So, I was out and about on my bike this morning, pedaling to one clinic to get some blood samples drawn, then to another across town to pick up my blood pressure meds. Pretty nice ride early on, though it got really friggin' hot later in the day. However, I survived. I can't say the same for a certain cat I passed, though, lying in the road with its head caved in. Hopefully it was sudden and painless, considering the alternative of slow and painful. Either way, the sight was a real punch in the gut of my moral aesthetic sense, not to mention a wet blanket on my general mood.
It's no secret that most people believe life is generally a good deal. And even though their reasons for bringing children into this world are basically selfish ones, they tend to justify their actions by telling themselves that they've really done their kids a favor. On the other hand, they are faced with the problem of dead cats on a daily basis. Dead cats, and canine parvovirus, and sickle cell anemia, and ethnic cleansings, and tsunamis, not to mention big mortgages during economic downturns, and violent husbands, and bitter, vitriolic wives, and let us not forget the biggie- death. We are all future dead cats of one stripe or another, and everyone knows it.
So, how do we deal with this problem of dead cats? Well, most people don't deal with it at all, really. Their stomachs clench. They make a face, and mouth a silent "Ewww!" They tell their children in the back seat "Don't look! Don't look!" or "Play with your Gameboy!" or "Jesus loves the little kitties, and this is how He brings them home." But mostly, they try to sweep it out of their consciousness just as quickly as possible, so that life can go on being good just as before. Because deep down, everybody knows he's a dead cat in the making, and he really doesn't want to think about that. This is why people get so mad at pessimists, and especially at pessimistic antinatalists, because we keep rubbing dead cats in their faces. Nobody likes that. Can't blame them, I suppose.
Anyway, I got to thinking about the people I've read over the years who've actually tried to deal with the problem of dead cats instead of simply ignoring them. And you know what? All their answers that fall short of antinatalism are ABSOLUTELY FUCKING LAME! The theists tell us that all good little cats go to heaven, while the bad little cats are consigned to alleys-turned-gauntlets filled with eternally thrown boots and catcalls, with no clean litter boxes to be found. The Buddhists tell us that cats are illusions, including the pain they feel when the Atman lights their tails on fire. The dumbass existentialists encourage us to fuck the dead cats and pretend their silence is purring acquiescence. Alan Watts, god love him, posited that if life were REALLY so abhorrent that the universe would simply stop producing cats and close the curtain for good. And Will Durant, my favorite synthetic historian, only managed to salvage a shred of optimism by maintaining that even though a cat's life is generally a miserable one, and always ends poorly, each one can find some solace in feeling that he, and he alone, is the King of the cats!
I guess that's enough for meow.
Ear to the ground
One with the pavement
Rockin' with the sound
Waitin' for the chariot
To come and take you home
Away from all this busyness
Of rubber tires and chrome