Last night I had a dream that Hawkeye was shooting arrows at people from Avengers Tower and meowing in a sing-song voice, and I thought, “Wow, Hawkeye’s dialogue is so much better in Avengers: Age of Ultron!”
When my husband [Carl Sagan] died, because he was so famous and known for not being a believer, many people would come up to me — it still sometimes happens — and ask me if Carl changed at the end and converted to a belief in an afterlife. They also frequently ask me if I think I will see him again.
Carl faced his death with unflagging courage and never sought refuge in illusions. The tragedy was that we knew we would never see each other again. I don’t ever expect to be reunited with Carl. But, the great thing is that when we were together, for nearly twenty years, we lived with a vivid appreciation of how brief and precious life is. We never trivialized the meaning of death by pretending it was anything other than a final parting. Every single moment that we were alive and we were together was miraculous — not miraculous in the sense of inexplicable or supernatural. We knew we were beneficiaries of chance… That pure chance could be so generous and so kind… That we could find each other, as Carl wrote so beautifully in Cosmos, you know, in the vastness of space and the immensity of time… That we could be together for twenty years. That is something which sustains me and it’s much more meaningful.
The way he treated me and the way I treated him, the way we took care of each other and our family, while he lived. That is so much more important than the idea I will see him someday. I don’t think I’ll ever see Carl again. But I saw him. We saw each other. We found each other in the cosmos, and that was wonderful.
Imagine the baby that would result from a night of passion between Ebenezer Scrooge (before the spirits changed his ways) and Mr. Krabs from Spongebob. Now imagine that baby grew up and married the baby that would result from a night of passion between Yzma from the Emperor’s New Groove and Mr. Burns from the Simpsons. Now imagine the newlyweds had a baby of their own, and that baby was raised aboard a Ferengi Starship, where she was tutored in empathy and compassion by Lord Voldemort. Now imagine that baby grew up and someone told her that any opinions she might have or conclusions she might reach are based on objective logic and reason, and that anyone who disagrees with her is simply being irrational. Now multiply that person’s greed and heartlessness by 100 and you’ll begin to see something that comes close to resembling Ayn Rand.