• Styles Yugen

A Sunset to Remember


The world is as big as we are small. We all know this somewhere deep down; many of us deny it and try our damndest to forget, never thinking about it again for as long as we live, only for it strike in times of stress.


The world is a crazy place. Just look outside. Here in Neverland when I peek through my grimy hotel blinds I see glittering highrises on the sunset--you see something different, I’d suppose--and an endless horde of people. There are people everywhere I go here. But since I’m no rich brat, I see the dock workers, the white collar but not too white collar workers, and the fallen golden eggs. I see those who work for a living and actually manage to make it. A little further out, closer to the jungle over those towering walls, I’ve seen the filthy. Unwashed masses rot in the shadow of the fortunate--those who live blessed lives in towers of gold and silver.


The world is unfair, and those people know it. The people in the highrises know but do nothing. They go about their golden lives with cares so foreign, so diametrically opposed to those in the shadows below that they may as well be different species. Looking at them I’d say they are. Augments, genetic therapies, machines to ensure comfort and convenience: these are all things those golden tower brats have. But down on the street the unwashed are lucky to have one meal a day.


We are fragmented. We all know this, somewhere deep down. One cannot simply look at something that calls itself “human” and be overcome by a strange sense of the uncanny without something being amiss. As humans we began as one, and as humans we have diverged. Even our shared history may not be enough to keep us together one day. Just imagine a near future where parents from different planets can’t have viable children anymore.


This is where we’re going. But at the same time, when I peek between my grimy hotel blinds I see the sunset. Golds. Yellows, oranges. All the way to violet. Among those colors I see what we’ve created together: an oasis in a hostile jungle, on a world lightyears from our species’ cradle. It’s amazing. It’s something that we all take for granted, but most importantly: it’s beautiful.


There’s an old word that’s seldom used anymore. I feel it, and I’d hope that some of you all out there do as well.


Yugen: the profound, mysterious sense of the universe...and the sad beauty of human suffering.


Think about it the next time you step outside your apartment, or the airlock, or even the back-alley nook you call home. There are other humans all around us with lives just as complex and confusing as our own. Yet we never stop and give it thought; suffering is part of our condition. We all suffer from the human condition even if we can’t have children together. Remember that the next time you see someone out there struggling to find a meal.


Styles Yugen, signing off.



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Science Fiction and the pursuit of escapism, 2020.