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What am I? Just another doofus with a face and a name looking for someone to blame? Just another overeducated and underutilized superfluity seeking its purpose? Just another cooling shard of ejecta looking back at the molten core with disbelief, awe, and gratitude. Just another consequence of too much and too little: too much confusion and too little chaos, too much despair and too little grief, too much damage and not enough battle, too much vanity and not enough pride, too much conformity and not enough tribe, too much hurt and not enough pain.

But despite the slowly sinking ship of my generation, despite watching my onetime peers succumb one after the other to the diseases I thought we swore a brotherhood to fight - somehow I’ve managed to avert spiritual disaster and decay. Neither the premature adulthood of a suburban quagmire, nor the prolonged adolescence of an urban princeling have ensnared me - somehow I escaped with my skin of reasons, my self-respect, and my discontent.

Therefore what do I offer? Advocacy of what this world would be, and has been, when the most interesting and emotionally intelligent natures are not destroyed and suffocated under the weight of emboldened mediocrity. When the artist and the hunter are united into something culturally unanticipated, when the violence of the contradictions within the human condition lead to an exotic sublimation, when a phenotype which was once common, finds a small niche in a hostile new order.

I advocate for what humanity still is, in its deep heart, in its problematic primate nature: still bold, still cunning, still subtle, still indomitable. This epidemic of chronic illness I’m always reminding the reader of, this age of technological dependence and bodily decline, is probably only a superficial episode in the long hominid journey… I want to make it a thrilling tale, even while I spare us nothing, and constantly remind us of the horrors behind and ahead, so that we may be ready, with open eyes, to learn to live the fuller life our ancestors gifted us. Two million years of sacrifice and endurance and brilliant invention: we refuse to allow those gifts and anguishes to amount to a petty, anxious, pointless heap of fleshy regret and technocratically enhanced fantasy. No matter how few we seem to be at times, no matter how sparse the lights, we will find each other in the darkness and begin again… Maybe now more than ever our enemies are spiritual - but spirits seize bodies: we ourselves are infected, our eyes must be gouged and regrown - we must become blind to what we thought we knew, and learn to see again from out of an inconsolable loss. That is what the hermits mean, when they say that all phenomena is ringed with writhing flame: one learns this by sitting comfortably in the dark… The bleakness and merciless criticality of my vision, which some find unbearable, is for me this kind of comfortable dark. I see it as my vocation therefore, to demonstrate the viability and power of a nihilism which has itself been annihilated: it is the abyss of light which is our destination.

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People

Bartholomy
Psychologist and author of "The Moral Disease". Find out more at hautogdoad.com
Irin
I make art for Bartholomy.