No. Really. Not sarcasm.
Short answer: yes.
Long answer: Wayyyyyyyyyyy too fucking much for my own good. Welcome to the Spectrum, assholes.
I feel every fucking molecule that’s out of place in my universe. I see every thing that is misaligned, every musical note that’s clipped or out of harmony. I feel your pain and your sadness when I look at you and yours.
So if you don’t mind, I won’t look at you. I won’t let you touch me. I will fix your machinery and explain once again how your ignorance and obtuse behavior caused you to get frustrated with a simple mechanism. I will ask you once again if you checked to see if it is plugged in, or if it has fuel in the tank, or if you tightened the battery connection.
I know how you fuck up. I care that it bothers you that I know how you fucked up.
“How do you know all of this shit?”
Because I care about it.
I care about how things work and don’t work. I care about how things grow and don’t grow. I care about music and whether it is good. I hate when people call time-filling noise “music.” I love when music resonates with my neurosystem.
I care that people are satisfied with their lives in the depths of their ancient souls, no matter how defective they or the systems destroying them might be.
I care that their children will have places that are improved from our presence in the universe.
Burning toxic shit and dumping crap everywhere to build useless buildings for unfettered rapacity of the planet is not “progress”, whether we do it with a distributed wealth system or a colonizing plutocratic demon sky puppet in mind.
I care that people have a purpose in the universe. I really don’t care if people believe in being useful any more than the planet cares if we all die off from our own folly: I care that they are useful.
We are what we do, not what we believe. You can buy that hairy bullshit that you are going to be forgiven on your death bed for being a total asshole, but I don’t, and any god that is worthy of the name knows what you did, dumbass. You think he’s going to let you into the magical sky palace because you say you’re sorry? Hahahaha! That will be 10% of your salary. Please pay the doorman on your way out.
Look around. See what people are doing to themselves and their places. Feel it. Care about it.
The marketers want you to stop caring about your place, your family and the future of our planet because it is profitable to unthinkingly consume and destroy in the name of imaginary beings, imagined “reasons” and imaginary borders. They want you to hate yourself and your place so that you buy something ‘new and improved’.
The reality is that we are the children of our place. Earth expects us to grow up and become useful contributors to its future, just as we expect of our children to their future, and just like every dumb animal and plant manages to do without our lousy excuse for so-called “intelligence.”
The superficial arguments about fairness, equality and environmentalism can all be considered only in one context: What the FUCK are people FOR?
If you don’t have a substantive, real physical answer to that question, then why the hell do you care about helping people at all unless you have some selfish goal in mind, or you’re stupid and brainwashed into ‘serving’ people’s ‘needs’, and you’re ignoring the authorities who are taking advantage of your help for their own selfish interests (usually growing a brand, a voter base, fan club or congregation).
Far too many of the people who are paid to care about the world and its people think that the solution to consumptive actions and waste is to reduce or stop those politically incorrect behaviors while we HOPE we figure out our species’ purpose.
It is not.
The solution is much harder and requires an understanding of what “carrying capacity” means, and not what Earth’s carrying capacity is, but what ours is.
Raj Patel summed it up as succinctly as anyone ever has with this, “The opposite of consumption is not frugality; it is generosity.”
How much of the Earth can humanity care for and about? How generous can we be to the place we need to care for?
I care for all of it. All of the time. I can’t fix what you don’t want me to fix, and I can’t afford to do it on my own. Sure, I might even say, “I don’t give a fuck”, but being motivated to say I don’t belies the fact that I do.
If you want solutions to the parasitic systems that are consuming the future at an exponential rate, you first have to realize that those systems are fucked up. They aren’t ‘broken’: they are designed to fuck up the future for immediate profit and prophets. Fixing that kind of broke takes more than a pair of Visegrips and some baling wire or a single election of one lame-ass political chair-warmer.
The best misanalogy is the Apollo Moon program. We didn’t get to the Moon because of competition. The program was started because of fear of failure (the fear that the Russians would hold the literal “high ground”), but it succeeded based on cooperation. The ability of people to set aside their egos and work as part of a complete system with a useful goal and continuous improvement toward that goal, even when heart-wrenching failure occurred or when success wasn’t obvious.
We have to stop thinking competitively and short-term if we are going to keep something resembling human civilization alive (saying “on planet Earth” is unnecessary because it’s the only place we have). Rich fools think they can extend competitive dumbassery (unfettered capitalism) to the Moon or Mars because they refuse to take the time to think about what we are really doing to the only place we can survive right now. Dreaming up fantasy solutions is so much easier than turning the vehicle (consumption) around, especially when your fantasy solution is financed by the immediate problem (consuming our own places to death).
Even in the near long-term (20 years), we are facing a changing physical environment that our competitive behaviors are not equipped to deal with. If we only think reactively and consumptively (The Invisible Hand Job), then people will fight and die at an exponentially increasing rate due to failure of social infrastructure (Covid economics, legal systems), which leads to failure of life support infrastructures (food, water, shelter).
In the mid long-term (50 years), we are facing a new environment that is nothing that humanity has ever dealt with before. Weather patterns will be unstable and unpredictable in ways that our commodity cropping systems are not designed to handle. Irrigation will be critical to every crop’s survival, even as water tables become stressed, just as it was in early agricultural times of Egypt and Iraq. In previous climate change eras, humans barely survived by adapting to migratory behaviors and living in small enough groups to be sustained by natural levels of replacement patterns. Population growth was limited by food sustainability, as it will be again. In the past, economic growth was limited to labor’s ability to nurture places and bring forth sustenance.
Humanity forgot to care about those dependencies. Civilization gave us the unfathomable stupidity of isolating ourselves from caring about our food as part of our survival. The majority’s morality and money have become intertwined with dysfunctional authoritarian belief systems that only support authority. Our instincts of caring for our places have been compromised by competitive demand for status, comfort, pseudo-security and exploitation of anything weaker than ‘civilized’ or ‘saved’ people.
Habitualized civilization (city-based, artificial priorities and problems) and blind worship of perpetual growth of money (inflation economics) have become a bubble that keeps humans from caring about the very thing that they literally need to care about: the environment that we depend upon to live.
President Barack Obama was vilified for saying, “You didn’t build that.” In that context, he was referring to the dependency of corporate and aristocratic people of wealth on the laborers and workers that built their factories and infrastructure, as well as the consumer demand that makes their edifices value-able.
Humanity needs to get off their fucking high horse and realize that “we didn’t build us.” Our physical bodies are dependent on symbiotic organisms even inside our own bodies. Our tribes and families and future offspring are dependent on symbiotic living organisms that allow the plants and food that give us oxygen and nutrition. We didn’t build our lives. Nature did. The real physical living symbiotic planet did that on a lark. Our awareness is a bug, not a feature. We used it to become useless to the system that built it. We not only bite the hand that feeds us, we burn it, poison it, mutilate it and dump it in the ocean that we are filling with plastic.
There was never a magical sky man with a golden touch: just some very dicey and sticky molecules with a lot of time on their appendages.
We don’t have the copyright or patent on our own DNA: it was stolen from all of the previous inventors that we continue to bully with our use of force and our oblivious behaviors in the name of Peeeeeeeeepullllll.
I care about those organisms more than I care about you.
“How can you hate Peeeeeepulll?!” “You might be a misanthrope if you don’t understand why solitary confinement is considered punishment.” -Florence King, “With Charity Toward None.”
Because as we are born, we start dying. We are all going to die. There is no Heaven or Hell to worry about. There is only the future of our children and their ability to live in their future places.
Think I’m wrong? Go ask your personal god and He will tell you I’m right, or provide no answer at all. He and I have had this arrangement since I was a child.
This understanding is that caring about imaginary beings is a waste of time. Care about the real. Care about the feeling. Care about the useful. Do not care about the imaginary or the dogmatic rituals that always seem to put a pointy hat on somebody for us to throw money at.
The Earth and the people only go on when they carry each other.
We can no longer afford to be along for a ride to fantasy and luxury while our actions consume and destroy every living thing we touch, harvest, ignore and poison.
Our real work as human beings is just starting.
If you don’t get that, well, there’s really no way of explaining it to you. You’re probably too educated or ‘experienced’ to understand it.
Greta Thunberg can explain it to you better than I can. She’s got a medal, after all.
I don’t have anything but a bunch of wrenches and books.