Sunday, May 25, 2008


I just finished watching Danny Doyle's film 'Sunshine'. Spectacular piece of work, IMNSHO. Reminded me of an updated version of '2001'. Faster paced, which I appreciated as I'm sorely in need of diversion these days. Of course, it got me cheering for yet another 'save the earth from destruction' scenario, which I should resent. But,'s only a movie. Now, on with my plans to destroy the earth. Let's see, I've got the paperclips, last year's SI swimsuit edition, and a 9V battery. Am I missing anything?

Life sucks.


Chip said...

I think you need a coathanger. And some soldering flux. Maybe a plumb-bob.

Good luck!

Sister Y said...

Jim, have you read Michael Swanwick's Bones of the Earth? It's sort of a fun, humanist end-of-the-word novel.

Sometimes I suspect Swanwick of being one of us.

Chip said...

The "one of us" question seems worth pursuing. The antinatalist worldview doesn't really have an an explicit pedigree in the world of arts and letters. But there are traces here and there, aren't there? I've already mentioned "The Seventh Continent" and David Rieff's memoir, "Swimming in a Sea of Death," but I think there may be chords in the drift of Joan Didion's work (and not merely in "The Year of Magical Thinking"), in Ulrich Seidl's arthouse documentaries, and certainly in Todd Solondz's films, particularly "Palindromes," which ten out of ten critics seem to misapprehend. Further downmarket, Jim has already discussed the undercurrents that may be discerned in the zombie/apocalypse genre to which I would add a Michael Haneke's despairing contribution, "Time of the Wolf." There is also Thierry Zéno's obscure documentary, "Of the Dead," which I recommend.

Anonymous said...

Curator: I've never heard of Swanwick, but the book sounds worth looking into. Thanks!

Chip: I believe a larger percentage than might be suspected have a surreptitious fascination with end of the world scenarios. For instance, there are the numerous and varied religious eschatologies; you can barely turn around (in certain circles) without being confronted with rapture-speak. And at the movies, 'I Am Legend' is the third incarnation of the story first put to the screen as 'The Last Man on Earth' with Vincent Price, and then again as 'The Omega Man' with Charleton Heston (I own both, by the way).

It's my belief that life's suckiness is recognized by lots of folks, and the 'childfree movement', which I like to think of as 'antinatalism lite', is indicative of this. But there's a divide between the unformalized expressions having to do with personal feelings, and the blatant philosophical expostion put forth by you, Benatar, myself, et al. Sometimes people feel free to say things like, "The way things are these days, I'm not so sure it's right to bring a child into the world", but most of those same folks wouldn't be willing to embrace an unreserved philosophical approach, predicated on the idea that life is never worth the cost.

I mean to put a dent in that paradigm.