Soon gonna be Earth Day innit?[Up, Down]
|TAKE THE ONLY TREE THAT'S LEFT|
AND STUFF IT UP THE HOLE IN YOUR CULTURE.
On this day of days, I recommend a careful & repeated listening to Leonard Cohen's 1992 album 'The Future' - enough to see (perhaps) the overall shape & pattern of it, the 'order' if you will; or at least that the despair in it is not complete, or not completely in control, and that there is something there that might be called hope (but wouldn't be). In the face of such prescient eloquence we can temporarily overlook his being such a ham, and even forgive the kiss-&-tell on our Janis.
'CAUSE HONEY, THE FUTURE IS NOW.
SLAVERY: Oh, of course there are no more slave ships coming to the Americas from Africa ... but if you happen to be in the South China Sea there are others on the go these days just as desperate. A ubiquitous human behaviour down through the ages. Not to mention wage slaves the world over.
ARMENIA, PASSCHENDAELE, GUERNICA, HOLOCAUST, MUSELMANN:
In industrialized war, practice makes perfect. Then the pious peek into Auschwitz and their leaders mouth the words "Never again!" but what it means is "Always! Every time!" and they give us Rwanda, Darfur, endless extermination. Aztec, Tupí, Beothuk, Apache.
'Course y'all think this is rhetoric buddit ain't. None of it is clear cut, one could wish it were - see here.
ATOMIC BOMBS: Oh but the cold war is over now isn't it? We're disarming aren't we? Sure we are ... except for slowly, slowly, ever so slowly, and mostly not, and then there're North Korea and Iran.
CIVIL RIGHTS: Are you kidding me? You don't read newspapers. Is that it?
THE GREEN REVOLUTION: Ah! When will Norman Borlaug return his prize and join the ranks of Cecil Rhodes and Nobel himself in well-earned disgrace?
GLOBAL WARMING, CLIMATE CHANGE &c. &c. &c. : Considering the unfolding environmental catastrophe from the pinnacle (or is it precipice?) of human perfectability is sobering & instructive. Eh? Don't you find?
Here's Chris Hedges (from a 2013 Q&A session) on fantasy, discernment, & judgement:
The fact is if we were serious about attempting to extract ourselves from where we are we would declare global warming to be - every country would declare it to be a national emergency. We would shut down the tar sands in a minute. We wouldn't even discuss the XL Pipeline. We know where this is gonna end up. Part of the problem is that those who control the power of popular culture, popular ideas, and popular images have done a really good job of keeping us entranced by fantasy and feeding this mania for hope.
People say you're so pessimistic or you're so dark, but I don't make up climate change reports. I don't make up what Wall Street is doing to the global economy. Those are just realities. Having been a war correspondent for twenty years is a kind of advantage in that we didn't talk about who was a pessimist or an optimist. We coldly calculated what the weapons systems were at the end of that road and how we were going to react and people who had a kind of Pollyanna-ish view about their own immortality are no longer with us.
ALAN RUSBRIDGER, 350, AVAAZ, MUSELI:
It seems that Alan Rusbridger proceeds approximately without a plan. This is documented (for which one praises his open & forthright character) in a series of podcasts (five so far).
The language used is replete with hedged & woolly diplomacy, contingent correctitude, hesitant understatement. It might remind us of perfidious Albion.
One distinction is particularly interesting: that the boardroom right-wingers probably don't eat müesli for breakfast while the Guardian left-libs do. What this reveals is that the struggle is seen as being between elites, or factions of the elite class. All good except that it leaves us yobbo whoremongers and dirty old men out in the cold. Reminiscent of Birkenstock & Wellington (the black rubber boots with orange trim) greenies back in the day.
The campaign is struggling along. Certain things - a quite open Q&A session, and reaching out via email for feedback & suggestions - seem very positive; as is the intermittent presence of 'Keep It In The Ground' on the Front Page.
Some other indications are not so sanguine, particularly the involvement of 350 & Avaaz which are so hobbled by a narcissistic misunderstanding of the Internet - exalted navel-gazing determined to count its way to glory.
TRENDING ON TWITTER?! DOH?!
Time will tell. An election coming up an'all.
"He worships at an altar of a stagnant pool and when he sees his reflection he's fulfilled."
(Or she as the case may be.)
Each of them sucks you off in different (and mostly gratifying) ways, but they are all energy-drains - ideologies, patterns without heart. The Internet (standing in for technology which has too many letters) is not alpha & omega, neither be-all nor end-all ... after all. No more than another place to hide, and not even a very good one, and so expensive in so many ways.
My name is Gizélia - I am made of chalk [giz=chalk]. A magic fairy told me that
if I was clever she would transform me into a real girl ...
(These kinds of transformations are seen frequently in Laerte's art.
No mystery in that.)
Consider the English expression 'not by a long chalk'. The OED tells us it alludes to the use of chalk in reckoning & recording bar tabs and keeping score in games (such as billiards & snooker where chalk also has other uses) scoring ‘points’, with citations from the 16th century to the present day.
Taking the metaphor (allusion itself used to mean metaphor) as relying on 'long' introduces wholistic tinges: completeness, a sense of 'fresh from the box', even the punchline of a ribald joke "a pas longs" / 'take big steps [Appolon!]'.
I come back again and again to the last sentence of the 1972 report 'The Limits to Growth':
The crux of the matter is not only whether the human species will survive, but even more whether it can survive without falling into a state of worthless existence.
Of course, one presents such images and people immediately assume they are intended to shock; which happens not to be the case in this instance gentle reader.
The search for the elusive Green Party of Canada has so far proven fruitless. I say "so far" ...
And the famous blue three-point-plan is foundering (I use the present participle but really I think it's a done deal) upon the reefs of 350.org correctitude. It's hard to believe how they turn their backs on me. I used to claim complete ignorance - but I am coming (too late) to savour and appreciate the fear that accompanies this correctitude, which will not, cannot, can never bear scrutiny and so does not permit it.