From a purely subjective viewpoint (which, if you think about it, is all we really have) I am not a crook…..no, wait, that’s for another group. Okay, try this….from a purely subjective viewpoint, people suck major waste. They create major waste, too, but it doesn’t fit the image I’m creating. No, really, I mean, how hard can it be to be nice to each other? But, noooooo, people have to piss all over each other on a regular basis, as if they didn’t know any better.
That’s what really gets me about most of what goes on in the world at large; people do know what is right, and they just refuse to do it. They would rather lie, cheat, and steal from their fellow man, just because they think they can. It’s enough to make a strong man turn to drink, and send a weak one to the grave. There are days when I am glad I’m currently stuck here at home a lot; it keeps me from having to go out and deal with the great unwashed masses too often. Such interactions tend to be bloody, and I don’t need to get summoned to court to answer why I was beating that young man to death with his own leg…… I’d best dive in before I commit perjury or something…..
Creation sleeps! ‘T is as the general pulse
Of life stood still, and Nature made a pause,–
An awful pause! prophetic of her end.
— Edward Young (1684-1765) — Night Thoughts, Night i, Line 23
Mr. Young seems to have been feeling a bit prophetic himself. If we consider this to have been written halfway through his life, then it was created somewhere around 1720, just the very beginning of the Industrial Age, when mankind first left the path of sustainability. The sky was still unrelieved blue, the waters were clean, and the sunsets were still the same colors they had been for a million years.
By the end of the century, London, and a few other cities of its size around the world, were beginning to see the first effects of pollution, with a rise in such diseases as TB, cancer, and respiratory complications, and the disappearance of a multitude of water-living creatures due to the poisons being dumped into the Thames. Between the fireplace in every house, the trains, and the factories now blotting the horizon in all directions, the air in London was practically unbreathable at times, until Mother Nature took pity and sent some higher winds or rain to give them a break. One of the most lucrative of employments was that of window-washer, as it only took a day or two for a window to gather so much dirt and smoke as to be impenetrable to light or sight.
This phenomenon was not confined to London, and by the end of the next century, in 1900, the planet was starting to reel under the assault of particulate matter being pumped into the environment by the industrious little parasites crawling over its surface, still reproducing without restraint, oblivious to the harm they cause, merely by being born. The pollution not only continued, but increased by factors of 10 regularly, until, at the end of the twentieth century, we have reached a point of no-return.
The planet’s capability of dealing with what is poured into it is reaching a critical flash point; within the next century, it is a certainty that major environmental events will occur, as the planet begins to slough off the poisons we have created. The polar ice caps are melting and shrinking, at a rate which will only grow faster exponentially; as time goes on, it will increase at an ever-increasing rate, a rate that will effectively halt any more pollution by us, as we will be busy trying to survive the earthquakes, floods, famine, wars over food and clean water, unpredictable extreme weather, and other phenomena we cannot predict. These are merely the ones we KNOW will happen.
So, how do we survive? We don’t. As far as I can see, it’s too late; not enough time left for us to fix what we’ve broken. Deal with it. Mankind has signed its own death warrant, and there is no court of appeal. We will join the dodo, the saber-tooth tiger, and T-Rex in the ranks of evolutionary dead-ends, another failed experiment.
The only way that this won’t happen, is if one of two things happens, soon, like yesterday: 1) The beloved ruling class comes to its senses, and stops trying to control everything to their own benefit, immediately begins to take steps to discontinue the destructive mind-set they have, and learns to share, or 2) The rest of us rise up and force them to do that, in spite of their stupidity and greed. I suppose those two things are actually one, but the point is that nothing else will work. There is no other way to survive. The people in charge MUST make these changes, or we are all going to die, not with a bang, but with a whimper and a cry of despair……
“Emily Dickinson didn’t even publish books, she just wrote these demented little poems with a quill pen and hid them in her desk, but they still fought their way into the world, and lasted on and on and on. It’s damned hard to get rid of Emily Dickinson, she hangs on like a tick in a dog’s ear. And everybody who writes from then on in some sense has to measure up to this woman. In the art of book-writing the classics are still living competition, they tend to elevate the entire art-form by their persistent presence.” — Bruce Sterling
Mr. Sterling makes a valid point here. I have noted this feeling in myself, particularly after reading some Oscar Wilde, or Hemingway, or Poe, some Mark Twain, or Dorothy L. Sayers, Bob Heinlein, or Arthur C. Clark (yes, I know, very eclectic. I prefer to call it psychotic…) Just a couple days ago, I commented on this over a phrase from the pen of Mr. Wilde, of such great beauty it beckons like a lighthouse in a dark, moonless night at sea. I can only hope that my attempts at emulating the luminaries, like Emily and Oscar, elevate my art to a level approaching theirs……
In the worlds before monkey, primal chaos reigned. Heaven sought order, but the Phoenix can fly only when its feathers are grown. The four lands formed again and yet again, as endless eons wheeled and passed. The wind, time and later (??) all worked upon a certain rock, old as creation, and it became magically fertile. That first egg was called ‘thought.’ Tagahatha (??) Buddha, the Father Buddha says, ‘with our thoughts, we make the world.’ Elemental forces caused the egg to hatch. From it came a stone monkey. The nature of monkey was IRREPRESSIBLE!
I found this gem without attribution, so I don’t know who to thank for it; it’s delightful, if only for its sense of fun. Irrepressible indeed! Plus, in certain ways, it is as logical and plausible as the claims made by some of the other religions floating around out there, isn’t it? The logical procession it displays is almost believable, and the mixing of myth, magic, and reality shows a mastery of both logic and its antithesis, intuition.
Living as I do in California, I could say with complete confidence that there is most likely one or more alleged “churches” in Southern California whose tenets of faith resemble this paragraph quite closely. Probably one with a fast-growing congregation, all of whom drive BMW’s or VW beetles. Those who don’t ride donkeys, that is…..
Calvin: People think it must be fun to be a super genius, but they don’t realize how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world. Hobbes: Isn’t your pants’ zipper supposed to be in the front? — Calvin (Bill Watterson, “Calvin and Hobbes”)
A fine example of how all of us are our own best source for laughter. As a matter of fact, it reminds me of several occasions in my own life in which I held this conversation in my own head, with myself playing both parts. SIGH….. gotta say, though, Calvin and Hobbes is the best cartoon to come along in a long time; sometimes it seems as if Doonesbury is the only really witty one left. Ah, for the days of Pogo, and Odds Bodkins! Bloom County was also great, but way too short-lived. Hopefully, we will always have at least one cartoonist to help us stay sane when reading the news…..
“Creation is a mighty joke, but the laugh is at my own expense.” — Meher Baba
“The basis of action is lack of imagination. It is the last resource of those who know not how to dream.” — Oscar Wilde
Sometimes Oscar cracks me up…..this, for example, produced a quick sardonic grin on my face, immediately followed by the thought “that sounds like something W.C. Fields might have said when he was soused”, which was most of the time, if one can believe of him what he so arduously sought to have others believe. Maybe that tenuous self-confidence, that almost shyness, made so obvious in the outer persona of each of them, by the very volume of the oddness, or uniqueness they espoused as a public figure, is what reminds me one of the other.
Both tried very hard to have others believe of them more than they thought of themselves; it seems to me that is what gave them purpose, for without it, the darker, depressive sides of their nature tended to drag them into emotional bogs. Probably why one drank so much, and one chose a more convoluted path to self-destruction, both men’s wit and imagination, and inner-terror, acting as methods of coping with a world that would never really understand them…..
Whew….that took awhile; close to three hours this morning, and haven’t even looked at email yet; I’m falling further behind as I type, but what are ya gonna do when it flows? Go with it, obviously….. any who, let’s go see what the rest of the world is up to, shall we?….Y’all take care out there…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.