I think a dose of realism (a daily dose) is probably a good idea as we face down near-term (human) extinction (NTE or NTHE). It’s kind of a shitty prospect (if I may say so), & I think that having a bunch of unrealistic ideas at this time is not going to be particularly helpful to any of us.
This little essay was prompted one day when a Facebook “friend” who accepts that we humans are on our way out posted a little rant about why didn’t such-&-such a politician (we are in federal election campaign mode at this time in Canada) say bleah-bleah-bleah … the kind of thing no politician is ever going to say. It got me musing…
Here are a few things I consider to be realistic/relevant:
Politicians will continue to act like politicians. These people have a public image to maintain, & I think no one need expect any party leader to acknowledge NTE. Expect lies, half-truths & obfuscation to continue. These are the everyday things of the world of politics, after all. (some great quotes about politics here, btw).
Ditto for most public figures. People who have a certain public "image" to maintain are not likely to do a sudden 180 & start saying things that don’t fit with that image. So don’t hold your breath waiting for certain high-profile environmental activists/big thinkers (I need not name them) to stop talking about “solutions.” It’s what they do. (An upcoming post will explain my own weird little dance in this crazy game, & I guess what it amounts to is this: most of us just keep on doing what we do. It's what we do. If you see what I mean.)
The media will continue to paint a very partial picture of the true nature of what is taking place all around us. I remember Paul Hawken saying in The Ecology of Commerce “the problem we face is far greater than anything portrayed by the media.” It was true then, & it’s still true now.
Many men will continue to have oversized egos that seem to prevent them from seeing much past their own noses/thoughts/plans/penises/obsessions/blazing self-regard. By the same token, many women will continue to seem petty &/or bitchy and self-absorbed, incapable of thought beyond make-up, shopping, fashion & decorating schemes. Some people are simply best avoided, if possible, hmmm?
Patriarchy will continue to plague us. It’s been around for 1000s of years & it’s not going to suddenly go away overnight. (Of course it’s far too late for it to make much difference even if it did miraculously implode. Which it's not about to.)
Drivers of 2-ton (& larger) pollution machines (cars, vans, trucks, buses, airplanes) will almost certainly continue to delude themselves that they are more powerful & maybe more special & important than those around them on foot/bike/in smaller vehicles/of lower income/social class. (I’ve long thought people in positions of power are much like these drivers of large pollution machines. They feel separate, they feel bigger & better & badder – & they behave in line with their self-delusions of grandeur.)
People, we’re on our own. We are a communal creature, we humans. We need our fellow humans like crazy. We need our communities & families & friends & loved ones like fish need water. The institutions we rely on cannot be counted on to “look after us.” (Take note: all the municipal governments have been producing emergency planning booklets in recent years. They have been trying to tell us something.) We are on our own. Brace for impact.
Finally, mothers/most women will continue to try & look after their children/partners/families/grandchildren/the world right up to the very last possible moment. Bless us. It’s what we do. Motherhood trumps EVERYthing.
& isn’t that a lovely thing?
‘Quote of the day’ with this post: “I propose assaulting ourselves and others with compassion. I recommend heavy doses of creativity and courage. I advise doing something well beyond the cultural current of the main stream. At this point, what have you got to lose? Indeed, what have we got to lose?” – Guy McPherson in GOING DARK
Another interesting & perhaps slightly relevant quote:
"When asked why the cellist is risking his life every day to play his cello on the street in the spot where 22 people were killed while waiting at a bakery to buy bread, the character Dragan says to Emina, “Maybe he’s playing for himself. Maybe it’s all he knows how to do, and he’s not doing it to make something happen.” ‘And he thinks this is true. What the cellist wants isn’t a change, or to set things right again, but to stop things from getting worse. Because, as the optimist in Emina’s mother’s joke said, it can always get worse. But perhaps the only thing that will stop it from getting worse is people doing the things they know how to do.’” – from The Cellist of Sarajevo, by Steven Galloway <pg 126>
** TONS of great quotations gathered up on this blog!! :) Check out this page for a great whacking selection of quotations in a large # of different categories.