Ever since I made it through the climax of Pokemon X recently (which I hadn't touched last since 2013), I've been thinking...
Obligatory precursor that I absolutely do not condone mass ecogenocide in any form... (I just realized that makes that look worse than it actually is sjdhfhfjs)
...But damn, you can't tell me Lysandre's words about the human race acting in greedy and wasteful and self destructive ways doesn't hit way fucking harder post the start of COVID (when we got a lovely preview of how the elite will make every possible decision to save their skins and maximize outer suffering during a global crisis), versus freaking 2013:
"Whether it's money or energy, the ones who steal are the ones who win in this world."
"...When there is only one of something, it can't be shared. When something can't be shared, it will be fought over. And when something is fought over, some must survive without it... the only thing left to do is squabble over the remaining scraps of hope."
(After Shauna and Calem/Serena propose that people should help each other in building a beautiful world) "If that were possible, all wars would have ended long ago! I can only see one future! One where selfish, foolish humans think about nothing other than themselves and steal more and more from one another... It's a tragic future!"
Look me straight in the eyes and tell me that this is not our current trajectory under late stage capitalism (Space-X, anyone?), our current structures of inequitable power and agency, and the converging catastrophes inherent to the climate crisis.
Like... OK, obviously I don't believe annihilating everyone except some select group of Elite is the way to go here. That's a fucking evil of Bezo-Musk proportions. Nor do I believe those that ask for help are weak and therefore are unworthy of being saved.
Yet I find it pretty chilling, and even a little sad, that my own cynical reflections of humanity and the teetering state of the world are... so close to his own. If not identical!
...But then he comes to the wrong conclusions! It's not population pressures responsible for this, it's the avarice and ego of the privileged few and their absolutely dominant sway over world affairs that led us here...
I was naive at the age of 13. I hadn't even the slightest idea of how bad things were, so I never dreamed of agreeing with The Bad Guy on anything. Seeing how much that has changed in as little as 8 years... It's disheartening.
Nor, quite frankly, did I realize how calculated (and yet how precarious and unsustainable) the status quo was to begin with. Taking a look at history and seeing the same mass events of corruption and needless suffering again and again, and then having it unfold before your very eyes without ethical or moral consequence... That does a number to your spirit and faith in humanity. Particularly when the most radical extents of human antipathy and soul-rot have been put on blast and shoved down your throat at all times over the past two years.
But even so... I don't know, man. I'm an empath. My instinct is to help the hurting and lift up the downtrodden in whatever small ways I can. I may not know all possible flavors of suffering, but I know enough to know no one else should be in any kind of pain. No one should go through what I did (and what I didn't) go through.
And ultimately, besides the occasional neo-nazi decking... Only harnessing our innate human trait to love, to be in a community, to romanticize the small moments that bind us together... That's what has the best chance of saving us. Not a Thanos-style annihilation.
"Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that."