I want to...
There are so many things I want to say on this blog. But I have lost the discipline of both reading and writing substantive texts. It is so hard to arrange my thoughts into the sorts of words that make up a blog post.
I do not see this blog as the space for short and pithy writing like on Facebook or wherever you tweet your instas. I don't say this to claim this blog is qualitatively different. This blog itself is part of a google empire in which content feeds interaction which feeds you to advertisers. The consumption is not in the direction we imagine. The distinction is merely that this is long form content. I like how it forces me to think in longer form.
I will try and keep paragraphs to one point, which is one of the best rules anyone ever came up with, but I am not able to easily see what is one point or two or three points anymore. I have mostly conversed with people through "chat" for the last few months. That's a weird sort of dialogue. Often you're halfway through a long thought and someone else writes in. I have forgotten how to communicate properly. I always try and communicate properly on this blog.
I want to communicate properly, also both precisely and accurately (which are not the same thing exactly). And honestly. As honestly as I can.
Honestly I think we're in big trouble. We need to act. We need to get our shit together. Seriously. There is a Behemoth in the land and its name is Stupidity. And the first real rule of Stupidity is that nobody gets to talk about stupidity. Nobody gets to talk about its violence, nobody gets to talk about the thousands of deaths thanks to willful stupidity we are wading through. And the thousands more ahead. The orphans of that; Are they safe? Will they fall in among the 20 million people kept in slavery today? Why is it always time for tax cuts and cuts to government spending? Whose pushing this? Whose telling you its ok; the problems with society aren't in that direction. Don't follow the money. Look at the sin of vanity more generally. Aren't we all a little vain when we lust after money, to use the original meaning of the word vain - to hunger only for that which is fleeting. And all the anger and the rage flows out of you and you feel calmer and saner and more able to cope but less able to do anything else but cope. The continual criminal murder of the poor by the rich that is enacted before us. How is it possible? How is it happening? How long has it been happening? Why can't we get that history straight?
And all of that in my head is a single point, like a giant lump of poorly cooked pasta. I have others, equally pressing, equally loud. We're all going to die. I have anxiety around airborne pollutants. I build my kid the craziest stuff to climb in the backyard. There are lots of physical dangers I shrug off. I don't jump away from spiders. But fumes, pollution, and it turns out airborne viruses are scary to me. We were in the Eyre Peninsula, in S.A., during the big fires and thank God for that. I am not sure how I would have coped knowing my kids just breathed in the smoke that shrouded some places for weeks. Now we're opening up and covid is in the community and I just need to transition to coping. Our protections; my partner's and my waning vaccine, my oldest kids antibodies still underdeveloped from her recent second shot, my youngest, her age.
What are you coping with? I tell myself you probably have it worse as if that is supposed to help either of us. I think what I'm trying to do is to stop myself whingeing. We tell people every sadness matters but we know that isn't entirely true. Some people are sad that they didn't get a second desert. Some are sad that they don't have a home free of perpetual violence. I am reluctant to write in case it sounds like I am whingeing when others have it much worse. Lets focus on those others then. Let's be disturbed by homelessness rather than my sugar cravings and lack of things to watch on telly.
Because somehow we are building nuclear submarines instead. We haven't even got a second fire fighting helicopter. We used to borrow a second from the US but now our fire seasons are overlapping. I don't know if we can reengineer the submarines to squirt water out of their periscopes but that's still only a coastal solution. We laugh. We have to laugh. It's all just so absurd. The National Farmers Federation is pleading with the National Party, the party ostensibly for farmers, to take climate change seriously. It's endlessly varying runs of the theatre of catastrophe. It's exhausting to watch.
What we need are stories and a plan. There are probably a few other things but stories, about the real capacity of humans to do amazing things, or that uncover the real problems we are facing, are important. A plan is tough. I have ideas.
I am also reminded of the wisdom of Chun-Tzu. Sometimes we do need useless thought. Thinking about the origins of the universe for example, if universes have origins. Perhaps they have oranges instead. It is sometimes when we meander down those paths we take the breaths we never even realised we needed. There is nothing directly relevant to all the catastrophes of our immediate context in this lecture about Apes in Science Fiction, or this one about the politics of Eve, but they are well worth listening to. If nothing else they help by organising our thoughts. Paragraphs with a proper TEEL structure painted in precise sentences is a step in the right direction.
Thursday, October 21, 2021
I want to...