Monday, September 27, 2010

comfortably numb

This is a comment I left at Jan Lundberg's site: Culture Change in response to his article:
"Celebrate the Stampede or Step out of It?

Celebrate... Hmmm... We are on an irreversible slide that will take us through the house of horrors -- the valley of the death of billions. No happy ending, no way to wake up from this nightmare. Most are still absolutely unaware. Perhaps there is less counter-productive panic that way. If there's nothing anyone can do about Anthropomorphically Induced Catastrophic Climate Change and Peak Everything any more... If it is just -politically impossible- to alter our course, maybe we should just wallow in ignorant bliss, in the fast-lane, of course. AC and Stereo on, blasting down the road, feverishly texting. Maybe we should celebrate all this death and destruction with a co-linear global self mutilation and sadomasochistic festival... Ah... right, we're doing that St. Vitus's dance already, to the tune of the big band march. But some pain is seeping through the cracks, a few folks are feeling it, and even talking about it. Apparently we're just not delirious enough yet. Hmmm, well, it looks like we're going to need much stronger drugs to be able to completely ignore this emerging catastrophe. With the right (positive) mental attitude, we'll be able to totally immerse ourselves in the experience, without feeling or thinking at all. Then everything will be simply delicious fluff... no content... just pure taste -- sweet as cotton candy but without the nutrition. Hey -- we'll be able to celebrate being 'comfortably numb', perhaps forever.

Read between the lines, maybe you'll hear a low growl. The closest I can get to celebration is growling along with the tune. OK, I'm a bit flat, but what do you expect under this load?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

On the Pain of Compassion

It hurts so much to care... to think about the suffering of others and all the sufferings to come due to environmental damage, and shortages of energy and materials...  to know that human beings have overpopulated this Earth, and that nature will balance things, one way or the other, in her own harsh ways. It hurts so much to know and care.

That pain seems like a good argument against caring. To just "forget about it" and save myself from the anguish by turning away. Perhaps I could find sufficient distractions. It's true that I'd  have to integrate my frustration and powerlessness and numbly accept those conditions as what I am.  But theoretically I'd be free of all the concerns and worries, at least over everyone else... But is there any way that I could also drop my concerns for myself? Especially if my whole reason for eliminating compassion towards others is an attempt to obtain aloof composure?  No, clearly I'd be in a self-centered mode, and therefor I could not drop my concerns over my own future and the suffering I'll personally encounter as a result of Peak Oil, and Catastrophic Climate Change.

So I'd still be anxious and depressed. And now also isolated. Alone in my own selfish concerns, and I couldn't honestly expect anyone else to care about me.

If my original motivation is to reduce my own suffering -- then the only path to that goal is to maintain my compassion for others. We're all in this together.   It hurts so much to care - yes, the suffering has begun, it cannot be eliminated, and the only way to reduce it is to face it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

American Boat People

Judging by the general consensus that Cuba is the most sustainable nation on the planet today, and the U.S. being somewhere near the bottom of that list... Will we see millions of American Boat People - Peak Oil Escapees - seeking to enter Cuba as an emerald refuge in the Caribbean? Naturally a mass migration-invasion of that sort would destroy the civility and sustainability of Cuba. U.S. citizens would be better advised to copy the Cuban efforts... if only there was enough time and determination. But with declining oil supplies predicted to hit hard in just 3 to 10 years, it seems likely that a burgeoning flotilla of Nouveau-Poor American Boat People is an all but certain future phenomenon. The New Pirates of the Caribbean could well be Ex-Suburbanite CEOs attempting to navigate their yachts. And they get really pissed when they run out of Grey Poupon Mustard.

On: The Story of Here: Why Words Matter-Part Two

Link: The Story of Here: Why Words Matter-Part Two

Here were my comments on the article linked to above:

"the most important element of defending myself is believing that I can" Hmmm... It almost seems a nuisance to have to point out that: Belief alone never assures the desired outcome! Someone might fully believe (stupidly) that they can take on a 1,500 pound Grizzly Bear all by themselves with their bare hands... until total loss of consciousness, forever. No doubt our minds are the best tool we have... we should use them. But I don't imagine that the power of our minds can maintain 'civilization' or even our population levels. I think the best we can hope for is to alleviate some suffering and mitigate enough of the damage to avoid extinction.