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  • At a party last night, on the edge of a conversation. The kind that's best to stay clear of, to listen and think about later.

    A woman in hempish-clothing, and long hair, is clattering her bangles …. Is going on about a charity she works for, that in a distant part of the world is rescuing some kind of helpless animals, from circuses or slave labour or restaurants, I don’t catch which, and then helping them to become wild again, although it’s hard to do that because their natural habitat is rapidly disappearing because of loggers or hamburger cows or golf courses…

    And it's all familiar until another voice jumps in.

    -Fuck that bullshit, what’s the point of nature?

    It’s feels like such an absurd statement that no-one says anything, and it floats in the air like a provocation until he continues.

    -I mean, I understand that it’s sad when animals dies, and forests get smaller, but it’s not like any of us want to live there or really spend time with them, is it. That’s why we’re here, right, as far away as we can get from dirt, and darkness and weather. We have moved away from nature.

    Someone else mumbles something about the importance of species variety, and how everything is connected, and that people should probably be a little more careful about destroying everything but there’s little conviction there and it feels vague and borrowed.

    -No, but what I mean is: without people, none of it would matter. It’s just shit happening on an unimaginable scale, over impossible periods of time, and it just goes on and on, and species die, and other ones evolve, and finally, thank fuck, we turn up, because if we hadn’t, the whole thing would have just kept changing and mutating, until it all gave up and no-one would ever have known.

    -So don’t you think it’s a shame that there won’t be any tigers soon? Or that you’ll never see an orangutan?

    -I think it’s a shame, like I think that it’s a shame I’ll never drink some of the world’s great wines. But that’s just a rarity thing. And it’s not because I care about tigers. Just care about doing things that interest me. I’d love to have seen a dinosaur too, but I’m not going to whine because it never happened.

    The appearance of dinosaurs confuses everyone. Too far away from today’s planet, and too rich a topic to waste on doom. For the next ten minutes, there’s a frenzy of participation, a safer discussion, which starts with people’s favorite dinosaurs, and moves to their size and stupidity, how fucking long they were around for, and even they couldn’t put off the inevitable extinction. Comes to us all, whether we cause it or not. But the lady in hemp hasn’t forgotten where this all began, and in moment of silence, punctuated by the sound of people chopping and sniffing, she speaks again, that tired accusation.

    -That doesn’t give us the right to fuck up the planet.

    -Might not give us the right, but it makes things interesting. We’re lucky to be around at such an unsettled time. If we weren’t here to fuck up the place, and wipe out the planet then no-one would know it was going on anyway. Without any way of telling stories, without history, without a connected memory or self consciousness, does it matter if species die? Without us to witness the destruction of the world now, or to retell previous changes, what does any of it matter?

    -If you’re that tiger, is there any difference living centuries ago, when you were untouchable, when there were uncountable numbers and prey was easy? To living now, when your days as a species are numbered, when some of you rot in zoos, while the rest scrape a living, on the edges of humanity, chased for your fur and your dick. There is no sense of loss. Nothing gets passed on. It’s just a repeat show, each new infant packed full of instinct, ready to learn how to survive, but with no idea of their place in history. The last tiger on earth wouldn’t care, wouldn’t know. It’s only us.
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