Sunday, June 12, 2011

don't project your own decay onto the world

this has to be my mantra, as friends slip away into nether land and stubbed toes become permanent injuries. just because i'm falling apart doesn't mean the kids around me won't take over the world and do a decent job. ach, it's pretty ugly when retiring intellectuals call for a DOOMSDAY. things can only get worse. civilization's running out of gas (not to mention oil).

if i were into trivia, i'd know we're still technically part of an ice-age. given that juicy fact, the melting of the icecaps makes total sense. let's see, what other surprising facts did i learn this past week? elvis had blond hair and a twin. there are more stars in the sky than grains of sand on the earth. hitler's real name was schickelgruber. with such miasmic gaps in my education, how am i supposed to know what's going to happen?

true, i've always felt a bit like chicken little. the sky is falling, the sky is falling. born the week germany invaded norway, i've experienced it as truth. and as i speak, the bombers drop lightning bolts in libya and afghanistan. why shouldn't i despair? our ex movie-star governor is going back to playing 'THE TERMINATOR' in the flicks. he knows what's really happening. that's probably why he had a baby with his housekeeper, to ensure the survival of mankind.

imagine my distress when i picked up a book off the shelf called 'the rational optimist' by matt ridley. here's someone who examines 5000 years of human history and seeks to prove things have been getting better. only when nations like post medieval japan give up technological advances (the plow) to trust in overpopulation and grunt labor do they decay. otherwise, the wheel, gunpowder, some new fiddly device like the computer pulls us out of imminent disaster.

here's where i have to give in. i've always been pretty much against machines. even in my first poetry i didn't want to have automobiles present. well, i had to give that up or only write for the vanished neanderthals (they had bigger brains than ours and probably died from it). however, i kept my vow to not watch television and didn't buy anything electrical for writing till i wanted to pen a novel and began to feel the arthritis in my fingers.

back to the optimist. you see, much to my chagrin i cried wolf, wolf, twenty years ago. I began my decay early. we're running out of resources. we must scale back our deleterious practices (logging, etc.) well, bless my grandpappy, if the imac and pc didn't jump out of our brains and into running oil refineries and the combustion engine. in other words, they've saved our bacon by making better use of resources. skin me alive, if i haven't been boggled.

so, when i creak out of bed and can barely stand up, i have to tell myself it's only me. gravity hasn't increased during the night and all that shaking has nothing to do with earthquakes. mea culpa. the doomsday theories gave a certain comfort. and i think hemingway said fictions lies that tell the truth.

that said, i haven't given up drawing androids. after all, they're marching up the street as we speak. robots unite. you've nothing to lose but your power-supplies! and i envision a revolt below decks:

ps. a dentist invented the electric chair.