Writing extemporally what’s on my mind was kind of the point of these posts back when I was doing them regularly (i.e. almost weekly), so I guess that’s what I’ll do here for this brief resurfacing on my blog.

It’s a new year, and as usual it holds promise while simultaneously carrying a lot of baggage with it. Just these first few days remind us that people are still dying on the beaches of Europe while an increasingly destructive civil was is going on in the Middle East, Sweden — my neighbouring country as I write this — is instating universal ID checks at the border for the first time in generations, costing the country millions and reminding us all of the profundity of the problem we’re facing in Europe. Oh, and so-called Islamic State has just released another piece of vile agitprop promising bloody murder in Britain, my country of residence. And so on.

Yet, all of this seems strangely unreal to me, in the grip as I am — at least in unguarded moments — of a kind of apocalyptic paralysis. For obvious reasons 2015 was a stark reminder that climate change is almost certain to change the world as we know it over the course of the next generation. All the current problems are negligible in comparison to what’s on the horizon. COP21 arguably provided some cause for optimism, but it seems foolish fully to trust that we will be able to avert the cataclysm science tells us is coming to an extent that doesn’t profoundly upset life everywhere on Earth.

We’re all good at repressing such emotions, but I still can’t quite chase a feeling of futility every time I see, say, a new construction project or ceasefire initiative, never mind the ephemeral things I myself spend my energy on. What remains is the knowledge that my children will almost certainly have to manage life in a world radically, violently different from ours, where most of these concerns will be forgotten.

Nothing particularly enlightening about that, I know. Futile venting, I know. What’s the use?

For what it’s worth, here are some links:

  • Because I just read his excellent memoir, Between the World and Me, and was reminded of the horrifying Rosewood pogrom by this article, here’s Ta-Nehisi Coates’ classic essay “The Case for Reparations.”
  • Naoki Urasawa and Hisashi Eguchi about 70s and 80s manga. Interesting discussion, not least about Katsuhiro Otomo, the president at the upcoming Angoulême festival.
  • Lastly, look at that giant squid and then read this. Good night, and good luck.