Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A Terrifying Truth (article & my comment)

A Terrifying Truth by David Lindhoff, from Common Dreams 4/11/07
My comment, abridged:

To those who ask if we're doomed, my answer is: Basically, yes.

It has been thus for years. Thirty seven years ago I was expecting civilization to crash in an ecological crisis — many of us so-called “hippies” believed that. We wanted to create a new culture and transform society (the plan was to create new culture and seduce the baby boomers (then acutal babies)out from under what we then called “the establishment” — good plan; didn’t work, obviously), but only the dreamiest flower children among us believed we had a real big chance of succeeding. We had to give it a try because it was the only thing we could think of to do. In those days, when I was young, I expected the big crash to happen any second — that was the source of my hippiethink: “the future is just a fantasy trip in your head, man; now is the only reality.” Well, the big crash went on for decades without ever happening and I began to suspect I had been wrong. Maybe I should have planned for the future like all those believer-consumers who believed there was going to be one. Now I’m about to turn 62 and am a few years away from retiring with a pension that may or may not be there (see the many articles on Common Dreams about oncoming financial catatrophe), into a world where everyone who is surviving will be so busy scrambling to hang on with no time or place for compassion for “the elderly” — i.e., me and my wife.

Kurt Vonnegut, many years ago, said “Things are going to get worse and never get better again” and that’s obviously what’s happening. That doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t try to do what they can to reverse the situation. To give up and say, “Screw it; we’re doomed” ensures that the day can’t be saved. My tagline as Paranoid Pessimist is “I hope I’m wrong, but … ” And I do. I take no joy in what’s happening (some who think along my lines seem to, seem to have a “serves humanity right” attitude). I hope that everyone gets their act together, starts working for the common human good, uses the entirety of human imagination and innovative abilities to devise exciting solutions to all these problems, that a wave of compassion for the less fortunate (an essential component of “saving the day”) sweeps through humanity leading to a golden age. I’ll do what little I can to guide things in that direction, though no one ever listens to me (I’m a voice laughing in the wilderness).

What I can do is try to face the future with as cheerful an attitude as I can manage and try to be a pessimistic positivist, face reality without being done in by it, have hope for the future despite all the evidence that there isn’t going to be one. A challenge, but, hey, that’s what they say being human is all about. So I restart up my blog even though, when it was active, no one ever sent me a comment.

So I shall issue a challenge to humanity (like it needs one from me, or cares: Prove me wrong! Turn things around! Find solutions!


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