Sunday, July 05, 2015

When I was a kid, I used to wonder about the arrangement of houses and roads, the whole suburban lifestyle, though I didn't put it in those words exactly. Why have a yard--this distended area, somehow theoretically distinct from your neighbor's, where you grew grass on it? What was the reason? I was too young, I guess, to have a grasp of history and the historical development of urban and suburban America, and the primary mover of that epoch--the automobile. It's obvious, once you think about it, but it's a massively important factor in our civilization's existence that can almost get taken for granted.

Every day, a great number of Americans pile into hugely heavy vehicles that are operated by ultimately irreplaceable fuels (that includes the electric cars; where do you think the @#*!? electricity comes from? The magicians?) I credit guys like James Howard Kunstler and the Archdruid for constantly reminding us of this unreal daily reality that we seem to ignore.

My dad, who came from extreme poverty and (I reckon) could not imagine going backwards was adamant that, don't worry, the supply of fossil fuels was endless. And while the "peak" of Global Peak Oil was predicted for sometime in the Aughts, the reality is that, despite apocalyptic pretensions, the dwindling supply may hold out for a little bit yet. But so what? What is a generation, in terms of scale? If I get to drive for the rest of my life, and my children and children's children are to face a future world that has been destroyed by our collective choices...what's the point?

These days, my Ma often says she's glad she's at the twilight of her career, and likewise her mother has said, pityingly, that she's afraid for the future. That's not the kind of sentiment anybody wants to hear.

"Future looks like shit, kids. Sorry!"

But that's where we've come to in America, and the world, today. Maybe that's how every generation has been--punished by the shit moves of their forefunners. But what a way to live.

Those seeking to understand "modern life" need look no further that the depredations associated with fossil fuel and ore extraction. They (still) explain virtually every aspect of our civilization and its predicaments: geopolitics to auto dependency to how we arrange our towns and cities to how we conduct business and our personal and communal lives.

I cannot imagine how "renewables" will replace the epic scale of fossil fuel usage, especially when many of the products used in the renewable process are produced from fossil fuels. One last wild swing, I imagine, to get through the long night.

And the financial aspect of our economy is a superstructure built atop the "real" economy (the exchange of goods and services, all of which is facilitated by fossil fuel consumption). It has become so detached from reality that it seems to serve no purpose nowadays but funneling notional "wealth" into the hands of the so-called 1 percent.

Not sure why I'm sharing these thoughts. It's just something I keep in the back of my mind, even as I go about the daily business. The seeming futility of it all--motoring to a bullshit job to get a smidgen of "money" and pretend like you give a shit--does not make me despair. For behind the machinations of human beings looms nature, the unstoppable brute, that is biding its time. We live inside this system; no amount of tinkering is gonna get us out.

Cold comfort, some might say. But for me, the idea that our "worldly" concerns are just a kind of mime-dance on a wack, temporal stage is kind of a relief. Let it come. Bring it.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

I dreamed we lived in a homeless encampment outside of Rome. We had adopted two older mute people as our grandparents. We were all dirty and hungry. Dust storms whipped by. Then out of nowhere I found an infant wailing in a bush. We had to adopt her, I guess, because nobody wanted her. But how could we feed her? It was rough. We named here "Eccezione Vita," and things went on.

*

I dreamed we were down by my in-laws house near Tuckerton, nice suburban place expansive, big yards, on a golf course. We were all inside yakking. Then my son disappears. Did he go outside? Nobody knows for sure. I run screaming out into the streets, and I hear a distant wailing. I finally find him after some minutes of frantic search between yards, trapped in some kind of webbing a neighbor had hung out in their backyard.

Scary.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

I dreamed we were heading up to Mass for a giant family reunion (my wife's side) at one of these seafood-kinda joints on the water. My son was wandering into the road, and I plunged in to grab him at the last second.

Regarding Jim Teacher himself: at some point back in the day, I realized I could create this persona, this anarchic being,  this Lord of Misrule. He could drink all the beer, and say all the things my real-life persona couldn't say, and do all the things my real-life persona couldn't do, and dance all night every night to music only he could hear. But these anarchic spirits are tough to live with, dude, over the long haul, and it's even tougher to "split off" one aspect of yourself and let it simmer as its own separate being.

Ah, well.