It feels as if the existential despair has no beginning nor end. It is like the Ship of Theseus. It is made up of many issues – climate change, rising xenophobia, fake news affecting perspective of family members that you can’t change, health concerns of family members in increasingly polluted cities, threat of violence in a polarised world, financial insecurity owing to shifting economic landscape… and so on. With time, the concerns grow and recede, but the heavy and concrete shape of despair remains.
Its june 2020 now. its been five and half months since the start of the year. But it feels like decades now. Three months of being anxious and home-bound. Rising covid cases. Migrants dying of govt apathy. Cyclone ravaging parts of country. Police brutality everywhere. The inspirational Black Lives Matter struggles in US. Libya, Lebanon, Iran, Yemen in crisis. Mass unemployment across the world. Economy in tailspin even as stock market zooms up for god knows why. Earthquakes. Mudslides. Oil spill in Russian arctic. Oil well burning uncontrollably in Assam. Wildfires in US, Canada, Russia. Warming planet. Wild life in peril. World being led by idiots like Trump, Bolsonaro, our esteemed great leader. Only countries with women leaders fared better(Germany, NZ). That says something, doesn't it? Trust in authority is waning. news is suspect. facts are questionable. conspiracies lurk around every corner. So misinformation rules and scapegoats get crucified even as the real players conti
I intend to write science fiction. Hence I am reading it. Ursula K Le Guin's 'The Left hand of darkness'. She wrote this in 1969. If she were to write it now, I would think it would be a completely different novel. It is a story set on a cold planet where people do not have one gender. For the most of the time, they are neither male nor female. Once a month, they go in kemmer, a state of being either male or female and desirous of sex. And when they meet an earthling, they think of him as a pervert for being always in kemmer, always male. This perspective though revolutionary, remains the setting and never quite drives the narrative. And that was disappointing for me when i read the book. When i picked up the book, all I knew about the book was this perspective on gender. And it made me really curious of what can happen differently in this world. Instead, I got a story that emphasizes the similarity of the human condition across the planets, across the differ