Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Countdown to 2012 (Advice to the Miserable #5)

The world is ending all over again ...

There are few, if any, things that will not, under study, lead to dismay, disappointment, depression, and often anger/seething impotent rage. From medicalization and trivialization birth to the commodification of death, the cheapness of life (especially that of forners) and everything in between we have gone and fucked ourselves good.

Look at food, shelter, clothing, and every basic human need and you find exploitation of labor, questionable practices to streamline processes and increase profits at the cost of the worker, the product, and the consumer too stupid or lazy to realize why everything is so damn cheap at the superstores. Our food is tainted and unhealthy, our goods are cheaply made at the expense of others far less fortunate.

The U.S. economy is in shambles, the world economy as much or more so. People die every day of preventable diseases, hunger, what have you. Frankly, I don't feel like enumerating all the problems of the world. It would take to long and ultimately the conclusion remains the same as these vague recriminations allude to: the world is fucked and it's our fault. Makes you wish there was a reset button.

My goal here wasn't to bring up all those problems and social ills that we are all aware of on some level to get you to feel bad for a few minutes, send money to some 800 number, feel good for a few minutes, and then forget all about it. I just don't see how it could ever be enough. You can't save everyone, you can't solve every problem. You could pick feeding the hungry and devote your whole life to that and make great strides but it would still do little for the environment, universal health care, the homeless, education, et al. You can never do enough.

Faced with that, what do you do? Say that you can't solve the whole problem and so retreat into yourself, get yours, and fuck the rest of the world for their faulty bootstraps? Do whatever small part you can and continually get beaten down by the pressing flood tide of bureaucracy, indifference, and outright opposition? How are either of those options sufficient?

It's times like these that I wish I was a Marxist or some other manner of true believer, that i had some cause that I knew would be the solution to all that ails us. Workers of the World Unite! You have absolutely everything to lose.

I'm an artist. I like to think that living deliberately & doing what you love is somehow the key. And then paying for it with other people's money or a job that isn't too soul crushing and hints at being part of your industry. But I have never taken much time trying to universalize my maxims. Might be a shortage of janitors. We would all probably be surprised at how few people chose to do nothing, though.

Otherwise I got nothing.

Good thing the world is going to end in three odd years. Maybe next time we won't fuck it so damn raw. Or maybe elk will be grazing on Wall Street in a couple decades.


lifeanxiety said...

There is a level of self-absorption that I feel is the right level, and, obviously, it is the level that I am at. And it's pretty high, to be honest.

But you blow it out of the water. The sheer quantity of words in your rambles, for one thing, and that's coming from a VERBOSE motherfucker (obv) so you know I'm serious.

But more the way you touch ever so gently on a huge array of social issues in order to even begin to talk about... what? Being an artist? Like, where does all the GUILT come from, dude?

"You can never do enough. Faced with that, what do you do?" Wish you could join the ranks, apparently, and be a "true believer" or some shit. Academia is full of blowhards trying to solve the world's problems. And um, you know, probably lots of people productively engaged in that stuff. Chillax.

Sounds like your problem remains this desire to be something you're not and your inability to answer your own question: What do you do? Sounds like you're done trying to scale the ivory tower? And you have a baby coming soon. So I think the answer is pretty clear, man. And you do seem to already have it. Save the world? No.


euterpe's bitch said...

Billy Prophet's babymamma here. This . . kind of is his job. To rant and rave, and somehow raise our impending child to be a progressive-thinking individual in a world where independent thought gets shit upon right, left, and center. In our general disdain for traditional gender roles (and the fact that I love my benefit-laden job), BP is going to be the stay-at-home parent. And I don't know if you've looked around lately, but most stay-at-home parents are mindless drones trying to one-up one another whilst convinced that the sun shines out their child's shit-hole. Please note I said most, not all.

The mindlessness of so many of today's parents is a rant for another time (there's an invitation for you, BP dear), one which I would go on about in my own blog, if I kept such a thing, which I don't. I'm too lazy. Instead of indulging myself by unburdening myself of that particular grievance here, I'll just say I relish the thought of this guy rearing our fetus to be just as jaded as his parents.

Of course, I'm extremely biased. I am carrying his demon seed, after all.

v.bloom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
v.bloom said...

well this new information proves enlightening. gives new meaning to an earlier, verbose bp rant that ends with the glib:

"And if you want the easy life, quit now and marry rich."

i guess you weren't kidding. way to go, bp. best of luck.

lifeanxiety said...

wow, bloom, that answers the "what do you even say to that" question.

i'm all for stay-at-home dadding. in fact, i'm now seriously considering knocking someone up...

so yea. let me know how it goes.