[18 June 1981]
’m beginning to wonder if everyone else has lost touch with reality, or if I’ve lost my mind. Something is rotten, that’s for sure. The news keeps telling of horrible things, of fantastic nightmarish happenings, all as if they were the most natural things in the world; and they aren’t even worth a man in the street interview segment like many supposedly lesser things. However. First—the local events. Living here is like—no it isn’t like, it is—living in a perpetual disaster area. It’s like living on an alien planet, or after a nuclear holocaust. We hear of first-stage smog alerts, second stage smog alerts (air quality unhealthful [!] for just about anybody), sulphate alerts—this is not the air of earth, but of some other place. The atmosphere of hell. Fires rage out of control in half a dozen places, some started accidentally, some started by human agency deliberately. And we hear that the first death of this year’s fire season was—I mean, it’s a fucking award presentation, a game show. And we hear that the rape rate has risen dramatically in the hot weather—and of course there are the constant background noise of death by violence—automobile accidents, plane crashes, and ordinary murders. And nobody even thinks it’s unusual. It literally takes more energy to hold this thing down here together than is available—and the only conclusion I can see is that it’s going to come flying apart in the not too distant future. I mean not merely starvation and riot—but all the rest of the bullshit—mass destruction that will leave a million dead and the mega-city in ruins. But Maybe I’m Wrong. God I hope so. Even more amazing to me is the more of the same solutions being proposed to solve the problems, when they are perceived. Give the police more money and more power. Build more prisons. [Well, I sort of agree with the last, in view of the state of things as they are.] Look for more gas and oil. Strip mine more land [and what are we going to do when we start running out of food?]. Destroy more wilderness. More, more, more. And it’s already been shown that these “solutions” don’t work—they haven’t worked in the past and there’s no reason to show that they will work in the future. Are these people actually crazy? Screwed up? What is wrong with them? We are on the verge of imminent collapse, possibly even war (and not only us—so are the Soviets—look at Poland and Estonia and Afghanistan—events that aren’t being covered in the news either. Oh, yeah, for future reference, if there is a future, this is the time of the Israeli threat to take out Syrian missiles in Lebanon. Okay?).