“None of these things shall I miss”

“Right. Obviously I don’t actually want to die, but I am trying to find what positives I can in the shitty circumstances, and one of those is that I shall be glad to see the back of this poxy little country and this fucked-up world and this bunch of fucking morons constituting my fellow stakeholders in the species Homo so-called Sapiens.

“I shall consider myself well rid of this island’s pathetic, grovelling population of celebrity-obsessed, superficiality-fixated wankers. I shall not miss the institutionalised servility that is the worship of the royals – that bunch of useless, vapid, anti-intellectual pillocks – or the cringing respect accorded to the shitting out of value-bereft Ruritanian ‘honours’ by the government of the fucking day, or the hounding of the poor and disabled and the cosseting of the rich and privileged, or the imperially deluded belief that what we really need is a brace of aircraft-free aircraft carriers and upgraded nuclear weapons we’re never going to fucking use and which would condemn us for ever in the eyes of the world if we ever fucking did. Not that we can, anyway, because we can’t fire the fucking things unless the Americans let us.

“I shall not have to witness the drowning or the starvation through mass-migration of the destitute of Bangladesh or anywhere else low-lying and impoverished, or listen to another fuckwit climate-change denier claiming that it’s all just part of some natural cycle, or down to sunspots, or watch as our kleptocrat-captured governments find new excuses not to close down tax havens, or tax the rich such that the fuckers actually have to pay more than they themselves or their lickspittle bean-counters deem appropriate.

“And I shall not miss being part of a species lamentably ready to resort to torture, rape and mass-murder just because some other poor fucker or fuckers is or are slightly different from those intent upon doing such harm, be it because they happen to worship a very slightly different set of superstitious idiocies, possess skin occupying a non-identical position on a Pantone racial colour wheel, or had the fucking temerity to pop out of a womb on the other side of a river, ocean, mountain range, other major geographical feature, or, indeed, just a straight line drawn across the desert by some bored and ignorant bureaucrat umpteen thousand miles away and a century ago.

“None of these things shall I miss. Frankly it’s a relief to be getting shot of the necessity of watching such bollocks play out. I would still rather have the choice, mark you, but, as this would appear to be being denied me, I am making the best of a bad job and looking on the bright side: I shall be free, at last, of that nagging, persistent sensation that I am, for the most part, surrounded by fucking idiots.”

Iain Banks, The Quarry (2013)

posted July 7th, 2013

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