Dear reader, I bet you thought I’ve given up blogging – not true, just a pause. Most people start blogging and then give up (or head to some social network to get a real audience). That’s not my situation; I never expected much reaction and started this blog just to write some of my own thoughts with the expectation WordPress.com would last forever and someday I could come back and relive a bit of my life. I’ve often wished I’d been better, during my nearly 70 years, of keeping a journal, because there is some benefit (to me) to see my younger self.
Well, so much for intentions. I have several impediments to doing regular posts. First, and simplest, is that I can only do posts when I have private time so no one (around me) will even know I’m doing this. Haven’t had much of that kind of time lately.
btw: I actually meant to reference this article, which is about the same thing I’m talking about here, but I forgot it. So the answer is: 1) Just turn it off (pretty much have done that), 2) Be empathetic — but not to the point of paralysis (yep sounds right, but now I’m just numb from too much bad news), 3) Change your habits (wish I could but I can’t run away from this stuff), and, 4) Learn what works for you (well, blogging ain’t it, hence the point of this post). I can change myself all I want but the world will intrude and not let me do it, so pretty worthless advice – maybe drugs that shut my brain off (or a bullet in it) would work.
But a bigger issue is my emotional state, when fairly good (at best normal for me) writing is a pleasant distraction, but when stressed I’d just switch to whining and wasting everyone’s time. Unlike a lot of people online I’m not keen on the idea of pouring out my inner self to the public record, who cares, who might find this in the future, etc. So I’ll generally refrain but just make a short comment now.
For the last couple of months I’ve had serious distractions in my life that make “normal” life almost impossible. First, and I won’t give many details, I have a serious alcohol and drug addict in my life, not as much a direct connection to me, but a more remote connection through someone I do care about (the addict I’d drop in a heartbeat, if I could). And second I have my own dependent, my dear now 100YO mother who manages to make a fair number of demands. The addict is a nonstop interruption, irritation, and complete pain-in-the-ass especially as the person in my life directly connected with the addict just won’t realize that enabling is making a bad situation worse. It is often said that addiction is a “family” problem and boy is that true – the toxin of the addict spreads to everyone around him. And it’s also said that the last person the addict poisons is the person who cares the most, who in my case, is one removed. Yep, addicts are parasites and exploiters and the only thing to do with them, after over a decade of all the attempts to rescue, is what all the co-dependency dogmas say – they have to fix their own problem, you can’t fix it for them. Addiction really sucks and I’d happily round up and toss all the dealers into some desert wasteland, maybe around ISIS and let those monsters fight it out with them.
The situation with my mother is more complex. I’m the only “family” she has. Many might assume it is just the duty of a child to take care of an aging parent, given they took care of you when you were a pain-in-the-ass infant. Fine, a reasonable case, but I think, especially in today’s world, it’s not that simple. My mother needs two things – physical support and emotional support. Physical caregiving she can buy, but someone who really looks out for her is now entirely up to me. I watched her take care of my aging father and saw the resentment that being a slave to their demands has. Maybe some people can do it, but being a servant for sometimes very unpleasant physical support drains you and makes it almost impossible to then do what one really should do, be a caring person, not a servant. My mother could receive far better care (and can afford it) but takes a negative view of any care facility as a “warehouse”, certainly true to a degree, but a person who no longer can take care of herself can’t just throw all this burden on one child and not expect consequences. I feel sorry for the people who can only find jobs caring for troublesome old farts, but at least it is a job for them, maybe not their ideal job, but there are plenty of worse jobs and they do get paid for their trouble and the unpleasantness. And they can walk away from it, or at least leave it behind when they go home from work.
These dependents just totally exhaust and burn out their caregivers which is really unfortunate for everyone.
So I suspect this personal mess affects my overall state and thus is now the lens through which I see the world, but the second major reason I haven’t blogged is the futility of whining about all the injustice, stupidity, cruelty, and just plain old shit the world throws at us these days.
Just after college and newly married the world really depressed me. I was convinced it sucked. That seriously affected my choices in life – I had no choice in being born and thrown into the mess but I chose not to have children and subject them to the brutality of this world. While 50 years later that decision has some adverse consequences to me, I am happy that I made the choice because I would not want my child to have to face the disgusting future that we’re hurtling toward.
Yes, I am as pessimistic about the future as I’ve ever been in my life. Maybe it is just more communication (constant news, the Internet) that makes the world look so bad (i.e. ignorance was bliss in the past because we didn’t have to have politics and war and brutality around us, it happened somewhere but we didn’t know about it). So simply put I think humanity is doing a very good job of destroying itself.
Caught between the brutality of religion, in all its forms, not just the violence of Islam, but the religious right in this country who would happily burn gays alive. The incredible destruction of this country by the greed of the 0.1% and their enablers, their bought-and-paid for Repug servants, is the other nail in the coffin – religion and avarice, the twin pillars of destruction of all that could be good about life.
Come on, let’s face it – everything is falling apart. The chaos and brutality now spreading throughout all the middle East, Libya to Egypt to Syria, and let’s not forget Israel, is just a taste of what is also happening here. When the unifying and positive elements of human society are eliminated prehistorical brutal struggle for survival takes it place. Today the split in the U.S. is so bad, the worst in our history, is the disintegration of the U.S. much further away than collapse in Egypt or Afghanistan or Syria or Iraq. Humanity, when reduced to its brutal, uncivilized state, esp. with religion as a rationalization for all the immorality, is a pretty awful force. There are too many of us for this planet to sustain and with the rich grabbing more and more, thus leaving almost nothing for everyone else, is it any surprise society is collapsing everywhere, just a bit sooner in the more primitive countries. Syria is the precursor to Ukraine which is the precursor to the U.S. Even China is not going to be immune to this. We’re heading to a new Dark Ages that will make the last one look tame in comparison (simply because there were less of us then and our ability to cause death and suffering and destruction was more limited then).
The few good parts of human beings: rationality – art, science, and real ethics (not the fake dogma of bronze age religions whose books are filled with violence and cruelty) are rapidly being overwhelmed. All the previous dystopian models for our future don’t even come close to what we’re doing in reality to ourselves. Exhausting the planet’s resources with the unsustainable quest for obscene wealth (here’s looking at you, Koch brothers) will seal our ultimate doom as we’re too stupid to stop it. Science tells us how bad the mess is, but we bury our heads in the sand and let libertarian and teabagger and primitive religious nonsense cover up what’s really going on.
In short, I’ve never been more gloomy in my entire life. But this is why I connected the things that are wrong in my life in a very specific and tangible way and the more abstract existential things I only hear about. ISIS beheads and burns some people, but still isn’t close to what western “civilization” did in its past, esp. the Inquisition. We are just a brutal and stupid species and the fate we’re constructing for ourselves will be completely deserved. I’m mostly just sad that I will probably live long enough to actually see it when this shit comes down on my head in a very direct way, not just some images I see of horrendous things somewhere else. Yep, we live in a global world – the cancer that is so visible in some places today exists just below the surface here.
I think a turning point for me was that I could no longer watch John Stewart. Sure it was fun for a while to see the absurdities turned into humor, but the problem is that’s just another drug too, that numbs us to the reality. I can’t stand it anymore – watching others make jokes about it or whining myself in this blog is no longer a palliative to the horror of today’s inhumanity. Whether it’s Scalia or the Repugs in Congress or the racists of the southern Repugs or the stupidity of the anti-vaxers or the anti-GMOers (mostly lefties) human beings, as a group, are so incredibly STUPID and brutal. So let Cruz or Paul take over and destroy 1/3rd of America the way Brownback has in Kansas, just so the Kochs can move up a couple of spots in the list of richest people.
Historians, if humanity survives and ever emerges from the new Dark Ages and creates a new civilization, will record the end of the 20th century as both the apex and nadir of human activity. We’re on the verge of doing amazing things with science at the exact same instant as we destroy everything needed to sustain human life.
It’s hard to blog, even if to whine, when things are so awful. The daily outrages of ISIS and the Taliban and Al Qaeda only slightly exceed the injustice of the Repugs and their enablers in this country. So we’re just speeding to the cliff as fast as our fossil fueled smoke-belching two-ton pickups can go.
How can I blog about anything when everything is so awful.
But maybe I’ll find some new topics to write about as I watch the real end times, not the imaginary nonsense of jebus cult, but the real disaster human greed and stupidity will create.
Have a nice day, while you can.