These are our times, your times, the times of all times, the times that all human lives have led to. From polluted seas to concrete war rubble, from the ancient sages to the modern anonymous voices on the air waves and glassine screens, the past of history is now our current inheritance, and ours to destroy, inadvertently or advertantly.
Here we are, and so we shall pronounce our most abject and legitimate philosophies of social understanding upon these complex and global matters. Of course, this is an utterly pointless exercise to do so, to try to allay the relentless passage of undifferentiated time upon our earthly gravity-bound travels, but humans must do so, and good times come from sweet, merciful communication.
Leaving all the great and good stuff aside, the unearned privileges and sweet communal epics of sex, companionship, rational betterment, and technological universes, how much of modern life corresponds to the accurate psycho-physical stage termed (here at FSN) death-in-life? Any time an individual human cannot express his or her willful conscious self is a form of death-in-life, a negation of the essence of individual self-hood for which death is the ultimate representation, but for which life has plenty of allied premonitory showings.
At work, when the inherited idiots are on parade, the co-worker is not him- or-herself, silent and inexpressive, and thus a nullity, not a person and thus unable to fulfill the great possibilities of human social life, that person is a death-in-lifer. Can they leave work to rejoin the procession of live humans? Of course not – all depends on that paycheck, which depends on adopting that pose of blankness. This is not the asinine world of “zombies,” so beloved as a social metaphor by millennial hipsters. Zombies are hideous emissaries of death, and having nothing to do with death-in-life, which only afflicts the living.
Mute presences in the classroom, in the family, young and old, rich and poor, are not able to participate in the social world that the dignity of their lives demand. A political world overstuffed with instruction manuals, pundit posts, broken news chyrons and video protests, is not a viable, functioning, institutional form but an unreachable, immutable presentation of death-in-life.
We, the fortunate living, do not want to be foreordained to the cancellation of death before the joys of life have run their course, so we do not want to see any of institutional structures as death-associated. What else, though, can we term humanity’s methane’d, deforested environment, destructive work sites, technowar weaponry, jobless ghetto enclosures, airless prisons, MFA writing programs, or mass concussion spectacles of NFL HD, besides forecasts/embodiments of death-in-life?
That is not our only fate, to become a non-person marching through various productions of death-in-life. We can cognitively reject its forms, as much as we can and still function within a death-in-life afflicted social reality. The beauty of a life partner, the glorious stiffening of a growing movement of atheism, the relentless search for modes of life-within-life are any match for the treacle of the Tom T. Hall song about fucking “little baby ducks,” and fucking “pickup trucks,” or any ersatz life coach with enough Botox and semimonthly plastic surgery to fool only a toddler. Philosophy, and religion, and libertarianism, and Marxism, and computer texting, and blog self-referentialism, have for too long been diseased with the classical virus of death-in-life, and it will be far more fun to enjoy the coming train wrecks with the engaged detachment, if that oxymoron may pass, of social nihilism.
*Note of Intellectual Commerce: Nearly all catchphrases, neologisms, portmanteaus, and literary devices are the sole invention of Fun Social Nihilism, the world’s number one unrecognized place for such off-hand creativity. Feel free to steal any one of them.