Towards the Oblivion

It is like we are all preparing for nuclear armegeddon--without the fallout shelters. Well, a few of us out there have shelters in case the bombs drop, but for the most part the nuclear bomb shelter, like the nuclear bomb drill, has fallen out of vogue. Just at the wrong time.  Just when we are in the thick of what we have renamed a cold war between nations quietly or loudly proud of their nuclear armament, and just when we are on the brink of what might be the hottest hot war. Perhaps all of this might change, as the temperature of the war increases. Perhaps when Moscow or Beijing or Washington, D.C. sign an explicit declaration of war against each other, we will go from fluff pieces about nuclear catastrophe on the msn newsfeed to more--literally--concrete approaches. Perhaps we are only waiting for the word, and then we will all scurry underground again, then we will huddle beneath our teacher's desk and tremble.

But I doubt it. Global markets have become so tied together since the 1950s that every major economy and power has a default need for at least the bare survival of its opponents. Futher entrenchment in financial dealings led to the trust or the dependence on the system through which those dealings take place, and that trust or dependence has decreased the likelihood of utter and total destruction, as it would be in no party's interest. So, following the initial craze of the bomb and the discovery of nuclear fission, following the parades and streamers after the bombs were dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, there came a prolonged amnesia of what went before, and the path towards the oblivion of the possibility of it happening again and irreversibly. There was this deep dumb trust educated into the core of us that nobody is that stupid to destroy the entire world.

But now this trust is decaying or decayed, and this dependence is seen as the monster itself. We see now ever more clearly and terrifyingly how this system, which grew bread and paved roadways for us, is exploitative and destructive, and can alter the world such as to deserve the name of a geological era. In the background of our hearts we are living in a world increasingly uninhabitable for countless species, even the species we have not counted yet, they are choking or not even given the chance to choke, the waters are being bleached or poisoned, the air is transforming all around us into some unbreathable stuff. Like a nuclear disaster--in slow motion. In other words, we have chanced upon another imaginary for the end of things, besides nuclear war and the apocalypses of old.

In other words, it is perfectly imaginable now that humans can precipitate the end of the world. Pushing a nuclear button, turning a nuclear key and releasing the bombs from their hatches would only quicken a total destruction we already see and feel ourselves as undergoing. Human beings have become so in love with certain ideas over the last few centuries that they forgot about the condition of any and all of their quests, their need for a world as the arena of any wars and any peace. It is only dawning on us now how worldless or homeless we are, and this dawning took losing the very ground beneath our feet.

With this groundlessness comes madness and bitterness, and the unjustified right and warrant for any person or community or nation to do whatever she or it or they please. With this groundlessness, even an overall diminution in violence and rapaciousness does not quell the uncertainty of coming days, more precisely the uncertainty of the violence of coming days. The meaningless we have built along with our bombs and defenses is growing in power through its own type of fission--and there may not be any shelter for it when it is further let loose.
But we do not seem to care about shelter or shelters now in any case, and stand--or sit or lie--exposed to all and sundry disasters. It is hard to discern whether this is courage, or indifference--or just plain foolishness. Or perhaps something altogether different and undiscovered, like a destiny, like a way for humans to fulfill themselves. Perhaps we will not be satisfied until the entire world is engulfed in the glory of our unsettledness, our anxiety.

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