How many of the people who know things are falling apart are going to do something about it?
Some can’t, some won’t, some shan’t.
I’m not sure who knows everything is falling apart. Probably everyone who pays attention to the media because the media seems to be very good at telling us some version of “everything is falling apart” right now. So who’s that? Basically everyone? Ok. Yeah. I guess it’s basically everyone.
So basically everyone knows everything is falling apart and it’s all been falling apart for a while. I’m obviously being overly dramatic —remember that this is an insane blog post by a wizard — but I think many of us can agree that “everything” (broadly and generally speaking) feels like it’s in some kind state of potential or actual deterioration, right? Lots of folks have felt like this their whole lives, of course, all over the world. Now the peoples with the most economic power are feeling it too so it’s become increasingly pervasive through the culture of elites.
Oh, I guess this is kind of a sequel to this article from last year:
How many of the people who earn money and influence telling us things are out of control are providing us with a real plan?
Coming up with plans is hard and the best ones will be the most collaborative.
Look how time flies
When I wrote that article I was hopeful there would be something substantive likely to arise from the bits of culture I was connected to where I was hearing about the need for real change. I no longer see this as possible. It feels like the credible claims of degradation and deterioration seem to have surpassed the hopeful messaging required to offset it. I realize as I write this that probably many of the people who are reading this will already be there.
Yes hello I would like a ticket to sad please.
I now expect to see a consistent and steady deterioration of the quality of life for most people I’m connected to through media for years or decades to come. I’m not saying this because I’m ok with it, it’s just how things are now. I used to think we’d see a big boost and stave off the worst of it but I don’t see how that can happen. The opportunity to prevent serious harm along a number of metrics relating to the quality of life of people in our civilization seems like it will pass without substantive action. The cultural shift required to achieve substantive action seems to have stalled, or is struggling.
It’s unclear how much this degradation of quality of life will impact folks in my relatively stable and wealthy part of the world. Here in the domain of late-stage capitalism under the purview of the centralized forces of globalism, long since fully entrenched and utterly dominant in the world order, the systems consuming and protecting me appear somewhat unassailable. Everyone I see around me who is confident things are collapsing seems confident they’ll get through the worst of it and be protected by what remains so I’m going to adopt that position as well. I guess I’m relatively well protected by the forces that are destroying the world (which of course means I’m not protected at all because the world is being destroyed).
The two most highly engaged professional groups in this struggle on the internet are scientists and comedians and they can’t agree on anything right now, or even among themselves, so that’s a bit of a problem.
It looks like we’re all just fucking up a whole bunch all the time 🤷♂️
Do you ever feel like making a mistake? Like out of desperation or masochism or nihilism? Do organizations of people get like this?
Let’s talk about The Biden Administration™ which, to be clear, I believe is generally staffed by well intended people — or at least by people who aren’t actively seeking to cause harm to the people they work for (all the people who live in the United States). I believe most democratic governments are neutral-to-well-intended while also acknowledging that governmental inefficiency and bureaucracy sucks eggs. Also some elected officials and civil servants are heinously corrupt. Also many of the worst things ever done to people were done by governments. So I guess you could say it’s a mixed bag.
Biden has had a great month, all things considered, but there have been a series of evident missteps throughout the administration that have caused actual harm in the world and which remain unacknowledged. It’s all pretty obvious and arises from systemic issues no one knows how to deal with so we just ignore them or, worse, only notice it when it comes to The Other Side™. The Democratic party is mired in self-deception owing to their inability to form a rational and practical narrative around how to address the conflict they’re engaged with from The Other Side™. If they win the midterm elections it will be because the Republican party is failing to form anything resembling a coherent and meaningful message that resonates with enough voters and not because they’ve lived up to the expectations US voters, and the rest of the world, placed on them.
It would be easiest to simply ignore the US but we can’t because of how powerful they are. Most of the people impacted by the decisions of the US government can’t vote on the decisions of the US government.
As an evident result of some fairly well understood human psychology: Democrats see the flaws in their opponents way more than their own flaws. This self-deception is preventing them from acknowledging their actual weaknesses or vulnerabilities because that’s what we use self-deception for. It’s why, for example, Afghanistan is still a mess and can never be fixed by the United States as it currently exists despite the fact that they controlled the environment where the mess was made — and directly made some of the mess.
It’s why everyone is losing their shit over barely passing a tiny fraction of the climate legislation that the world needs to see from the US in order to stave off significant long term disasters (Yes, I’m very much in favor of what little bit has been done and applaud their hard-won victories. I’m also not the least bit surprised by the fact that no one else in the world jumped up to keep this momentum going in a big way).
Heading into the mid term elections the Democratic party will feel they have no choice but to rally the troops and circle the wagons in order to present a magnificently rigid unified front capable of withstanding Republican attacks… which will render them incapable of achieving many, or all, of the Big Bold Ideas™ they’ll campaign on. You know how it goes. It’s a win in a game that’s a loss for the world. Especially since the other side isn’t even trying to win — they’re just trying to lose in a messy way in order to muck everything up.
Congrats on this horrid state of affairs I guess.
Nobody really cares though, right?
Most people in the US don’t act like they really give a fuck about any of this shit. They’re depleted and checked out and they just want things to work. Many of them don’t exist under the control of systems that allow them to have time to give a fuck about the state of their lives — this despite the fact that they live in McFreedomLand™. They don’t vote (No judgement on that one from me, I wouldn’t vote in that system either), they’re increasingly dissatisfied with things, and they feel increasingly hopeless about much of the world and its events.
The collective psyche of the Yanks is pretty measurable and well-measured at this point… and it’s in the shitter.
What do us in the rest of the world see as we consume this spectacle? Not the nuance, that’s for sure. We consume the loudest and most extreme voices and Takes™ amplified for ad generation purposes by a corporate media environment that is an absolutely colossal juggernaut of wealth and influence capable of rendering asunder the very fabric of our society… but it’s not giving us what’s actually going on in the US. What’s actually going on is a lot sadder.
I think maybe the American dream used to be substantive but now it’s so heavily refined, commercialize, commodified, and processed that it can no longer serve the same purpose. The various flavours of pop culture seems to primarily inspire jealousy or sadness now.
I still believe it can be fixed, I just don’t think they’re going to be able to. I hope to be proven wrong, everyone in the US deserves better than what they’ve got right now. I’m not sure what celebrity is best suited to be the next president and save them from this. My money is on Jon Stewart so I’ve been leaving him voicemails about that. #JStewTheFirstJew4Prez
I’m going on hiatus
I’ve written a bunch of stuff over the past little while that I’m really happy with. It’s been a great little creative burst. I’ve refined my thoughts on a bunch of complex subjects and now I need to go sit with that for a while. Because I don’t use social media my traffic is minimal. None of my work really goes anywhere — woe to me for being a weirdo on the internet I guess — and this means I try not to be in too much of a rush with whatever the heck I’m doing. I’m going to go enjoy what I can of the rest of the summer.
I’m gonna go spend as much time as I can stoned in the woods.
Every time I take a break from all my weird online shit I come back so I guess that means I’ll probably be back. Maybe I won’t go away at all. Who knows? I won’t be deactivating anything this time. I may use this hiatus to move all of my content over the Substack because they’ve won me over in almost every way that matters. I’d much rather have all my articles really free on Substack and then put up additional paid content for the 0 people who want to pay for my content. Substack is just a better looking product from a business perspective. That being said: I like this platform and how the community works and don’t plan on removing content, or not posting new content here eventually.
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