We’re all post-apocalyptic outlaws now
There are, as usual, two ways to approach it.
One is, of course, to hurl your worldview to the floor like a child in tantrum, let it get lost in a frothy fit of karmic despair as you say, essentially, to hell with it all, we are done for, the world’s on violent downspin and Trump is both the catalyst and the proof and therefore, well, who cares anymore and why even bother being humane, kind, decent – let’s all just buy a bunch of shiny junk and pile into a megaton SUV to go see the last depressed polar bear before everything melts down in Trump’s nuclear winter.
Is that too harsh? Maybe. But not really.
Have you been tempted by this position? You are far from alone. You have, after all, ample reason: The fast-melting ice caps just passed the point of no return. We are deep into the Anthropocene, the era in which humanity has taken over as the primary force, for better and worse, of planetary change. We have dumped so much garbage – our beloved “technofossils” – that we have created a new sedimentary layer. TrumpCo continues to gleefully gut protections for the environment, air quality, water, human dignity, women’s and gay rights, et al, faster than he can smash a golfball gag into the SCOTUS.
Meanwhile, ruthless tyrants are using sarin gas to massacre children, trolls and neo-Nazis are enjoying the American spotlight like never before and wannabe-tyrants are tweeting about how all mainstream media is fake news – except Fox News, which is the fakest of them all.
Here’s a thought: How many steps is it from Assad massacring women and children with chemical-filled bunker bombs, to Trump’s EPA troll Scott Pruitt refusing to ban a nasty pesticide known to cause birth defects? How about Sean Spicer sort of defending Hitler? I know, I know: Don’t attribute to vicious fascism what is better explained by idiocy and incompetence, but still. Do you find it interesting that the only reason Trump ordered the launch of a single, useless bombing raid on Syria – while he was eating his own name-branded chocolate cake – is because he saw some “beautiful babies” gassed to death on TV?
Of course, if he really gave a damn about children, he’d allow 100,000 desperate refugees into America right now. But he won’t do that. He won’t do that for one simple reason: the President of the United States is a vile, soulless dirt-bag of doom – on this fact, the entire world agrees. So there’s that.
The good news? This group is a minority. I don’t know many people with this writhing, lethal mindset; I know of said people, hear from them on social media constantly, many of them openly sexist, racist trolls thrilled at the idea of annihilating the “state” in favor of a hateful, nationalistic form of anarchy they haven’t the mental or spiritual capacity to possibly delineate, much less realize how said anarchy means they, their families, their kids and everything they ever loved or cared about will be far more likely to be crushed by war, cancer, the loss of health care, jobs, education, meaning, hope.
No, I’m happy to say I know far more of the other kind of people, spanning the media, art, politics, activism, education, law and medicine and fitness worlds, and beyond: people who have somehow managed to become impressively, passionately re-galvanized by the apparent onrush of the Endtimes, seeing the current bleak state of affairs as something of an epic challenge, the devil throwing down the gauntlet and humanity throwing back some seriously sly F-you shade, thusly.
Which is to say: Sure we’re in the midst of a brutal downturn, suffering a round of the worst moral cancer in modern American history. If Leonard Cohen was right – and Leonard Cohen was always right – and the cracks are how the light gets in, then we are being blasted with an exploding sun’s worth, and those cracks have become downright blinding.
Translation, this is the perfect time. To advance the cause. To birth the warrior. To deepen your resolve for more life at all costs. At the gates of hell, you plant seeds. In the midst of mania, you intend calm. You create fighters, resistance, you double, triple, quadruple your efforts as you join with the hundreds of millions of others of the same ilk, and you pass around the SPF 10,000 as you blink hard, deepen your intention and grab hands with those nearest to you.
Then you lean into the fire, and laugh.
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