[Originally posted 3 July 2011]
very time I drift away from the mindscum principle I end up regretting it, and this July seems to be no exception. I had some thoughts—if that’s not too grandiose a term for a few disjointed and random reflections—about the birth of my nation, as seen from the perspective of its decline and fall, and I had them fitted into a scheme with themes for each of the first four days of July, but nothing is working out. The first day of July was filled with constant interruptions, and what I thought I would post early never got posted at all. The second day got aborted in an orgy of food and irrelevant festivities.
I’ve lost whatever impulse I’ve ever had to write this third day of July in the twelve thousand eleventh year of the Holocene Era. The question that keeps going through my head as I try to keep up with the noxious fumes that pass for news in the vast sea of crap that is the internet is—what the fuck? The writers I read are all obsessed with L’Affaire Elevator-Guy, my fellow-Republicans (and I hereby denounce you all) are intent on destroying the nation that supports them and allows them to thrive, and that nation is spending its blood and treasure on foreign wars of no obvious utility. And all of this is nothing but smoke-and-mirrors, meaningless sideshows to the main event—the suicide of the only species on earth capable of appreciating the universe, in any abstract sense, that is.
We’re flunking our first test as an intelligent matter-manipulating species—a species in control of its own destiny. I get that microbes will eat up their surroundings until there is nothing more to eat and then perish. They’re microbes, damn it, brainless, senseless, barely a notch above the fucking rocks. They don’t know any better. We do. We’ve always known better than our behavior. When Euro-Americans were slaughtering the indigenous peoples and piously pretending that it was God’s doing, not theirs, there were people like John Beeson to point out that their excuses were a load of shit, empty self-serving mutterings and shriekings used to keep common sense at bay. When the United States embarked on its imperial adventure in the Philippines under the guise of a noble quest to aid an oppressed people there were people like Mark Twain to call its bluff and show the enterprise for what it was. And we know now that our primary energy source—the one that allows us to exist in the billions on the surface of our planet—is running out. We know that one of the consequences of exploiting it recklessly is increasing heat here where we live. We have this amazing material, the residue of organisms that have lived and died in their millions before us, our stored capital as it were—and we can think of nothing better to do with it than burn it. We know that we cannot feed the people who are already here without some major new influx of energy—and yet we do nothing to solve our problems, nothing but hysterically deny the very existence of what is right in front of us. We are the actual embodiment of the fictional lemmings—the creatures who periodically destroy themselves by rushing into the sea and drowning themselves in large numbers. This is a test, damn it—God’s test for us, if you like—and we’re flunking it big time.
Happy Independence Day.