Far above the Earth’s atmosphere, in the peaceful silence of space, Russian and US partners of the International Space Station are squabbling over who’s gonna die first if they separate. Linked at the umbilical cord, they both know that they will die without each other.
But the hate is so strong.
This picture is reflective of everything else that happens on this planet. People come together in great numbers called Societies, to do great things, and gain more collective power. Yet it is power itself in the end which divides them, as they viciously fight over what’s yours and mine. They fight over who is the most superior civilisation, each of them making absurd claims to unique lineage and imperial heritage from ancestors that they have never even met, all of whom belong to the exact same species.
The children of Ukraine are watching. More than 100 of them bombed to death just in the first few weeks of the war, while adults were floating in space making TikTok videos of themselves chasing blobs of toothpaste floating in the vacuum. WTF is this species.
We tend to view space exploration as an achievement of our civilisation, but it is a tragedy: because it demonstrates that however genius our next discovery may be, we cannot escape the truth that we all, deep down know: that we will still fuck up Earth. We will still bomb the children. We will still nurture the delusion that our history is one of glory, innovation and discovery, occasionally, only occasionally, interrupted by rare, momentary, unfortunate “blips” of judgement that resulted in occasional war, destruction, climate crises, plagues, and collapse.
The arrogance is real. The narcissism is everywhere. Goodnight.
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