It's the way of things
We're on the brink of War with Iran, and, just maybe, a global nuclear holocaust. Our national economy is tottering on the far edges of total collapse, with the Chinese about to dump their T-bills, the U.S. housing market imploding into an immeasurable financial black hole, and worldwide energy production circling the drain. Our planet's refrigeration system is steadily melting down, which will lead, maybe by next summer, to a worldwide cataclysm of nearly unimaginable proportions. Our environment is so full of toxins that most of us need to take over the counter or prescription allergy meds every single day just to keep breathing freely, and our cancer rates are so frightening we just don't want to think about it, and it's getting worse, not better, every minute of every hour of every day. Our personal freedoms and civil liberties come closer and closer to extinction every time Congress votes on something. We are, in fact, living in pretty much an entirely totalitarian police state, right now... and the darkness just keeps getting darker.
It's a bad time, neighbors... in fact, it's just about the worst time I can remember living through. Exacerbating all of this is that our day to day existence is almost calculated by the Powers That Be to mask all the symptoms of the various fevers that are raging through our civilization, society, and culture right now. We aren't going to wake up to how this shit actually impacts any of us until our electricity goes out and stays out, or until local law enforcement, accompanied by one or two guys in jackets that read HOMELAND SECURITY instead of LOCAL PD, kick down our doors, or our house heads for Oz on the back of a Category 5 hurricane, or all the banks shut down at once and we find ourselves with no money in our wallets, no plastic that works, and a million creditors, just as desperate as we are, clamoring for cash we don't have any more.
See, that's just how we are. The four or five of you that read this will nod your heads gravely and say "Absolutely, things are awful, it's terrifying, somebody should DO something". But all of you also felt deeply and genuinely reassured when I wrote that the planetary catastrophes arising from global warming could occur as soon as next summer... because, p'shaw! Next summer? That's ten or eleven months away! That will take care of itself; shit, the whole second season of Heroes will be over by then!
Working can wait... this is paradise...
It's just how we are.
Somebody will do something. Congress. Al Gore. Benevolent aliens. Superman. Somebody. Not me. Not us. Our job is to sit on our asses and watch crappy TV and buy what the sponsors tell us to buy.
I'm as bad as anyone. What do I do? Collect Unemployment. Worry about my kids' teeth. Pay bills. Help a buddy find an apartment. Sign electronic petitions advocating the impeachment of Dick Cheney on the Internet. Bitch about things on my blog. Fantasize about what I'd do, if I just had the power of Jehovah for five minutes. (First thing: step outside conventional time and space, so I have longer than five subjective minutes to think about stuff. Second thing... hmmmm. Don't rush me.)
I just... I don't know what to do. In April of 2006, Arthur Silber, perhaps the most eloquent voice of sanity and reason in the blogosphere, proclaimed that "What we desperately need is a hero". He went on to say:
And here, again, we see it. Our best and our brightest commenter and analyst, and what is he calling for? For someone else (Superman, maybe) to save us all.
I don't know what to do.
I don't know if anyone out there knows what to do.
I do know that if the American people could feasibly save ourselves, and the rest of the world, by rolling up our sleeves, pulling together, and giving up... anything... individual auto ownership... mass consumption of artificial substances whose toxic byproducts continually poison the planet more and more intensely every day... our insanely gluttonous appetite for energy... red meat... low prices at Wal-mart supported entirely by cheap energy and slave labor... ANYthing that might conceivably make any significant difference at all... well... the world would be doomed, because we won't do it.
Sacrificing things is somebody else's job. After all, the American way of life is not negotiable.
This is why the current Administration has been very careful to never, never, never ask or demand that the American people sacrifice anything. They know us very well, and they know they can steal and/or destroy everything vital to us as a free people... as long as they don't take away our cars, our cable TV, or our shopping malls.
And I'd planned to make every sentence of my opening paragraph a link, but, alas, one of the SuperKids is home from school and wants to get on the computer. So, consider yourself briskly scolded for your apathetic laziness, and now, go back to surfing porn or watching Rock of Love on VH1.