Pretty wearied out with life at the moment. Not in the suicidal way that implies, though – I’m not talking personally, but generally. Conceptually. Every single time I look at the news it’s just telling me people have died, or worse things are coming. Even today, tempered as it is with news that kidnapping victims of 10 years ago have been found… We have abuse, Measles, North Korea, Somalia. People being horrible to one another. Frankly I don’t care to look.
We’re just terrible to one another as a species. And if we’re not, accidents happen and people still suffer and die. I’m failing to see the point of it. It’s all just cruel and pointless.
I don’t see the meaning in it all. People live and die for the most unnecessary things, in the most unnecessary ways, all of the time. There’s no rhyme, no reason, no ‘grand plan’. I’m not a religious man, but I guess you could nevertheless see this as a crisis of faith. The world is fucking cruel. There’s not enough for everyone – space, food, resources. Some have and some don’t. So even if all the random culling stopped, even if everyone woke up suddenly equal in every way, it would all be nothing, because society would just come crashing down before breakfast. It’s all built on exploitation. Marx had it just right. We all shit on someone. I can’t even imagine the bottom rung. I can’t imagine there is one. I think A think they’re higher than B who think they’re higher than C who think that they’re higher than A. That’s the only way I can imagine it. That eventually there’s just a cycle of shit. Because otherwise you wouldn’t stand for it. I don’t think Marx was right about the higher classes keeping the lower classes down, at least not in the way he meant it, because if you go far enough down it’s just cyclical and people don’t know it’s the bottom. They don’t think they’re the lower. At the top, of course, he was dead on. The top definitely keep themselves there and the lower lower. And the lower all know it. But there’s subdivisions inside the lower, and nobody knows who is lower than whom, and everyone thinks differently.
The dedicated Marxist would say, ‘yes, of course, and the upper class manipulated that just so, to keep the proletariat down without them realising.’ I say bollocks to that, I say its human nature. People need to think they’re superior to something. Even in a true communist society, people would always find something to feel superior over. Even if it was false, there’d be something.
It’s human nature. Everyone needs someone to look down on. I’m not the first one to say it, and I won’t be the last, but I can’t help but think it’s the truth. It’s not pretty, and I don’t think it’s something we want to acknowledge most of the time, but there it is.
So yes. Life is unfair, random, cruel and absolutely meaningless. We get up, we eat, we work, we play, we love, if we’re lucky, but nothing and none of it actually means anything at all. It just doesn’t. Long after you and everything you ever stood for is long dust and long forgotten there will be something. Even if there is nobody to record it and nothing to be marked by it, time will keep on ticking past.
There’s a very lonely image there. Especially if you anthropomorphize the concepts. Which, as a Terry Pratchett reader, I’m kind of disposed to do. Pratchett’s Death even visits other anthropomorphic personifications, at their time. As does Gaiman’s, come to think of it. I think Pratchett’s fiction is that when the universe ends, Death will be the one who turns off the lights on his was out. I love that image. I think it’s beautiful. But the problem is that Time would be immortal. Even if it is passing unmarked, it is still passing. So you just have Death and Time floating in the void, observing the nothing, knowing that sometimes not everything does have its time to die.
I don’t like that very much. I prefer the image of a sadly smiling Death fondly switching off the lights as he leaves the dead and finished universe to its peace. Taking a final look at his raison d’être, taking in all the memories and finalities, sighing, smiling, and finishing his long work at last. That’s an image I can get behind. Bittersweet, of course, but poignant in its way, and lovely and calming. I like the idea that eventually even Death will be allowed to answer the question of ‘what comes after?’ Because if anyone deserves to know it’s him. If he’s lucky, maybe there will even be cats.
‘What is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?’Death thought about it.CATS, he said eventually. CATS ARE NICE.