The Shape of Stuff to Come 

1 Oct

I’ve been absent for, like, years. I apologize to anyone who cares. I promise, I wasn’t just sitting around smoking DMT and listening to Power Station (at least not the whole time).

What actually happened is that I moved overseas to open a business and ended up embroiled in a legal lutte à mort with some fucking Trent Reznor idolator who was willing to ruin his entire life in a failed attempt to ruin mine. Since that Single White Female-esque situation is ongoing, I won’t say anything else other than this: beware the pointlessly destructive spite of the delusionally arrogant.

Just when that literal travesty began to turn around, I found out my dad (a life hero of mine despite the fact that he’s male) has stage-four lung cancer. In sum, life of late has really — as the Chinese say — knocked my dick in the dirt (don’t worry; I’m not transitioning). It didn’t leave much time for blogging unless I wanted to turn this site into a whiny public diary or a long-form version of one of those Facebook posts that are broadcast to 1057 people but designed to be read by only one of them.

Being overseas also left me feeling out of touch with the American political landscape and enmeshed in the petty local corruption and wide array of societal dysfunctions in my new home country, which would probably be of little interest to the average reader (at least of this site). But now that I’ve been here in Don’t Tread on Me, Oregon for six months helping my family, I’ve found myself with the spare time and observational attention span to re-engage with something or other. Still, I didn’t write anything until I dashed off that blurb about Hugh Hefner the other day because I’m paralyzed by what feels like an insurmountable political/philosophical conflict. (I’m not deluded enough to think it’s anything novel, though.)

In sum, we’re fucked. People are too stupid and mean to survive as a species. There’s no escaping the reality that is unfurling before our eyes. There may at one point have been a moment at which that fate had yet to be sealed, but the ol’ Rubicon has been crossed and the plane has crashed into the mountain and the shit has hit the fan and the ship has sailed. I am convinced — even if Vandana Shiva were made dictator of the Earth tonight — that we couldn’t turn this project around.

Political culture in the US is so fucking ludicrous now that I almost can’t believe it’s real. The coming Civil War (I mean, there’s obviously going to be one) is going to feature Pantera roadies and MRA pillow-fuckers shooting AR-15s at Against Me! fanbois and crying furries wielding nothing but Judith Butler essays.

If there was a plot, it’s been lost. I wandered away in 2014 and came back in early 2017 to find that Jay and Silent Bob have taken over every position on the political spectrum and that the culture makes as much sense as a sentence written by William S. Burroughs read backwards. Literally everyone is on drugs, be it amphetamines, opiates, benzos, or some combination thereof with fashionable hallucinogens, and it’s showing like a dick on a forehead.

Contemporary reality has stripped me of any hope that global capitalism or patriarchy can be stopped. You know what’s required for someone to get a grip on a system as vast and insidious as global capitalism or patriarchy? A healthy mind that has been taught to think broadly, critically, three-dimensionally, and empathetically. That’s a rare confluence anywhere on Earth. It’s a goddamned miracle in the US. 

Still, I’m not one of those expats who will tell you that people who live in developing countries could teach Americans a thing or two about living simply and in harmony with nature. They could, but that isn’t the point. Lose the NFL, level-nine consumerism (Japan is on level ten), political clownery, wanton environmental destruction, and jingoism, and the US doesn’t compare that badly with most other places. It’s kind of illegal to rape or beat women and children here, at least. 

The idea that we can approach a global critical mass of critical thought requires more optimism than I can muster anymore. So, how does one reconcile emotional political idealism with empirical political realism? I’ve come close to accepting the idea that human consciousness has been irretrievably corrupted and that I ought to assume the worst of everyone around me for my own safety. I’ve tried retreating from blathering on the Internet to focus on being kind to people who need and deserve it in the course of my daily life, but that doesn’t feel like enough. I have zero hope that the world won’t implode in short order, but I also feel immoral and irresponsible for having retreated from it. Re-entering the fray seems simultaneously necessary and pointless. 

I’m sure it’s just a phase. 
 

16 Responses to “The Shape of Stuff to Come ”

  1. Redpeachmoon October 1, 2017 at 3:07 PM #

    Wow. Brilliant essay, I feel it too. Thank you.
    So what’s DMT and how do I get some?

  2. Derrington October 1, 2017 at 7:52 PM #

    I feel the same sense of sanity unravelling itself. I think there are too many of us on the planet for us to value life as unique anymore, and the rise and envelopment of neo liberalism means we are literally eating ourselves alive.

  3. birdyfullmoon October 1, 2017 at 8:03 PM #

    you may be correct in your prognosis, lately i’ve been feeling that there can’t be any hope from this side of the break that is taking place too… precisely because of the “irretrievably corrupted” state of Human culture and all of our atomized individual psyches… we can’t conceive of the inconceivable. integration. wholeness.

    yet it exists. sometimes, after days of wrangling with arguments over gender, identity… the root of patriarchy… sometimes… i get a glimpse… of being something so different… something that can’t exist in terms of what we think of as real… because for us,10,000 years deep into a delusion of conceptual reality that gave rise to domination and exploitation by twisting, mangling, distorting the beauty of difference and the mutuality of diversity… and leaving us believing in Division… we feel divided, we ARE divided at least in our Man made social torture chamber… we can’t imagine anything but more division, we can’t see past it. yet the cosmos is what it is… infinite….

    the sound of the gentle song of our cosmic nature is drowned out in cacophony… coercion… …trauma. but: as i said, there is something like a seed in warm moist soil quietly and steadily continuing to live inside me… telling me to just relax, to be relaxed, to walk away from being attached to notions that intellectually at least i can see pretty clearly… anyone living that has already reached where i’m talking about would not be recognizable to any of us sufferers… reminding me of Doris Lessing and her ‘Canopus in Argos’ series… anyway, in the quiet of the trees, the night… let yourself forget everything and a light might be seen that comes from nowhere… it is you coming to be, coming to save you.

  4. buttcheeksunite October 1, 2017 at 9:09 PM #

    Everything is shittier than ever, but at least you’re back! (I’m sorry.)

  5. Meg October 2, 2017 at 12:54 AM #

    Welcome back! I’ve been reading your blog since 2010 and I have missed you terribly. You were and still are a voice of sanity in an insane world. You don’t seem out of touch with American politics at all, in fact your assessment is entirely correct.

    Literally everyone is on drugs, be it amphetamines, opiates, benzos, or some combination thereof with fashionable hallucinogens, and it’s showing like a dick on a forehead.

    Yes. Most everyone is on mind altering drugs whether they are illicit, newly legalized or Big Pharma which means that most people aren’t in a position to react/respond appropriately to Patriarchy. Then there are the general narcissists, psychos, and grandiose types that dominate the political narrative – they don’t get high off of anything but making other people feel like shit.

    You know what’s required for someone to get a grip on a system as vast and insidious as global capitalism or patriarchy? A healthy mind that has been taught to think broadly, critically, three-dimensionally, and empathetically. That’s a rare confluence anywhere on Earth. It’s a goddamned miracle in the US.

    I would add to that a capacity for accepting the limits of the human mind and a healthy respect for boundaries. America is nothing if not a culture of dehumanization and abuse. Europe seems to have gotten it’s shit together since the Middle Ages but the US is still stuck in it’s pro-rape colonial mentality.

    I’ve come close to accepting the idea that human consciousness has been irretrievably corrupted and that I ought to assume the worst of everyone around me for my own safety.

    When men aren’t trying to destroy you, there are women who want to throw you under the bus. Regardless of where you stand with human consciousness, assuming the worst of everyone is probably the safest course of action at this point.

    Re-entering the fray seems simultaneously necessary and pointless.

    I don’t think it would be pointless, and I certainly wouldn’t describe your writing as “blathering.” Giving up on people and politics doesn’t mean giving up the right to criticize Patriarchy.

  6. Hecate October 2, 2017 at 2:55 AM #

    I am so sorry to hear about your father, Nine. Mine passed a couple of months ago from Parkinson’s, and was then succeeded by my adorable Maine Coon cat. He was wasting away from overactive thyroid disease. So both of the males I cared about most are now gone. Good riddance to Hef though, of course 🙂 I’m hoping that my father regained his strength once on the other side and gave him a good shiner!

    I know as well, what it is to be an expat. There is that feeling of disconnect, and it matters not how much you watch CNN. Or, as I did when living in Italy in the early 80s, listen to the Top 40 with Casey Kasem 😀 My sister and I still have that sense of estrangement, even though we returned here to the US over 15 years ago. It’s hard to explain, except to folk like you who have also experienced it. Another thing – I couldn’t even handle going to American high school in Milan, Italy. It was at the time of the start of the Iran-Iraq war, and my little sister and I were greeted by guards sporting AK-47s every day as we entered the school gate. Our parents then decided we might be better off at the British high school. I had to get away from my own country, even at a great distance from it.

    Well… I lived in Oregon too – Beaverton, to be precise. It was an escape from San Francisco, in hopes that maybe life there would be a little more affordable. Tried Florida, too, which was a disaster on many levels. I’m now near Denver and like it, for the most part.

    Who knows where I’ll end up next. But wherever life takes you, I wish you well! Naturally, I’d love to read more posts from you before you think of going anywhere else 😉

  7. Tina October 2, 2017 at 4:41 AM #

    Thank you for this. I feel the same. Good to read your thoughts again. You’ve been missed.

  8. Karla Gjini October 2, 2017 at 12:45 PM #

    I discovered your blog fairly recently and your writing is illuminating, entertaining and important. Hope things start to turn around for you soon. Thank you so much for sharing your writing and your thoughts.

  9. Fannie Wolfe October 2, 2017 at 6:14 PM #

    Welcome back, and sorry to hear about your father.

    Another shitty thing about 2017: lots of people don’t blog anymore. Everyone has flocked to Twitter.

  10. Euphonia from the River October 3, 2017 at 5:31 AM #

    I wonder where Sugarpuss is. I remember her from your comments sections.

  11. savanah kite October 4, 2017 at 11:39 AM #

    I’m glad you’re back, even if its for a short time. I’m sorry to hear about your dad. My dad died from long cancer 5 years ago and it threw me for a loop I never saw coming.

  12. clotheshog October 5, 2017 at 6:01 PM #

    OREGON YOU SAY??????? Hello let’s be friends, I am in Vancouver, WA but still a good person.

  13. Helen Retundra October 6, 2017 at 11:21 AM #

    i used to comment here under a different name, but i love you and am glad you are back

  14. Traveler October 13, 2017 at 7:56 PM #

    I care. I’ve checked back here periodically over the years to see if you’ve written anything new, and finally that day has arrived. Thank God — whatever you conceive that to be — you’re back.
    P.S. I’m sorry to hear about your dad. I lost my dad in 2014 of cancers (including lung), and my life hasn’t been the same since. It’s a hard road. Keep writing.

  15. sam berg October 17, 2017 at 8:59 AM #

    Welcome back.

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