Realism, extinction, aesthetics, anarchism: a post-nihilist pragmatics.
Melancholia is the inherent quality of the mode of the disappearance of meaning…. And we are all melancholic.
– Jean Baudrillard, ‘On nihilism’.
I’m a one time would-be philosopher, having gained an undergraduate degree in modern European philosophy (Middlesex University) and successfully managing to escape from an MA in Critical Theory. I’m a registered mental health nurse. Originally from London, currently enjoying a self-imposed exile in Scotland. I am neither an Academic philosopher or an embedded philosopher. I am a nurse embedded in his own obsessions.
This blog is an attempt to grapple with living in a world that is objectively nihilistic. It is the attempt to explore what happens to such an attempt, to all such attempts in general, once we acknowledge this state of affairs. It is informed by the tendencies that emerged out of speculative realism, particularly the object-oriented ontologies. It is committed to the metaphysical conviction that reality itself is a speculative system composed of speculative systems. It is the provisional and stumbling construction ground of a simple idea and disposition that the author names variously as ‘Catastrophia’, ‘catastrophic thought’, and (parodically) ‘autopsy vitalism’. It is the simple idea that the creation of substance, of energy and matter, at the big bang is a catastrophe. It is the idea that the Original Catastrophe has not yet ended.
Equally, this blog is obsessed with psychologies cognisant of the death of the organism, and the metaphysics of extinction… as well as the human responses to this that range from various forms of meaning-production, willed ignorance, distraction, and self-delusion. It is a blog that is interested by the nonhuman and the post-human but which nevertheless refuses to suggest that the human is none of its concern. As far as psychology goes, this blog is fascinated by embodied, social, and extended hypotheses. As far as extinction goes this blog is pervertedly optimistic.
This blog also reflects the author’s ambivalent relationship with anarchism and pessimism as both politics and organising principles, as an inescapable attractors that he nevertheless resists. It is concerned with politics as aesthetic regimes, and how these are themeselves engines of meaning-production. This blog expresses struggles with ethics, compassion, suffering and the questions of suicide and antinatalism. Finally, it reflects a burgeoning interest in dance as the art form of materialism.
In naming this blog attempts at living the author hopes to dispel any arrogance that might sink into its tone, and to reflect that herein lie more than theoretical or philosophical concerns. This blog is an interrogation into how it is we go on living, why it is we go on living, and what for given that existence is objectively without meaning or reason, and that being alive is the necessary condition for suffering.
It is an investigation into coping-beings, and a way of coping. It wants to make visible what it is that takes the place of meaning, or to help in the production of whatever that might be: of just how it is that we are not all, that we might continue not to be, melancholic. It is a contribution to a post-nihilist pragmatism.