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Thursday, 11 July 2013

It Just Has To Be

Love me.  Love me.  Love me.

The things we would do for that.  The horrors we would ignore, the lives we would destroy, just to look, just for now, like we've got it all together, live we're in control.

The greatest fear of the human condition is not death, and it is not torture or destitution.  It is not war, it is not the loss of our family or friends.

It is the fear that we do not look good, right now.

And most of us know by now that this whole world we have built is singularly ill suited for humanity.  We choke the skies with ash and fill the seas with toxic sludge while heaving billions live and die in harrowing poverty.  And for what?

For what?  Honestly, for what?

For a society designed around just one single thing.  That one fear.  That one fear that now, right now, we don't look good.  And credit where credit's due - it does it very well.  There's always a new film to talk about, there's always a new fashion trend, a new game.

But that's the motivation, when you really break it down, that drives the industrial mass production process that's killing quality, hope, and the Earth itself.

We sometimes assume a symmetry where none exists.  We think that for the great crime there must be a great motivation, but this is rarely true.  We think that to do great damage we must need great hate, but we don't.

We sell our souls far, far more cheaply than that.

But we're not blind, and whatever the motivation we know that things aren't working out, that there's something quite profoundly wrong with the cheap answers and the men in expensive suits who trade in them.

And so we look for a way out, but we're still afraid.  Still afraid of not looking good, right now.  And so the only answers we accept are the pretty ones.  And the prettier they are, the more we reach for them.

I make my work as pretty as possible - but not prettier.  There are many who are not so squeamish.  I cannot compete with them, and I will never be able to.

And so I rely upon those few who do something else.  Who are willing to brave that fear - and it's not such a great terror when you look it in the eye - and be willing to be wrong about things.  Be willing to look a bit of a fool occasionally, to brave a bit of mockery, perhaps.  Or even, to just feel a little bit awkward when you're trying on perspectives you've never tried before, and it all feels weird.

Just these little things, just those.  Nothing grand, nothing vast, no enormous heroism.  Just a basic level of very simple human virtue.

Because there is a solution to all the chaos and the pain, the damage and the despair, the anxiety and the apathy.

And it doesn't have to be pretty.

It just has to be.

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