Thursday, December 9, 2010

Living in the Epilogue

Interested readers might want to check out this essay from our own Sister Y. She's outdone herself this time in the best of senses, methinks. Blew me friggin' away.

14 comments:

Karl said...

It's fantastic essay. Cuts to the core of the human problem. I'd love to get her and Immendham (the guy who makes the videos a couple of which Jim has posted lately) together!

Compoverde said...

Interesting comments Curator.

Does anyone have an answer for this guy? He wrote this on my anti-procreation blog...

comment: "I don't want children. I always knew I didn't want children. I struggle with the fear that I will be unhappy, unfulfilled, selfish, unlovable and undesirable if I don't have them. This is probably part of the curse that my parents imposed on me. I think people have children because they see it as the only option of being accepted by family and society.
Why don't I want children? Mostly because I just don't. Why would anybody ever want to do that to themselves? Why bring something into this world that because of its status as human it will inevitably bring about harm and suffering to the other beings of this world? No matter how wonderful, kind, intelligent a person is, they still exist and by definition this causes suffering in others. Is it possible to be happy with oneself without children? Is it possible to escape the horrible fate of being stigmatized by the rest of society. I don't think I want to be a hermit. My husband want children I don't. I feel guilty that I might ruin his life. My mother will always think of me as selfish as she sees childbearing and rearing as the only way. What do I do?"

Compoverde said...

Oh, she is probaby a female, not a guy. I am just wondering how to answer because I want to be inviting and congratulating about being antinatal but also encouraging to stick with the course of non-procreation.

cuntagious said...

For a particularly egregious application of 'cheery social policy' referred to in the article, check out the impossible situation this man has been placed positioned into http://www.jsonline.com/features/health/110948384.html

The story ran in our local paper, over a week ago, and surprisingly there wasn't a single letter to the editor published. Tha man's request is something most people really don't want to acknowledge.

Garrett said...

Compoverde: To your commentor- There are many solutions to this problem but only a few that will fit you personally. To begin, try not to think about your own perceived misery as a result of not bearing children. This is a trap. A lie created of this world. Rather, consider the implications for potential children and how the surrounding reality in which we currently exist will be affected. As you say, those children have greater potential to affect other living things in a negative manner, versus the hope you might have that they accomplish great feats of kindness... or power. What we should be focusing on are those who are here right now. A truly civilized society is made up of individuals who humbly live their lives to the best of their ability, work hard at pleasant distraction, and help others who share the same mindset. In effect, a truly civilized society knows when it is time to bow out. One should not allow oneself to be caught up in the chaotic frenzy of breeding. It's a dark; empty road to travel. Far too many people delude themselves into believing that their offspring will thank them for their actions. This is another lie, created by the DNA. Network, make new friends, travel, don't focus on sex and blood ties as the end all be all of this temporary existence. If you feel compelled, please do adopt! Non-human or human animals, it's your choice. Be sure to impress on them the importance of caring about their friends who are in this world right now, because the moment is all we are guaranteed. Nothing in the future is certain. Your potential children's lives and the lives with which they will inevitably come to clash, are unknown. Above all, remember this, there are no new stories here. Every living thing will come to a very ugly and unpleasant end. What comes between is mundane, even if we delude ourselves. This same tired old tome has been read so many times over that it's pages are falling apart.

Garrett said...

Continued: Real selfishness is found in the desire to create little copies of oneself. Your mother knows this but she is too prideful. This is the core of the human condition: Selfish replication and vicarious living. She is attempting to confuse you so that she may use you to her own ends. She probably isn't even aware of it. Call her on it. Make it known to her that you can see what she is doing, whether she can or not. Why are you concerned about "ruining your husband's life"? Mutual respect is a required prerequisite to love. Clearly, if he is focused on forcing others to come into his world for his purposes, and wants to use you to achieve that goal, then his focus is directed at serving himself. Ask yourself this, if he becomes a father, what possible positive trait would your offspring find in him? The answer? Not a single one. They would have to delude themselves into believing that he is somehow unique in this world. That he has given them the world, when in reality, all he has given them are chains. He would only bring them into a world of boredom and struggle; yet he would expect them to grovel and worship him for doing so. I will not beg, but I will request that you refrain from creating more pain and emptiness in this world. Do not cast any more into this dark dungeon. Do not allow those near you to create little kingdoms of lies, petty jealousy, and infantile competition to surround themselves. They will only lie to themselves and those they claim to love. Please don't have children.

Garrett said...

Compoverde: What's your blog address? I need to start saving more links :)

Compoverde said...

Garrett, my blog address is www.anti-procreationmovement.blogspot.com. Did you already write a response? If so, thank you.

Sister Y said...

Cuntagious, that's horrible.

My favorite part of the article:

"But many disability rights activists disagree. They say that right-to-die arguments are just veiled discrimination and are predicated on the assumption that disabled lives are not worth living."

Um. We ALL need the right to die, and none of us really have it. It's not that disabled lives are not worth living. It's that NO life is inherently worth living. Paralyzed people and people in pain just suffer a hell of a lot more than people with "healthy" bodies on their way to death, and have fewer temporary consolations along the way.

Sister Y said...

My favorite part of Million Dollar Baby is when Clint Eastwood offers to get (by now paralyzed) Hilary Swank an electric wheelchair and enroll her in community college. Her reaction is priceless.

revolutionaryandjoyful said...

I seriously almost cried reading the story about that disabled man.

I have always believed that I would rather die than be a quadriplegic or a vegetable.

And I hate that some of these disability activists are trying to impose their worldviews on other disabled people. I'm glad that you are happy as a disabled person. Not everyone will be. Why must you keep others suffering just to prove a point?

I've also started to hear that pre-natal testing (to check if a child will have Down Syndrome, etc before they are born and decide if you would rather abort) is able-ist. I couldn't believe it. If I ever have kids I will get every test under the sun done. Life is hard enough without adding down syndrome or any other seriously limiting disability to it.


Lastly, I feel the exact same way as the commenter on Compoverde's blog. I'm not married, but I would like to marry a quality man and I feel like choosing to not have children (and not wanting to be with a man who already has children) will leave me with too few prospects. I also have a mother who absolutely adores children and when I told her that I don't think I want to have children she seriously flipped out. I know it's easy to say that it's my life not her's, and I have to think for myself, etc. but I have to say that I really love and respect my mom. She has done so much for me and my brother. And I do care what she thinks.

metamorphhh said...

RE: The article on the disabled man-

Interestingly, and not so surprisingly, the first page of commenters were all supportive to one degree or another. This from the comments section-

RedWI - Nov 29, 2010 3:38 AM» Report abuse 172
When the family dog is sick and can no longer get around on its own...it gets put to sleep. Why? Because it is the humane thing to do. Why do we treat our pets better than us? If he honestly believes he is ready to go, and wants to, then let him. Nobody knows what it's like to spend even a singly second in this man's body, yet everybody has an opinion of how he should deal with... I'm one of of the ones that believes Kevorkian is a hero!

I've always found this argument compelling, in that animal euthanasia is universally considered a compassionate act. Indeed, at some point non-action is considered cruelty. And yet.

Finally, I'm reminded of a story I read many years ago, prompted by the young age at which this poor guy suffered his debilitating accident. During a birthday party, a young child got a deflated balloon caught in his windpipe. The lack of oxygen pretty much wiped out his brain's higher functions, though modern medicine's miracles machines managed to keep him alive in a vegetative state. One day, his father entered the room, pulled out a gun and forced everyone out of the room, then shot his child in the head.

This is what one loving parent was forced into. He recognized the realistic alternatives, and acted out of compassion and love for his child. But how tragic, that the State doesn't allow a more dignified and kind alternative.

metamorphhh said...

R&J: I understand the pressures, and all I can say is that you fully explore the ramifications of your actions before ever proceeding with procreation. I have two daughters whom I love more than anything else in the world. If they were taken from me, I would consider my life finished. And yet, if I could go back in time, I would never bring them into existence. Because it's not about me, after all, but about them. About their happiness, about the risks involved in creating new lives, and most of all about the fact that I have created two new nodes of suffering and death within the matrix of this careless, ofttimes horrifying existence.

Garrett said...

Compoverde: Yup, that was my response. You're welcome :)

Sister Y: Very well written, and of course, I couldn't agree more! People like you deserve to be happy, so go out there and find it where and when you can. It's not my business but PLEASE be careful with the "riotous group sex"... I'm sure you take precautions though.

Sorry I didn't leave the comment on your blog. I already have too many passwords and usernames scribbled on little pieces of paper or locked away in my head... I don't think I can handle any more ;)

Ciao