Grumpy about this dark age of modernity
In using the term ‘dark age’ to reflect on the kind of cultural world we find ourselves in at this time, I am invoking analogies with various times and places when old certainties are moving into a state of collapse, but a new culture has not yet emerged to offer moral and social cohesion. Our current moment - when modernity has reached and surpassed its limits - is such a time. In spite of a solid history of insightful analyses of the problems with western conceptions of humanity, and numerous calls for a revisioning of the human, our societies go on as if business as usual were justifiable. The absence of the humanities within wider discourses of ecological degradation, including extinctions, is part of our current problem. I conclude with some thoughts on how the status of flying-foxes in Queensland reveals discursive and physical violence, and offers a glimmer of some solutions. At stake is our struggle to revision ourselves as participatory, complementary members of a wider earth community.