Alexander Gordon Jahans
The thing about being an Atheist is there’s nobody to guide you, no procedure for processing guilt or grief, for moving past when you fucked up. I have fucked up a lot in these last two years, well in the whole of my life really and it has been so hard learning how to move forward. Why couldn’t I have just let myself by Christian?
The Church of England is harmless. I mean okay, it was founded so Henry the 8th could secure his legacy by having a male son, and yes, it now represents the last great stronghold of old British conservatism, but compared to other Christian sects the Church of England is so watered down as to be practically atheistic anyway. It is a religion of tradition, festivals and tea drinking but most people accept the bible to be metaphor. I could have had it so easy. Procedures for processing guilt, grieving and how to be a better man, even a social life and a way of living that flowed in a nice cyclical number of ceremonies. I could have had it so easy.
Except it was wrong, because science had forced religion back and back and back until it was just Atheism with culture attached, because if god existed I’d beat the cocksucker to death with my bare hands and proudly go down as the man who killed god because how dare that negligent bastard get so much fucking respect when all he does is send disaster after disaster in our direction. So much bitterness. So much rage. The Church of England promised me a father who wasn’t there when I needed him, had no sense of privacy and couldn’t even match the good qualities of my real father.
So I’ve been alone for so long. Finding Doctor Who was like finding religion for me. In the seventh Doctor I learned about Utilitarian Morality, about how you keep going when your actions have hurt people you care about, how you can do everything right and still find everything turn to shit. I had already learned the lesson that when you care about something it will be viewed as a weakness. School taught me that.
The woman feminist is the typical example when I think of the mentality that haunts me and degrades society. Not that the feminists are the problem but they are such and obvious example of this law taking place. Where weakness is perceived it will be savagely attacked. Like a gamer instinctively attacking the glowing parts of a boss people will attack a woman feminist with misogynistic slurs because it’s just the obvious route of attack. This is why political correctness, trigger warnings and safe spaces have sent the arseholes into a veritable frenzy. It were as though everybody in the world had developed great glowing weak spots and they, as the player, had been handed a gun with infinite ammo.
So I was wary about letting Doctor Who have such an impact on me but this is where Doctor Who offered me such strength. Like any great religion Doctor Who has different sects and it just so happened that my sect was an incredibly unknown sect, leaving me free to rip the almighty piss into the sects of Doctor Who that the arseholes of the world could know about and thereby set them off my trail. I made a two video on why I hated the then most popular Doctor precisely so that the arseholes could not use the obvious attacks against me. And anyway, Doctor Who had already survived cancellation and rebirth, it didn’t need me to protect it.
So why do I mention Doctor Who now? Because the latest episode, Extremis by Steven Moffat, has been making me think. Whole essays could be written on that episode but I know a lot of my friends have yet to catch up on the latest series so I won’t spoiler it. It ultimately isn’t relevant to what I have to say anyway. It just made me think.
My existence is pain. Every day I get up and such pain arcs through my body that screaming isn’t enough. It’s like when you’ve come home after a particularly long walk, you’ve removed your shoes and had a bit of a rest then you get up and the soles of your feet just cry out. “No!!!” It is like that every day, more than once a day, even with pain killers. I’ve been taking caffeine pills with the pain killers to keep my creaky body moving but just existing is an effort, never mind eating, shitting, cleaning, walking or even trying to fucking work.
I live because there are things I enjoy even despite the pain and because I have obligations to this world but I confess that if there is a god he knows I’ve been bugging him daily with plees for death. This is actually why I’ve forced myself to disengage from interaction or observation with anyone other than people I know. I promised not to kill myself, not technically the same thing if I get myself killed by angry commenters is it? I don’t drink not because I’m not an alcoholic but because I know that if I allowed myself the excuse I’d used it as a loop hole.
I made a video once expressing how I have difficulty dealing with the guilt of being a white man in the twenty first century, never mind my specific sins. I said I feel like I’m going to hell so predictably every comment stated that I was already in hell. Well it sure as shit feels like it now. I have fallen so far and I struggle to see how I can get up again, my every existence is pain but I don’t give up, I am not allowed to give up. So I take my pills, I write what I need to write and I fill my life with distractions.
My mum keeps naively believing that anti-depressants are the solution. I am an autistic person, I learned to celebrate my emotions from my logic long ago. I am not silently wishing for death because chemicals in my brain are out of balance. I am not longing to cease to exist because the feels are overwhelming. I look at my life, I look at the choices I have and dying seems the easiest and simplest answer.
My body is in agony every day, I sleep on the floor after my last bed broke, I’m so fucking huge that chairs keep breaking beneath me, I have no job, no prospects, no real life social life, I have all but given up on a love life, I have no money and unless Corbyn wins on June the 9th, my ability to have a roof over my head will lie in the hands of a party that has historically shown massive disdain and contempt for anyone who needs the help of the state. The crazy thing is I am well aware that I am living a life of fucking luxury compared to so many other people in Conservative Britain.
Yet I keep fucking going. I drag myself to my feet collapse into my chair at the start of the day, take my pain meds, boot up my computer and I keep fucking going. Why? How? I want to give up. I want to just not get up one day, to lay in bad until I starve to death. I mean okay I’m fat so I’d take a long time to die that way and the boredom would be worse than the pain but the point still stands. Why and how do I keep goddamned going when I know my existence is just shitty pain with a bleak and uncertain future? I mean Amy Pond is nice to think about but she isn’t that fucking nice. There is more to this than a simple cost/benefit analysis.
Understand that we are all fucked. Even if every voter comes to their senses and we vote out the neoliberals and the fascists. Even if we do everything we possibly can to mitigate the shit that’s about to rain down upon us collectively, we’re still going to get drenched. To be honest the election on June the 9th looks like either we’re going to get some real hope of survival at last or Theresa May’s insane government will see us all swamped by a tsunami of shit. This is isn’t just about me, about my suffering, my fate.
I could find a solution if it was just me who was fucked but the very fact that we are all fucked has forced me to do something I have not done in such a long time. To cling to faith in something higher as a reason to avoid giving in.
I remember the last time I clung to faith. It was when I was at school, living out what felt like a prison sentence, having to troop into a place where I would be subjected to misery and humiliation time and time again. The entire time I made myself obey the rules, made myself be a pacifist, made myself do the homework and get the grades because I honestly believed that once the hell was over there would be something fucking better. There wasn’t but the belief kept me fucking going. It kept me alive and it kept me sane or as sane as it is possible to be when your body is fucked but nobody knows, when every day you go somewhere to be bored and humiliated only to come home to be screamed at and insulted while your brain is so overworked it causes you agony and vomiting.
I kept going then and I keep going now because I am the man that can’t be bought or threatened. Because there is a tsunami of shit heading in our direction and people are going to be needed when it hits. You know how in Watchmen there’s that doomsday clock that keeps counting down? The threat of nuclear apocalypse hanging over everybody’s heads? Well at least the politicians, the media and the public recognised the danger posed by nuclear apocalypse. We are living in a time of gradual environmental and economic and apocalypse and the vast majority of powerful people are too short sighted and stupid to do anything serious about either of those problems. Instead they blame the poor for not spending more when the poor have ttle to spend because of the stupidity and greed of the rich.
I am not a fucking Socialist and Marx has done more to destroy capitalism by giving it the perfect set of straw man scape goats to resist capitalism than any action of revolution. I must be the only man who has considered advising violent revolution to fucking restore capitalism as a viable force in the world again. It’s just that you can’t fucking have the benefit of free markets when there are global monopolies and a tiny amount of people have the vast majority of the money and if we don’t address this now then there is no chance in hell of capitalism being saved from destruction when the few have drained so much money from the populace that the economy crashes.
There is massive devastation and suffering coming to the world because the very rich are too fucking stupid. I know this for a fact and I hope to shit they can adapt fast enough when the consequences of their actions start hitting them where it hurts. I can’t just stand by and let this happen. I can’t just take the easy way out when I know the socialists and the communists are about to win by fucking default because the capitalists are all too fucking stupid to see the danger. I can’t give into my own weakness when there is a chance I may be needed.
If I have a faith now it is that good men do not sit idly by when there are problems in the world and I am, despite my sins, a good man. I may be going to hell for my sins and I may be in hell right now because of others but there is suffering in the world and greater suffering yet to be inflicted. Even if it is hopeless, even if it is painful, even if I lose over and over and ever, even if I make fuck up after fuck up and I burn with the weight of all I have done and all I have to do. I can’t just sit by while there is suffering in the world, when there is suffering that can still be prevented. I can’t do much but I have to do what I can and I can’t do anything if I’m dead.
So I live. I live because I have faith that every good man will do his duty for the needs of the many and I am a good man.