Archive for May, 2010

on extremism

05/25/2010

Extremism is the most necessary socio-political stance throughout the history of the modern world. (How’s that for an opening argument, high school english teacher? Right to the point, ya know? No pussy-footin’ around on this blog! No sir-ee! OK, back to the post…)

At one point in time, Christianity was extreme.

At one point in time, American independence was extreme.

At one point in time, black equality was extreme.

We need people on street corners with signs that aren’t mainstream.

You need extreme examples to sway the masses. And we are the masses. No matter your political clout. No matter your relative level of intelligence. No matter how big your Twitter following is. We are the masses.

I work at an institution that recently tried to tell the global story of the world’s most precious resource – water. The message was spread too thin to incite any sort of life-altering action. It covered too much. There were a couple stats about bottled water and how wasteful we are as a society, but for the most part it was strictly educational. Not action-inciting. So I ask, “What’s the point?” Education, while necessary, only gets you so far. Action is the catalyst for any change.

scenario #1

I tell you to stop drinking bottled water in the USA and other developed countries because it’s bad for the environment. I give you statistics, show you pictures of dumps, of ruined ecosystems, of relatively uninhabited islands whose shores are devastated by plastic bottles – and you’ll still buy the 12-pack of Aquafina from Wal-Mart, albeit maybe a little more reluctantly than before. But you still buy it, even with what you know.

scenario #2

But then I threaten the life of you and yours. I tell you I’m going to burn your house down unless you stop buying bottled water. I tell you I’m going to rape your wife and shoot your children in front of you unless you stop…I guarantee that you won’t come within five feet of a bottle of water again. (If that example was too extreme for you, I won’t apologize – look at the title of this post)

the middle children of history

We need people like Chuck Palahniuk’s Tyler Durden. We need people to blow up banks and credit unions. We need people to start fight clubs. Shake ourselves out of the norm, out of the ordinary, out of the realm where everything’s comfortable.

Look at the hippies as another example. God bless them, I say. They might have flown a little too high, might have gotten a little too wild at times, but that’s what allowed them to have the impact they did.

We need the extremists who go against the mainstream. That’s the only way to advance as a society. That’s the only way to advance as a human being.

So be extreme. Be humble. Be powerful. You are a force to be reckoned with, and damn the man that says otherwise.

Illegitimi non carborundum.

see you in hell

05/14/2010

Have we reached the pinnacle of our existence?

Think about it: We’ve explored the entirety of our lands here on earth. We’ve populated anything and everything that’s above water – and it’s probably only a matter of time before we start on what’s below the waterline. We’re running out of room and we’ve got nowhere to go. The world population is the highest it’s ever been and it’s only going to get bigger. Thomas Malthus had it right.

And if you ask me, we’re all a bunch of shit bags. We treat the earth like crap, not to mention one another. We construct monstrous, overindulgent structures to prove how mighty we are, utilizing precious resources that can never be replenished. We create and use amenities we don’t need. We crave power over land, animals and people to justify our existence.

All in the name of self-indulgence. All in the name of what’s convenient.

And don’t think you’re innocent. Hell, we’re all guilty just by our mere existence, not to mention the cars we drive, the planes we fly, the cigarettes we smoke and the desk you’re sitting at right now. We destroy our natural habitats and give nothing in return. If we drive a car, we’re guilty. If we smoke a cigarette, we’re guilty. If we take long showers, we’re guilty. If we keep the heat in our home turned higher than it needs to be to survive, we’re guilty.

humanity is a virus

Look at HIV. One cell gets infected, but the virus doesn’t stop there. It keeps going until it’s infected every single cell it possibly can. It goes and goes until the host is dead. And the host’s death doesn’t do the virus any good – it doesn’t know any better. It dies too. It fed too strongly. It drank too deep. And it has to pay the price. The only difference between us and that virus is that we have the ability to reason, and this makes us all the more guilty.

A video to demonstrate my point (don’t mind the subtitles):

We’ve exploited what we’ve been given, destroyed what we’ve been blessed with. And it’s just a matter of convenience. We ask ourselves, “How can we make this bigger and better?” Or “How can we make this easier?”

Instead of adapting like the rest of the creatures on this planet, we steamroll.

twenty-twelve

If 2012 has to happen to bring the earth back to its natural state, so be it. If by my death, and yours, the earth will be saved, then that’s the way it has to be. We need the earth – it doesn’t need us. And don’t think we deserve to live simply because some of us are good, decent people. It takes more than helping an old lady across the street or donating to a capital campaign to build wind turbines and solar panels to protect this world. Human benevolence is a start from a sociological perspective, but it’s too late in the game to be enough.

and the home of the brave

If you’re an American and your ancestors came from Europe, you need to just shut up and rub your scalp for good luck. We acquired this country by genocide, built it with slave labor and developed it with the sweat equity of Europe’s poor and dispossessed (courtesy of mediahohoho). Do we pay for the sins of our fathers? Someone has to, because they sure as hell didn’t.

In following with that, are people inherently good? That has yet to be proven, in my eyes. Maybe so, but even if you’re a good person, chances are that while this world has been getting shit on, you stand by and do nothing. “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crises, maintain their neutrality.”

the will to act

Now this is the part where I have a call to action. As one voice we will rise up. As one people we will call to account the sins of our generation. United, we will shake the very foundations of this world! We will initiate change in the socio-political structure. Not just in thought but in deed. We will speak to the hearts and minds of anybody who will listen. And they. will. listen. Or they will face the wrath of a thousand screaming souls and be broken on the wheel for their arrogance and failure to act.

But alas, I’m a raindrop in a thunderstorm. A pebble tossed into the water that will NOT create a wave.

Or will I? Can we take action together? – Now? Not tomorrow. Not when you’ve rounded that bend or crossed that threshold. Now.

But as of yesterday, I’m one of the guilty. And so are you. Our actions henceforth must atone for that. Not for sins in regard to a religious entity, but rather for sins in regard to the earth. What can you do to contribute? Minorly. Majorly. You pick. But it eventually has to be majorly. It eventually has to be life-altering.

Otherwise, I’ll see you in hell.