Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Lost Horizon

An American teacher helps express my feelings.


For those few hearty souls who may have been following my blogs, it’s obviously been some time since I’ve posted anything. There are several reasons for this, but the most prominent among them is the imminent collapse of western society.

At such a time it seems both egotistical and pointless to enumerate the tiny failures and successes of my writing and drawing aspirations. There is a lot happening out there, mostly bad but some hopeful, that demands more consideration than my daft scribbling does right now.

I confess I’ve never been particularly political. Sure, I vote, and I try to see the big picture, but I’ve never been an activist or an advocate. I’ve just been living my own little life, na├»vely believing that our politicians and businessmen ultimately had our best interests at heart.

Well, they didn’t.

The entire political process, worldwide, has been revealed as deeply corrupt and unrepentantly oppressive. Surfing the wave of globalization, the rich bought out democracy and have steadily eroded the dream of western capitalism in the name of base avarice. Now the chickens have come home to roost and we are all paying a premium price for our benign neglect.

I was definitely part of the problem.

I was a chump.

When I was a young man, I was a real optimist. I actually believed the human race was on its way to something magnificent. I thought we were going emerge from our troubled adolescence, triumph over war, poverty, racism and greed and mature gloriously into a utopian adulthood where all human beings were able to become their best selves. I even had the temerity to believe I was living at the dawn of this golden age, and that much of this would come to fruition during my own lifetime.

Seriously.

No shit.

I really did.

Perhaps this delusion was partly due to the social activism of the 60’s and 70’s, which I witnessed during my childhood. It was a time when so much ground was gained for African-Americans, women and homosexuals that it truly seemed like we were on the right track. What can I say? I got infected with the Hippie Virus, and never fully recovered.

Perhaps too, my interest in genre fiction helped foster my idyllic misapprehension. To my fresh, young eyes the great promise of science and technology seemed fully up to the task of dealing with the problems of pollution, sustainable energy and famine. The utopian and dystopian visions of the future I discovered in science fiction and fantasy novels seemed so powerful and so self evident that I felt the world couldn’t possibly ignore the danger.

I mean, surely we wanted a better world, didn’t we? Surely we wanted to live in a world of equality, tolerance and peace, right?

Apparently not.

Instead of being embraced as cautionary tales, the enduring works of Orwell and Huxley have been cynically employed as handbooks for oppression.

As I grew out of adolescence into adulthood, I became distracted. The pressures of making a living, exploring my own creative drives, and finding my place in the world, took up so much of my time and energy that I took my eye off the ball. Confident in my belief that those in power wanted the best for us, I embraced my own egotistical concerns, got my head up my own ass, and took my eye off the goddamn ball.

The optimism and social activism of the 60’s and 70’s gave way to the conspicuous consumption and empty materialism of the disco era, and I paid no attention. Financial colonialism and the glamorization of the stock market sprang up in the 80’s and I let it slide.

I was too distracted by VCR’s and home computers to pay much attention.

By the middle of the 90’s I was beginning to realize things were not going to turn out the way I’d expected. The humanist utopia I had so boldly anticipated was, clearly, not materializing. But, by then it was too late. The horse was already out of the barn. I was getting married, buying a house, and switching careers. I felt I just didn’t have the time and energy to get out there and work for a better world.

That’s what they counted on.

They want us poor, uneducated, stressed out and scared. That distracts us from noticing all the vile shit they’re up to.

I let them get away with it.

I am ashamed of myself.

So now, at age 50+, I find myself searching for ways to get back in the game. I should be thinking about retirement, but now that’s off the table. Instead I have to get out there, get involved, and see if there’s anything people can do to save civilization. It’s probably too late, and the whole thing is likely to come crashing down before we finally grow the fuck up and fix things. And man, that would be no less than we deserve.

But I guess I’m still fundamentally a hopeful person because I still want to try. So, I’m going to work at getting more involved out there, and try to find like-minded people and make my voice heard. It may just be sad, Quixotic tilting at windmills, but it’s all I have left. I still believe in people, and I still believe in the fundamental ability of humans to overcome their baser instincts.

If you believe this, I hope you will become more active too.

I never meant for these blogs to be political, and I don’t intend to change that now. The next entries will be back on point, discussing my writing and drawing.

Because, that’s me. That’s my thing.

But I’m not the same guy. This guy is no wide-eyed optimist. This guy is no chump. This guy is gonna call you on your evil shit.