Thursday, June 30, 2016

Life is life (da da da da da dum...)

(Soundtrack for this post, from Laibach, my second-favorite group of Slovenians...)

I wanted to post this quickly after my sad little rant from yesterday, because it sort of typifies my position as an "optipess". That is, I am very unhopeful about the overall trajectory of our industrial civilization. I really don't think that anyone will solve the two huge problems that are going to bitchslap us:

1) Industrial civilization is learning how to make things without people, especially things that don't require a special sort of creative process. So the people who used to live by "making stuff" are going to find that they don't have jobs. Or that the jobs they will have are either a) horrible, like hospice and elder care work, b) low-paying, or both. Basically I think that a hell of a lot of what used to be the "working" and "lower middle class" (and even a fair bit of the "upper middle class") won't have a way to make a living. And

2) Anthropogenic global warming.

I think the resulting social chaos - people fighting over water and cropland or trying to escape rising seas while scads of people will be living aimlessly, without work or hope and on the edge of appalling poverty - will make the great migrations of Europe and Asia look like a child's birthday party. the same time, my own life is fairly sunny. My hip is working much better. The Boy seems to be happier now that he's taking his Brain Medicine. The Girl is her usual sweetie self. And my Bride is, as always, a Garden of Delight, Dispenser of Pleasures and Domestic Goddess.
This, for example, is from the past Saturday. Mojo and I took the Girl to what we call "Sushi Train". It's one of several little kaiten-zushi joints in Portland, and the Girl loves her some sushi. About two-thirds of this stack is hers. That's a LOT of sushi..!
There's always something fun going on at home; yesterday I got back late from a soccer game to hear all about the little fledgling crow that the kiddos had found. They tried to shoo it back towards its' nest-tree (amid great caw-ing from all the neighborhood crows) when some sort of raptor arrived.

From the kids' description you'd think this sucker was the size of one of Tolkien's eagles! But I think it was either a red-tailed hawk or a big accipiter like a Cooper's hawk. Anyway, it took the fledgling for its' own hatchlings to the great excitement (and sadness) of the young people. "It's the Circle of Life..." sighed Little Miss, who then giggled when I reminded her that she says the same thing when she farts.

I'm doing good work and getting paid for doing something I love.

I live in a beautiful part of the world, and I have my books, and my sport, and my hobbies to distract and entertain me. I get to write to you here and get the opinion-kinks out of my head. I have people I love and who love me close to hand.

I have it pretty goddamn good, at least here, and for the moment.
And that's pretty much all any of us can ask from life, isn't it?

We live in an old chaos of the sun,
Or old dependency of day and night,
Or island solitude, unsponsered, free,
Of that wide water, inescapable.

Deer walk upon our mountains, and the quail
Whistle about us their spontaneous cries;
Sweet berries ripen in the wilderness;
And, in the isolation of the sky,
At evening, casual flocks of pigeons make
Abiguous undulations as they sink,
Downward to darkness, on extended wings.

~ Wallace Stevens

1 comment:

mike said...

Chief -

I recall you did a great post a while back regarding the total thrashing that three Roman legions took in the Teutoberger Wald. So I thought you might be interested in this article on the History blog where the just recently found what they believe is a Roman officer's poke of gold coins. Wonder if it belonged to Varus himself?