Sunday, May 4, 2008

Optimism

As I've come to say a lot lately--a pessimist does not plant trees.

Actually, part and parcel of the vision I see for the future--with the collapse of affluent human society, climatic destruction, and a tend towards overt neo-feudalism--as part of this process SO many people are going to take such a beating that there is simply NO WAY that the cultural values now in place will survive. That trend is already occurring among the "newly maturing." Those under the age of 20 hold a radically different perspective towards their future than those of my age. They are, to my mind, best described as complacently hopeless, simply willing to take on without resistance the semi-feral future that awaits for them. Of course, this attitude is still an attitude born of relative affluence, as no one who has ever gone hungry is complacent ever again. . .but I certainly signal that as the beginning of what one might call "the revaluation of all values."

This will be uncharted territory, but by a quarter way through this century I'm certain that any semi-conscious semi-informed person alive will be unable to feel anything other than having been royally, thoroughly, ruggedly screwed over. They will feel that they've been lied to at every turn, insulted, manipulated, marketed, fucked over so completely that the sense of distrust towards any and all expert opinions or authority figures will be unprecedented. And of course this attitude will be completely justified. This will be a very dangerous time, as far as I can see, but ultimately Hobbesian ethics will prevail--and to avoid a life that is "nasty, brutish, and short" a sense of community will arise, if for no other reason than it will be impossible to survive without--but I tell you, people will really give the stink-eye to anyone who is remotely sketchy, unclear, or underhanded in their motives.

BRING IT ON!

If there is anything I thoroughly despise about culture as it exists is the utter depraved dishonesty of it. The surest and fastest way to find alienation is to speak the truth: the fastest way to finding acclaim is to fake it. Don't you dare do anything on your own, for real. That makes others look stupid and they won't appreciate it. Be sure you demand nothing of anyone. Virtue has been turned on its head: the latin term "vertus" in its day meant nothing other than explicitly manly values--to speak the truth, to shoot well with arrows. Today, virtue is equated with effete, non-confrontational sentimentalism--good natured but harmless. It will be obvious that this has served no one.

One of the more interesting predictions I've heard so far, from Kunstler: "this will be the year that conspicuous consumption goes underground." I think he's a little bit ahead of the curve, but it's bound to happen at some point, as it's going to be far more likely to bring you a bullet than admiration.

Ah well, a little rave here waiting for the rain to clear so I can buck up a little more timber. The garden here is growing so fast I can actually see it. Thanks you guys for the robust camaraderie. Dennis especially, I enjoy that direct and straightforward unrepentant gun-toting liberalism. I wish we had more of a chance to shoot the shit before I moved out of Bellingham. Maybe October!

1 comment:

Greg West said...

Bravo Sir!
Indeed it is true that all we know as a collective is bullshit.

The truth is taboo and what once was taboo is common place.
Adults and our children alike expect all the trappings of affluence and they want it now.
Marketers and lenders are ready to give them what they want.
It is more important to them than knowing how to can veggies or slaughter a hog.
They look at you askance if you know how to provide for yourself.