The Naked Lunch: when that bit of whatever is at the end of every fork becomes fully understood in all of its particulars. When the veil is parted and the truth is made clearly visible. That's what we need around here.
There are events unfolding around America and around the world that require our immediate attention. I mean of the “or else” variety of attention. You could follow what passes for the news media in a lot more detail than I do and still only see passing shadows of useful information on certain no-go subject matter. Things that “they” don't want us to notice. I saw a brief note the other day explaining how the number of oysters in British waters has gone down ninety-five percent in the last, what was it, say forty years. That's a temperature issue, a detail that the small article cleverly left out.
This morning I read about that huge “wind storm” that devastated a wide swath of land on a north-easterly diagonal beginning in Arkansas and ending up in Ontario, Canada. There were something like forty tornadoes involved, and the damage was impressive, to say the least. “Scores” of people were killed. One news aggregation site took the bold step and wondered out loud: could this storm be related to climate change?
That reminded me of a cute creature-feature, black and white, early 1960s. “The Swamp Creatures.” At one point, at about the 70% mark, when all of the human characters who remain alive are quite familiar with the titular monsters, a small group of men must make a dangerous passage over swampy ground to get somewhere. They know that it is what German troops used to call a “Himmelfahrtskommando,” (A “trip to heaven mission.”) Sure enough, they hear the distinctive clicking/ moaning sound that is associated with the creatures. They all look concerned. One man says, “do you think it could be the swamp creatures?” Viewers reacted as one, I'm sure, in thinking, “yes, asshole, I think it could be the swamp creatures.”
The problem is not always climate related. I've seen numerous scholarly articles in the better magazines for twenty years now about the mass disappearance/ extinction of flying insects, songbirds, and amphibians. Related events, by the way. The new neurotoxin insecticides are lighter than air, so wherever you spray them, they just float off willy-nilly. The cloud of those chemicals now coats the entire world, and there go the flying insects. They are very sensitive to the poison involved. Songbirds' and amphibians' diets consist of, you guessed it, flying insects. No one seems to notice, or care. We are in the middle of a mass-extinction event that is being closely observed by scientists, and totally ignored by everyone else.
Many of these massive crises involve political and geopolitical events. The attention that they receive from the American government is generally limited to economic sanctions, the formation of a committee, or vague military threats that are usually implied by a movement of forces. These announcements are most often made by officials from either the State Department or the Pentagon. The rest of the Washington political establishment remains fixated on either making fun of President Biden and promising to oppose everything that he does, trying to undo the election of 2020, or, in the case of the Democrats, trying to appear to be doing something while sabotaging themselves and carefully avoiding anything that might help them to win any future elections. It's enough to make you sick. They act like the rest of the world were comfortably resting with its head on a rock in about 1958.
If geophysical events are involved, committees are formed and discretionary guidelines are set. These guidelines are not intended to be met. They are for show. There are meetings. And nothing is done, because the money people want nothing to be done. Burn coal; wind farms kill birds; solar doesn't work when it rains. Oh, now I'm going to be sick again.
If they are social events, like the random, casual murder of a black man by police somewhere, there may be demonstrations. People of all races will get very angry. Articles will be written, and perhaps legislation will be suggested, although none will be passed. There will be little or no follow up. In time, it will all settle down, in spite of the fact that the incidence of such police murders has really been reaching a crescendo. There is no apparent notice taken by our representatives or public officials; it all gets very little coverage from our media. If the social events do not involve murder, people in general may gloss over the whole thing, or laugh at a topical joke on a late-night talk show, but there is no deeper concern. Most people fail to take any notice at all.
Pop Quiz! Raise your hand if you think that more than fifteen percent of congress could find both Taiwan AND the Ukraine on a map. Fifteen percent is being generous. Fewer than that could speak one coherent sentence about those boiling crises. Both of those countries are recent creations. How many congressmen could explain both origin stories? How did they get to this point? Are there colorable arguments on both sides, or are they both simple land-grabs?
Wake up! Come on! It's all-hands-on-deck time!
Are all races, nationalities, and demographics equally clueless regarding these challenges? Why no, they are not.
Prosperous white Americans will overlook anything as long as the government keeps their taxes low and overlooks their off-shore tax havens. They adopt the corporate party line about things like climate change, COVID-19, police behavior (misbehavior), and pretty much everything else. The most desperately poor white Americans do not have any energy left after navigating a moneyless world with little or no government assistance. There were over one hundred thousand opioid overdose deaths last year, so it's safe to say that a great number of the helpless, hopeless poor are self-medicating themselves to death. Include meth in your calculations.
White Americans in the middle somewhere are busy trying to keep their heads above water. Have you seen what's been happening with rents in the last few years?
Black Americans bring their customary hypervigilance to many issues, but most often to issues that affect them personally or brush up against their own issues. They can't be bothered with the shrinking population of flying insects, but on many social justice issues they can be trusted to take the point. I am thankful for them.
My hunch is that Hispanic Americans are very concerned with climate related issues. They, after all, are much more aware of crop related issues than other groups. They are big on the social justice front as well.
Self-described Republicans can be trusted to be on the wrong side of any issue. The only anti-vaccine individuals in my family are avowed Republicans. Climate change is a hoax, etc.
Self-described Democrats are, as usual, a mixed bag. They may be NIMBY* liberals, or they may follow the money, or they may only have the feeling that the Republicans are pushing this hard right wing thing a bit too quickly. More likely they are just decent people who love justice and diversity, but who will not do anything to risk one iota of their own personal money or freedom.
Regarding education levels, it is enough to note that both the scientific community and the majority of academics are firmly on the liberal side of the scale. Highly educated conservatives are either hypocritical, corrupt, or evil.
How about our esteemed public officials? Our tireless representatives in various legislatures? Our precious democracy! What are they doing to help us in these perilous times?
Old Joe Biden still has his get-out-of-jail-free card from me, so I won't be complaining about him. The LOSER, no, I won't be complaining about him either. There is plenty of complaining in the air about both of those guys already, so really, what's the point? No, my major complaint today is that almost all of them, damn near everybody involved in government as an administrator or as an elected official, are a bunch of selfish, self-interested, immoral, totally corrupt assholes. The waste of so many good educations is a crying shame.
None of them give one smooth shit about anything but keeping the money stream flowing, maintaining their status as prosperous members of the investment class, avoiding taxes, and finding new ways to invisibly launder money.
It is most unfortunate that this money-disease has spread to the flag officers in our vaunted military. The hurricane of money that swirls around the heads of top Pentagon officials creates a steady rain of money that falls on the shoulders bearing stars. This is why we have been cursed with bottomless money pits like the F-35 and littoral combat ships, and it is why we see the endless, fruitless pursuit of future-weapons like the rail-gun, and laser weapons.
America's security establishment has certainly mastered the art of collecting every single phone call and e-mail in the world, but what good does it do anyone? They collect it at fabulous cost, and then comb through it for key words, names, and phrases. The effort is colossal and expensive. They claim to be the masters of modern cyber-warfare, so why is it that China can remotely influence American warships into believing that they are occupying GPS coordinates that are false? Remember these stories? Strange ship handling mishaps that should never happen on U.S. Navy ships? That got hushed up PDQ. And why is it that lesser players like North Korea, and Iran, can make it seem easy to hack into sensitive, heavily fire-walled American computer networks?
That's the next war in a nutshell: someone, Russia, let's say, takes over and re-purposes all of our military satellites. Then they shut down our electrical grid. All of it. Goodbye Internet, banking, mass communications. And then the old-fashioned phone rings. That'll be an interesting phone call. This is while every single one of our politicians is ignoring the danger, instead devoting 100% of their efforts to pushing agendas of personal power and self-enrichment.
Statesmen? In name only. Diplomats? Sorry, Trump fired all of the diplomats.
Money prevents anyone in power from even briefly considering things like the supernatural levels of poverty and misery in places like Suriname, or Malawi, or the bereft conditions prevailing in failed states like Venezuela, Afghanistan, or Syria. (Those unfortunate countries were chosen for the sake of brevity from rather long lists.) Average temperatures are certain to continue rising. That includes surface temperatures, shallow water temperatures, and deep water temperatures. I'm no meteorologist, but even I know that oceanic water temperatures are where the weather comes from. Droughts, floods, crop failures, these are our new normal, and certain to get worse.
Hey! Space station! How're those ice sheets looking?
Many of these potential calamities will not happen. The volcanic activity, for example, is very difficult to predict. But the strange, hyperactive weather has become a sure thing, and many more horrific events could happen very quickly. Suddenly, even. As I have mentioned previously, all of this does take the sting out of imminent death from old age. I would hate to see my grandchildren go hungry.
I would suggest that younger people take a hint from that Greta Thunberg. Get busy finding ways to bend the power elite to your will. It could all be taken care of. Be creative. Think outside the box. Be fierce.
It's up to you.
*NIMBY: Not In My Back Yard.