Is Wasted?
Rick Webb

Humans are unhappy animals. Unhappy because we are the only animals on planet earth that are aware of our mortality. There is no cure for our misery. Throughout the 300,000 years since Homo sapiens evolved, the main way we tried to assuage our angst was through the lie of religion. For all the complexity of religious dogma, scratch all the glitter off and you get to the glittering

fool’s gold.

Buy the faith fantasy and your soul will survive your body’s physical death.

This is obvious nonsense. The 21st Century is the first century in human history where a large number of humans (though still a minority) are rubbing the delusional smoke out of our eyes.

The origin of advertising was religious belief. As a native-born citizen of the USA, (Jewish by genetics and never a religious believer) I have been steeped in Christianity propaganda/advertising all my life.

It’s the near-perfect scam.

Read the Bible, Move your Rosary beads, Kiss your cross, Put money in the collection box. Read your Bible. Knock on doors.

Whatever the flavor you choose, you are told and try to believe that your soul will not die when your physical body dies.

No one ever comes back to complain.

There is no there there.

There is no here.


As animals, humans have always lived as long as we could. We breathed air. We drank water and other fluids. We ate food. We wore clothes. We built and lived in housing. And so on.

In the meantime we try and distract ourselves from our fatal knowledge of our inevitable mortality.

That is all marketing and advertising is. It’s how we connect human animals with the stuff we need to physically survive and psychologically distract ourselves while we wait to die. That’s my hobby horse. Your essay (proto book) is well written and held my interest.

I would like your suggestion as a scholar and student of advertising on a project I am distracting myself with in my 73rd year of life as I try to amuse myself until I die. (I am healthy but the clock is ticking and I have had some mortality jiggles and bumps. As Ernst Becker and his acolytes have pointed out, talking about death creates great anxiety in humans, so you may flee listening to my questions and project. So be it.

I think humans talk to much and listen too little. Yes, I am the worst offender. I am striving to accomplish the following project in 2018 (assuming i stay alive).

I propose that all of Homo sapins observe one second of silence on Jan 1, 2018 and gradually build to 24 hours of world wide silence on the last day of 2018.

I think our species is in great danger of species suicide by the end of this century. If you think not, convince me. I think a world wide day of silence with focus on attention on our commonality as a species and put off our self caused apocalypse a bit. If you read this far, in the midst of your work your fine book, I would be fascinated by your thoughts on how to advertise my project.

Thank you.