Disasters are no fun for the innocent. Everyone will suffer, even people who could theoretically be insulated by money for a while. It won’t matter who caused what or who’s to blame - it’ll be murky trying to figure it out, and brutally violent, and when that sort of stuff happens the wrong people take the hit, and then there are reprisals. I’ll bet Antoinette was the best of a bad lot, but she got the guillotine anyway, that’s just how things work.
I don’t even know who I’d go to, to say I told you so. I didn’t tell anyone anything anyway, was too afraid of being made out to be a fool, which I might well have been. And I could’ve been one of the nay-sayers anyway, it’s not like I get some sort of ram’s blood passover from the angel of death by virtue of being worried about the right thing at the right time.
Who’s to say the culprits will ever be correctly identified? Who’s to say the architects of policy and lobbyists for fossil fuels will not blend in perfectly with whatever body politic of the new paradigm emerges, self-satisfied at least that catastrophe was someone else’s fault, or just all of our faults, humans, eh? What a crazy biological experiment. Too bad, it just didn’t work. Pass the torch to the noble cockroach, a marvel of organic design.
These newfie townee Husky and Suncor employees - they’re nice people, most of them, I imagine. I played in a Pink Floyd tribute with one of their like, the drilling engineer for Schlumberger who became our new bass player in 2010, who told me once while driving me to practice in his big oil truck, he just wanted to make a million. They’re smart, geologists and engineers, fun to converse with, some of them good to jam with. But why the hell am I cleaning the offices of fossil fuel firms? What I really should be doing is dumping oil over their floors, that’s what I’m kind of wanting to do, more and more, but there’s the mitigating factor that I’m part of the problem.
"Given what’s at stake", as they say, maybe an enemy really will have to be found, ie, the fossil fuel firms, even at the cost of good people getting tarred with the bad brush along with the few real evil fucks, if anyone’s really evil. Well, maybe no one’s really evil, but at times it’s necessary for certain people to take the fall for evil things that happen to us people.
Not that there’s much innocence to be found, around here anyway. And, why would I bother with any bet hedging, and cautious skepticism of computer models of climates? It’s human intellect that created this condition in the first place, for better or worse, but it did find efficient ways of redistributing massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. That’s beyond weaseling out of. I trust all kinds of devices and technology derived from Maxwell’s equations and Newtonian physics - but I won’t trust the cutting edge of climate science, because, maybe it’s wrong? I don’t understand the statistical modeling that predicts a catastrophic warming of the planet, so, therefore, the jury’s still out, but neither do I understand the statistical modeling that enables every synthetic thing that makes life worth living, to me. But the jury isn’t out on that for me, is it? I’ll accept that stuff, thank you very much, cause it’s convenient.
I don’t want to be cursed with living in interesting times. I want my tech-tweaked times loaded with digital information, an info-stream I take for granted, consume mindlessly, but not interesting in the way that an extra-terrestrial voyeur might hope for. But I don’t think I’m gonna get a choice in this. The voyeurs are going to be entertained at our expense.
I’m starting to feel a kind of gratitude I didn’t expect for my spiritual program that I’m struggling to follow to the best of my ability. It was designed to help addicts recover and live sober, but it may be the best hope I have of coming to terms with the predicament of a petroleum-addicted society at large, in something other than a cowardly, suicidal, get your kicks before the shithouse goes up in flames, way. I’m a long way from being spiritual and really living a spiritual program, but a seed was planted, maybe sprouting microgreens, and if I could bring that to fruition, or something close, it’s the only thing that could carry me through a potential transition to scarcity.
If it’s true that wild wild stuff is coming down, it could at least hold the light up to the shadow, the overshadow that clouds everything I should be enjoying, what creates lack of purpose, the feeling of being lost. Maybe it could provide meaning and purpose again, an obvious blatant kind, not something one has to look for in a frenzied search for meaning here, purpose there, dilettante itinerary to secure vocation in a market economy driving a spiritually bankrupt culture. It may sound like I’m moralizing, but I love the bankrupt culture, the trashiness of it, and I love standing outside of it, feeling smug and superior in delusions of separateness, poking at it with a stick, writing about it, that vantage - I love that like a drug destroys the liver and burns out the brain. I do love it, but it’s a way of death.
The ever-present existential nausea of the approaching end of this way of life... Imagine if that was gone? The pain of facing up to that will be so steep I can’t even contemplate, but how about the side benefit of having that reckoning over with, at least the facing over with, and having the paradigm change. That could be an amazing side benefit.
And if it’s true that wild wild stuff is coming down, maybe it doesn’t necessitate so much violence as I fear. I mean, surely whatever happens, there’ll be heroism and co-operation, maybe unprecedented levels. That’s one way the economy can still grow beyond the extraction curves of material: the economy of valor. Scarcity and hardship I could take, maybe, if it didn’t mean pervasive violence, and everyone set against each other. But shit, if Hobbes was right about human nature, and I’m not sure he wasn’t, maybe we’ll have to hope the Loch Ness monster will be discovered in the nick of time, to save us from the war of all against all - or maybe it’ll just devour the spoils.
And sure, I hope for the good in women and men to come to the fore, maybe we should throw out all the men and elect ourselves into matriarchal dictatorship. But given that what marginal progress there’s been toward a civilized society (ie, not mustard gassing each other in our wars anymore) hinges on improved standards of living, I’m scared what will happen when the curve peaks and begins to fall back down, obeying the physical laws we thought didn’t apply to the eternal game-changer of technology and the information age. And I really think standard of living has almost everything to do with how life is valued. When life is shitty, it’s so much easier to kill and die.
And I know there are those who would say, but value doesn’t need to be all tied up with these things you think are so important, the consumerist bullshit. Sure, that’s true, there’ll be benefits to getting back to nature, but it’s the transition I’m thinking about. It could be brutal, surely will be chaotic - and in an epigenetic time frame, it might be just what the doctor ordered, an enema for the human race, but I’m a person, not a race, not a culture, and on my time scale, it’s just a downward trend, cause like a lot of people, I’m a late stage hardcore addict to this infrastructure, I know how toxic it is, but I’m so on the junk, it’s the only thing I know, it’s flowing through my veins, and I can’t imagine a life outside of it I’d want to live.
I mean, I’d love to scale things back, I’d back the first motherfucker with power who vowed to begin the scaleback, I’d brace myself for austerity hoping it was at least being done in carefully-planned stages. But I don’t see no scaleback option being proposed, the dilemma is steadily driven to the point of all or nothing. Will the plummeting stocks bring down with their values human life? I’d hope not, but it’s plausible to me that they could, even though they should bring up the value of human life, as we’d theoretically unplug from all isolating distracting devices and break free of all kinds of synthetic shackles. But I suspect we’d suddenly remember, in genetic memory, in the way four year old kids have night terrors of being eaten by tigers, that, oh yeah, there are quite a lot of biological shackles too, that we forgot about centuries ago, and now, well, this isn’t natureland, this isn’t a retreat, this is a merciless baseline. Well, I’m sure it ain’t that bad really, maybe not for you, but for me, well, I don’t think I’m up to spending the latter half of my life trying to be nature-boy. I’ve lived long enough to know that’s not what I’m cut out for, even if my life depends on it. Maybe post-apocalyptic-wasteland-man would suit me slightly better, barricaded in a rathole of an urban block with a personal stash of salvage - I could sort of see that.
And this is all so so so easy to type into a computer from a climate-controlled interior.
Maybe next post I’ll go back to trivial bullshit, I sure hope so. I sure hope I’ll stop freaking myself out over potential end-games, like I stopped so many times before, and got back to soft and comfortable things, even in the guise of edgy badassed bullshit - but really soft and easy.
There’s gotta be something wrong with this hard/soft dichotomy that pervades how I think about everything. Maybe it all reduces to psychology, ultimately, there’s a nice soft thought, that nothing is real, there are only thoughts, points of view, neurologies that have progressed to this point, and a tableau of fearful and pleasant and sad and angry and hungry and soothing and shameful experiences before the age of three, before I even formed fucking memories (!) have dictated everything I think and feel about everything, in such a subtle way that I thought it was all free will, and I accepted this idea culture gives me, that it’s a self that I should identify with and own, and all that.
And no, I’m not gonna bring a child into the world, I’m getting more definite about that by the day, as much as I appreciate and love my parents for bringing me into being, and for being themselves, and as much as I appreciate that I’ve had playmates to play with in this life, and as much as we’re gonna need some fresh blood, some, mind you, to dismantle the now-asphyxiating biomass prosthesis... For all that, I think the best legacy I can leave is a negative legacy of opening some space, for people who are already here, to stretch out a bit, in future years.
And how convenient, in the end, for me, being so passive - aggressive in words, maybe, but passive in deeds, and lazy and tired. But I really think it’s right for me to not contribute to what’s happening with this cancer we’re becoming - rather I’ll do what I’ve suited myself to and brew another batch of poison words. Call me chemo.