December 21, 2010

The human has always been a flawed invention, something temporary, something that could never last. And only now, in the bleak, final days of our existence, do we realise that we were unreal from the outset. In which case the inevitablity of our extinction as a species becomes nothing more than of the decomposition of a certain form, the failure of a particular evolutionary trajectory.

We now know that the “human” is the invention of a failed species, a species which is remarkable only in that it has actively produced the conditions of its own extinction. And yet we continue with indifference. We continue to go to work, to walk through shopping malls and supermarkets, satisfying our vaccuous individualities in whichever ways we can, to go to war over diminishing resources and ideology, all in support of a fiction which is falling apart every day. The most interesting thing, though, is not that we continue to live our day to day lives from within such a pretence, but that we plan for the future as if the future will be the same as the present, as if things will continue to tick along indefinitely, as if it will all blow over.

One does not need to be pessimistic about this. Our liberation from the chains of humanity carries with it multiple implications for our attitudes towards extinction, the conduct of life, and for political practice. We understand that the specific and relatively insignificant evolutionary trajectory we call the human race was always heading towards extinction. The invention of man created the illusion that we were important, that our thoughts, our actions, our institutions and organisations, were important in some lasting sense, that we are the centre of it all. This we know to be a fallacy. But the realization of our impending extinction implies that these organisations, these institutions, these political practices are built on a fictional ground. Why, then, continue to tick along in the way that we do? The brute fact of our fate demands a new kind of political practice, unencumbered by the ideology of progress that still, to this day, dominates mainstream political discourse.

Advertisements

December 18, 2010

I thought for a while about looking for you. But you had already gone. Having received a hand written letter informing me of this, I went outside and felt your absence in the street. It occurred to me that the library was probably the most convenient place to pursue the inertia of my thoughts, since it no longer housed any books to distract me, as did other places.

The rose bushes along the way failed to produce any scent, and the thorns scratched at my skin. But I allowed it to happen, in spite of the pain. The concrete was cracking under my feet with every step. I had no idea that I had become so heavy. A policeman found me offensive and was no longer able to control his disgust, shouting around the same themes over and over again, none of them his own, although he took them to be so. As do I, with themes that are not my own. And this too has been said before.

Having spent some time grappling with the policeman, he ended up as a corpse, and I felt myself pleased with the outcome. I found that some people were following me, and I knew it was not about the police officer. It was too late for him. Nor was it about my weight. But until they caught up with me I could not have discovered that they were offering to cure me of the scratches inflicted upon me by the thorns from the rose bushes, the crumpled flowers of which now lay scattered on the ground like the death of something irreplaceable, showing with certainty that a performance so singular can never be repeated. They took me by the arms as their gentle prisoner and guided me onward in every direction, and I felt as though you would at some point return, and that they were in some sense responsible for the manifestation of this event.

The leader said things to me, not about you, not about the police, not even about the scratches. And as he whispered in my ear, careful not to extend to his comrades the revelation of his secret, I understood the tension in his voice. His fear placed a great weight upon him and he was unable to relate this to the others, who had never seen below the surface. He said that the moment he had caught hold of me he felt that I was different from them, that I showed him something he already knew. He asked me how I coped with such knowledge; how it was that it did not frighten me. I told him that I live without hope.

We arrived at the library and you were removing the last of the books from the otherwise empty shelves. It occurred to me that you had forgotten. Neither of us had enjoyed such a glance before, like the very first time but without such scars. Your hand felt warm as you grasped hold of my arm, replacing the troubled leader who shrank down and evaporated. You walked with me across the room to the fountain where I lay dying on the stone steps. And with my last breath, as you wiped the sweat from my temple, I told you that I loved you.

 

December 18, 2010

What is the meaning of the end of the world? How do we write this certainty? It is surely all there is left to write. The failure of humanity is well evidenced. Its survival is unlikely. Our survival!

This is all the writing that remains to be done.

December 14, 2010

Humanity is dying. We have seen Nietzsche’s last man. We see him everywhere. We are ourselves the last men and women, lost and alone in a world that has ceased to be really lived. There is no longer anything of importance precisely because the real is inaccessible to us. We can merely grasp at the flow of images which move so quickly and evaporate before we have have sufficiently registered them. The modern world is the end of man. Is it possible to think beyond this man/world relation?