There is something cathartic about failure. About reaching rock bottom, just like a drug addict who realizes that they can’t possibly fall any lower. Having reached the end of the line, there is nothing for them to look forward to anymore, or to worry about, for that matter. A bizarre sense of calm and optimism suddenly prevails. Not because there is an intentional quest for redemption from addiction, and not even because the addict has learned their lesson. It is simply because the faint light shining from above is slightly more appealing than the dark, cold and damp floor of the hole they are trapped in.
Humanity has now done all the drugs it could possibly do, and is quickly approaching Graduation Day. The party is coming to an abrupt stop as we begin to realize that we are concluding our enrollment in the Nature Studies University of Earth with a big fat F minus. All those “accomplishments”, those civilisations, the tin cans that we sent to the moon, and we still get an F. No stealing or bribery, bullying or plagiarism can save us this time. We’ve pillaged all there was to pillage. Bullied every species to extinction. And pretended that we are God’s PR agency, writing silly books like the Bible in his name to justify our sins and mislead our fellow classmates. Is there any school mischief left, that this appalling student hasn’t yet ticked off their list?
Some find all of this tragic. But I’m beginning to find it increasingly funny, in a morbid sort of way, of course. Because “tragic” would have implied that the main villain in the story of Earth, humanity, had some type of lapse of judgement that led to an unexpected turn for the worse. Tragic would imply that we should somehow feel sorry for the main character in our planet’s story, who was unable to overcome their addiction, pathological lying and shit-heartedness, and was led astray by…well, by themselves.
The truth is that our main hero did not have a lapse of judgement. They simply just didn’t have any judgement to begin with. They didn’t consciously choose between the “good” and the “bad” world. Because they were always meant to be an F student from the beginning. For those of you who believe otherwise, this is proven by the fact that our hero still doesn’t even know where and how they fell down in their journey through the drugs, pillaging and lying. Now they’re finding themselves sitting at home wearing a mask, getting ready to log on into their virtual, online Prom Night. What next?
George is an author, researcher, podcast host, chemist, molecular biologist and food scientist. You can follow him on Twitter @99blackbaloons , listen to his Spotify podcast George reads George, sign up for blog alerts below, or enjoy his books