“You ask yourself the question every time you open a newspaper or switch on the TV or walk the streets… You know the question. It reads: Just what the hell is going on around here?
The world looks worse every day. Is it worse, or does it just look it? The world gets older. The world has seen and done it all. Boy, is it beat. It’s suicidal… the world has done too many things too many times with too many people, done it this way, that way, with him, with him. The world has been to so many parties, been in so many fights, lost its keys, had its handbag stolen, drunk too much. It all adds up. A tab is presented. Our ironic destiny. Look at the modern infamies, the twentieth-century sins. Some are strange, some banal, but they all offend the eye, covered in their newborn vernix. Gratuitous or recreational crimes of violence, the ever-less-tacit totalitarianism of money (money—what is this shit anyway?), the pornographic proliferation, the nuclear collapse of the family (with the breeders all going critical, and now the children running too), the sappings and distortions of a mediated reality, the sexual abuse of the very old and the very young (of the weak, the weak): what is the hidden denominator here, and what could explain it all?
To paraphrase Bujak, as I understood him. We live in a shameful shadowland. Quietly, our idea of human life has changed, thinned out. We can’t help but think less of it now. The human race has declassed itself. It does not live anymore; it just survives, like an animal. We endure the suicide’s shame, the shame of the murderer, the shame of the victim. Death is all we have in common. And what does that do to life?”
Martin Amis, writing in the short story “Bujak and the Strong Force, or God’s Dice,” contained in his collection Einstein’s Monsters.