I hated my parents. I hated my school. I hated the cops. I hated all authority.
I hate anything that imposes limits on me, that gets in my way.
I hate disease, I hate that death is inevitable, I hate the laws of Nature. We all do. We all hate our parents, we all hate our Mother.
What goes up must come down. Hate that!
I hate that people form mobs and go after scapegoats. I hate that I have been a scapegoat, and may be again.
Hell is other people. I hate ‘em.
I hate suffering. Life is suffering.
And yet. See what happens when we overcome our limits?
See what happened when humans developed antibiotics, thereby evading a longstanding limit of Nature? Now humans overpopulate a still-limited planet, destroying vast swathes of wild habitat and species.
We developed industrial machinery, freeing ourselves from the limits of manual drudgery. Now we are captives of our own technology.
We domesticated animals and plants, freeing us from the vagaries of hunting and gathering. Now we lack purpose and meaning, as our animal instincts are continually frustrated.
We created writing systems, evading the limits of our very limited memories. Take that, Nature! Now we live in a mediated cultural hallucination.
Without limits, we create hell on earth.
We need everything we hate, to push against. We need gravity, to push against this Earth even though we want to fly. Imagine if we conquered gravity. Our muscles would turn to jello, our bones would weaken, we wouldn’t know what to do with ourselves as we floated about. Pushing, tension, resistance, opposition: we are built for this. We are built for limits. We are made for enemies.
Without enemies, who are we?
Children of parents who fail to set limits, who can’t tolerate their children’s hatred, become narcissistic monsters.
Atheists wonder, if God is such an asshole in the holy scriptures, why do the religious praise and worship Him? God certainly behaves like an Enemy, what with the plagues and commands to violence and contradictory imperatives and impossibly confusing directives and nonsensical rules and vindictiveness and punishments. Thus, to love God is to love thy Enemy. To love thy Enemy is to love God. If God is all, He is evil as well as good, limits along with freedom, hate along with love. To know Him is to love Him, and hate and fear Him too.
I love mine enemies, for giving me something to hate. Without enemies, whom would I hate? Myself? That would be much worse. I’m built to hate something, better it not be me.
Children hate their parents, especially their Mothers. It is a natural phase. As I become more like the Mother myself, I am more able to love my hating self, and the hating others, all we hateful children, mine enemies. Love thy enemy as thyself: we, who know what hate is, already do.
If you’ve wondered why my creative output this summer has been relatively thin, it’s because I spend most of my energy and time biking (and recovering, eating, bike maintenance, route planning, looking at maps, etc.) in the warmer months. Once it gets cold and I’m stuck inside again with no place to go but inward, I hope to continue work on my Animated Apocalypse.
In the Book of Revelation, the Millennium is a thousand-year reign of peace prior to the “second resurrection” and end of the world. If a Millennium needs to pass before the Apocalypse can be completed, maybe my own Millennium would enable my little animation project to be completed. So, I set out to bicycle 10 centuries (hundred-mile rides).
The First Century
The Second Century
The Third Century
The Fourth Century
The Fifth Century
The Sixth Century
The Seventh Century
The Eighth Century
The Ninth Century
The Tenth Century
I reached my goal in July, but instead of getting back to work on my project, I rode yet another century, initiating a Second Millennium:
The Eleventh Century
Just as the world didn’t end a thousand years after Christ, my project stalled too. Here in Reality we’re already in the Twenty-First Century, and Time hasn’t stopped yet, although it certainly feels like The End Is Near. So I figured, what the hell, I’ll do another ten centuries, that’ll put my Apocalypse more in sync with the mythological one.
The Twelfth Century
The Thirteenth Century
The Fourteenth Century
The Fifteenth Century
The Sixteenth Century
The Seventeenth Century
The Eighteenth Century
The Nineteenth Century
The Twentieth Century
Now that two Millennia have passed, will my Apocalypse proceed? Maybe, but first I need a nap.
I’m part of an online group for Midwest Cyclists. This month our ringleader, Cliff, issued a challenge to climb 15,000 feet. In Central Illinois, particularly Champaign County, this is harder than it sounds. Some riders cheated by driving to better start locations, but all my rides started and ended at home in Urbana, which meant I had to go crazy long distances just to get to something resembling terrain. So in addition climbing almost 20,000 feet in August, I also rode over 1,000 miles.
Did I mention I’ve ridden 15 centuries (100+ mile rides) so far this year? I keep thinking I’ll blog about it, but I continue procrastinating instead. Easier to think about my next long ride than to write about it. (You can see what I’ve been up to at https://www.strava.com/athletes/11918813 )
Cycling clears my mind so effectively that in high season I hardly do anything else. I’m either riding, or recovering, or eating (big calorie deficits!), or fiddling with my bikes (I got another new-to-me vintage recumbent this summer), or staring at maps, or just generally procrastinating until I can bike again. Hence, not much drawing and even less (i.e. no) animation. Colder weather will force me inside, literally and figuratively, where my attention will eventually re-engage with artistic creativity. Until then, I’m just a pedaling animal like this mountain goat.
A deluxe Hundred Dollar Drawing with a making-of video: