Since posting wisecracks is most people’s raison d’être on Facebook (beside showcasing the awesomeness of one’s life), I thought I would go with the flow and post my own; one that I could claim ownership of. So I wrote:
I think the next generation of Lebanese babies is going to have built-in night vision, if you see what I mean.
…with reference to the protracted/frequent power cuts.
I noticed last night that I had an increased ability to see in very low light conditions, that’s why. Then I wondered if I were the only mutant in my entourage.
Anyway, a good friend of mine commented on the post, saying “we should consider if we should have a next Lebanese generation,” wondering about the legacy of past generations. “Nothing much to offer, she added, at least nothing much positive.”
I connected this reaction to a notion I had learned about a few days earlier, namely the mélancolie génésique or “reproductive melancholy,” an expression coined by Yves Paccalet, a French philosopher and long-time companion of Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
Paccalet talked about mélancolie génésique or “reproductive melancholy” to explain the declining reproduction rate of cod-fish and whales. According to him, the mélancolie génésique is the psychological consequence of human aggression on marine ecosystems (industrial overfishing, pollution, etc.), which causes the species to lose their appetite for life (yes, animals also have it, sometimes more than humans), their will to procreate, their desire to perpetuate their species.
I think this is a fascinating idea. It would be interesting to extend it to humans. I totally understand this “reproductive depression” in a time of political and socio-economic depression, a time of moral degeneration. Our society is fairly degenerate (I like this word, it suits us, I mean: il nous ressemble), so whence our surprise to see our “regeneration rate” dropping?