A slight return

OK. So its been a while. I seem to sit thinking about writing quite a lot, but then the reality hits me that I have millions of things I want to get straight in my mind and onto this blog in a way that makes sense both to myself and to whomever might stumble across this blog on their Internet travels. Right now I just don’t have the energy to manage that, hence I have not actually managed to post even a simple blog post, until now.

Basically, I have read a lot of stuff lately and looked into quite a few things and I have come to the conclusion – and this is written in absolute seriousness – that humanity is on the brink of absolute catastrophe. Sadly, I have also come to the conclusion that very few people are either aware of this fact or care about it. Instead the vast majority of mankind (I exclude the billions starving in absolute poverty here – they are victims of this culture) are just happy to pretend that it’s business as usual as they scrabble with selfish abandon for a few of the last scraps that a depleted planet can cough up.

Peak oil, peak soil, global warming, mass deforestation, the almost global depletion of fresh water supplies and the almost complete annihilation of fish stocks and marine life in general is all driven by the only supposed solution to our current economic problems (which are all self-inflicted inventions because money isn’t real) is increased consumption (growth) – which simply means using more of the stuff that we are quickly running out of. It’s absolute madness, but few seem to care or even be aware of any of the massive problems that we are facing without solutions, without political will (or even a vague understanding), popular support or global collaboration.

So when I sit here and look at what the vast bulk of our media is churning out day-after-day I find it hard to put into words how angry it makes me. I just try to imagine what our children or grandchildren – if they manage to survive in the world that we are creating, and in some ways have already created – will think of us when they look back at what we did as humanity stood on the brink of collapse.

What will we tell them?

Will we tell them that we didn’t know, or that we knew but thought that somehow everything would be OK? Would we tell them it wasn’t our fault and that if TV hadn’t melted our minds with endless forensic crime dramas, celebrity-based drivel (‘Watch as we give 5 celebrities the chance to be traffic wardens for the day!’ ‘Tonight: 5 celebrities cook an egg – LIVE ON TV!’ etc), talent shows that are part freak show, part private record company auditions and all the other vacuous drivel that people sit through, hour-after-hour, day-after-day, year-after-year. Would we tell them that it wasn’t our fault because the media kept us in the dark? They said climate change wasn’t real. They said the oil wasn’t running out, they said all this world-being-destroyed stuff was just made up by a evil liberal elite that just wanted to tax you more. Oh how ignorant we will seem with our endless campaigns to bring back the weekly bin collection and scrap those nasty wheelie bins.

Why did we ignore the scientists, who tried to warn us?

Will we have to explain that back in our day scientists had become one of two things:

  1. evil, atheist liberals who were merely toeing a particular line in the pursuit of more funding or
  2. laughable ‘boffins’ who were regularly in the media for all the wacky and pointless things they got up to like inventing things that could boil the perfect egg or investigating the female orgasm.

Our dominant collective media is a sick joke that is reflected in the anti-science, anti-evidence agenda that is increasingly being pursued in parliament – embodied by MPs like Nadine Dorries who seem to believe that their own prejudices and ignorance are a perfectly sound base for government legislation. Instead, such ignorance – built up in the echo-chamber of media moral panic – leads to idiots like Reg Bailey being thought qualified to do something other than stand in the street handing out leaflets about Jesus and telling passers-by how they should repent before it’s too late. Our political agenda is dominated by morons and helped by an equally moronic press.

The truth is, if we carry on the way we are as a species things are not going to be OK. It is that simple.

We cannot blame the media for everything. Sure, they feed us a diet of lies, distortions and celebrity-based drivel. OK, they only ever editorialise about insignificant shit like how it was very nasty of Mr Giggs to try and stop them raking over his love life and how it’s about time we threw all the wheelie bins off a huge cliff and replaced them with our own personal dustman who we just threw our rubbish at.

But we’re the ones who lap it up. If we didn’t buy this shit, they wouldn’t print it. If we try and absolve ourselves of blame when our grand children start asking some searching questions about just what the hell you were doing when humanity was finishing the complete destruction of the planet by claiming we were too busy, how is that going to look? We were too busy to read up on the problems facing us and how we could take action to make a change, but we did have time to buy a newspaper detailing the lives of people we don’t even know? We were too busy to lift ourselves out of ignorance, but we did have time to watch those lovely celebrities on Strictly Come Dancing every week?

And yes, to any readers who happen to think that the planet is just fine and that we should all just carry on regardless la-la-la: yes, I agree, the planet will be just fine – whatever we do to it – but that doesn’t mean it will we still be around to enjoy it. There is a big difference between ‘destroying the planet’ and simply making it uninhabitable for 9 billion people.

Anyway. That is why I haven’t been posting lately. I’m too depressed. Too tired of wading through reams of insignificant bullshit printed by a media – a world in fact – that can only see as far as the bottom line.

18 Comments

  • Chainbear says:

    You have completely articulated my exact thoughts. It is horrifying.

    But trying to get it into everyone’s mind to wake up and do something is like trying to handbrake turn the Titanic just before it hit the iceberg.

    I don’t see how we can get out of it,i dont think e can turn it around quick enough. It makes me not want children because I don’t want to bequeth them our future.

    But I still try and do what I can, as an individual just in case.

    I am scared though. And angry.

  • Heather says:

    Don’t be depressed about it. You’ve just woken up to the realisation that we’re all being treated as fools. Depression is a natural reaction to such a revelation.

    The thing is what should we do about it? Is there anything we can actually do about it? We can try and persuade those we have some influence over that things can be better. It’ll be a long and slow process, which may be too late. Or we can just sit back and laugh heartily at all the slaves as we crash and burn.

    Sadly, people like you and me are still rare. I fear it may be too late to turn things around, but we can still try. Meanwhile, I try and keep my corner of the Asylum as happy a place as I can by laughing at all the tripe coughed up by the mainstream media.

  • simon arthur says:

    hmmm, it is depressing. Especially if you actually sit down and think about it. But the point is, you are the type of person that DOES think about it rather than just switching off and watching a celebrity wanking a pig off on channel 5. Would you rather pick happiness or autonomy?

    Please dont stop writing. Even if you are feeling like you are preaching to the converted, it is good to be reminded that there are like minded people out there, and to help build and reinforce ideas and arguments that can be used to try and make the world a better place. Losing the blog would be like losing one of the good guys… (no pressure!)

  • hannanibal says:

    Good post.
    Take comfort in the fact that your blog is doing something positive about the problem by means of educating. If you have changed one persons opinion on some issue (and trust me, you have) then you’ve done a good job.

    Non-bloggers on the other hand can tell people the facts and hope they listen and when they spout some poison straight from the Mail challenge them about it! Find out if they read the whole thing, ask them if the headline matched the story, ask them who the “trusted sources” where etc. I had a friend of mine tell me straight that someone had discovered an aliens corpse and it must be true because it was in The Sun . First thing I asked was the date it appeared in the paper and when he said April 1st I saw the look on his face change he realised what that meant. But it annoyed the hell out of me that he had been going round telling people this crap without actually checking any facts! I think critical thinking lessons in school would make one hell of a difference. Teach people to think rationally, check facts before you believe something. Teach them that just because a majority holds a certain opinion does not make said opinion correct.
    But that would be too easy wouldn’t it? Instead lets make loads of “Free” faith schools, each teaching kids that every other faith is wrong and evolution is a big conspiracy because it conflicts with the writings of a holy book.

    I totally understand what you mean by being depressed about it all. I feel better if I don’t check the latest headlines or “news” (lol) for a few days but that’s not really practical.

  • Rankersbo says:

    There are a number of threds. Any suggestion of the slightest crimp on our lifestyles is treated as if we’re being asked to throw off all comfort and go back to the middle ages. Going back to the 1990s would help!

    It’s the mentality that sorting your rubbish is unreasonably onerous and complex- rather than the least we could be doing to get a grip on our use of resources.

    Also people seem to miss the “we” in these arguments, they see some holier than thou figure pointing the figure. What is heard is not “we” but “you”. What is seen is not someone despairing, but preaching to the unwashed.

  • Pinklady says:

    I totally agree but I wouldn’t even know where to start about actually doing something about it. apart from shouting at people when I see them reading tabloids which is my new hobby.

  • Alex says:

    You’re right. I think another terrible side to this is that even of those who are intelligent enough to disdain the right-wing media drivel, many will just be too apathetic to care and anyone who proposes any kind of solution which doesn’t fit in with narrow contemporary understanding of politics and society will just be branded as an idealistic idiot. Unfortunately I don’t think any government would reform the system which is killing us in the long run, but keeping people sedate and rich right now.

  • wade says:

    never giveup never say die!! ;-)
    I had to stop reading the Daily Mail on line because all the hypocritical and often frankly bitchy drivel they put out constantly was started to depress me (today’s gloom is the sun spot which is another no-news make ‘em panick item) But this is no time to lay down our arms, not if we want to be able to look our grandchildren in the face.
    No No there are many real problems facing us, time to roll up our sleeves and get the silent majority to give a litle murmur.

  • Well said Angry Mob.

    You very much sum up what I’ve been thinking and feeling for the last 25 or 30 years.

    But to prevent the irrational mass movement of history and the natural consequences of human ignorance and greed driving us to our end seems unlikely.

  • Matt says:

    Absolutely – fantastic post.

    I blame two sources for many problems in the world today – the papers (particularly those run by a man whose name rhymes with Dupert Murdoch) and the supermarkets.

    The media make the gullible absolutely ignorant to the worlds problems by creating hate figures and excuses to make people think that they are ultimately not responsible for their actions.

    High house prices, an NHS and education system that needs more investment than it gets? That’ll be those pesky immigrants! Why make the damning realisation that you can’t have lower taxes AND a high quality education and national health service when you can blame immigration?

    Why stop using your car when you can find one scientist amongst the hundreds who are saying to us that man made climate change IS happening that will refute what we are doing to the earth?

    Similarly, I feel that generations will suffer from our dependance on supermarkets. Enough people don’t value locally sourced produce, supporting local farmers and local expert butchers, greengrocers etc. that have been doing their trade for decades because they might be able to get their chicken breasts (and highly likely at a poorer quality) for a few pence cheaper.

    This of course closes down a lot of independant shops and often in towns, the only place where you can properly find a job is within companies such as supermarkets, where people do work to or from silly hours in the morning on shit pay. If someone speaks to the staff like shit? It’s okay, they can find another person to replace them if they choose to quit pretty much immediately!

    Most peoples day to day lives are worse off than a few decades ago. We work longer, less sociable hours to pay for shit that we don’t need, on a planet that is being mined for everything it’s worth. But why worry about that when the media can come up with an excuse or a hate figure to blame instead?

  • Tiffany says:

    I felt compelled to agree with you after reading your blog day in day out, but I also think that it is because of all these reasons that it is so important that we keep fighting. If you had never started blogs like this then young people like myself would never be aware of the extent to which the media lies to us and distracts us with idiotic celebrity ‘news’. Maybe if feels like your shouting into a black hole sometimes but trust me, the students are listening, and we’re getting angry.

  • Bob says:

    Thank you for a great article. Just about sums up my feelings entirely. The media has become the new “opium of the masses” and if the growth, that is killing us, slows down or declines we have a crisis!

    The only glimmers of optimism are in renewable energy technologies, but last weeks report that we are still increasing worldwide output of CO2 makes for depressing reading. The UK is only meeting it’s CO2 targets by exporting it’s manufacturing (and it’s CO2) to Asia.

    It is difficult not to feel that it is all too little too late.

  • Anon says:

    I spend most of my days in a room or a field with 60 other people who know this, and the rest with one relative who denies it for all he’s worth. Because he sells cars. Trying to explain to him radiative forcing, to get him to understand what the CO2/water vapour/methane comparison actually means, trying to get him to understand that the production capacity projections from mining and oil companies [i]don’t mean anything[/i] because their capacity to remove material bears no relation to the amount of material that’s left to remove… it feels like headbutting a brick wall. We’re condemning the future generations, but by no means more so than when any individual says, “but that’s happening in the future. It’s not our problem now.” Or, worse, “Who said that? Where’s he from? Nah, that’s just wishful thinking on his part”, with the casual racism for an extra ten points.

    What really gets to me is that he isn’t even the resident Daily Mail reader in the family. He doesn’t have time for TV most days, but he pick up this stite from the people he works with.

    The best I have for you is what my professor said to me: we’re going to die out, we know this because every other species that has become dominant here has. It’s up to us whether we run into a catastrophe or sort ourselves out. And every person who understands that each new second is the future is one more who understands that “it’s in the future” doesn’t equal “not our problem”, and one more who can help us to extend that future further. Some people find it hard to live with, some people find it is the best reason to keep living.

    Unfortunately, mass media, as pandered to by governments, really fuck things up. Steady-state economics never looked so good.

  • Your post strikes a real chord with me; I’ve had the same feelings for some time, particularly since starting the blog. I stopped doing it for a couple of months because I couldn’t bear the insignificance of it against a tide of mindless, harmful crap from the tabloids, and the people who hand over money for them. It feels like the proverbial brushing water uphill. What’s the point of it all? Will humanity ever stop trying to kick the shit out of each other and realise we have a very fragile ecosystem which won’t tolerate us fucking it up. We’re fast burning ourselves out, and everything is so here and now that once we’re gone there’ll be nothing left for anyone in future to find to tell our story. I’ve had some thoughts rattling around about this for a while too and you’ve inspired me to get them posted this weekend.

    In the meantime I feel the 80/20 rule sort of applies. 80% (probably more) of the world want what we do. The rest psychopathically call the shots. So you’re by no means alone with the silent majority but with money and heirarchy running the world what can anyone do right now?

  • Tom says:

    I understand your weariness, and I wonder if it isn’t time to take things to the next level.

    Certainly your blog is invaluable in helping highlight the lies of the tabloid like the Mail, but I wonder if the anti-tabloid blogging community would make more impact if it became more united behind a common cause.

    How about direct action? Preaching to the masses rather than the converts by (politely and discreetly) handing out leaflets in supermarket car parks to people we see having bought the Mail. Something simple like “The Daily Mail is lying to you” and the address of a co-ordinated, dedicated website highlighting the latest lies of that paper.

    Maybe what we need now is a concerted movement by bloggers and followers alike; to turn your weariness into strength, and form movement to take the fight to the next level.

  • i blogged today about why it is important to have a positive view of humanity.Fear paralyzes,it creates hatred,just look at any best rated comments on the Daily Fail.Then look at the fact they are the minority,i was also involved today,on the periphery of a campaign to find blood donors for a very sick little girl.Thousands of people offering to donate for a stranger,humanity is good.Start believing it isn’t and you might as well move to Florida and call yourself Richard.

  • Bev says:

    If you’re not depressed and angry, you’re simply not paying attention. I was told today that I needn’t be pessimistic about the future, because we were able to avert the ozone crisis. I laughed, because just because we’re f*cked, doesn’t mean you can’t laugh at idiocy.

    Great post.

  • Purple Meanie says:

    Please don’t feel dispirited. I used to be a Mailite…my parents loved Thatcher and read the Mail and I grew up the same. I was a climate change denier. Things only changed when I moved away from home and got connected to the internet…I started reading alternative media to the Mail and blogs like yours (your blog was linked to one of the first “alternative” ones that I read). And I finally realised the Mail’s lies and its agenda and that climate change was a major major problem.

    It must be easy to feel that you’re pissing in the wind with your blog, but believe me my mind was changed from reading blogs like yours so it is worth it, you helped change my thinking at least!