December 31, 2008

Regular readers and friends — and most people who read this regularly are friends — often sense the tug of that black hole of cynicism that beats in my breast and sucks at my soul: a dark and dense mass of pessimism that draws all happiness and cheer into the crushing gravity of misanthropy.

I don’t know what exactly turned me into a cynic: maybe it was a miserable childhood raised by self absorbed drug addicted parents; maybe it was my grade school experience as a highly intelligent and sensitive faggot who was abused and ridiculed because of his small stature and difference; maybe it was facing a life-threatening cancer at the age of 25. Or maybe it’s because it has been so long since I last felt the caress of love.

The simple truth that life sucks — and that it always has and always will — is a realization that I came to at a very early age. Subsequent experience has only clothed this cynicism with a sturdy cloak of pessimism.

Maybe that’s why I’m so popular at cocktail parties.


The Most Salient Feature of Microsoft Products

December 30, 2008

Whither Utopia?

December 29, 2008

The naïve long for utopia.

The cynics and immoralists long for the return of Shiva, the destroyer.

“One furthers one’s ego always at the expense of others;” “Life always lives at the expense of other life” — he who does not grasp this has not taken even the first step toward honesty with himself. — Nietzsche, The Will to Power

Guess whose side I’m on.

If Only

December 23, 2008

. . . We still had a free market.
I could make a killing!

Nothing new under the sun

December 17, 2008

To help keep myself sane in this time of dissolution and decay, I am refamiliarizing myself with history via The Atlas of World History, a marvelous cartographic coffee table book.

History is an excellent cure for cultural myopia: an excellent antidote to odious American exceptionalism. But history is both a cure and a curse.

A cure because it reminds me that our species has often dealt with changes in climate and environment. So the current environmental crisis, although quite dire, is not the first ecological challenge that our species has faced. The current crisis is certainly more severe, but we are resilient monkeys.

A curse because history shows that, despite our amazing advances in technology and understanding, civilization has not progressed much since the agricultural revolution. We are always at war. And we are always a hairs-breadth away from barbarism and the collapse of civil society.

At times, civilization only seems to be a collective agreement — or delusion. So long as we have access to clean water, food, and a modicum of security, we agree to behave civilly and to respect our neighbors and our neighborhoods. But take away these basics and soon after the demons of starvation and disease and slaughter are soon to return.

Witness Zimbabwe.


December 15, 2008

There will always be suffering in the world, always death. The cries of bereaved children will never be silenced; the slaughter of animals will never cease.

And God will listen to the cries and watch the slaughter, as he always has, with indifference.

And for what exactly, am I supposed to pray? Salvation? Redemption?

Neither is to be found in this, the best of all possible worlds.

Parasites of Pain

December 13, 2008

The more people suffer, the more evangelicals prosper.


Basic population ecology: when a species outstrips the ability of its environment to sustain it, the population collapses.

Fact: our species, homo sapiens, is taxing the ability of the planet to sustain it.

Fact: our industrial economy is accelerating our collapse.

Conjecture: prayer isn’t going to help us.