New Book About End Of Life On Earth; Skips Beginning Of It
Yet another bleak new book about the end of life on the earth has emerged from the darkling presses, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. Unnfortunately, the author skips something that has not yet occurred: the beginning of life on earth.
In the book, a father and son, who are survivors of a nuclear apocalypse, walk amid the ruins of what once was supposed to be life on earth, while other marauding survivors drift by in neo-primitive regalia, practicing such unappetizing indulgences as cannibalism.
The father’s goal is to save his son, and the son may be the messiah. It’s all, as usual with such glum rants, nebulously eschatological.
While we’re always willing, with some remorse, to peruse yet one more vision of the ultimate nightmare become reality, we do wish somebody would take a moment to point out an incidental obstacle to the experience of utter hopelessness.
To wit: while the other creatures of the earth seem to be doing just fine, except for how humanity depredates and occasionally annihilates them, anybody who observes the doings of the human race detects that from time immemorial it is the behavior of a species that, for the most part, is struggling with an enormous disjunction with life itself.
The entire tumultuous agony we sorrowfully refer to as history or lament as current events is precipitated by short-term compulsions or nihilistic flagrances. If these continue, there is little doubt that the angst-driven participants will one day walk off a cliff without even caring, in the middle of their moronic contending, that they’re getting close to the precipice.
Now, let’s take a look at how life might actually get started, specifically human life, since the other creatures haven’t had the opportunity to be subjective about their participation in it. They just seem quite content to do what comes naturally.
Imagine, instead of the usual rancorous and despairing parade of human behavior, we were a species that had finally settled into life with a long and appreciative vision of it. To enable such a revolution in human perspective, we would have to realize, of all things, that we’re fortunate indeed to have a chance to inhabit the glorious earth, even if not for an eternity, but for our fitting individual and collective place in its overall lifespan.
We would be at peace, instead of in turmoil. We would be at home, instead of just passing through or despairing in what, we perceive, is meaningless drudgery.
Then we would, we assume, know to enjoy life’s blessings while we preserve the unfathomable gift for ourselves and for generations to come.
We would live in the service of life, instead of in disjunction with it. Instead of dismissing it as something unworthy that we might in our negligence devastate, we would embrace it as something invaluable that we would, with all our beings, preserve and delight in. And we would know such life-embracing behavior is the ultimate way to satisfy both our finite and our infinite longings.
There you have the view from the other end of the telescope, which is a wonderfully comforting place from which to leaf through yet one more dreadful vision of what our maladjustment to life might yet wreak.
So before we go and terminate human life, here’s hoping we give it a chance to get started.
About The Author
Tom Attea, humorist and creator of http://NewsLaugh.com, has had six shows produced Off-Broadway. Critics have called his writing "delightfully funny," "witty," with "good, genuine laughs" and "great humor and ebullience."
Date Posted: May 17, 2007
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