Filmed this yesterday while out with my friend, but thinking today on all the examples out there that bolster the idea that we humans (or we Americans most certainly) are doomed. Care for me to elaborate? Great, here goes…
1.) Every option available to change our current course as a society requires concerted effort, yet no 3 of us can agree on a damned thing. Most folks are determined to prop up this political duopoly nonsense, nevermind that nearly every doggone politician offered up by either main party is a corrupt crook or will become one once installed in office. Third, fourth, fifth, and sixth-party candidates have no chance because most voters apparently are assholes who tolerate them being excluded from televised debates (let’s ignore for the moment how much bullshit it is to rely on television when it comes to getting quality information on such matters of importance) and do what they can to deride those they feel may pose any threat to the two-party stranglehold (Ralph Nader immediately springs to mind).
2.) We as a species are wiping out the earth’s resources with reckless abandon. Long-term interests be damned — everything’s become about the all-mighty dollar and keeping the economy alive no matter what. Infinite growth cannot continue unchallenged on a finite planet with finite resources. We know this, yet we like to act like we don’t know this.
3.) Thanks to corporations tampering with everything under the sun, our foods and waterways are severely contaminated with an untold number of chemicals.
4.) Bee hives are showing up contaminated with chemical cocktails as well, and we know if the bee populations continue to decline that’s going to eventually jeopardize the food supply.
5.) We Americans (and Westerners in general) are completely dependent on an unsustainable grid powered by petrol and coal predominantly. So far the word is that solar, wind, and water power options aren’t sufficient alone to provide for our immense energy demands, leaving nuclear power as the only option touted as being able to, and yet it comes with all kinds of major risks and presents a serious disposal dilemma.
6.) Even if humans were to somehow manage to destroy or overhaul this grid, we have nothing in place to replace it with in developed nations. Meaning many, if not most, would starve in short order. All talk of needing to return to working the land and growing our own vegetables and legalizing the growing of hemp for materials and how we deserve to be left to live modest lives without the threat of taxation is laughed at and shunned as impractical “liberal” thinking.
7.) We’re stepping on one another’s necks and driving each other crazy, leading some of us to believe the project in civilization perhaps has done more harm than good by this stage in the game. But again, how might we ‘undo’ civilization? Is that even possible for those of us accustomed to domesticated lifestyles lived out in concrete jungles where food is just a grocery store away, water is expected to pour from the tap, and the major focus is to earn money, somehow, some way, regardless of whether our labor is being utilized productively toward that end? But the crazy-making aspect should not be trivialized here, since that’s diminishing our quality of life at the same time that we’re coming to rely more and more on material comforts.
8.) Our governments are jacked up and proving nearly uncontrollable, but then again, we the people are doing a shitty job of regaining control. Our governments have become corporate-dominated, so we the people now live at the mercy of major multinational corporations. And they really don’t give a fuck about us. The corporate agenda reduces people down to nothing more than laborers and consumers, otherwise we’re deemed completely irrelevant.
9.) Then there’s talk of climate change and glaciers melting; invasive species being released into non-native habitats that are decimating natural populations, thereby disrupting ecological equilibrium; deadly diseases are posing ever greater threats, especially when we’re jammed into big cities where we cannot escape breathing one another’s air; etc.
10.) Most importantly, to me anyway, is the fact that we humans haven’t evolved nearly as far as we like to think we have and apparently are not equipped to confront these sort of disasters, most of which were originally a result of human ambitions. We’ve become less principled the more “civilized” we become, plus more spoiled, more dependent, more competitive, and more demanding. We’ve become trifling and unconcerned about what impact we have on one another. Our social fabrics are in tatters at this point and there isn’t much to unite us anymore, especially not when entertaining ourselves to death seems like so much more fun. Or suing one another up in court over frivolous bullshit — that’s another favorite American pastime.
For more food for thought, check out Naomi Klein’s article on “How science is telling us all to revolt” (Oct. 29, 2013). I also HIGHLY recommend her book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism — a very good read that’s well-sourced.
So yeah, I can see why it may appear that we’re doomed. At least I’m doomed, because nothing much is likely to change in these respects for the better in my lifetime. And how would we go about changing much of this anyway? Some of this has gotten beyond our control, and as individuals we’re certainly limited on what we’re able to do when the vast majority is hell-bent in heading down the path we’re already on. It does look to me like our fate is likely sealed.
So I’m trying to look at this situation from other angles, wondering what is within my power as an individual and how my time and energy might better be spent.