Raising a child in a world of wounds

I’ve been on a particularly intense Apocalyptic bent as of late. In the past month Kelly and I have watched Melancholia (planetary collision extinction event), Contagion (flu virus pandemic), and the second season of The Walking Dead (zombie apocalypse); I’ve reread The Road (nuclear winter); and been buttonholing more people than usual with my “the-thin-fabric-of-civilization-is-soon-to-be-ripped-asunder” litany of global climate change, peak oil, phosphate depletion, ocean acidification, and associated and wide-spread geo-political instability.

I’m a blast at parties, let me tell you.

But I’ve always had this dark strain. In my Grand-Canyon-Manuscript-That-Will-Never-Be-Fucking-Finished, I attributed this love for post-apocalyptic narratives to the San Andreas fault, which haunted my childhood as a sleeping-dragon-like force that could, at any time,  unleash “The Big One”: the earthquake that will destroy LA.

But on the other hand, I can’t blame it on plate-tectonics: I don’t see how any rational human being who pays even infrequent attention to the news could not harbor the same fatalistic views. Perhaps he or she finds it easier to ignore such views. Perhaps he or she simply has more faith. My intrinsic lack of any such faith is a blessing and a curse, but seems especially unfortunate now that we are to bring a baby—a helpless babe!—into this doomed world.*

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