Joined: Oct 2005
Given 4 thank(s) in 2 post(s)
This is a very hard question, one I've pondered many, many times in the last 15 or so years. Here's the conclusion I've come to. Take it for what it's worth.
Hope exists so long as each one of us has time left to live. Last Thanksgiving, I was feeling melancholy. I was... I don't know... maybe a little adrift in mind and spirit. When I feel that way, I listen to a lot of dark, gothy music. Yeah, yeah, I know. Sooo emo of me. Anyway, I wrote something then that I sort of rememebered and went back and found.
Here it is, for what it's worth:
Quote:I’ve believed for some time that I will die young. I just keep revising the meaning of “young” periodically as I continue to survive. I also worry for the world, for my daughter, for the future. I’ve been wondering, today, on Thanksgiving, as an atheist, as a punk, as a cultural and historical critic, as… a whole bunch of things not known for their gratitude, why I celebrate Thanksgiving when I feel this way. I love holidays, birthdays, and the like, but one that passes seems like one more step toward the end: For me, for the world. That sounds awfully depressing, but that is true only if you greet doom with surrender. I do not.
But I can’t help but think that my parents’ generation, riding the coattails of the “Greatest Generation” comprised by my grandparents, have left us in a game that is unwinnable. I grew up under the threat of nuclear war and rumors of environmental disaster. I grew to the age of majority in the Reagan years. Kids today grow up with the threat of so-called terrorism (stupid, messy term) and the emergence of a frightening ecological juggernaut headed their way. They grew up in the Bush years and the Clinton years. My parents grew up believing that the world was theirs, the final war was won, and then Vietnam happened. In the midst of material abundance and spiritual and intellectual complacency, they took what was offered, little realizing that their way of living carried a burden to be paid for in gold by the next generations. So, now, every time I see some grandfather type driving an RV, I long for a civilian model Stinger missile. There you go, old man, might as well burn a little bit more of the commonwealth. Might as well consume just a little bit more. Might as well go out in style and leave your kids and grandkids the bill.
I don’t believe in god. I don’t believe in the afterlife, as such, since it sort of relies on the existence of a spiritual realm. At the same time, I believe in ghosts, so let’s just say I’m conflicted. Jesus, though, I’m not so sure about. So this leaves me in a peculiar place. I’m pretty sure things are fucked up, but not so sure if they can be fixed. I fear for my life, but I hope for my daughter’s future. It’s hard to say why I’m not more depressed, but I still cling to hope that striving for life, for all that is good and honorable and worthy and free and human and flawed and true and absurd, actually means something. I want my death to be bought dearly, if you get what I mean. When the eagle swoops down to get this little mouse, I want to be giving it the finger. Have you seen that poster? It’s stupid, really, but it stays with me. A mouse, middle finger extended, looks up at an eagle. The eagle is swooping down to kill and eat him. The caption reads, “Defiance.” I don’t own a copy, but it’s sort of a long-term goal for me to acquire one. The image is inscribed on my heart, as is the sentiment.
So, embracing doom, I am free to live. Do you ever feel that way?
So, today’s playlist includes Collide, Christian Death, Sisters of Mercy, Lords of the New Church, Faith and the Muse, The Misfits, AFI, Front 242, Elvis (Blue Moon of Kentucky), Lords of the New Church, The Fuzztones, and others. And thus I ring in the death of seasons, doom and gloom, as well as the freedom to hope.
Bare trees, falling leaves, winter’s breath upon my neck. In my heart, forboding is intertwined with love and hope. If you’re doomed anyway, then best to die dancing on your own grave, a sword in your hand and your child held close in the other arm.
I got nothin'.