Sunday, December 02, 2012

Participating in Disaster

I have been haunted of late that I am participating in a great disaster that is inevitably going to destroy not only myself but also my species. Perhaps not myself as I will probably not last long enough to see the end of times. I do not mean Armageddon, I mean the real end of times, the point at which the earth is no longer able to sustain a species so stupid as to preside over its own demise. My participation in this coming disaster is not really by choice but is a result of things largely if not completely out of my control. Oh, it’s true I can choose not use so many plastic bottles (actually I do not use plastic bottles), and I occasionally remember to bring my own cloth bag to the grocery store, but I cannot avoid using plastic bags and other plastic objects no matter how hard I try. I feel guilty about this as I know that plastic is already fouling our oceans and our landfills but it seems virtually impossible to live without plastic these days. When I occasionally have to go to the dump (to mostly throw away more plastic) and observe the mounds of trash that accumulate there, I can sense the disaster that I know must eventually await us. Of course this is just child’s play compared with nuclear waste, the pollution caused by the overuse of fossil fuels, the exhaust of millions of vehicles (how many vehicles exist on our planet), the coming exhaustion of so many plant and animal species, the damage being done to mother earth through agribusiness, and our neglect of global warming. I am a participant in this disgraceful business and there is little or nothing I can do about it. True, I guess I could move away to an even more remote corner of the world, become a hermit, refuse to participate in the everyday community, bury myself in a hole and pull a lid over me, but at my age and financial situation that is simply not realistic. So it is that I continue feeling guilty about my participation, and worry about what I believe will be the inevitable outcome, but I still find myself using gasoline and natural gas, plastic, depleted fisheries, and the artificial substances that nowadays pass for food. I would like to apologize for my participation in such a stupid culture, but to whom would I apologize? And what would be the point? I sometimes remember to take my own bag to the grocery store, geez, that makes me feel really good, and I drive to town much less than before, and I try to recycle, but even these noble attempts do not allay the anxiety and fear I experience more and more as things seem to be out of control. We seem to lack even a basic instinct for survival. Sigh!
Something else thing that has been bothering me more and more lately is the behavior of Republicans with respect to taxes. I obviously cannot say this is an entirely new concern as I have no respect for Republicans, but for some reason the obvious has not been obvious enough to me until just now. That is, why are they so obsessed with maintaining lower taxes for people so fantastically wealthy as to not even be bothered by their taxes? What conceivable difference does it make to multi-millionaires and billionaires if their taxes are raised by 2, 3, or even 4 percent (or hopefully even more)? I assume that most of the Republicans (although wealthy enough themselves), do not fall into these unbelievably high levels of income and are therefore not merely out to protect themselves. So why are they so stubbornly determined to not raise taxes even one iota on the already obscenely wealthy? What is the motive for such a (to me) strange obsession? I think I have always known the answer to this question, but probably only subconsciously, it has now reached my consciousness more clearly and the answer depresses me. They are prostitutes. People that were elected to represent their constituents are not doing so, they are prostituting themselves to those who are willing and able to pay them well for their votes. I guess I have known this all along but for some reason of late it has somehow risen to a more conscious level in my somewhat dim and carelessly trusting mind, thus upsetting its delicate balance (or indelicate unbalance as the case may be). It was Saint Ronnie himself who observed this feature of our political system some time ago:

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