So you wake up one day and everybody has disappeared. You’re not sure why or how. Some kind of holocaust; some kind of mass alien body snatching event; you’ve slept through a global pandemic and to quote Red Dwarf (and assure you of my geek credentials), everybody’s dead, Dave, everybody’s dead.
You are the last human alive.
The world is yours.
What do you do?
I’m not talking about securing food and fuel supplies, amassing a stock of pornography or weeping for your loved ones.
I’m talking about... in your spare time.
You know, when the initial panic is over and you’ve accepted you’re the only one left: what are you going to do to amuse yourself?
Being of unsound mind I frequently mull this question over. And the answer I frequently come up with is going into my work place and smashing it up in an orgy of cathartic violence. Of course, this may be because I usually pose this question to myself whilst I am actually at work and the destruction of my work place is therefore (quite naturally) in the forefront of my mind.
I should point out at this point that I work in an art gallery and therefore my wanton acts of destruction will be targeted against works of art and museum artifacts. The very stuff I have been charged with having to look after and preserve.
I’m well aware that such an act of vandalism might be seen by some as a typically sad indictment of humanity itself. Here I am, the last representative of my species, and rather than safeguarding all the higher ideals of mankind represented in the gallery’s collection, I instead display the primal violence that has so plagued mankind throughout the centuries.
I resort to petty violence. I resort to destruction for the hell of it. It doesn’t even serve any purpose except to make me feel better.
The dominant species that comes after us will one day find and excavate the gallery and wonder how us Homo Sapiens ever dragged ourselves out of the slime.
I know all this. But still I would quite happily come into the building and take a poker to the Papperitz, an axe to the Archipenko and a chair leg to the Chirico. I would take great pleasure in pissing through the holes in the post modernist sculpture.
Perhaps all this is merely a desire to cock-a-snoop at those that currently have power over me? Not my boss personally. The Man. This society that sees most of us bartering the valuable hours of our lives for the wherewithal to survive and do all the things that we’d like to do in the pisspoor amounts of time we have left to us once The Man has taken his cut.
Or perhaps I am just petty and annihilistic and have a secret desire to be naughty just for being naughty’s sake?
What would you do if you found yourself alone in the world? Go on; put me to shame with your accounts of erecting monuments to humankind, nurturing future species and resurrecting mankind with a turkey baster and a few ingredients from the IVF clinic at your local hospital.
Go on, I dare you.