On our watch

The Earth is dying.

Of course it will meet a very permanent end in 3 or 4 billion years, but I think it’s beyond argument that humans have proven they are incapable of caring for the planet (much less a country).

But my sadness comes from comprehending what has been lost just in my lifetime. How Earth is ultimately seen as a commodity and used, with little regard for anything beyond next week. The number of species that will be gone from the wild by the time my daughter is my age is even more depressing.

And now the irony of having just had a vote in this country that supposedly exposed a ‘rural vs urban’ divide. I hate to tell my rural friends, but there won’t be a lot of habitable ‘rural’ left if we keep selling everything out to make a buck. All that your children and children’s children will have is urban life – mainly because we can’t stop making a mess out of every underdeveloped corner of the country.

I can’t help but feel we have failed on our watch. I have failed, I have let my child down. Science keeps getting pushed to the background while personal ‘beliefs’ (which BTW only have meaning when they are personal beliefs and not state mandated systems) are given revered status.

“I don’t ‘believe’ that smoking causes cancer, therefore it doesn’t.” See how that works? Life is sooo much easier when you do that. Facts are horrible things.

Most people remember Orwell’s always evolving rules in Animal Farm (here’s a link incase you don’t remember). But I think we are seeing some additional rules being promoted in various ways in our culture these days. They sing a similar tune to the logical exploitation Orwell’s parable warns us against.

“I believe what I believe because I believe it. No evidence or facts can alter what I believe.”

“Compromise is weakness. To be strong means never compromising.”

“Always having an answer, even when you don’t, conveys strength. Strength is always right.”

“The rich are rich because they worked harder and deserve it more. They should bare no burden from those who are not rich.”

Machiavelli would love the America we are living in now.

And remember – for the majority of human history – humanity has been governed by Monarchy, either by family or via Oligarchy. Democracy was always a fragile thing, with many more enemies than friends. Democracy is messy, it can appear unorganized and it demands compromises for the better of all. No one should get everything they want but we should all consider the concerns of our fellow citizens. It requires empathy and patience and kindness.

It’s so much easier to not bother with all that. Even in Ancient Athens Democracy was turned to tyranny more than once. And after the Roman Republic collapsed it was mostly agreed that Democracy, while an inviting ideal, was a concept incapable of functioning in ruling a country.

Is it?

(and I already received an email that his post meanders a bit, and I agree with you. It does. It’s not edited that well. But hey, I’m on deadline and this was flapping around in my head. And so it goes.)

 

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About mfearing

Illustrator.
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2 Responses to On our watch

  1. There’s nowt wrong with stream of consciousness ever so often. It means your voice is authentic if your thoughts are spilling out. I happen to agree with you. This has been a particularly depressing year on national and global scales and seems to underscore a general trend of myopia and lack of “care taking” about this planet we all share and have to co-exist on. It’s depressing and bleak. I find myself pondering how I can successfully raise my sons within this context and all I cycle back to is that change has to start with the individual. We can each make small choices that build into something bigger. Just one topical example is that I chose not to send holiday cards this year thus reducing my carbon footprint and enabling me to donate what would have been spent on cards and postage to the ACLU instead. And maybe the fact I make eco-friendly choices and we discuss social justice over the dinner table most nights will mean my four sons will be better people and part of a better generation. Who knows. I’m not generally known for optimism so I’m clutching at straws a bit. I just can’t let the black cloud that has been this absolutely bloody awful year/decade/generation make me into a navel gazing Eeyore. I have to channel and vent my frustration and fury into something positive.

    And how’s that for a stream of consciousness reply?

    • mfearing says:

      Laura, that is a wonderful and inspired response and I thank you for it! I’ve said very little about these issues on my blog for one very big reason – it depresses me too much. And the last thing I want to do is get into ‘internet’ fights with people who come across my posts. But I am trying to find a better understanding of what I really want to say, what’s really troubling me. But don’t want it to consume my blog. I completely agree with what you say and we are doing the same thing here. My time on this planet is to a great extent in its final act. I’m not old, but I know I’m older than I was thirty or forty years ago! I am not concerned with what I have or don’t have, but looking out at my daughters future isn’t always something I look forward to. I suppose history has caught up with us. The resulting peace and generosity forged by those brutal World Wars is just ancient history to many people now. It may as well be the Peloponnesian Wars for what most people know anymore (at least in this country – where we celebrate the military aspects but not recognizing the immense toll not just to soldiers but millions of non soldiers who were denied a life of peace). And Hitler was so bad it makes it easy to see WWII as a war about a bad guy, when in fact it was far more complicated and contains many of the same issues we face today. And WWI was a mess that made next to no sense, and is an even scarier comparison for these times. I believe I’m an optimist, only because I don’t think anyone can go into art and writing and not have some hope that sharing, that communicating can make a difference. But most people who know me don’t see that! I’m looking for the positive and trying to remain calm and fair minded – even when those around me seem bent on ushering in an era of unadulterated selfishness, cruelty small mindedness and bigotry. And so it goes…

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