Monday, May 21, 2007

In Plane View

This is the Age of Extermination.

We've seen similar ages before, with predictably horrific results. But the present age is wider, deeper, deadlier, and will go on for some time. Perhaps for the rest of time. Hard to say in these early stages. But the worst has yet to arrive, and when it does, something even worse will inevitably follow.

Unhappy thoughts, I know. So we shop and bop and pretend that it's all happening in another world, one of the privileges of Western living. Yet even in our glittering cocoon, there is anger, anxiety, fear, deceit, trepidation, insanity. The rest of the world's misery seeps into our many distractions, though we don't have the full awareness or honesty to call it what it really is -- the beginning of some kind of end. This is why eliminationist rhetoric is gaining traction and becoming mainstream.

There are no exterminating angels. Just exterminators, and the exterminated.

I knew a young Persian woman many years ago who said she could slow bombs with her mind. I thought she was yanking my chain, looking to see how much fantasy I was willing to swallow. But she insisted that she was quite serious. She told me that one had to look beyond the crude physicality of the bomb or missile, and focus on the current it created before exploding.

"You can slow them enough get away or find shelter," she insisted, serenely smiling, dark brown eyes unblinking. "It's not easy, but it can be done, until they make even more destructive weapons. Then the process begins again."

This was why you sometimes saw people crawl out of rubble still alive, she said. Not everyone can do it, however, since not everyone believes it's possible.

"But anything's possible on this plane. It's all shaped by our minds."

What about a nuclear weapon? I asked. Even if you slow it, an explosion is still inevitable, and there's no chance of crawling out from under that.

She laughed. "You walk right into the blast and embrace the collision of molecules. Because when those bombs are unleashed, there'll be nothing else to do except be one with extermination."

"That's bleak as hell."

"Not really. All it will mean is that we've decided to move past this world. We won't kill ourselves accidentally. When we push the final buttons, it will be intentional, conscious. It will be the end of fear and hatred."

"It'll be the end of everything."


She kissed me, stroked my hair, and strode down Lafayette Street, leaving me standing on the corner, trying to make sense of our exchange. My mind couldn't comprehend her statements at that moment, but when I now read or hear about one armed faction hoping to liquidate another faction, not for base material reasons, but for the glory of God, of nation, of flag, of culture, I think back to our discussion, and wonder if perhaps she was a person lost in time, giving me a sneak preview of what was to come.

Maybe she was crazy. Maybe she was Death. Maybe she was the doorway to something unseen. But she wasn't wrong, and as these brutal months pass, her vision seems less fantastic and more to the point of where we currently stand.

Focus on the bombs as they fall or begin to detonate. Whether or not you can slow them enough to survive is impossible to say, but in an Age of Extermination, such focus is all that remains -- until there remains nothing else.