…elsewhere others were having their fun too; Woodstock was happening, the Americans invaded the moon and Penthouse was launched. I also seem to remember Popes dying and important Americans being shot. It was worrying but it didn’t really seem to matter ultimately, because we knew the Russians were going to invade New Zealand and we would all die in a final blaze of glory fighting them off in the mountains with our .22s.
We survived though and now in 2006, the Russians still haven’t invaded. Looking back I’m not sure they knew we even existed. The biggest threat from Russia theses days is rust; that slow but steady chemical weapon of mass destruction, eating it’s way through the hulls of out-of-work nuclear submarines. Crack a few of those babies open in the ocean, on the way over mix it up with a dash of leaking-French-Moruroa-muthafucka-atoll-sauce and that smear will work it’s way through all the beautiful beaches of the Pacific; through all the beautiful skin of the Pacific; through all the beautiful bones of the Pacific. Now I know I’ve got the geography and ocean currents all wrong and strontium-90 probably doesn’t even float… but the point is to do with innocence, imposition and imperialism. It’s not anti-Russian or anti-French. The point is, yes, it’s all ultimately meaningless and we are going to die anyway but that doesn’t give you the right to determine the mode of my demise.
Friedrich Nietzsche poetically said,1
But to feel squandered as mankind (and not just as an individual), as we see the single blossom squandered by nature, is a feeling above all feelings.
Nietzsche’s squandering is more existential, inevitable, biological but it’s this undeniable finality to it all that for me makes the moment all the more valuable. It engenders a respect for life that I don’t see any account for in the grand imperialisms and fundamentalisms of our age, or the piss-weak ones for that matter.
Take the Howard, Liberal government in Australia as an example of the piss-weak squandering of life’s dignity and meaning. He has an opportunity in the Pacific to be the engine room of a massive renewal in human dignity for the indigenous people of the region, he has an opportunity to be setting an example of respect for the land, water and air, he has an opportunity to start the revolution in alternative energy… but what does the stain do? Nothing, fucking nothing! It’s now more likely we’ll be invaded by the little known revolutionary group, the Indigenous Pacific Peoples Liberation Army (IPPLA) than the Russians.
- [ Book: Nietzsche, Friedrich (1878). Human, All Too Human. Penguin Classics ISBN 0-14-044617-6 ]