“Life sucks and you die”
The informant is in her mid-50s and currently living in Tampa, Florida. She told me about the phrase “life sucks and you die.” She says this phrase because she says that this brings reality to life and can sometimes put things into perspective. The informant told me that she’s tired of life seeming unreal and fake on social media and how we have unrealistic expectations about what life should look like. The informant uses this phrase to express frustration with life or as a coping mechanism for difficult circumstances. However, she also uses it as a humorous or ironic statement.
The informant learned this phrase from her mom when she was a young adult living in Boston. The informant stated that this phrase was commonly used by comedian Bill Hicks, who frequently used the expression in his stand-up comedy routines in the 1990s. Her mom heard it from this comedian and frequently started saying it and then the informant picked it up.
While it is true that life can be challenging at times, it is important to remember that there are also many positive experiences and opportunities that life can offer. Focusing only on the negative aspects of life can lead to a sense of hopelessness, which can have a detrimental impact on mental and emotional well-being. I understand the informant’s reasonings for saying this expression, but I prefer to maintain a more optimistic view of life.
This phrase is a minor genre of folklore because it is a popular American expression that people use to express their pessimism for life or even just express their dissatisfaction when life gets rough.