1. Empty Threat
When someone will go and say a consequence for someone’s actions, sometimes making it sound realistic sometimes not so much, but none the less there is no intention on following up with those consequences.
That quote is from urban Dictionary, not exactly the most academic of sources, but it gets the point across fairly well. I have threatened to do something like this before, most of the way through high school, parts of last year, over the summer, and now I have finally decided to suck it up and put my innermost thoughts and feelings on the web for all to see whether they want to or not.
Anyone who knows me (and I mean people I’ve spoken to for more than ten seconds), will probably agree that one of my worst traits is how opinionated I can be. I concede this whole heartedly, it’s true, 98% of the time I’m a miserable, argumentative bastard all of the time, but there is a reason for it. Actually, truth be told, there is no reason. I can’t exactly blame my parents for making me so bitter towards so many things, they’re wonderful caring people who have always tried to instil in me a feeling of love and respect for everything I share this Earth with. I suppose I could blame my sister a little, but only in the sense that our relationship (carrying on the flag from generations of older sisters and younger brothers before us) helped me to find my own voice, one which I have never lost since, and which I am eternally grateful for.
But as with all miserable bastards, and there are a great many out there if you care to look for them, in the end I choose to place the blame squarely on the world.
The world we live in is a wonderful place, full of miracles of nature, beautiful animals and plants, breathtaking landscapes that have evolved over millenia and that will continue to change long after the human race is done. Humans themselves are a miracle, that we should have come to emerge as the dominant species on this ball of rock spinning at 1040.4 miles per hour through the black vacuum of space is nothing short of mind boggling. We’ve evolved the ability to make tools (thanks to the even more important evolution of thumbs), utilise fire, hunt for food, grow crops, communicate, share stories, paint paintings, sing songs, build cities and civilisations, ponder the deepest questions, reach the bottom of the sea, land on the moon, cure disease and so many more achievements, all culminating in a slightly overweight Indian boy sitting in bed at 11:30 on a Sunday morning typing utter nonsense into his laptop while wondering if he has enough milk for a bowl of Coco Pops. Truly, a miracle.
That’s what I like to call the Attenborough view of the world, the whole “wonder of life” shtick that’s been force fed to us by every BBC documentary since we as a race started making and watching BBC documentaries. And it’s not just Attenborough, oh no, the torch has been passed onto Prof. Brian Cox, who in between standing on sand dunes looking heroically nerdy likes to dispense philosophical “gobbits” about our tiny presence in the universe, his hair fluttering rakishly in the wind as he attempts to explain redshift using pebbles and a sultry lisp. But despite his boy band trappings, the man has a point, one which stuck with me from the moment it wormed its way into my head from somewhere and proceeded to envelop a large part of my being, and that point is as follows.
Humans are tiny, insignificant and utterly useless. There, I said it.
We like to think we’re pretty great, and some of us are, the Platos, Michelangelos, Brunels, Einsteins, Gandhis and Martin Luther Kings of the world are most certainly deserving of cosmic praise. But the rest of us? Nope. We’re born, we consume, we go through the motions as dictated by society (education, work, marriage, affair, meth lab etc.), we give back just a teensy bit to gratify ourselves and then we move along to make room for the next generation. But does the NSA spying scandal really matter when compared to the size of VY Canis Majoris, the largest star thus far observed? Do we really care about the future King baby whathisface when we still have no clear idea of where the largest animal on earth, the Blue Whale, spends half the year? And seriously, do I even have to mention the abomination unto the heavens that is Miley Cyrus? Human self importance is reaching a critical stage, and though I confess that I’m just as guilty of it as the rest of us, it’s time to face the facts, we really aren’t all that great. I mean, would the world really be so bad if humans hadn’t shown up? I like to imagine some sort of animal utopia rendered as an old Disney movie, though the day would inevitably come when the animals evolved enough to basically turn into fluffier humans and in the end nothing would really be that different I suppose, but the point is that the universe wouldn’t notice at all whether we ever popped into existence or not.
The human race is capable of great things, things truly worthy of praise. I’m not talking about culture here, though that sometimes is very impressive, but things on a small scale. The volunteer working at a slum school in India or Bangladesh (not the gap ‘yah’ kids, they can choke on their Jack Wills hoodies for all I care), the soldiers who save people from the carnage wreaked by natural disasters, the peaceful protesters who campaign tirelessly for rights and democracy. It’s about time that we start paying attention to those who deserve it, not the celebrities who have a stranglehold on Youtube and the Daily Mail “sidebar of shame,” but those who are striving to make a real difference in the world.
Of course, some smart arse reading this (if you have made it this far, well done, and mazeltov for reading any of it in the first place) will argue that I’m thinking on the wrong scale. It is rather hypocritical of me to sit here and muse about how useless the human race is on a cosmic level when I myself am an equally useless part of the human race, instead I could be writing about how wonderful it would be if even 10% of the 7 billion souls on this planet decided to do one nice thing today. But I won’t, and I can’t, because every fibre of my being would attempt to shoot itself if I put my fingers to the keyboard to write a sentence so knowingly naive as to suggest that everything really is okay with our planet.
So to conclude, today’s bone has been picked, and somewhere out of the jumble of an argument preceding this sentence I have decided that this post is dedicated to the hatred of (drum roll please), us.
NB – I’m aiming to put out one of these at least once a week as a little exercise for the grey matter, though they probably won’t all be as bleak as this one, and thanks for reading what is hopefully the first post of many to come.