Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Another Tragic Figure Bites the Dust

Commenter Shadow got me leafing through the old poetry archives tonight, and I came upon an old sonnet that I think is good to end the night with--

Another Tragic Figure Bites the Dust

Another tragic figure bites the dust.
Another life of hope and dreams goes south.
Another curving hip, and lucious mouth
fall down into the acid mists, and just

because- no other reason can I give
to justify the way it all goes down.
One day the bus of us pulls into town;
we stay a while, but then it's time to live

no more. We leave as fast as when we came,
not knowing where our destination lies.
The mourning mourners mourn the one who dies,
then saunter off to carry on the game.

No matter where you go, it's all the same-
the book of life's motif is pretty lame.


Cactus Jack said...

Hi there. I've been browsing this blog for some months now and have found it intriguing to say the least. Sorry about this, I'm most likely way behind many bloggers and are taking you back in time with this but... I always felt that there was something not quite right about this whole show (being life) on this planet, and it seems as though the not quite right aspect was life itself. Before reading the contributors work I had never even considered the concept of antinatalism, let alone it being an option. I don't suppose it's a natural line of thought, must need to be learned. Now that you all have dismantled any objections I may have had with antinatalism before reading older posts, a state of despair has made itself felt. You know, the whole evolutionary thing, passing on genes, meaning of life. Any thoughts? I'm just concerned for myself (very selfish I know, blame human nature) that it may be a long and miserable life down this road.

Karl said...

Cactus Jack, you've hit the nub of the problem. Once you've transcended the conditioning to procreate, you're left in the void. For at least 98%+ of people (and that's probably an underestimation) life revolves around the family unit. Renouncing that nucleus leaves one adrift, to put it mildly. Trying to figure out what to do with one's life becomes the main activity of life...

Karl said...

By the way, all, I don't know how many of your are familiar with the work of Norwegian philosopher Peter Wessel Zapffe, but his essay 'The Last Messiah' is the philosophical foundation of Thomas Ligotti's forthcoming anti-life tome 'The Conspiracy Against the Human Race'. In my opinion, this is possibly the most succint and accurate description of the human condition I've ever read. Strongly recommended for all anti-natalists!

Shadow said...

I like the concept of your poems. This is another good piece!

Hey Cactus Jack,

Don´t worry, is just like Karl said.


Yeah, actually I´ve came to be familiar with Zapffe´s works through the reading of this blog. His work is very interesting, also.

Jeronimus said...

The finish is the kicker:

"the book of life's motif is pretty lame."

Compoverde said...

Cactus Jack, you bring up a very good point. As Karl also stated, "you've hit the nub of the problem". I was just thinking this similar thought that you bring up. Besides the many other selfish reasons people have kids, giving meaning to life is probably one of the most central reasons people want kids (or at least embrace the accidents that lead to kids). The responsibility of parenting, their identity as provider, protector, educator of a child is provides a false sense of purpose. They cannot face the void. They cannot embrace the fact that life is just a series of motivations related to survival, boredom, discomfort. Attain goal, get dissatisfied, attain another goal, get dissatisfied. Work, entertain yourself, find things to kill time. Deal with anguish, disease, poverty, worries of all sorts.

Yes we are adrift, having children does not fill the void. Karl brings up Peter Zapffe, the great philosopher of pessimism from Norway. He described the many ways in which we try to cope with meaninglessness. I would say having a child falls under the anchoring category. Many parents feel they must anchor themselves in an identity and role. Parenting seems to be the default for most adult humans because they cannot think of any other role that they can have such all encompassing responsibility.

My advice: Refrain from procreation. Stay adrift. Look at the void head on. Do not give yourself a false sense of identity, anchoring your meaningless existence into one of a parent. Life is meaningless. Understand this, and do not pass the inherent meaninglessness to another generation. Don't enslave or condemn another human being to suffering and meaninglessness because you are having an existential crisis and you want to anchor yourself. Welcome to this blog Cactus Jack. Let us figure out how to deal with suffering, promote antinatalism and develop a plan to make people more aware of the rightness of our cause against procreation.

Shadow said...

Compoverde says:

"I would say having a child falls under the anchoring category."

Yes, I believe you are right.

And, to reinforce:

Look at the void head on!

metamorphhh said...

Cactus Jack and Jeronimus:

Welcome, and feel free to contribute whenever you see fit.

CM said...

Lovely sonnet. I really like that you use so many different poetic forms.