Hello dear reader – It truly is delightful to be back with you again, here in the comfort and warming security of a blog about writing.
Just now I am working on a novel about the end of the human race. It is exciting to write as I hope it will be exciting to read, and my deadline is for sometime this year.
However while I have been writing the human race has been upping the ante. It is hard to write fiction these days that is not eclipsed by reality. Usually I steer clear of politics in this blog though anyone can see where I am coming from in my books.
But. . .I thought I had a topic that could withstand any amount of heat from the real world, if only by slapping on some more sunscreen lotion. I mean, what is more final than the end of the human race?
Events of the last year and the beginning of this have made me wonder if I am so far out of the loop of life that I cannot see the noose being tightened around our collective necks.
The most powerful country in the world – or should I say wuuurrld – the United States, is holding its leadership election this year and the front runner of one of the parties appears to be a raving lunatic. I am not saying which party this is, as the front runner of the other party also appears to be less than the full quid. One of these upstanding individuals appears to have hit on a new way of reaching the top: if it moves, insult it. It’s working a treat so far.
Of course that is only the most powerful country in the world. There are plenty of others to go around! The middle east – wow! Syria. . .Yemen! Yemen is off the news wires because no one is safe there I think, but that unfortunate land has more than 20 million people who depend on imported food and water and the main ports are damaged for a large part of the population. There are at least four warring factions and one of these is backed by Saudi Arabia, which is bombing anything that moves.
Saudi, meanwhile, is pumping oil like there is no tomorrow, driving down the price to give the Russians a run for their lack of money and the newly back on stream Iranians a show of fingers.
Russia is bombing Syria. It claims to be bombing the wild-eyed – that’s all you see, usually – jihadis and their supporters of the Islamic State, but they are also reportedly bombing the people who are fighting the Syrian government. Russia likes the Syrian government. It has given them a port, their only one in the Mediterranean, on a 50 year lease, and they’d like to keep it.
The Syrian government is led by people who profess a type of Islam known as Alawite. It does not seem too clear what this is about, except that it is a kind of Shiite faith.
That means most of the rebels the Russians are also bombing are Sunni, like the Saudi Arabians. So the Saudi Arabians, who have more Sunnis causing trouble in the world than they have people in Saudi Arabia it seems, are unhappy about this.
Next door in Iraq, Shiite and Sunni are also squabbling and fighting the Islamic State, which is Sunni.
If that was all I maybe wouldn’t have a headache. In Africa. . .well, I would rather not talk about Africa just now. Forgive me.
Asia – the recent “save the world from crisping” meeting in Paris has joyously concluded that we are indeed turning the earth to toast and that we should do something about it. China has celebrated this by deciding to build another 250 plus coal fired power stations, and India plans to double its coal throughput.
They say they will do something about their emissions. That’s good news!
If only that were all. Europe! The cradle of western civilisation is reeling from Islamic terror, Syrian refugees, Russian-provoked conflict in Ukraine, and the resulting tensions between the newly aggressive bear and family and all those to the west who don’t like them very much.
Korea! I forgot Korea! North. . .Kim Wrong-un has pouted, and when he pouts, his country explodes a nuclear device. In this case he claims it to be a hydrogen bomb rather than an atomic bomb – the kind that obliterates millions upon millions of people.
All this, and yes, more. . .but I am weary with these details. The point is that as I slave, desperately and with artistic if sub-literary intent, on a novel about the end of mankind, mankind seems racing to beat me! Any one of these alarming and indeed harrowing traumas shaking our faith in ourselves could spin so out of control that the end would really be the end. In the 19th century and for much of the 20th, a novelist could beaver away without needing to worry that before she or he could crank the thing out that the whole of humanity would be unavailable to read it. I don’t want to appear selfish, but that really does seem very unfair.
Celine, the writer I keep dragging into this blog, began one of his last novels (North):
“Sure, I tell myself, it’ll all be over soon. . .whew! we have seen enough. . .at sixty-five and then some, what difference can the worst H. ..Z. . .or Y superbomb make. . .”
The consolation is that Celine wrote this in the 1950s, well over a half century ago and as a species we are still here, for a little while anyway. So there is hope for us all, and for me to finish my book. Maybe.
Humanity. . .our species. . wow. . .Could you make it up?
Thanks for reading.