Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Me, you, your kids and dinosaurs

Well… here’s another blast of pessimism sure to scare away more readers! Good luck!

I am sometimes a little saddened by the eternal optimism of dear friends who are smarter than they allow themselves to be. Optimism that is ultimately disastrous as it results in hope, inaction and capitulation in the face of looming disaster. It is so painfully rare to meet someone who comes across as mentally unfettered, capable of perfectly clear thinking (a lot to ask, I know!) But people do not realize what impenetrable walls are built from everything we invest in (and I don’t pretend to have escaped that entirely). Career, reputation, wealth, property, marriage. Even children. Your children are a detriment to your rationality! The walls that are built in the process of parenthood will not allow you certain vantages; to fully entertain certain possibilities, because they are too threatening to that most dear. No matter the circumstances, no matter the evidence, the all-powerful ego that is a stranger to you but yet is the master you and tied ferociously to your children, will simply not allow the conscious you to open up to the possibility, for instance, that your children might have no future. It will cherry-pick arbitrary favorable evidence that suggests, for instance: that people are basically decent, so how wrong can we actually go?

My courageous period – and the only such period of my life (so far), culminated when I was sitting all evening in front of my desktop computer with a blank MS word document staring back at me and for the second night in a row, trying to understand the question that I was trying to ask myself. “How decent am I really? Am I evil?”

I finally came to understand the question and I strongly suspected that if I took one step further, that there would be no going back (I still get the piss-shivers every time I watch The Matrix blue pill-red pill scene). And there it occurred: my singular moment of triumph in this life:

“Yes. I am evil.”

I viciously turned myself inside out and counted the ways.

I cannot fully recall what the next few days were like. I recall I was deeply withdrawn, deeply horrified and strangely exhilarated to find myself in an alien place I would never have imagined existed. God knows what would have become of me if a sort-of final piece of the puzzle kind of event had not fallen into my hands some time later. It was Richard Dawkins’ suggestion of the selfish gene. Regardless the accuracy of that specific scientific testimony, it pointed me directly down the path I needed as I began discovering first-hand the evil inherent in every living thing and the original necessity for it and the actual beauty and miracle of our circumstance! But I digress!

I am always surrounded by evil unrecognized by the captive consciousness of the doer (myself included). Always. Every day. And mostly – on my good days – I do not dwell on the beastly half of the doer but love the self-victimized consciousness instead.

And I know some things you might say. Perhaps: No! I am not evil. I am good. I love my spouse even though he or she is such an asshole sometimes! And I love my kids even though they torment me! I buy fancy car seats for their safety and a big safe automobile for us and I buy us a big house and plenty of heat to keep them warm and I buy them the latest gadget so that I can be attached to them at any given moment and more of the latest gadgets so that their friends won’t think little of them (because their reputation equals my reputation equals my ego which is everything). Yes I love them and that love is magical and you people without kids – you will never know this magic!

But oddly there are those of us who have no kids and yet love your kids in a different way even if we barely know them, and, who even love your kids’ kids though they may yet be born.

I hope you won’t get me wrong. Some of my favorite people in the world are wonderful parents who I admire and I’m sure parenthood feels utterly amazing at times. I am regretful at times to not have experienced it in the direct way which many of you have, but that parental love is not enough!

Building a life around loving your kids so that they can build lives around loving their kids so that they will love theirs… no matter how good that feels it is a circular loop. It is not progress. It is not evolution. It is not enough to justify what you do and what you choose not to see! That circular formula will come to a crashing demise if our love for our kids and our desperation for (inevitably artificial) stability manifests itself in our killing the biosphere, in part directly and in part by sitting back in hope and inaction while the great powers around us – the industrial corporations and their politicians and their media and the so-called “environmental organizations” which they have quietly usurped and tamed and made into industry-compatible profit machines, entertain us and mollify us with their bunting and their elections and their promises which never come true and make us think that everything might just be okay because there supposedly is a battle going on between political parties and supposedly a battle going on between greens and industry and there is nothing you can do – we got it covered. There is a reason the promises don’t come true. These battles are theatre and the electoral changes in government become an excuse to exorcise the promises of the prior reign.

No civilization on planet Earth has ever had the remotest possibility of surviving its own flawed unsustainable architecture except for hunter-gatherer societies (not to suggest that nothing else is possible – I don’t know). But everything else has inexorably destroyed itself like a dumb-ass frog in a slowly boiling pot. And now we have the mother of all civilizations – the global industrial-military civilization, doing the very exact precise same thing, with the entire planet at stake and nowhere else for us to go. And here we are just farting around in the bubbles while the elite imperialists of the world, steeped in obscene wealth (mostly blossomed from old criminal origins abetted by politicians), love their children by amassing the wealth, power and privilege to eventually put them on whatever small ark of humanity or other limited eco-fix that technology might hopefully avail them at the eleventh hour.

If some version of the internet (and people) survive into the next age, will your great grandchildren look you up on the McFacebook Archives to see how you participated in the Great Eco-Struggle or the Global Market Meltdown of the 21st century? And interpret that you spent it taking selfies and giggling at cats? Would you be okay with that?

Let us remember that it’s easy to love our kids; in fact unavoidable. It’s in our genes. It’s a biological imperative. The stupidest most pig-ignorant beer-swilling party-time hicks in the world – you know – the ones sticking firecrackers up their ass for youtube fame… love their kids. Even wolves and weasels love their kids.

Even dinosaurs loved their kids.

1 comment:

Troy Gillespie said...

Well said. I'm looking forward to the day when self-preservation/expansion takes priority over greed. What could possibly redirect our worldly priority to that perspective?!? A single danger that might unify our world collectively: A meteor aiming towards earth? Godzilla? Alien invasion?

Clearly, the challenges facing our world today are not enough.