Tuesday, November 5, 2013

We Got Lucky

Hope~ George Frederic Watts, 1886
I have always admired Dave Cohen’s blog, Decline of the Empire.  His writing is unremittingly bitter, but given his completely unsentimental view of the antics of our miserable species, it’s only to be expected.  His scorching wrath can be particularly hilarious when he mercilessly juxtaposes human aspirations and delusions with our feckless behavior.  His scathing fury is as immense as the compassion and grief that lies beneath it.

Now, he has written a tour de force.  It’s rare and refreshing to find someone who resoundingly rejects any form of “spirituality”, or “hope”, or “woo” which, in one guise or another, almost always creeps surreptitiously into even the most gloomy analysis of the human condition - if only as the pretext that our blighted fate could have been averted.  In his essay, “We Don't See Sentient Extraterrestrials Because They Don't Exist*” he has brilliantly eviscerated those phony, self-serving, anthropocentric constructs.

Possibly this is my favorite quote, because it underlies all the insanity perpetrated by humanity:

“For humans, a Universe in which our species is eventually crushed by disinterested natural forces (including biological imperatives) beyond its control is unthinkable. Humans literally can not imagine a Universe without humans in it.”

Visit DOTE to read the rest.


  1. Gail, what a great review. I almost would rather read your commentary than his essay. Your words shepherd and illuminate the way to his.

  2. looking at this... and thinking of the video you posted about population in the Phillippines... http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/07/world/asia/philippines-typhoon-haiyan/
    Scary, to say the least. But my feelings are more anre more numb.

  3. Thank you Gail for yet another great reference. I am enjoying the essay tremendously. Yes, I can enjoy it! This kind of perspective actually free me of anxiety and despair. For now, anyway.

  4. Hey Gail, everyone:

    The news out of the Philippines is, as expected, devastating. In this article and the subsequent video the death toll to the people caught in the storm surge and high winds is noted (according to one account millions evacuated that side of the island). The damage to the island's trees will have long lasting negative effects. This typhoon was the fourth or fifth in the past few months to hit the island nation and the strongest so far.



    1. Another way to wipe trees off the face of the earth *sob*.

  5. I have found the author of that particular blog to be amazingly hostile to commenters. You complain about the Archdruid, but he is far far worse. He even sent me a hostile email based on a comment that supported his views. I gave up on him.

    1. Agreed, he has a lot of hostility to commenters, even when they agree with him. I've been banned myself! My main complaint with the Archdruid isn't his obsessive moderation of comments. He's an idiot. Dave is not an idiot, and he can write circles around the Archdruid. It's just me, but I'd take hostile truth over magical delusion any day. The Archdruid literally believes in homeopathy because it's "magic". He told me that to my face.


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