Blackest Night

The read of the week for me was DC’s “Blackest Night” (pictured below)

And was inspired to write this.

This is a dark age, and it will be long and cold.

Every darkness brings with it death. That is why we fear it instinctively. In the dark, the trees do not grow, the flowers do not bloom, and the predators hunt. Life needs light, just as the ocean needs the rain.

And so this is an age of death now. The light has sputtered out. Let us count a few of the obvious things which have died now. Modernity. The planet. History. The future. Countries, societies, decency, civility, safety, security, stability, prosperity, peace.

An age of death. That much is as clear as tears, no? The question is: what will die next? Death is a process after all, an epidemic. First the forest burns. And then the animals are consumed alive, trapped in the killing heat. One death is not death. Death is just the door that opens the way to decay.

So. What dies next?

Now we are three small steps away from genocide, murder, atrocity. Three small but very real institutional choices. First, to suspend the rule of law for non humans. Second, to define minorities as non humans. Third, to exterminate people who have been defined as non humans. What will die next? People will.

I am sure you think I am being hyperbolic. Among the many things which died recently is history. For history teaches us this pattern is universal to darkness. It is present in the darkness of the Middle Ages, of the Soviet experiment, and of course canonised in the Nazi holocaust.

This is the dance of death. You and I? What choice do we have? To think there is choice is itself the illusion, a comfortable nostrum.

A world now consumed by a paroxysm of hate will kill. And kill. And kill. The steps of the dance have begun. The music is playing. The strings of the mannequins are pulled by fate and terror and fear and revenge.

Who can stop it? Do you think you can stop it? But that is why: you are already dancing.

The most dangerous of illusion of all is to pretend one is not dancing. That one is above it, beyond it, immune to it. None are. Just know that much, and there is a small chance for your moral conscience to survive, and to grow.

Death’s greatest benefactor is not the hate in the human heart. It the is illusion of goodness. It is the person who even while dancing to death’s tune believes that they are not. That they are free to choose, when the world has already chosen death.

You are not free now. For the truest thing that dies in dark ages, in times when death is ascendant, and life defeated, is freedom.