I got most of my update post written, but it’s not quite ready, so I’ll take a day or two more on it.
I didn’t finish reading The Idea Shapers either, but I’ll just continue it till I’m done, however long that takes.
This week begins the Thinkulum project month of November, and like last year the project will be making my secret Christmas labels for my presents to my family. So I’ll update you on my progress, but I’ll wait till after Christmas to tell you about the content. This week will mostly be for planning and gathering resources.
I listened to Thomas Ligotti’s Conspiracy Against the Human Race, an argument for anti-natalism, the idea that it’s wrong for humans to reproduce. His argument isn’t that humans are bad for the earth but rather that consciousness is bad for humans–that when you remove all the psychological defenses, suffering makes life not worth living, so the kindest act toward future generations would be to limit our reproduction so the human race gently goes extinct.
At times I sympathize with this viewpoint, but overall I don’t share its assumptions or Ligotti’s pessimistic frame of mind, and ultimately I think, if we’re not being theological about it, humanity should keep living if only to see whether the key to utopia lies around the next bend.
I researched Ligotti a little and found out he’d written an unproduced X-Files episode (here’s a working link to the script). Some of the themes from Conspiracy show through, and since The X-Files is technically still going, I wouldn’t mind seeing the episode in video or comic form someday.
Now I’m back to Joshi’s history of supernatural horror, Unutterable Horror, which last week explained to me the greatness of Poe, so I’ll have to give him another try, though in recent years I’ve been able to appreciate his style in “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Imp of the Perverse,” and “The Raven” (which I found less horrifying and more heartbreaking).
My Halloween evening was partly spent trying to get frostbite while capturing the scenery winter left us in its hurry to arrive.
I wanted to do something spooky for Halloween, but not too spooky, so I watched a movie I’ve had in mind for a while, The Endless by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead. It’s a thoughtful ontological mystery that starts normal and gets really weird while exploring the characters’ widely varying strategies for dealing with their situation. I didn’t know much going in, but it ended up being a great match for what I’ve been looking for, which I guess you could call light cosmic horror, though now that I’ve been spoiled by the bleak, real cosmic horror of Ligotti, part of me was disappointed by the movie’s uplifting aspects. In any case, I’m intrigued by this filmmaker duo, and I’ll definitely be watching more of their stuff.
Now that October is over, I’ve put away my Halloween ambience videos, and my attention has turned to my playlist of autumn ambiences. I felt they could use some background music, but being a new fan of fall, I didn’t know what kind of music the season called for, so I let the good denizens of Spotify tell me. I found this instrumental autumn playlist that seems to be a good fit for the ambience videos–folksy and relaxed.
This is a preemptive reply to my family that I’m working on my Christmas list this week.