Tuesday, February 23, 2010

No More Babies, Please!

Just wanted to share an article I found this morning. Good comments section, as well.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Confessions of an Antinatalist- Excerpt 3

Things are moving along with the book. Last minute jots and tittles, and so many thanks owed to eyes and minds superior to my own. As I write this, birds are singing their mating and killing songs just outside my window. And as seems always these days, the sound of sirens in the near distance. Life- a crisis in the making.

Here's a small blurb from the book-

You never know what life’s going to hand you. Things can
be going along well for awhile, then BAM! Life can seem so full
of promise sometimes, IF you’re born into the right culture, in
the right century, into a family with some means, and with a
little luck. But even luck often fails you, sometimes drastically.
I wish my children well. I wish all children well. So what?
When you get down to it, good intentions aren’t worth squat.
The best intentions do not in the least mitigate the harm we do,
inevitably, to the children we create. We know our children
will suffer and die. That makes all parents criminals in my book.
Every last one of us.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Observations on a Rainy Tuesday Morning

Went out this morning to have a smoke underneath the backyard patio cover. I watched as Little Voice, the last dog I'll have in a lifetime of dogs and other pets, crept out into the rain and took a leak on the spot where I buried my cat, Graystar, 2 years ago this month.

Half the people on my alley will be losing their homes this year; including my ex-wife, more than likely. None of them have paid their mortgages for between 1 and 2 years. It's a sad state of affairs.

I'm on hold this morning, waiting for my boss to call and tell me I have an extra day off. Maybe I'll go bowling. I have 2 free games coming. Why waste them?

Some guy accused me on his blog of being all emo the other day. I'm realizing it takes a certain perspective to see things the way I see them. Working on the book, I often thought about how I'd answer this or that hypothetical objection, but I realize there's no way to answer the objections that flow from other than misunderstanding. I've seen it with the critics of Benatar's book. They don't read, they just skip over, looking for rhetorical weaknesses that can be exploited. I'm not bitching, mind you. Just observing, and thinking about my cat. Flesh, and fur, and bone, and piss, and soil, all back into the blender over and over again. God's margarita, with a twist of apathy.

I hope I don't work today. Not in the mood, not even a little bit. But we'll see.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Here's a rough of the cover. Still a little more work to do, I understand, but...pretty cool, huh?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Confessions of an Antinatalist- Excerpt 2

...it is my strongly held opinion that most folks believe there’s something profoundly wrong with life. This sense of wrongness emerges not only from people’s personal experiences of pain, loss, and futility, but also from the knowledge of the accumulated suffering of the world, embraced as awareness at the core of their
empathic selves. This awareness puts us on edge. So we develop coping strategies. Biases. We focus, desperately, on the positive. We seek solace in lies, such as those embodied in religion and other imaginary sidestreets that we can duck into when ugly truths come to block our rose-tinted view.

Yet a grim truth haunts us at all turns. It is reflected in the tale of Noah’s flood and the coming of the New Jerusalem. It is resonant in the Buddha’s basic maxim that all life is suffering, the knowledge of which is to be overcome through detachment,
or in the blackened glass of the addict’s crackpipe, or simply in the nine-to-fiver’s seventy-two inch plasma television screen.

The key word is escape. Get me OUT of this fucking place!

Confessions of an Antinatalist- Excerpt

Well, it seems we've reached that point. The book is in its final editing stages, and so I guess it's sample offering time. Thanks to those who've shown interest for your patience, as well as for your support. I'll probably do a couple read-alouds on my YouTube channel as well, if I get a chance. And of course, many thanks to Chip Smith for for instigating all this, and for seeing it through to fruition. On with the show...

At one time or another I suppose we all get sucked into the
argument over whether TRUE altruism exists. Well, I’m not so
innocent as to believe in unadulterated selflessness. But neither
am I so cynical as to suspect every motivation behind apparently
genuine munificence.

Here’s the way I see it. In the beginning, all of us are like
tightly wound balls of string (I’m speaking of consciousness
here; or maybe awareness is a better word, with the emphasis
on ‘self’ awareness). In the physical sense, we’re just as much a
part of the larger environment surrounding us as we’ll ever be.
But our perceptive pointers are all turned inward, and everything is about us. Actually, everything IS us! The summer sun is the heat of our skin. The bottle of milk is the feeling of a full stomach; and so on.

Time proceeds. Slowly the little ball of string, jostled and
batted about by the everchanging flux of circumstance, begins
to unravel. Tendrils of perception wander outwards, reconnoitering and telegraphing their discoveries back down the threads via diverse sensory pathways, altering the patterns at the core. Evoking responses. Years go by, and eventually our psychic‘selves’ become more or less tangled up in the larger world. A subtle shift has occurred. Where once the whole world existed in a ball of string, now the ball of string has become the whole world! This entanglement, especially as it pertains to other lives, is my metaphoric description of what has otherwise come to be understood as ‘empathy’ or ‘compassion.’ Or even pity, if you prefer.

I should emphasize that what I’ve described here are the
polar extremes of a situation. Ultimately, all of us are both ball
and entanglement. Selfishness, and selflessness. Desire, and
generosity. Lust, and abandonment. The degree to which we
are one or the other (an imprecise dichotomy, I’ll grant, as we
are always both), is determined by the initial state of the ball
of string, as well as by the subsequent impact of the greater
environment upon it. Put another way, the limits to which we
psychologically extend ourselves to include others mark the parameters of our empathetic selves, the capacity of which varies from person to person. I suspect this process continues somewhat farther down the food chain of the lesser sentient creation, though perhaps it’s not so easily recognizable.

We care, or we don’t care. We put out feelers and move forward,
or draw back. And there is conflict. Between ourselves.
Within ourselves. Yet somehow, out of this morass of fallible
and vacillating emotional states, there has emerged what I like
to think of as a universal humanistic sensibility. An internalized
set of values spanning time and cultural boundaries. A substratum of shared feeling informing our laws and customs, and lifting us above a purely mechanical utilitarianism. Some may choose to label this phenomenon a ‘moral compass,’ though the term ‘morality’ is fraught with so much dogmatic hairsplitting that I’m loath to employ it. Be that as it may, it all comes down to what we think, or perhaps more the point, what we feel, about what’s right as opposed to what’s wrong.

Concerning that last bit, I tend to believe we’re a lot closer
to each other than we often let on. I also hope to demonstrate that most of us, each deep in his/her heart of hearts, knows that bringing new life into the world is wrong.

So very wrong.