Note: The Night of the Present was written in the wake of attending The Right to a Future, featuring Greta Thunberg and Naomi Klein.
The sun has set. The night is not gentle.
We are sick of the institutions of the day. The day burns with your fossil fuels. The rivers choke with your plastic. Your wallet creaks with blood money. Yet, the day shines upon you. It is a gift you do not deserve.
It is the Night of the Present, and presently, we are raging. We are furious, for the weight of your failure bounds us to battle. During the day we may have maintained the masquerade of the mundane, but we could never fully delude ourselves. Our childhoods were stolen when we first learned what we were doing. What you taught us to do. And so we turned to the dark.
We are most acquainted with the night. The light of the moon is enough. When it wanes, our phones suffice. As you rest to avoid reflection, we prepare for what is to come.
We look in the mirror and face the most grim truth of human history with our eyes wide open. We clothe ourselves in your weaknesses, in your failure, and we still have the grit to see our own potential.
We are not your hope. We are not your future. We are taking up the same struggle you chose to ignore in the happy malaise of complicity and complacence. Your kind words are kindling, for we are still your children. We still harbor your appetites for destruction. Resentment and gasoline both stink with the promise of finality.
What is a revolution if not a thankless act? A fallen star? A splatter of light against a perfectly bleak background? The righteous fury of insurrection? It is the Night of the Present, and you should be thankful to wake up.