Write or Become a Ghost

The most beautiful thing in the world is, of course, the world itself. – Wallace Stevens.

What if that changes? Where then do we find the beauty? In a world where we out consume what should be consumed and in which we reproduce in a way that is unsustainable maybe James Lovelock is right. Maybe we only have twenty years left and that is a shocking thought. Lovelock has been right too many times to ignore his prophetic calling. If that is the case and we start to consume all the beauty, then all we will leave behind are the ghosts of what we were.

Image result for ghost town

So, why write? By the way, the ghost town above is a massive hoax. A Russian film set made to look like an abandoned German town after the Second World War. That to some extent is maybe why we push forward and why I write, some think climate change is a hoax, that nothing could wipe us out. Maybe they’re right, maybe some of us will survive but in smaller numbers or maybe technology will save us. I am trying to figure that out in a number of climate change stories I have written from traditional rise of fascism which we are seeing played out in Europe once more to something more colonial, something that places the rich above and the poor below. The idea of slaves in our society is something we have fought against and for, but modern slavery is very much present in our society from zero hour contracts to the trafficking of sex workers. That’s just the tip of the iceberg when you consider how many of us hold jobs that in twenty years time will seem redundant and ridiculous, that they were slave jobs, to keep you part of a machine that was never there. As a teacher, for years I have heard colleagues say that we would be the last to fall, that everyone needs an education but in a landscape of dwindling beauty, poetry and fiction will seem archaic, fantasy, useless. The beauty we have in nature reflects on us. We reflect back and many of our fashions, our leaps forward have come out of the wilderness and not from us. Take that away and what do we become? If we become computer constructs and merge with AIs, what do we become? What do we reflect? Code? Or do we become something far bigger? I think we’ll become the ghost in the machine, symbiotic, virus like, echoing our own human growth we will multiply fast and consume. That’s frightening. So why write? To maybe save something of what we were, maybe for me it is a dream, or nightmare: see what you can become, see what you could be, see.

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