“Is it possible that existence is our exile and nothingness our home?”
Emil Cioran, Tears and Saints

In case it’s not blindingly obvious, I’ve fallen out of love with the human race.

Why?

Well, what’s to like about us/them?

Nothing.

In fact, you have to ask yourself why a species would be brought into existence with the sole purpose of consuming everything, including itself!

(Tell that to the kids.)

But of course, that’s only my take on things and everyone else, or certainly everyone I speak to, sees the world through a (very) different prism; namely, I know it’s bad, but we’ll find a way through the maelstrom.

You just might; but then again, the writing is on the wall apropos the Anthropocene, as countries continue to exploit/annihilate the natural world, emit CO2 etc. with no regard for the future and the consumerist/hedonist paradigm continues unabated.

I know I’m generalising and taking a very negative position but unless you’re completely deluded, there’s no chance in hell of any country or the main players honouring a climate pledge or ceasing their earth-destroying ways when, amongst many other things, they’ve got to keep the electorate on side, who don’t, by and large, want to face the enormity of our extant situation.

“OK, smart arse, what do you suggest?”

Nothing.

Nothing whatsoever.

In fact, the days of me providing a solution to this big, hairy problem or any other is well and truly over. That’s not quite true: I still work as a lawyer but I hate what I do if only because it’s perpetuating the problems that I endlessly prattle on about.

And I know this message is hardly going to move anyone to action but then again, the only real, truthful and honest solution that would give the planet a fighting chance of, if not recovery, to at least stabilise its environmental woes is for all of us, all 7.8 odd billion people, to go extinct.

How insane is that?

I mean, who in their right mind is going to say:

“Do you know what, the best thing we can do is stop having more kids and do as much as possible to restrict our consumptive ways before we toddle off this mortal coil.”

(I’m haunted to this day by the self-immolation of the late David Buckel — a lawyer of some repute. His suicide note said: “Most humans on the planet now breathe air made unhealthy by fossil fuels, and many die early deaths as a result — my early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves.”)

Does this mean I’m an advocate for pro-mortalism? Well, a lot depends on how you define that term but, certainly, I’m not advocating that anyone take their own life. No, if anything and this may sound like a watered-down version of my main antinatalist argument, it’s to ask some very serious questions about natalism, the cultural malaise of consumerism and why we think we’re better than or more exceptional than our non-human brothers and sisters.

Do I have a forum for this?

No.

Do I need one?

As before, when I left legal practice and tried to upend the dominant, measure-everything narrative, that’s how I see things going forward. That means (I hope) recording a few podcasts on Soundcloud or Mixcloud, self-publishing a book, speaking online and writing poetry — but not necessarily sharing it, unless the mood takes me.

To be clear, I’ve zero expectation of anyone taking me or my message seriously. In fact, I expect more haters than anything else. I mean, who the hell am I to tell you how to live your life, especially if that means you’ve got to give serious consideration to what should or will become of the human race?

Still, I’m here — for now. And, for once, I don’t feel weighed down as I once did to start a business or escape the clutches of the 9–5 regime that’s been such a big part of my life.

Oh, one last thing. I’m always up for a Zoom call or recording a podcast. I know the topic is hardly likely to win plaudits but then again, you might like to know what it’s been like to exist on the fumes of a life half-lived only to discover that there was little or no point to it all.

Take care, and enjoy the weekend.

— Julian

ecological pessimist — influenced by Zapffe, Benatar, Thacker