Sunday, April 5, 2015

"END OF THE WORLD",...again

The World has ended any number of times in it's history. I guess the biggest blow was when the Earth was hit by a Mars sized planet a zillion years ago. We've been having a Helluva time ever since.

Most recently about 70,000 years ago there was a volcanic decade that wiped out most of life on this hapless planet. The lack of sunlight, and the toxic air reduced Humanity of the time to perhaps 5000 individuals.

I've recently read where some smarty pants think we were down to just 500 or so women able to bear children. This is very likely where the "Adam, and Eve" myth came from.

(As for where the "Free Lunch" myth originated...well research continues.)

I bring all this jolly stuff up just to point out we're been through a lot, and still have managed to be around. We're sort of the roaches of mammals. There's no getting rid of us.

Which brings us to the main topic of our little visit today. Basically the recent "Re-Medievalization" of world affairs. 

Though we mostly live in an interconnected complex Civilization. There are huge swaths of this warming planet that have been enjoying the benefits if having their heads hacked off. 

...and hacked off for rather trivial reasons.

"Trivial" to us in the First, and Second worlds. Eh the dear old U. S. of A. being a new member of that Second World tribe. Still we have pizza cable, and loads of Hydrogen Bombs we can 'never' use...and everyone 'knows' we can never use them. So they might as well be ice cream cones sitting in the summer sun for all the usefulness.

'But I digress. 

The People in the cage are Women, and Children waiting to be burned alive. Their crimes are varied though mostly religious, and tribal. They're Coptic Christians traditional Muslims girls, and woman that can read that sort of thing.

Identical scenes were common in Medieval Europe.

However the above is happening in the highly complex world I mention. We a species that have so far sent two count'em "Two" ships deliberately out to the Stars...the Voyagers. Google them.

Our science is almost magical. We've walked on the Moon we have robots driving around Mars. That, and millions useless apps for our assorted devices we plug into ourselves.

It seems we're many things at once. Yes were Starfarers, but in the Amazon rain forests we're still cave bleeping men. In Africa parts of it were pre-lithic hunter gathers. Also in Africa, and the middle, and far east we're ruled by feudal Medieval Warlords of varying degrees of sanity.  

All this while you, and I hide behind our very locked doors in fear of post-industrial barbarians.

Not the 21st Century I was banking on. See images of dear old George Jetson, and assorted fantasies.

Alas a lost future.

Though mind you our One Percent, and most certainly that 1% of the 1% is doing just fine in our lost worlds of the future. 

Us we got stuck somewhere in the late 70's early 1980's or so. This when income stagnated, and the American Middle Class...the largest, and coolest in all history was slowly strangled to death.

I dunno maybe India or China will take the crown for the largest though not likely coolest Middle Class.

Anyway this is where we are now. Yeah yeah some smarty pants social scientist could do a better job. However I got to the point...we're fucked. ...well at least for now.

Social stagnation chopped off heads the collapse of public education stupid wars the climate turned decidedly against us...yeah pretty bad.

However there could be a somewhat happy ending.

We're roaches remember we survive anything. So odds are we'll survive this screwed up era like all the others. There is as unlikely as it would seem,...HOPE. 

Anyway I just I really wanted the mythical 21st Century our folks promised us, and which we totally fucked up.

I'm in the middle of making dinner so I'll be back latter.

Btw, Good Passover, and Happy Easter. I went to a swell blow-out Seder at an old pal's home. The Davis's...loves ya's!!

 It was seriously swell. Wonderful folks all over the place, and great eats. The reading of the service was very moving, and hilariously funny  too. As only old Peaceniks could make it.

So there are 'still' good, and Holy things around...this is where that "Hope" thing comes from.

Stay Tuned.



  1. Such is the beauty of Islam, the religion of peace. Such is the essential nature of all the faiths of Abraham: hence the dark side of their history.

    I'm not all that keen on being human. I've mentioned before that in any future terrestrial life I would prefer to be a dolphin, and I wasn't kidding. I'm not so very fond of us.

    It's true that having hands and large brains enables us to create works of art, which is great; but the same organs also enable us to conceive and commit atrocities like that shown above.

    I've read that the long-term viability of a species is inversely related to body size. For large mammals such as ourselves, a good species life expectancy is around ten million years. So in another twenty million years or so we probably won't be around. I do not regard this as a tragedy, not at all - just part of the natural evolutionary cycle.

    How better it would be had we taken another road back in the mid to late 70s; what a boon it would have been if the liberationist and anti-consumerist ecological ideas of the counterculture had triumphed; but it was not to be. Basically, as a nation and perhaps as a species, we're collectively too dumb for that. Yet will we learn from this experience, nevertheless? I suppose it's possible.

    Since we humans have vastly outstripped our global resource base, it is likely that nature will restore the balance in the usual way, by falling birth rates and rising death rates, courtesy of the four gentlemen on horseback. If history is anything to go by, it'll probably take about one to three centuries for that process to bottom out.

    This doesn't mean there's no hope for the future. There will probably be plenty opportunity for further societies and civilizations to develop, some of them perhaps significantly better than ours ever was. But that's far downstream. Just now, immediately in front of us, approaches a long dark age. We've already entered its portals.

    About Hope: look not for it to come from Presidents and Popes. They're just figureheads of power-hungry organizations that are innately incapable of even wanting to try to solve our problems. Any hope we get will come from below, like tiny flowers coming up through the cracking cement of our dying civilization.

    BTW, if we want our works as artists to survive and perhaps contribute to the development of further and hopefully better civilizations, we would do well to create them in forms that can make it through the bottleneck of a dark age: durable, compact and easily transported & concealed. Books are pretty good for this. Multiple copies in archival materials and widely distributed among a fraternity of fanatically devoted collectors are likely the best lookout. Fired clay tablets also have an excellent record.

    I'd have loved it if we could be the victorious revolutionaries we wanted to be. But given our historical situation, even the pagans among us (such as me) are more like early Christian monks copying and conserving ancient manuscripts for the benefit of some unknown posterity. Personally I hope it will be a sexy, queer-friendly posterity.


  2. BTW, this is *not* the end of the world. It's just the beginning of the end of our civilization. It's happened many times throughout history, and is likely to keep happening over and over, for a very long time to come.


  3. Bless you my dear friend. With your assumed permission I posted your main piece on my Facebook page where my article also appears. They dovetail so perfectly.

    What a Great Adventure we are on.

  4. "Z" as i said I posted your reply to the "End of the World" piece on my Facebook page. Below is a thoughtful reply to you.

    From Michelle Slater:

    Z--Every word true.

    True. Thank you for this generous sharing.

    I too mourn in my way, and continue to celebrate the beautiful and the bold. My life span is in it's final years.

    What I rise to, what gladdens my spirit is the warbling of a sparrow that made it through the Winter, the smiles on strangers faces when we acknowledge one another in kindness, the smell of pansies lifting their fragile blooms to the sun, the sun setting over the a Hudson river that spreads it's colors brilliantly in those last reflective moments., stars in a dark sky up in New England when I visit friends.

    I stay in the moment, aware of everything, but rooted to the precise of the actual moment.

    I meditate with Sharon Salzberg, sit with New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, chant with Krishna Das and friends, have a modest yoga practice, write weekly with a group I've been part of for many years that uses the Amherst Method originated by Pat Schneider at The Creative Center, paint, draw, photograph, and maintain a blog where I communicate with many wonderful bloggers worldwide that have become friends.

    I stay in the moment and expand my thoughts to include others moments.