2018-08-01 00:00 blog

In Spite Of Everything

I know, one is supposed to wake, cheery, yawning, stretching arms out, in silk pajamas as the sun beams into the room through French doors.

Not a morning goes by now that I'm not immediately thinking about how long we've got--as a species, as some meat-based infection on the planet. I'd be less grim and misanthropic if the situation wasn't so obviously dire. Evidentially dire. Measurably dire. Tangibly dire. Reading yesterday about the 'QAnon' people, it seems clear that we as a species have gone completely and irreparably insane. Reading about the area that is burning to the ground, again, in California, where people still refuse to acknowledge climate change is real--well, it's just incremental fodder for this morning malaise. The most dangerous time we've ever known is right now, right this second, and it's not getting any better and it won't get better with all these crazy, willfully stupid people--we, us, our fellow humans, literally our neighbors.

It's tempting to just let go--slide off into the deep end of the pool and fight crazy with crazy. Maybe the UFOs will come and save us. Maybe the orbiting satellites will relay meaningful eschatological instructions via pink laser beams. It's a fun game, but the stakes are too high now to really believe it.

In spite of everything I'll keep writing fiction, knowing that fiction cannot compete with the nightmares being generated by the crowd, the mental condition of a culture that adores and supports extremes. Writing fiction is a strategy of mental survival. It's a way to silo the crazy. Instead of actually believing Ronald Reagan rode a dinosaur into battle against the forces of Karl Marx, you exorcise it by writing it down, getting it out of your head. But if you're evil, you'll claim it's true. If you're not evil you'll call it what it is--lies and daydreams, idiotic children's stories and diversions. To separate fiction from reality, it's crucial to understand how fiction works.

And blogging, that noble, ancient art, is meta information around this endeavor of bedtime stories. It's marginalia. It's a quiet scream in an absolutely dark room with no walls, full of other people. At least you think they're people, I'm not sure we can yet say for sure. So that's what this is, a quiet scream, a screaming marginalia.