Get Your Apocalypse Now
Genocide is fashionable. Genocide is cosmopolitan.
"Even at the most terrible times, through all the mad acts carried out in the name of Universal Good and the glory of States, times when people were tossed about like branches in the wind, filling ditches and gullies like stones in an avalanche – even then this senseless, pathetic kindness remained scattered throughout life like atoms of radium." - Vasily Grossman, "Life and Fate"
It's always the end of the world somewhere.
Genocide is trendy. We like to look up into the sky and imagine the sun boiling the ocean. The overpopulated cities get swept into the sea, hordes of children clinging to the sides of skyscrapers like life rafts. We fantasize about starving, eating cold paste and old packages of dry Ramen as our babies clutch weakly to breasts that no longer produce any milk. We like to imagine being slaves of corporations who stuff us into pods where we're hooked up to 24/7 infotainment and the taste of steak and the smell of grass becomes a memory, and then a fantasy.
"Who could bring a child into a world like this?" we like to say, while sipping lavender martinis in the back of cool downtown "speakeasies." There's a recession, after all. Rising gas price. COVID. Global warming. Rising tensions between Democrats and Republicans. War in the Ukraine. Overpopulation. As the latest school shooting gets plastered all over the news and the overturning Roe V. Wade triggers abortion bans, women march out into brightly lit streets, carrying signs with red painted hand prints, and declare that in a world like this, it's better to not have been born at all.
Forget the right to choose. The only ethical choice is nothingness. We should die so that the planet should live. Let the moss and the trees grow over the highways and the streets. Let bugs burst out the center of broken computer monitors. It's a good thing that there will nothing sentient left alive to be able to read the names on the gravestones of our best scientists, philosophers, kings, warriors. History should become another abyss.
It’s almost become a bit of a faux pas to be positive about the human race. Being anti-humanity is fashionable and cosmopolitan. It’s what intellectuals do. It’s cool to post Instagram pictures in your latest haul from Dollskill with a caption about how much life sucks.
Genocide doesn't always look like gas chambers and mass graves, polished guns, and bombs, and nuclear war. Sometimes it looks like a woman who sits alone in front of the television day in and day out, eating Indian food she ordered from Postmates as she reassures herself that it's okay she's decided to live in a way that contributes nothing to the world. "Humanity is a cancer," she thinks. "Humanity is a parasite."
Sometimes genocide is a culture that's become so constrained and meaningless that young men and women commit suicide and overdose on opioids by the thousands because death is better than a world that no longer needs them.
Sometimes it's young women convincing themselves that they need to get their tubes tied or to take sterilizing hormones because they hate the way children look, and how children smell, and how children laugh and cry and intrude into their quiet and safe adult world with their impulsivity and demands and requirements for responsibility. They hate children because to them children represent a world outside of themselves, or because they are reminded of their own awful childhoods, or because having a child would mean they'd no longer be only themselves, but that their DNA and their smile and their neuroses and their bad personalities would be transferred into the body of another. They don't realize that being young doesn't last forever, and one day they'll be 50 or 60 and look down at the vast nothingness that their life has become, that they're lonelier than they've been, and they'll die with the knowledge that their skeleton has become fused with a void.
Genocide can feel good. It feels good to hate the world. It feels good to turn your back on everything your ancestors built for you, the cities and the computers and the farms and the power plants, because it means that you're better than all that. Friedrich Nietzsche once wrote, "Whoever despises himself nonetheless respects himself as one who despises." Moral judgment against oneself and others releases dopamine. Judgment and condemnation is a claim to superiority.
When people say humanity is a curse they are usually excluding themselves. They are one of the good ones. They are the ones who truly see life for what it is.
Most people who want the human race to die don't want to be responsible for the death. They don't even want to lose any of the comforts of society. They espouse that we need to "reduce waste" while continuing to eat avocados, buy luxury goods, fly around the world, and throwing parties.
They don't want to lose anything. They want the praise for their philosophy while the generation after them suffers the consequences. They want to sip champagne on a yacht and burn the boat behind them.
At least mass shooters have some kind of conviction when they enact out their philosophy of death and then kill themselves afterwards. They have come to hate existence and have decided the only option is to do their part in snuffing it out.
Meanwhile the intellectuals and the intelligentsia write books about genocide and why the human race should quietly die, while activists write 20 long tweet threads about how they wish they'd been aborted, and musicians scream about the comforts of death. Genocide has become their fashion. Even their compulsory need to talk about death is a part of their life drive. They are talking about death to improve their social standing, prop up their ego, justify themselves and their existence, enact change upon the world. They are encouraging death because they desperately want to live.
They don't hate life. They don't even hate suffering, since many of them are constantly seeking it out.
They hate their parents. They hate their own weak will. They hate the cry of a baby because it's a reminder they can't control everything and what little control they have can't make them happy.
I wonder, did you think of genocide the first time you fell in love? Did you see death blooming in her eyes, and her hair, and the way she laughed at your jokes that weren't funny, and how she took every slight opportunity she could to be close to you? Did life seem like a curse when you caught a whiff of her perfume or your body huddled around your phone waiting for the rush of when she'd call or message you back?
Maybe it's easy to tell yourself now that "None of it mattered." But it mattered to your shaking body, and the pulsing of your heart, and how good it felt to kiss her, and all the fantasies you had of a life where you two could be together. It mattered to a heart that had yet to learn how to break. And even when those memories are gone, and you're gone, the feeling will never go away. It will move like a shuddering pulse, from adult to child, over and over again, joy that is immortal moving through a hungry chain of cells.
Who are you to make the judgment claim that life isn't worth living, just because you've decided that you're unhappy with the architecture of the world you've built for yourself? You feel unhappy so you assume that everyone is unhappy. Stop fooling yourself. You don't want to die. You want the entire planet to feel your pain, to become a little god, letting the black shadow of your tight throat cover the sun. You want someone to transform you into a child again and make it all better.
It's unfortunate that person who needs to make it all better is you.
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