The Hero's Way

SUBHEAD: The techno optimists, political hopefuls and apocalypse worshipers won't matter much when we get down to survival on Mother Earth.  

By Juan Wilson on 13 January 2012 for Island Breath - 
 Image above: A updated DeLorean running on Mr. Fusion and flying through space/time. From (
"Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads!" - Dr. Emmett Brown in "Back to the Future", 1985
Sorry, but Mr. Fusion is not on the horizon. That technology won't be powering any flying silver DeLoreans through space/time. We won't be able to go back in time and fix the mess we made. As the old saying goes;
"When you burn your ass, you have to sit on the blisters.
In the last week or two there has been some attrition among those engaged with the battle to save the living planet Earth. Three of the people I respect most in that cause have made it known they are deeply frustrated with the movement and its results. They are Derrick Jensen, Paul Kingsnorth, and Guy R. McPherson.

All three are firmly in the camp that agrees that humanity is facing the collapse of agriculture, industrialization and ultimately civilization. Each have been repulsed by the techno-optimists who believe we'll power our electric Volvos on wind and solar power until the physicists finally produce desktop fusion that will run on tap water. Derrick Jensen has been embittered and recently wrote in the current issue of Orion Magazine that;
"The fact that so many people routinely call for environmentalism to be more fun and more sexy reveals not only the weakness of our movement but also the utter lack of seriousness with which even many activists approach the problems we face. When it comes to stopping the murder of the planet, too many environmentalists act more like they're planning a party than building a movement.”
Paul Kingsnorth, in the same issue of Orion, wrote about environmentalists clinging to their conveniences;
"Today’s environmentalism is an adjunct to hypercapitalism: the catalytic converter on the silver SUV of the global economy. It is an engineering challenge: a problem-solving device for people to whom the sight of a wild Pennine hilltop on a clear winter day brings not feelings of transcendence but thoughts about the wasted potential for renewable energy. It is about saving civilization from the results of its own actions - a desperate attempt to prevent Gaia from hiccuping and wiping out our coffee shops and broadband connections."
Guy McPherson recently wrote about abandoning the fight to save the planet in "Taking a Hike";
"I invite others to step forward, particularly from generations other than mine. My generation has put our entire species behind the biggest 8-Ball in history. Even if future generations — few though they may be — fail catastrophically, they’ll still do a better job than we did. How could they not? After all, my generation has failed, and it continues to fail to a degree not previously dreamed possible in planetary history. We fucked the future without offering so much as a kiss."
I concur. It is too late to turn mankind from the fate that includes Climate Change, Peak Everything and the various consequences. The broad outline of the results are already baked into the cake. There is nothing we can do about the last few centuries of rapacious industrialization but ride along as it coasts to a stop. But that's okay!  

Voting Won't Matter
We must let go of believing that if we could just get the right person into office we could turn things around. It ain't gonna happen. Well actually, it did happen. We elected Barrack Obama. He was going to close Gauntanamo, end the war in Iraq, turn back the Patriot Act, support Civil Rights, strengthen environmental protection, achieve economic justice, and return us to the rule of law. What happened? Either he lied to us or "they" took him in a room after the inauguration and pointed a gun at him. Either way, we were duped.

Don't get your hopes up this year. We have the choice of more of the same Obama or worse - being lead by a Republican. Most likely one who doesn't believe in science, thinks corporations are people and that God put Tim Tebow (the Christian born-again Denver Bronco quarterback) on Earth to win the Superbowl for Jesus. The Republican presidential candidates running this year are a cross-section of American incoherent madness.

To let you know how bad it is - Ron Paul is the only one running who is not for getting into a World War III, starting off with an attack on Iran. No. It won't matter whom you vote for. Anyone with a chance of winning office is for getting America back to its exceptional position as moral leader of the world in every category that matters... God, Money and Guns. Jobs - Growth - Profit! James Kunstler recently wrote:
"This ripe time is the natural moment for a true opposition to rise. A few months from now neither major party will have a credible candidate or a plausible platform of ideas. This will be painfully obvious. What angels and demons will rush into that awful vacuum?"
At the federal level we may be facing either fascism or anarchy in the not too distant future. It would make more sense to put any available political energy into town, county and state government - in that order: small to medium size.  

Mayan Calendar Events
I though last year was bad with the coming of the doomsday comet Elenin (alias Niburo, Planet X). The madness peaked in late summer 2011 and then suddenly disappeared when the comet melted down to a snowball and passed without notice. There was no dwarf sun or alien spacecraft to contend with. Just a lot of embarrassed "doomsters". However, those with a bent for End Times are going to have a heyday this year. It will build towards the election in November. I expect that to win the Christian right vote Mitt Romney will be talking in tongues by then. But the fun won't be over until the peak of apocalyptic fever on the winter solstice in December. Expect Santa to be wearing survivalist camouflage next yule time. John Michael Greer (of the Archdruid Report) has been debunking the apocalypse worshipers that are sprouting like fungus on a rotten log. He recently wrote (
"Apocalyptic thinking, after all, doesn’t come out of nowhere. It has an extensive history behind it, a point I tried to make in my recent book Apocalypse Not, but it also has roots in the collective psychology of any society in which it becomes popular. Epochs awash in apocalyptic beliefs are also full of intense social stress, but there are stressful periods in which very few people spend their time feverishly getting ready for the end of the world. What seems to do the trick is a particular kind of stress—specifically, the kind that happens when the narratives a society uses to make sense of the world no longer work."
And that is exactly what has happened to America. Our narratives are busted and we have not yet reinvented replacements, so things don't make sense. Greer points out that the 60's and 70's was a time of changing narrative. An alternative culture was building and stories like J. R. R. Tolkien's 'The Lord of the Rings" became wildly popular and produced the genre of pulp fantasy that is popular to this day. Greer describes us today as seemingly living in a trashy pulp fantasy.
"If we’re actually stuck inside the pages of a trashy fantasy novel, as I’ve suggested, and all the details of the setting and the plot are in place, where is the protagonist? Who is the hero or the heroine who will turn the pages of the long-lost Gaianomicon, use its forgotten lore to forge a wand of power out of the rays of the Sun, shatter the deceptive spells of the lords of High Finance, and rise up amidst the wreckage of a dying empire to become one of the seedbearers of an age that is not yet born? Why, you are, of course."
And that is the moral of this article. You are the hero of the adventure that is approaching. Take the role seriously, the fate of Gaia is in your hands and in your backyards. Whether we end up in a place that looks like rural 19th century America, first millennium France, or paleolithic Turkey won't matter so much as the journey. Now, go out there and be a hero!



leftygoleftier said...

Juan, you need to take a chill pill man, really, I love your site, you are doing a great service to anyone who is awake and aware, BUT, and i mean BUT, you need to step back for a moment and GRASP THE BIGGER PICTURE. None of this really matters. Read the teaching of Buddha, or if you have, reread the teaching of Buddha. Not to believe it as your personal religion or anything, but just to get the part about the Maya. The part that talks about how all of waking reality is just a projection, a collective illusion if you will. IT'S NOT REAL,,, any of this....we are all never going to get it collectively and simultaneously. It's not going to happen. The planet is going to die, whether it's when the sun runs out of hydrogen to burn and starts burning helium and expands into a red giant. Or much sooner because some Republican douchebag wins the presidency in 2012 and proceeds to screw all of us. It's going to happen. Just take a deep breath and let it go.....and you'll feel much better....I promise...

jonathan jay said...

no dice, lgl Juando is a strict materialist. BTW, great piece Juan. Your writing is tight, and there is a nice arc from start to finish. Really one of your best pieces i have read in a while.

Loveable yes, but legitimately pissed about the massive failure of our species to right-size itʻs relationship to the world. And who can blame him, it is sadly true; he voted for Obama.

Good news is, LGL you are right - none of it does matter. Old Sol is gonna blow in 4.5 by or so. God, did i write the above post from some dream state?? Am I lgl, or are you me jjp2p? Oh, yeah, i am you and you are all together... like pigs in the sun.

Sheros in a story, or lyrics in a song - it really is what we make of it. Pretty effing amazing.


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