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On the Eventual Extinction of Humanity

 

Know where this is?

People flee:

The aftermath is horrifying

This is the Bahamas, a joyous, beautiful land, in the wake of the latest hurricane to destroy our habitation of this planet.  Even the dead are forced to suffer again.

Look at this, before and after from satellite images.  This is real, not animation.  The yellow lines are merely traces, allowing us to realize that some smaller islands are completely submerged.

Take a closer look.  The white grids display the buildup of civilization on Grand Bahama.  The fact that from space the whole island is a darker hue is decidedly ominous.

So preparations for the coming storm, complete with warnings from the government of “imminent devastation” (imagine hearing such an official statement.  People either panic or outright deny its existence.  We’ll get to that shortly . . .) force people to race around to hopefully ride out the danger.

Some people wait until the last minute

And then they worry, and cower, and hope that someone out there might save them should the worst finally happen.

There are not many options.

 

Consider this, just recently, Hurricane Dorian:

It continues to approach, barely getting weaker.  People in Florida are either on high alert

Or, bafflingly, they disregard the warnings.  “It’ll only be a Type One by the time it gets here,” they say.  Know what a Type One Hurricane is?

It says that damage on land is “minimal,” and yet the winds howl from 74-95 miles per hour.  The storm surge, or the water flowing onto the land, is 4-5 feet.  Have you ever experienced winds of a mere fifty to sixty mph?  Downed power wires, outages.  Trees crashing down into houses and blocking the street.  People even die in such storms.

This is from a Type One hurricane, a storm which knocked out power of over a million people for a week.

Type One

Type One

Type One.

 

Couple this with high tide, as much of the Southeastern USA, not to mention the entire Caribbean region is experiencing, and you have utter disaster even if the winds dip to Tropical Storm levels.  The ocean is so churned up that there is very little we can do.

Some, of course, do not believe that things are anywhere near as bad as scientists and others in the know claim:

He does not seem to hear.  He does not seem to care.

He says, regarding the increasing climate crisis, “I don’t believe it.”  He says, “Unless somebody can prove something to me, I believe there’s weather.”  He accuses scientists whom he refutes as “having a political agenda.”

 

“People in the 1920s thought the Earth was cooling, now it’s global warming,” is sighed upon with a shaking head of exasperation.  “It’s all bullshit,” he has added numerous times.  “They just want to kill business.”  He believes that money is more important than the life of others, willing, as he is, to suck up the last of our natural resources in order to turn a vague profit prior to the extinction of humanity.

 

Sure, you can accuse me of being alarmist.  But check out this chart:

Perhaps putting it this way might matter to the President.  Each storm, after all, cost more than his entire personal fortune.  If we look beyond Hurricane Sandy, we find repetitions of this:

And this does not even consider cyclone season in the Pacific.

A small sample of only those hitting the US.  How about this?

This is the average per year.  Look at the International disasters database for a deeper idea into what is happening all over the world (https://www.emdat.be/), with not so much increasing frequency (although there is that too), but with much stronger intensity.  With rage.  This includes not just hurricanes, but tornados, wildfires, mud slides, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and the extinction of species, which numbers–this is true!–anywhere from 24 to 600 per day!  And while most of the life forms in question are vegetative or even viral, and sometimes the extinction is more a process of evolution than a final death rattle, the number is still radical and absolutely terrifying.  According to The World Counts, an ecological study data website (http://www.theworldcounts.com/counters/degradation_and_destruction_of_ecosystems/species_extinction_facts), this year so far (and I write this the morning of September 4, 2019), 87,814 species have gone extinct.  This is a statement they have made:

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Species are disappearing

We don’t know exactly how many species go extinct every year but it could be 100,000 – about 1 every 5 minutes.


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…And fast !

The current rate of extinction is up to 10,000 times higher than the average historical extinction rates. We, the humans, are almost wholly responsible for this increase.


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It’s getting worse

The worsening and loss of biodiversity are projected to continue, and even accelerate. Direct human activity and climate change is the cause of this – for example through the destruction of forests and coral reefs.


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Possible mass extinction

There is a wide belief that a “mass extinction” is underway. Some predict that half of all living species could be gone within 100 years.


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Who are they?

Within the next 15 to 40 years it is likely that the following animals will become extinct: polar bear, chimpanzee, elephant, snow leopard, tiger, mountain gorilla, orangutan, giant panda, rhino, and the koala bear. Unfortunately, these are just a few of many…


 

Now it is very tempting to write these statements off as the ranting of radicals and lunatics, and certainly you can find plenty of apocalyptic doomsayers within this crowd, but there is a very noticeable change to the earth in recent years; in fact, ever since the industrial revolution in the early 1800s.

Scientific data states

And yet there are still people who shrug this off.

The studies offered by true believers of this are curious and extremely vague, like most opinions of people who do not know what they’re talking about.

 

Looking deeper at the leaders of the ‘hoax movement,’ we begin to notice a few motives:

 

Senator Inhofe, an 84 year old right wing crank who once threw a snowball on the Senate floor to mock the idea of “global warming” (an unfortunate phrase; climate change is far more valid.  The severity of heat, drought, sudden freezes and the ricocheting temperatures, sometimes varying as much as fifty degrees over two days, makes a far better point, regardless of the fact that the oceans being warmer is why the hurricanes are increasingly extreme), was actually the chair of the Senate Environmental Committee at the end of the Obama’s second term and up until Donald Trump entered the White House, assuring Inhofe that his agenda would be fulfilled.  Inhofe made this odd statement:

My own granddaughter came home one day and said … ‘Popi, why is it you don’t understand global warming?’ I did some checking . . . the stuff that they teach our kids nowadays, they are brainwash — you have to un-brainwash them when they get out…

 

Another statement he made, also on tour to promote his book, makes a point that brings us back to reality:

“I was actually on your side of this issue when I was chairing that committee and I first heard about this. I thought it must be true until I found out what it cost.”

 

“What it cost.”  This is the motive behind the denials, behind pulling out of international deals to help the living conditions on earth.  (And I have stated numerous times that this growing crisis will not be the end of the earth itself, but merely the end of humanity.  The earth will be just fine without us.)

 

Here are a few self-interested statements made by some regarding what is most important to those without consideration for other people, for their own grandchildren or for the fate of humanity.

Trump said this.  Ronald Reagan did not, and yet the image seems to resonate, doesn’t it?  All these years later we can somehow believe that this was Reagan’s worldview when certainly it was not.  Sure, he definitely had corporate interests and business before safety leanings, but he was not the sort of man to abandon the idea of the future for a few more dollars today.

 

Just wait, just wait and see when some vicious tycoon starts buying up all the fresh water springs the world over.  Water is the market of the future to be cornered.  That’s when you know that the end is truly upon us.  The end comes when selfish people like this, when climate change deniers take advantage of the fact that they were wrong.  Who says none of this is man made?

 

 

 

 

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Previewing the Democratic Presidential Debates (Part Six): The Climate Change Town Halls

 

Tomorrow I will be spending, with no doubt numerous intermissions, more than eight hours watching presidential candidates deliver either prepared statements written by staff members, or the genuine, sometimes urgent seriousness of people who take the problem of climate change very seriously indeed.  Please think of me in those passing moments of joy and interest you may have while I suffer through mostly mundane repetition and cynical boosterism and attacks.

 

Why am I doing this, wasting most of my time on the hopeless comments of also-rans?  Two reasons.  One I hope is noble: I truly believe the decline of human survival on our planet is the most significant issue we face (see numerous previous pieces I have written on these dire problems, or skip ahead to the next few days when we talk about hurricane season).  My other motive is far hollower, that being the fact that of all these many pieces I have written, the commentaries on the coming 2020 election have made me the most money.  Call me a whore, sure.  But I began this process as yet another one of my numerous ongoing serieses out of the idea that these issues and topics I try to take on are important.  I saw no personal profit, or at least at first.  Who can blame me for seeking another few hundred dollars while discussing the apocalypse?

 

Okay, so ten of the candidates are talking for about 40 minutes each.  Starting at 5PM we have Wolf Blitzer

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interviewing first Julian Castro, and then Andrew Yang.  Both candidates are pretty serious people, and both have at least what appears to be genuine concern over the issue.  Expect Blitzer’s occasionally bland questions and far less aggressive style to allow both men to say quite a lot, while the audience participation will offer meaningless, pandering and perhaps an occasionally serious question.  The last ten minutes or so of their time might grow awkward into a brooding silence.  It will require definate charm–a characteristic that both candidates seem to share

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–to keep a viewing audience interested.  Going first, while far too early to achieve a prime time bump in the ratings, will allow them to both escape generally unscathed.

 

Erin Burnett takes over as moderator at 6:20,

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CNN declaring that their one prime time woman should interview two female candidates, both the once ascendant Kamala Harris

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and the clearly also-ran Senator Amy Klobuchar.

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Both of these women frankly make fine candidates, but there is a bit of a stir within their campaigns.  Both Senators are very opinionated–a good thing for people in their position–and both women often come across as rather harsh.  This will allow the audience (viewing and nervously asking them questions) to subconsciously hear Donald Trump calling them “nasty.”  Not fair of course, but our attention span–particularly under Trump–has been reduced to waiting for a feud.  Harris, who needs to make up some of the ground she has lost, is unfortunately on at 6:20, providing her with only the chance to utter a few memorable phrases that might make it into the endlessly repeated news cycle.  Both women should do fine.  They are skilled professionals and will no doubt be very prepared, capable of exploiting the latest devastation that is Hurricane Dorian to at first instill fear and then offer hope in whatever plan they have tried to devise to reverse the looming catastrophe.

 

Anderson Cooper takes over next,

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hosting the central prime time town halls of the top two celebrity candidates, former Vice-President Joe Biden

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and cult hero Senator Bernie Sanders.

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Both men have tremendous experience, and both of them have trouble controlling their emotions.  Cooper, a very savvy interviewer and sharp newsman, can make or break either of them tonight.  Sure, each of them have fully prepared statements about what to say and how to answer many of the questions likely to be asked, but the ease with which they can be pushed off script might be too much for Cooper to resist.  I sense a disaster coming out of this for either one of them if not both.  The buried and open rage of these men may just splatter out into issues that have nothing to do with the ravaged climate of earth and turn into another carnival barker’s sideshow.

 

Next comes Chris Cuomo,

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someone who I personally find to be a terrific news anchor in this modern era of opinions first, but who has also suffered recently because of his own overly-emotional takes on just about everything he puts his mind to.  Cuomo appears to be a genuinely decent guy, filled with concern for humanity and a certain honesty that cannot be denied.  He will moderate the town halls of Elizabeth Warren

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and Pete Buttigieg.

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These are probably the two smartest candidates and both of them are certainly on the rise.  Warren, despite the rage fueled attacks of the President (clearly an example of his terror of possibly losing to a woman), the declarations about her “socialist tendencies,” and her minor flub in declaring herself partly Native American, is a serious and legitimate candidate for President of the United States.  She seems to know something about everything and there is no doubt that whatever ideas she has on how to cure our sick planet will be well thought out and convincing.  She has a remarkable ability to offer hope in spite of the dangers of living.  Everything she has to say will be parsed and edited until the reruns show her exclusively in partisan extremes.

 

Buttigieg, whom I have said several times I believe to be a future President, is amazingly well put together.  He seems incapable of being flustered, offers a fine sense of humor while expressing his serious understanding of the problems facing both the nation and the world, and he will certainly have some worthwhile points to make.  Additionally–boy does this man know how to work a crowd!  Both candidates here, under what will be the at times serious scrutiny of Cuomo–a journalist who sometimes desperately tries to come across non-partisan–should score and ultimately win the night.

 

Don Lemon

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finishes this long night with Beto O’Rourke

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and Senator Cory Booker.

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Now Lemon is an interesting character.  A supremely charismatic man, of all the hosts on CNN he is the one seemingly least capable of keeping his own views out of the news he reports.  Probably closest, at least in approach, to the ranting jackasses on Fox, Lemon still manages to retain a certain air of truth, willing, at times, to condemn his own sacred cows.  Lemon asks hard questions and has no problem both laughing at and telling those he interviews that they are liars and that they’re wrong.

 

O’Rourke is a dud, although he will likely gain some ground on the issue.  His disgust over the rampant gun violence in his home state of Texas will likely bleed over into his ire regarding environmental catastrophe.  I suspect he will skate by still intact, mostly because he does not have another candidate responding to his flaccid claims and making him look stupid.  As we approach the end of this very long night I have to imagine I will pay less attention to O’Rourke than anybody else.  I suspect every viewer will feel the same way.

 

It is Cory Booker’s genuine sincerity that will wrap up the town halls on the plus side.  The top of the second tier candidates, Booker will remain a significant voice in national politics for a very long time.  He will have some sincere things to say and some sincere responses to questions and Lemon will go pretty light on Booker because he seems like such a pure soul.  His sincerity can be grating.  His humane decency and overwhelming tolerance–even when he is accusing another of terrible things–creates, finally, an exasperated image on nearly every issue.  It will be interesting to watch and then you won’t remember a single thing he had to say.

 

CNN then wraps the whole thing up with a dense roundtable summary session.  One individual of note yet to be mentioned is Bill Weir,

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the network’s “Chief Climate Correspondent.”  Weir is one journalist who actually understands the issue, and can offer some context to what each candidate is proposing and the validity of what they have to say.  He will be an important voice to hear for those still withholding their final judgment.

 

You can say what you will about CNN and their frequent biased rants (the same can be said in all forms of news media–and do not reduce this to simply a ‘main-stream-media’ problem.  Independent news outlets make it a point to openly express their biases.  At least on places like CNN you can hear what people who actually matter believe, sometimes), but on the issue of the climate they are far ahead of any other network.  Half of the people even seem to actually care.  I certainly care and I am sure many of you do too.

 

I suspect that my commentary on the town halls will not appear until late Thursday or Friday morning due to the density of the material I need to cover.  Sometimes doing this is hard work, instead of the usual morning calisthenics I pass these essays off before getting down to serious work.

 

 

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Attending the Funeral of a Person You’ve Never Met

 

I attended a funeral this past Saturday.  It was for the father of one of my wife’s childhood friends, someone she had fallen out of touch with over the past twenty-five years.  As with so many other people from our past they recently re-established contact on facebook.  Me?  I have not only never met these people, but hadn’t ever heard of them prior to this past week.

 

I was there to comfort my wife, her considerate arrival at this funeral of someone she had suddenly declared her “best friend in high school,” this funeral of a man she had known when he’d amused her on the nights she slept over their house, playing the generous host while she gossiped cruelly with her friends as most teenage girls will do.

 

I went to the same high school as my wife, but we were never childhood sweethearts.  In fact we did not know each other at all, our school a sort of massive conglomerate that divided people into social classes in the cruel manner of economic divisions, and the awkward battle between the shy and the mercilessly outgoing, between the academically obsessed and the indifferent ‘druggies,’ as well as every other imposed division devised to keep all of us feeling like outliers.

 

Anyway, at the funeral I was one of quite a number of spouses, standing in the background while those we love who were in the know commiserated and remembered the exaggerated glories of the fallen that all funerals present.  This is in no way meant as a slight upon the individual this ceremony recognized, nor, even, for any of the fallen.  It is merely a curious fact that people whom we sometimes could not stand no matter how much we loved them are suddenly, in death, transformed into saints for whom nothing they did could ever have been wrong.

 

A few notes, fully aware that I will likely offend and even enrage that handful of compatriots whom I actually once knew in attendance, but the scene, here, at this ceremony that I otherwise had no right to attend, fascinated me.  In fact my wife told me to “stop being weird” as I scanned around the room, covertly listening to conversations, observing the intentional beauty of the room, acknowledging the fact that every available light was blazing there at 11 o’clock in the morning, and searching the ceiling for cracks, or for any flaw that might make this lovely spot into an actual place of human cohabitation.

 

The minister was wonderful, a statement that many longtime readers here might find surprising given my overall animus towards organized religion.  Like myself, the preacher had never met the man, yet his eloquent imagination and knowledge of the words of comfort fellow half-hearted believers might find inspiring, made this former public school and college divinity professor quite a respectable showman, providing both genuine laughter at a funeral as well as a reconsideration of the tenants of the church, suggesting, even, that God does not care which faith you choose to follow, if any at all.  No, he referred to some amorphous idea of “the way,” adding “Jesus” for the consideration of numerous people in attendance, and declared simply that being true to yourself and following your honest beliefs (your “way,”) is the path to follow on the road to some questionable heavenly approval.  This man managed to denounce prejudice, arrogance, heresy and fundamentalism all the while praising this lost man whom I suspect had little regard for the Lutheran faith of his father.

 

The preacher was delightfully contemporary, offering a few self-deprecating additions about his ignorance in the face of a man quite obviously truly beloved.  He declared that for all the words of comfort he might have to offer, and for all the love individual speakers might express, that there was no better statement of just how much the man was loved than our attendance.  Clearly the man had spoken to the family, no doubt asking clever questions that allowed him to riff on a theme mostly alluded to.  He hit on several of the clear major characteristics of the man–his tinkering, his generous offering to fix anything for anyone.  It was mentioned that he had been “a man of few words,” the preacher good-naturedly adding, “He was German, after all.”  (The late patriarch had been born in Germany as WWII was just breaking out and his liberal family fled while there was still time).

 

On the biblical side of the eulogy the minister had what were likely repeated statements from many previous funerals, but they were still very effective.  When talking about Christ he said that “even when Jesus knew he was going to suffer and die the next day, he didn’t sit there in misery, lamenting his fate.  No, he had a big party with his closest friends to celebrate life.”  He added, “When one member of His crew rolled on Jesus, he didn’t simmer and vow revenge, but forgave Judas and opened His heart to celebrate the man.”  These were powerful statements.  They are quoted verbatim.  One can strip the mysticism from all of this and realize that stories themselves are what offer us the most comfort.

 

The man openly mocked the “magic” of the church and outright stated (and this at a funeral) that those who preach such nonsense–and he in particular targeted evangelicals and mega churches–are false prophets.  He never went so far as to re-emerge and challenge them as being directed by demons (he would have laughed this off too), but his social criticism of the collapse of religious faith rang a deep cord within me, as well as with so many people in attendance.

 

The whole scene at the funeral was curious.  I was dressed in my finest, sharp and shaven and clean.  The only other people so stiffly stuffed into their black suits were the others like me who hardly knew anyone: spouses and companions there to offer peripheral comfort to the mourners.  The rest of the crowd–those who knew the man–wore surprisingly casual, bright, colorful outfits.  Looking into the creased eyes of several of the fallen’s contemporaries it is hard not to think that the man wasn’t somehow involved in the hippie counterculture in his youth.  Some of these old friends of his remain hippies to this day, at least according to their style of dress and a few words picked up in passing.

 

I realize that the bulk of this commentary is expressed in profound ignorance of the specifics of mourning and, more importantly, on the importance of the late man’s life.  But, as I admitted, I never knew him.  Why should my words regarding his life be of any value to anyone?  The minister himself admitted as much.  He kept returning to the crowd, asking for their help.  There were numerous eulogies, some more heartfelt and beautiful than others.  His grandchildren spoke, mostly in carefully selected biblical verse, those well known words of comfort that kind of sink into you when wishing for the best in another life and another world to come.  One of the man’s daughters’s offered a handwritten, sharp, funny and mournful commentary, and this was the most powerful remembrance of the man.  Even the minister stood back for a moment as she finished her eulogy.  He smiled.  You could see that he wanted to applaud.  Myself, an occasional theatergoer–I thought about clapping too.  But of course a funeral is the wrong place for such praise.  It is still a solemn, depressing, awful thing.  No one wants to be there.

 

And so I ask you, many of you: how many funerals have you attended in your life?  How many of them touched you?  Now exclude those for whom you specifically mourned; those family members and close friends and those for whom your life will never be the same.  I was deeply moved.  I believe that this says a great deal about the passing of this man.  I don’t want to say it because the non-secular meaning of this holds utterly no value for me, but, nevertheless, in celebration of this person I never knew . . . Amen . . .

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Fear

 

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We are all afraid of something.  And we should be.  The world is frequently a horrifying place.  And yet fear–true fear–is something that most of us refuse to recognize.  There are a lot of things to be frightened of–plenty of terminal horrors that can overwhelm us without much effort.  The very idea can cause us to huddle inside our homes, clutching a shotgun if we have one, and peering through the blinds in case zombies or monsters or just regular crazies are pretending that they wish to get inside our doors.

 

Look:  These are popular images:

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Yeah, it’s all white people bullshit, but the question of fear transcends race, religion, and gender:

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We are all afraid of something, something.  Quit pretending that you are actually brave.  There is something out there, whether real or in the darkest fictional landscape, that forces you to consider mortality, and wonder whether life is as secure as you have always presumed it to be.

 

Myself?  I like to believe that I am scared of nothing.  I do not care if I offend you.  I am not concerned with your feelings.  And whether I care or not whether I offend you is private business–nothing that impacts what I have to say to people; the idea of fear cannot help but interfere with the general idea that I wish to attack everything I am capable of.

 

Years ago–let us call this 1989, when I was seventeen years old–I excitedly purchased a book called The Satanic Verses by the brilliant Salman Rushdie (https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=9780670825370&n=100121503&cm_sp=mbc-_-ISBN-_-used).  Here was a story that had offended so many people that religious fundamentalists declared the author must die.  Now the book itself is a wonderful fantasy, the story of two natives of India who fall from the sky after terrorists blow up their plane, and they descend into the madness of religion.  One becomes an angel and the other a demon.  As the story progresses, they somehow change places, the demon a sort of angel and the angel truly a devil.  It is a wonderful book, famous mostly because crazy people condemned its author to death.

 

This, in retrospect stupidly, was my first ambition as a writer.  I wanted to piss enough people off that someone somewhere would think it was proper to kill me.  I didn’t actually want to die (or at least I don’t think so.)  No–wanted to be famous–be a daring author who offended so many people that his bestsellers existed because most indifferent people wanted to know what all the fuss was about.

 

Do I believe myself talented, to be good at my job?  Of course I do.  All writers are arrogant.  But the idea of fear, of what scares us, is a far more profound subject than myself merely stating that I am a pretty good horror writer.  No–no no no.  Horror itself is a confusing term, especially in the literary world.  There are family dramas and romance novels that are true horror stories, while plenty of supernatural narratives are merely action-adventures, or silly happy-ending fairy tales, no true thrills beyond the heroes violently slaying monsters.  Fear itself is not a literary term.  It is reality.  It is a problem we all suffer from every day.

 

Terror–terrorism, is not about the murder.  It is not about the destruction or the chaos that arises after a particularly horrible event.  No, terrorism wishes to be what the word itself means: a method of terrifying the people.  When people are scared they become willing to give up some of their individual rights, their freedoms.  They stare at the world and see danger in every face and they wonder which rights are worth sustaining, and most of the people focus on guns, on the fear of invasion and the inarticulate wages offered to protect one’s self in the event of dire emergency..  And the paranoia behind the door that all of us feel towards the unknown grows into genuine panic, and we see enemies where the mostly bland faces of one another are otherwise propped, the world a growing nightmare despite the fact that those we abandon were once upon a time our closest friends.

 

Fear.  We are all afraid of everything.  Look.  This is what we somehow believe in:

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We are truly afraid of everything:

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All the stupid personal shit:

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Again we, as a species, have allowed ourselves to be afraid of anything, of all the stupid, harmless bullshit that revolves around us.  This is not about horror novels and movies, plenty of which I love, but about the fear within human nature, a growing force that infects all of our personal relationships and invades our concept of right and wrong, of good and evil, of how all of us should be forced to live.  It is that lingering doubt, the fear of commitment to anything.  We can call this politics, or religion, or social justice, or merely the confused idea of family

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Hating the world, or our lives, is far too easy.  There are so many reasons to choose from.  But the courage to stand up, the overcoming of fear about all of those things that rightly terrify us

 

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And who is to blame?  There are still many fools who wish to pretend that our personal exploitation of our home, of this planet we have been fortunate enough to exist upon, has nothing to do with the general decline of humanity.  And of course this does not (yet) have anything to do with a decline in population, nor a general panic over the resources we seem to need to continue functioning as a society (think water less than fuel.  Think water and you will see the most profitable commodity of the future).  What we see in this nervous time is the acquisitive greed which promotes so much paranoid hatred that society itself–this grand experiment people far older than ourselves devisied, something undefined called ‘organized civilization’–becomes an increasingly selfish place, one of me-first-me-first, and my-family-before-all, and humanity can go to hell just so long as I get to shiver inside my home, ready and waiting for whomever or whatever eventually comes to knock upon my presumably promised safe door.  And I will shoot them; shoot you, just in case you try to take a single bottle of water out of my child’s hand–even a sip, for a pleasant exchange and an offer of bullets.  Kill or be killed is the caveman way of life.  We drag each other by the hair.  We demand.  Sometimes we even get our own way.

 

Fear is toxic.  It is a virus.  It is invasion.  We allow this percolating mass of partisan prejudice and irrational belief to overwhelm us, to make the state of humanity into a foolish, unbelievable joke, where everything the innovators once thought powerful, and all thoughts resembling those who tried so hard to create a nation become stereotypes, become random cliches within the limited thinking of our cynical overlords who devour everything any longer worth caring about.  And we are left afraid, in fear.  And if not–and this is far worse!–we are left rooting for a former star, some old time hero who is well past their prime, with the hopes that by the end of the season we can all come together and realize that none of us are any better than anybody else.

 

 

 

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Fucking Contractors: A Rant

 

This is not going to be one of my better pieces.  It is an angry rant, mere venting; an exhale of outrage over the ineptitude and cheap corruption of one particular group of individuals.  I will not specifically name them due strictly to legal considerations (although I suspect I could win any sort of potential lawsuit due to the circumstances surrounding the problem, but we are all better off not taking such a step; I recorded a three minute video I would love to show to someone like Judge Judy).  I strongly encourage anyone to check a little deeper into who you hire for a major home repair or renovation.

 

Recently we hired a contractor to redesign one of our bathrooms.

Pretty nice, right?  It cost a lot.

 

Now, the state of this bathroom prior to their arrival was barely functional.  When we bought the house a little over two years ago it took about six months for the old shower to spring a leak, water pooling up until it dripped a hole through the downstairs ceiling.

I have no idea what sort of cheap labor the former owners hired to spruce the place up enough to sell (it might actually have been the same douchebag we hired), but numerous issues arose at around the same time, from the roof to the outdoor deck and rotting wood, and a few other small things, proving that we did not do enough research prior to putting our money down.

 

But I am not so much complaining about this (buyer beware and all), as I am regarding the after effect of our expensive repair:

The leak that sprang open over the light was a constant drip, first noticed when I saw a curious puddle of musky water upon the table.  It did not take long for one and then another of the bowls to completely fill up.

 

Of course the water spread,

bubbling and then cracking the ceiling open, this time spilling out like a faucet, splattering the wooden floor.  Eventually I figured out how to turn the water off in the house and the spill slowly became a trickle until it finally stopped.  Now the only water we presently have is from the fast food joint I took my children to last night, annoying the lady in the drive through by requesting “six cups of water.”  (She wondered repeatedly if what I asked for was a real request).

 

So I called the contractor–a slimy, money grubbing little scumbag, a conclusion we had long since come to shortly after signing the contract–and he began by wondering exactly who I was.  After reminding him (and the casual recognition of his tone suggested to me that he was lying), and telling him the problem with a hard tone of frustration, he asked two questions then told me he’d call me back.

 

Five minutes later he calls, asks me the same two questions, then once more says he will call me back.

 

Ten minutes, fifteen, twenty . . . finally he calls thirty one minutes later.  The slow drip of water has almost stopped by now.  He tells me that someone can come out and look at it tomorrow morning (today).  I ask him why not tonight and he says, perhaps even truthfully, that his plumber was unavailable.

 

Fine.  The plumber is supposed to be here between 8:30 and 9:00.  At 9:17 I get a phone call from the guy.  “Yeah, uhh, the guys have a buncha stuff in the truck that they gotta take to the dump.  You know, heavy stuff.”

“And?” I say.

“You want me to repeat that?”

“What time will they be here?” I exhale, resigning myself to more of this creep’s bullshit.

“I don’t know.”

“What?”

“Well. they’ll definitely be there sometime this morning.  But,” he adds, “Morning doesn’t end until 11:59, so . . .”

“Fine.”  I hang up.

 

I am waiting, still waiting, no water, no shower, my stinking children and myself.  My poor thirsty dog and cat.  No homemade coffee and no going out to get some because I have no idea when the motherfuckers will get here.  No clean dishes, dirty laundry piling up.  Fucking contractors . . .