The History of the World is Fucked

By Katie Lynn-Vecqueray

Let pessimism reign. The undeniably screwy past of the world is given its moment to shine in Martin Rowson's F*ck: The History of the World in 65 Unfortunate Incidents. Unsurprisingly, the picture book examines Earth's most monumental events and derives one sole reaction: fuck. Citing the crucifixion of Christ, the extinction of the dinosaurs, the atomic bomb, Newton's Law of Gravity, and other essential benchmarks in the development of mankind, Rowson emphasizes the cynical and humorous nature of history's true colors.

With each illustration on Earth's historical timeline, the "glass is half-empty" theme creates a vantage point on the world with renovated despondency. We all love a book that makes us laugh, even when it defiles a religion or a renowned figurehead. I found it difficult to justify laughing at terrorism, but when an illustration depicted a terrorist struggling to unzip his coat for the bomb strapped to his chest, an uncomfortable chuckle escaped my better judgment. The satire and power of a good, old-fashioned "fuck" presents a rare appreciation of the catharsis that comes from a truly negative state of mind. Humanity is flawed, as is the world we inhabit. We may as well focus on the debilitation of natural laws as a way to remedy our damaged spirits.