Avicii’s song The Nights contains a chorus sung in a very inspiring-sounding way, which makes it impressive how bad the advice in it is:
The chorus says, “One day, you’ll leave this world behind so live a life you will remember.”
It would be difficult to think of a worse lesson from “one day you’ll leave this world behind”. There are only two possibilities for after you die:
- You don’t remember anything from this life (e.g. because you no longer exist)
- You do remember things from this life
If #1 is the outcome, then there is zero point to trying to “live a life you will remember.” So we’re only concerned with possibility #2.
If you will remember things from this life, then there are two possible ways that the afterlife could go:
- The things you did matter
- The things you did don’t matter
Since the afterlife is, presumably, going to be a lot longer than this life, if we’re in condition 2.1 then forget living a life you will remember and live a life of virtue. If we’re in condition 2.2, then we’re talking about ideas like the ancient pagan idea that the afterlife was just a dark motionless cave in which nothing bad or good happened, the spirits just kind of are. It probably gives some idea what that would be like to consider that the shades from Hades all told Odysseus that it really sucked to be dead and a miserable life alive was still better than being a mere shade. A life that you will remember will probably just torment you with what you no longer have and can no longer do.
If you look at the video, it’s mostly short clips of Avicii in places that are impressive and cost a decent amount of money to go to. In short, this is an anthem of having money and spending it all on fleeting experiences.
In fact, you can tell that they don’t fill his soul up nearly so much as he pretends that they do because he constantly needs new ones. He’s never in the same place twice. It’s a pretty good hint that you can find something substantive at Church because people keep going back to the same church, just as you can tell that people find real food at the grocery store because they keep going back to the same grocery store.
One might almost propose it as a test: you can tell that a man has found something truly interesting if he is boring. There are exceptions, but most of the time people do interesting things it is because their attention isn’t occupied by something interesting so they must do something interesting to have something to think about.
This, by the way, is why I’ve never been drunk in my life. There are far too many interesting things in life to take time off from paying attention to them. I’ve already got to spend a large fraction of my time asleep; I can’t spare more.