Sunday, 29 April 2018

In defence of negativity

Negative people should be exalted and revered as mystics and gurus.

The negative people are way ahead of you. They have evolved. Negativity is wisdom, positivity is blissful oblivion.

The negative person has learned everything they can from their job or station in life. The novelties and thrills of that great lie of the "world opening up before you" are replaced with the understanding that where you are right now is all there is. The world is closed corridors, not wide open spaces. There is no great adventure waiting tomorrow. In a very real quantum mechanical sense your future lightcone projects entirely from your little cubicle with your little plant and your cute little cat poster. Suns will die and whole planets will be rent asunder but your life of positivity will be happily punctuated by not much more than 10:00am coffee and the thrill of a new sitcom on Netflix.

Salty sailors with sun-leathered skin are right now raising untold treasures from sunken Spanish Galleons, and you stare at the mirror every morning wondering if wearing a pink shirt and a pink tie will make you look gay, or just preppy.

Marines are right now choking on the stench of piss and death in some godforsaken Afghan back alley, praying not to God but to the fucking helicopter pilot to risk his ass for another three minutes to cover theirs, dodging both the bullets of power-mad insurgents and the ghosts of their nation's history. And you sit there wondering if the jam on your toast is going straight to your thighs?

Positivity is the great dead end. Positivity is the mantra of "this is good enough." Positivity is the blue pill, the conscious decision to accept propaganda as truth. Positivity is a devil's bargain - you believe my lies if I believe yours. Positivity is sleep.

Negativity, by contrast, is awesome. Negativity is wide awake and walking the city streets at 3:30am, wondering if somewhere a long-lost tribal brother or sister is at that very moment walking in their jungle feeling the pulse of nature the way you feel the pulse of the city and thinking the same things you are. Negativity is seeing this world for the artifice that it is, and grudgingly playing along, for now, because you know that tomorrow could very well be worse than today, and you need to be ready because Peppy Office Girl and SportsTalk Sales Guy sure as fuck won't be.

Negativity is the realisation that the hands of the clock, so fragile and thin, are in truth relentless. Those hands work on your life the way a tiny stream of water works on a stone foundation drip by drip by drip, until one day, suddenly, the whole castle crashes down.

Negativity is the understanding that you are from stardust will return to stardust - you are a temporary sympathetic vibration in the fabric of the universe.

What the blind and sleeping call negativity is really the understanding and acceptance of this life in its proper context. It is the wisdom to see this life as part of the whole Life, the wisdom to know that the powerpoint presentation you're working on
because somewhere an animal is the last member of its species and it's running for its life.

And once you accept that it doesn't matter, you are no longer worried about it. You do it effortlessly because you see it for what it is. It is paint-by-number pictures and a handful of words on a screen, not a gunfight in Mosul or a thousand pounds of gold at the bottom of the icy Atlantic. It is easy because it is an improvised performance in a play within a play, a shadow of shadow of reality.

Positivity is about getting onto your well-travelled career path. Negativity is living life as an edge case.

And when the presentation is done, you don't care how it goes. Good or bad, praise or probation, what's the difference? You know that we are all just one bad day from travelling city to city at night in a car with stolen plates, one hand on the wheel, and the other on a gun.

And when that day comes - and it will come, eventually, for some future generation if not ours - when that day comes, who do you think will be ready?

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