Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Another great rant from Joe Bageant:

some excerpts:


...All the green energy sources and eating right and voting right cannot fix what has been irretrievably ruined, but only make life amid the ruination slightly more bearable. Species gluttony is nearly over and we've eaten the earth and pissed upon its bones...

..So we postpone transformation through truth, and stick with what has always worked -- empire and consumption. And we twiddle our lives away thorough insignificant fretting about mortgages and health care and political parties and pretend the whole of American life is not a disconnect. Hell, all of Western culture has become a disconnect. Somebody needs to tell the Europeans too; progressive Americans give them entirely too much credit for the small positive variation in their cultures and ours. We both get away with it only so long as the oil and the entertainment last.

...The hearts of even our most avowedly thriving cities are just a dead, reduced to nothing more than designated spending zones, collections of bars and banks and overpriced eateries lodged at the center of a massive tangle of overpasses and freeways designed for a nation of soft people hurtling themselves through the suburbs in petroleum powered exoskeletons in search of fried chicken, or into the city for the lonely monetized experience called urban nightlife. Which is no life at all, but rather posturing in lifelike poses amid simple drunkenness and engorgement...

...Yet, I dare say that comfort is not the most important thing in most American lives. It is just the only thing we are offered in exchange for our toil and the pain of ordinary existence in such an age. Consequently, it is all we know. Meaningless work, then meaningless comfort and distraction in the too-few hours between sleep and labor. But we settled for that and continue to do so. The day will never come when we stand around the office water cooler and ask one another: "Why in the hell are we even here today?" It's the most dangerous question in America and the Western world...

READ

5 comments:

Paula said...

Hi, I made a link a post related with this rant which. I hope that you will like it.:-)

portinexile said...

Paula - I like your post very much. It is very hopeful. I'll post some more comments on it at your site when i get off work.

Peace, Kevin

Dune Messiah said...

Hey Kevin,
Nice piece... here is a story that seems to also deals with some of the issues discussed in your post...

http://www.theonion.com/content/news/180_trillion_leisure_hours_lost_to

Yeah... sorry for the snark.

Winnipeg Catholic said...

It is very eloquent but doesn't feel that original to me. I did the whole existential its-such-a-waste, why-are-we-even-here thing at 25 years of age, and Ecclesiates did it better 2000+ years ago. But it was still an entertaining read.

So, are you going to give up your car for a subway pass and a shiny new bicycle?

All the Best, B

portinexile said...

Winnipeg - I see where you are coming from. The ideas are not that original, and I think Joe would be the first to admit so -- I think all sane and aware people probably have such feelings these days. I posted it because I love his writing, and his rants are catharic for me, but I think that if i didn't have hope against hope in justice, Love and the ultimate redemption of the universe [see Paula's post] such rants would probably be too much for me and I would succumb to the temptation of despair and nihilism.

I would love to give up my car for a bike and a subway pass. Until last year my [non shiny old] bike and subway pass were my main source of transport, and I cycled to work in downtown Brooklyn most days. I got my first car upon relocationg to Texas last July. Unfortunately I cannot cycle to work from San Antonio to Austin! A car is pretty much a necessity down here....