Friday, June 11, 2010

we have failed

Here's part I of a rant that has been rattling around in my head for a couple of weeks. Part II will be up in the next few days.


We have failed.

We have failed as stewards of the planet, stewards of our own species, even as stewards of ourselves.

Without a doubt, the future--such as it may be--will judge us as the most short-sighted, selfish, and willfully ignorant people ever to walk the planet.

World War II gave us ‘The Greatest Generation.’

Perhaps the generation currently attending our severely under-funded schools will be known as ‘The Dumbest Generation.’

And mine will be ‘The Selfish Generation.’

If the species survives the next few hundred years--think about how we’ve been going in recent decades and reconsider that proposition soberly for a moment--the children of the future will certainly curse our greed and willful stupidity.

They will curse us, but only if there is any knowledge left of what has gone before--or indeed, any knowledge at all beyond the misinterpreted and misunderstood hand-me-downs of some ancient tribal peoples’ retrograde customs and laws.

The survivors will marvel at how foolish we were--that is, if they are not the benighted, reverse-Darwinian distillation of generations of the interbreeding of our dumbest, as seems likely given birthrate trends among religious fundamentalists versus the rest of the population.

[SIDEBAR: Imagine the resulting dull-witted species we might become as a result of centuries of fearful, superstitious, inbred rednecks seeking comfort in that which is the same while fearing The Different:

On the blistering, lifeless desert the planet becomes, they would mock as heretics any of their number who dare speak of ancient legends that tell of the lush, green Eden this place once was. They would shun education and reach instead for murky parables as retold by ignorant, millennia-dead herdsmen, unaware of the irony that it was their true-believer ancestors who finally succeeded in fulfilling their own ridiculous fables by remaking Earth into a blasted hellscape, all through their own stupidity and short-sightedness, all while chasing some dubious afterlife.]

But it must be said that all believers, irrational though they may be--the religious true believers, those who believe in some awakened Gaia taking charge, or those who believe in a benevolent alien race coming down to save us from ourselves--all of these demonstrate an unspoken truth: our species has an instinctive understanding that we are not capable of running the world.

We know this to be true, somewhere deep in the frightened, dark place inside our souls, though we are loath to admit it. We know we are ignorant, helpless creatures desperately in need of guidance.

We understand intuitively that we are too weak, stupid, and selfish to steward even our own petty desires and those of our fellows, much less the planet.

There are, as always, some choice examples of late to demonstrate this hypothesis.

Obviously, nowhere is our utter incompetence and failure to deal with the consequences of our bankrupt ideology better illustrated than in the current and ongoing environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. ‘Nuff said.

And the repercussions from our previous most recent failure to steward ourselves, others of our species, and the planet--that of the well-planned and well-abetted Wall Street shakedown of the economies of the entire world--are still being felt.

But another, less obvious example to which we can turn to illustrate our desperately misguided efforts to lead ourselves and each other is the Joran Van der Sloot case.

Take a look at this thick-skulled, meatheaded monster.

This dead-eyed, slope-headed beast, upon--apparently--getting away with murder once, largely as a result of having a wealthy and influential daddy, has now allegedly gone back to the well one too many times and confessed to another murder.

Now, I have never committed murder. Nor do I have any plans or desire to murder anyone, ever.

But if I had been involved, somehow, in some situation that had resulted in the death and/or disappearance of a girl I had been hanging out with, something that had exploded into a huge international manhunt and potential murder trial, and if I had sat in jail for three months during that investigation, AND IF, somehow, miraculously, I had been cleared of this crime, or at least gotten to go home and leave it behind me, I would be very very very fucking careful in the future, wouldn’t you?

Wouldn’t any sane person get down on their knees every day and offer thanks to Odin, Zeus, Jehova and any other deity they could think of that they had gotten away from this mess?

One would think, the second time around, some part of this creature had to know that what he was doing was wrong, and self-destructive, and other-destructive. One would think that, over the course of the Natalee Holloway investigation, he at least would come to some understanding of what ‘other-destructive’ meant to the rest of the world, if not within himself.

But he did it anyway.

Now look at these monsters.

The similarities to Van der Sloot are stronger than you might think. These creatures also were born of human families, raised with values and ideas similar to those we all hold dear.

But like Van der Sloot, they were all bent and twisted by unlimited privilege, unimaginable wealth, and a consequence-free existence. Their bubbles may have been temporarily dented by their culpability in the direct and indirect murder of others, but ultimately, they found that they got away with it (in Van der Sloot’s case, the first time, anyway.)

And all of these monsters have committed these crimes without blinking an eye or showing any overt twinge of conscience beyond the lip-service the 24-hour media machine requires.

What to make of that?

More to come...
Next up: a hypothesis.

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