20 November 2008

Abandon magical thinking, all ye who enter here

Hope has taken a huge shit kicking in my mental space lately. I just finished watching Children of Men, a brutal but not inconceivable look at the near future. This after reading A Short History of Progress by Ronald Wright and watching a talk by Derrick Jensen. Oh, and Joe Bageant's blog does some serious hope bashing, too. And that doesn't include the evening news.

I see my current lack of hope as acceptance, rather than despair. A significant ratcheting down of expectations based on what I see as overwhelming evidence of generalized collapse. Someone (Dan Gardner, if you must know) suggested I should read some optimistic stuff to counterbalance the negative. I couldn't actually find anything credible so I left it at that, but it reminded me that conventional thinking seems to be that the truth lies somewhere in the middle ground, but the location of said reasonable place is entirely dependent on where you put the ends. Just because I'm asking for a million dollar salary, it doesn't mean that 500k is reasonable.

Wishful thinking has been legitimized to the point that people can have serious conversations about the "law" of attraction and otherwise intelligent people look at reams of evidence that points to we're fucked and cling to the hope that some technological solution will cure our problems. We're encouraged to replace our old stuff with new stuff to minimize our impact, but we mustn't say out loud that there are too many people consuming way too much and the whole thing is a house of cards that shouldn't be propped up anyway.

Lest anyone worry about my mental state, I assure you I'm fine. It's a beautiful day, the birds are flitting around the feeder just outside the window, and I brew a fine cup of coffee. I'm warm and safe and so is my family, and that's good enough. No delusions required.


  1. Hey B

    You're in fine form!

    Gulp. I guess I've got some viewing to do if I start feeling too positive about world events.

    P & I met some people who have a small farm near Victoria and whose blog-writing reminded me of yours.

    In other news, it seems like I'll be given the keys to TAE while ilargi's away. I love how easy it is to pick up unpaid work!

  2. Hey OC

    I saw your plug for the Shack at citygirl, and the warning. Have I gone too far lately?

    You have some big shoes to fill at TAE - are you going to provide a witty commentary on the days events as well?



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