Sunday, September 07, 2008

The silence is niether accident nor burnout

I have reached the age of 59. I have lived longer than my father did. The world of cyclic spasms he endured through depression and war has sputtered to near collapse. The world of 300 years ago, of pristine and unpopulated wild land in America and untrammeled abundance and beauty were nearly vanished when he pined for them and no longer even a memory for most of the people whom Obama and McCain seek to influence.

I have lost faith in the electorate. Not that I should ever have much trusted a population that would elect the son of a bush despite seeing four years of his turdish handiwork. They will not look with their own eyes but turn instead to whomever will show them what they want to believe.

And I have lost faith in our system. Always mislabeled and misrepresented by its beneficiaries but lately a stridently crazy scheme to go on raping nature as if there would be no consequence, whether by greed, sloth or complacency, the capitalism that claims to have brought us to this "highest standard of living" has driven the average person to become a fairly mindless microbe, a processing unit in a vast overtaxing machine of consumption. My financial conservatism is at odds with all the political labels of my day. I am in agreement with Ian Sterling when he writes at Agonist:
What Rahm should have done was just written a check to the oil companies of the world for 150 billion dollars, because that is exactly where all of that money ended up.

Hunger for unearned entitlements is, despite the incessant chants of conservatives, not an ill of liberals or the poor. Legislated entitlements, or indeed, any enactment of law, require political power and voice that we all recognize as primarily the province of the wealthy, be they corporate or individual. The rules really were made by those who have the gold...and time has come for them to eat gold. It is a lot like eating lead when you think about it. I do not expect to live for ever or even to enjoy a retirement of ease and luxury. I am ready to cut loose the entanglements of Medicare and Social security and just fend for myself and die as people always used to: without choking down pills, sprouting tubes and drawing a swarm of physicians. I will be grateful if I get another decade and do not end too fogged in with pain. This is all I wish or hope despite the fact that I am of that lucky cohort of baby boomers and educated wage earners who thought they were awake as they pocketed the American Dream in its cheap-energy hey day. I have paid into the system in the name of good citizenship more than I ever imagined I would need but have come to expect that, like our present credit crisis, the keepers of the coffers will not be able to explain where all the money went. Goodbye to all that.

In the local politics of the US, which is applied to the whole world with numb conciet and spoiled by the faded power of our dollar, the Democrats include a few who have a better grasp of our precarious place and the Republicans, the very personification of the ills that wrought our demise, have no clue. Whoever wins in November will still be at the head of a parade of lemmings.

The chief drain on my blogging time of late has been my efforts to secure a personal future that is sustainable...because I think my nation, my fellow citizens and most of the world's populations are at best muddling toward exhaustion of resources and starvation.

I am not qualified, by anything more than common sense and having managed to earn or build whatever I now possess, to pronounce my acceptance of the gloomier prospects for humanity, economic or ecological. But moments come when all that you have been and done are seen together and invite a seeking of vantage point, call up a vision of their balance with what may remain for you to be and to do. Sharp and stinging so that I cannot hold them long, the questions come:"Will nothing I have done help? Will those sweet souls I have caused to be on this planet only know more strife and less contentment than I have? "
We have a casually overused turn of phrase, "You bet your life"...but at some level, that is what every decision we have ever made, and worse yet those we make for others, really amounts to.

A bit more aware, I have been placing my final bets. They do not involve six billion people.