NTHE: A Hippy Love Story

by Patrick Frost

It’s hard to believe that she and I actually lived in a time of disbelief, or even denial. We were commuters once. We lived in separate apartments for years, six years actually. I remember stressing over my lack of retirement savings. Or having the right car for my personality, and knowing about the best restaurant to go to. The Hook and Ladder on S and 17th was pretty good, they served house-made pasta; and Tres Hermanas on K and 24th was the best.

It was four years ago when we, Sierra and I, saw an ad in the classifieds on his website. I kept it with me, the printout, I had all of the local postings printed, but I held onto this one after we decided to go live there. I still have it today, and for nostalgia’s sake, I’ll write it out, verbatim, here (editorial note: this ad has been removed by request of the poster):

Hiya – We live in Colfax in the Sierra Foothills of Northern California…and have a place for safe harbor and respite in this world going dark. We are close to I-80 and the American and Bear Rivers with a small permaculture inspired farm and a rewilding project. We live as participants in the community of life here with a “live like you’re camping” ethic and are efforting to do what we can to give back to the natural world that has endured so much on our behalf. Our door is open to those choosing to see. We grow food, make music, create art, speak truth, and effort to find the creature born wild and free in us but taught that they weren’t.

There are two incredibly unique properties very near us (walking distance) that have recently come onto the market…and we just thought we’d share about them in the event anyone has some privilege they are wanting to be radical with. (We quit our jobs, cashed out everything we could, and pulled on every string to make our current set of living arrangements happen.) Both these properties could accommodate community living and we would love to have others around us who are choosing to see. The price tags are big (sticker shock likely to those of you not in CA) but actually quite reasonable by CA standards for what these properties have to offer. The one on the top of the mountain with 360 degree views as far as you can see brought us to tears it’s so breathtaking and the other could be a Bed and Breakfast (if running a “business” is still of interest to anyone here at the end of the game – NTHE B&B?)

Anyways, we’ve made a start – earlier than most people and groups – and perhaps we have some contribution to make.

Here are the links to our neighboring properties:

http://www.foothillshotproperties.com/property/35943450/1720-River-View-Ln-Colfax-CA-95713

http://www.foothillshotproperties.com/property/37595448/1727-Deerhaven-Ln-Colfax-CA-95713

Anyway, just wanted you all to know we are here, with a place. Come visit if the mood strikes… With love and rage! Karen and Jordan Perry, Chickenfoot Ranch ReWilding, chickenfootranch@yahoo.com

Living on the Ranch was nice. It took some time to get used to the people there. Sierra and I lived down in the valley our whole lives, apartment living. City breathing. It was much different living up the hill. It hardly snowed, and when it rained, it was sunny and warm for days on end, then the sky would quickly turn and it would rain for maybe half days at a time, once in a while. We would gather our rain the best we could, secretly, our tanks would be inside sheds and we would have vegetation roofs that looked like there was wood underneath them, we would irrigate with that water best we could.

I remember the abrupt change. It was the wildest thing, and unless I had seen it, all of my imagination couldn’t have painted any kind of a similar portrait. Our communication was non-existent near the end of our time on the Ranch. When the cities began to revolt, it was monitored, but when the cities began to organize that is when we heard things finally took a malicious turn. San Francisco was the first to become occupied. I remember Operation Jade Helm, the military exercises done in mid- 2015; Special operations forces practicing hostile takeovers of civilian cities and states. Utah and Arizona were the first states that were used as a practice ground. I remember reading about that in April of that year, and thinking it was just a training regiment.

First it was San Francisco, then it was Sacramento, Berkeley and then finally Oakland. Camps were being set up for our safety. Water was flown in, trucked in, food was provided. Shots were mandatory for everyone who entered the Safe Camps. And the camps were ordered for everyone.

And then they came for us. We all knew it was coming. There weren’t many of us on the Ranch left. Most tried to go live off of what was by now almost all dead or dying land, dried out and lifeless alkaline forest, further up into the Sierras.

The last time I saw Sierra she was on my lap. I was sitting cross-legged by our small plot of arugula, one of the few seeds that still grew quite prolific at the Ranch, and kale. I had my arms around her waist and I was slowly kissing her neck. I played with her long hair, it was as long as I had ever seen it. She kissed me back. I was running my hands up her dark brown shirt and she was breathing warmly, and hard.

They came in fairly, friendly. They wanted to take us for our own good. They were there to help, they told us. Sierra asked kindly if we could stay. They gave us an understanding response, but informed us that it was mandatory that we leave with them to the city. Sierra looked down at me, still on my lap with her legs wrapped around me. She smelled like a three-week-old shirt, and her eyes glistened white and were the kind of reflective that only happens right before she was about to cry. She kissed me and whispered her love into my ear with such a sincerity that I could and never will be able to recreate.

When Sierra pushed off of me, I was startled. With one step she was behind me and had her hand on a small, steel gardening shovel. I had never seen her do a violent thing in my life. When she dug the tiny spade into the gentleman’s neck she was shot immediately by his partner, and I was taken, after my many years on the Ranch, down the hill back to Sacramento.

***

Patrick Frost is self-conscious of writing his own bio for this short story. But he plunges on, thusly: “I am 35 years old and still very much suspicious as well as drunkenly interested in life. I get depressed. But I also get really happy. Though, most of my time I spend being very mellow. At 35, I’ve learned how to roast coffee over a fire using a cast iron dutch oven and a wooden spoon. Also at 35, I’ve learned about the very real possibility, or inevitability, of near-term human extinction (NTHE).”

“I live in Sacramento, California. Midtown, more specifically. I live within walking distance from a dozen or more liquor stores, countless restaurants, homeless folks, bars, Victorian homes, new stadiums, hipsters, and marijuana dispensaries. Such is the current state of industrial civilization. My good friend was married not more than a month ago, and another was stabbed six blocks from my house. If I’ve learned anything at 35, it’s that I’m having a hard time dealing with my own obscurity. It’s given me an anxiety I’ve never felt before in my calm life. I hope it’s just a phase, ‘cause I want to start truly living.
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The two-posts-per-day rule is still in effect, unless you’ve authored the pieced under discussion. If you’re a jerk, fewer is better.

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McPherson’s latest book is co-authored illustrated by Pauline Schneider. Ms. Ladybug and Mr. Honeybee: A Love Story at the End of Time can be ordered from the publisher here and also from Amazon. Trailer is embedded below.

Looking for San Francisco Bay Area folks to raise $$$$ to bring Guy to San Francisco. Please contact amyvegan@gmail.com if you are willing to donate towards Guy’s travel here.

Also seeking vegan folks to brainstorm the creation of 100% vegan urban community in or near Portland, Oregon along the light rail line.
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McPherson’s first book published in 2015 is co-authored by Carolyn Baker. The Second, Revised edition of Extinction Dialogs: How to Live with Death in Mind is available. Electronic copy is available here from Amazon.

Comments 81

  • Good post Patrick Frost.

    Science fiction is sometimes the best way to reveal the real future.

    The hippies were stand-up people like the 99% in the Occupy movement.

    But (Some Loads Are Too Heavy).

    One commune begun by a group from San Francisco is still going strong all these decades later (The Farm).

  • I know that the movies will kill ya, but sometimes …

    Just two lines – totalling only five words in Warren Beatty’s classic film, “Reds.”

    Superficial narcissist flake & heroine, Louise, played by Diane Keaton laughingly informs Emma Goldman played to perfection by Maureen Stapleton;

    “I write.”

    Goldman snarls back; “Write about what?”

  • First it was San Francisco, then it was Sacramento, Berkeley and then finally Oakland. Camps were being set up for our safety. Water was flown in, trucked in, food was provided. Shots were mandatory for everyone who entered the Safe Camps. And the camps were ordered for everyone.

    And then they came for us. We all knew it was coming. There weren’t many of us on the Ranch left. Most tried to go live off of what was by now almost all dead or dying land, dried out and lifeless alkaline forest, further up into the Sierras.”

    The military admits and writes about its awareness of coming social unrest, and military intervention as a response.

    Only 1.14% of ice sheet melt needs to take place to shut down sea ports and their surrounds in high impact locations, such as the east and west coasts of America.

    Sea level rise will require mass evacuations from some coasts to other locations, including camps which already exist.

    The troops to run them are already trained.

    (The 1% May Face The Wrath of Sea Level Rise First)

  • NYSE has been open for 2 hours;

    DJI is down 265.

  • If you want to understand what “humanity” is supposed to be, then, read this article by Susan Babbitt. It is astounding how the Susans of this world that I have been fortunate to know and believe in: truly get it.

    Example: “They are philosophical ideas expressing the relationship between human beings and nature, implying that one person’s life (causally) affects others’. It is a view common to various (non-European) cultures, including indigenous peoples. It is scientific, based in cause and effect, acknowledging, as was clear to Martí, that “THROUGH THE WONDERFUL COMPENSATION OF NATURE WHOEVER GIVES OF HIMSELF, GROWS”. On such a view we need to engage with and change the world in order to know it, and its peoples, including ourselves. (Only Love Remains.)

    It turns out that within the crucible of Cuba the truth of Nature has flourished in full form, in spite of insurmountable odds, on a tiny, tiny island, 90 short miles away from the Rhinoceroses.

    I now know why Cuba has escaped the attention of the world we know: it is the reverse of what should be, and the reason why decency, has failed repeatedly, going back thousands of years to the Greeks.

    “http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/08/21/democracy-for-cuba-it-could-be-so-much-more-interesting/

  • Dredd you have promised you`ll be a good boy and stop obsessing about sea level rise . What is this than ? You are a bad boy. Maybe not, maybe obsession progressed to the the level of a compulsiveness thats a pathology than .. We have to refer you to a professional here since common sense arguments do not work no more

  • Thanks, Patrick. I enjoyed the story, although I’m hoping I won’t be around to experience the kind of reality you’ve depicted (fingers crossed for alien abduction to a far-off Utopian planet! Ha!). I think everyone here can relate to your feelings of anxiety, too. In another way, though, there’s an upside to all this. Somebody posted this awhile back, but it bears repeating (ironically written by someone who contributed enormously to our downfall):

    “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.

    Almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.

    Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

    No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it, and that is how it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.”

    ― Steve Jobs

  • @Shep …Cuba ?! Dream on ! http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/17/us-cuba-drought-idUSKCN0QM1P220150817
    P.S.
    mostly because of Dredd i have completely exhausted my daily allotment so you have to apologise me for not being able to post more today of my usual fabulous and enlightening comments . Also you commenting back on this would appear you to be an unfair player since you know that i can`t defend myself back of now, unless it is of course an approval and expression of reverence

  • Gerald…stop worrying about the dow…you know where it’s going…and if you really believe we’re dead in the next 18 months…you didn’t do what I think you did, did you?

  • Patrick,

    What a powerful story. And Sierra, what a way to go.
    To me here in England, yours is a very American dystopia which nonetheless rings true.
    I hope that you will still have many good years – you are so young – and if necessary escape from this terrible fate you have imagined and recounted so well here – and end it when you choose to. At least, I hope that’s what I will do when things become unbearable. But then I’m old and have long come to terms with personal death.

    In the meantime, take good care of yourself.

  • Here’s what I find interesting about all of us here on NBL: we are much less optimistic even than the people who are literally dying of cancer and who will be gone long before NTHE takes us all. If you go to a terminal cancer forum, people are talking about making the most of their days. Yes, they commiserate and talk about the pros and cons of treatments, but mostly it’s about life. It’s about dreaming, it’s about their families, it’s about “how do I live my last days?” Someone (I don’t remember who) mentioned that we should be telling stories of life here- of our dreams and aspirations, of our personal shit, the things we’ve learned. That is the stuff that life is made of. Let’s not squander our time. Let’s live our lives to the fullest and meet back here to discuss it. Yes? If there’s nothing we can do anyway, there’s no reason to dwell.

    Colin is the joke winner of the day- maybe yesterday?- but again only because it was the only joke submitted (even if it was plagiarized haha). Here is your reward:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDb7px_pwl0

  • Whats not to stop this monster El Nino becoming the ‘norm’ for the foreseeable?
    How would the environment react to a 50 GT burst of CH4?
    If ‘we’ are going vinus, what would that look like?
    Maybe this El Nino will reduce in 2016 to just a ‘normal’ level one for a few years, then come back bigger and so on for the next 10,000 + years?

  • @babajingo, I really haven’t seen that on “my” cancer forum.. it’s full of desperate stuff about how someone can get their 75-y.o. mom into the next clinical trial.. how they can score some ****pib (newer “biological” treament$ which act differently from traditional scorched-earth chemo) without having to pay the hundreds of thousands of dollars these drugs cost annually out of pocket, what new combo of chemo they can undergo when they have metastases to the bone, liver, and what-have-you… and failing kidneys (just get stents!).

    They pray for each other: they pray for more life..

    More, more, MORE.

    Some of them don’t even give up when the prayee is in hospice care; they think Jesus will send a miracle.

    Damn.



    My doc is peeved with me.

    I didn’t follow “the protocol”, which is to go and get a CT scan every 3 months. I waited a year and a half almost, instead, and went only because I had oddball gastric symptoms that concerned me, lasting a couple of weeks. Outcome? Scan is clear, and I am OOP “only” $1500, after paying $650/month for the Obamacare (“Affordable” Care Act). The list price on the CT scan is almost $9k.

    As far as I can tell, all the ladies on “my” cancer forum are good doo-bees; they get all their scans, and then some. They get CT scans and PET scans and blood tests. They get regular shots of Neulasta™® (cost: up to $7,000 PER SHOT) when the chemo has killed off too many blood cells.

    As seen on TV!!!
    http://www.ispot.tv/ad/747M/neulasta-sisters

    So they can then go and keep up with the chemo regimen that might buy them an extra few months, a percentage point or two added to their 5-year Disease-Free Survival Rate.

    They live in IL but fly to TX to get treated at MD Anderson, to NYC to get treated by Dr. Bruckner.. or they fly to Switzerland so they can get IV Vitamin C and other alternative treatments. Not all of them, of course, but this is the tone.. that these exertions and expenses are perfectly normal.

    The majority encourage each other to “fight”, “don’t EVER give up”.. Giving up is just not the American way; it’s not what the god character wants; it’s unfair to your family and kids.. etc. Ladies who are tired, tired of chemo and treatments or just plain tired, are encouraged to just buck up, go to the psychologist, get anti-depressants so they can continue their walking-dead existence, with the chemo-induced neuropathy that makes it painful to walk, impossible to write, the radiation-induced bowel lesions that lead to colostomies, the vision problems, pain and sexual dysfunction, the chemo brain. “Whoop-ee! Hallelujah! At least you’re alive!”, they say.

    I find it all rather unseemly and gruesome.

  • Babajingo,

    August 21st, 2015 at 12:54 pm, you wrote “If you go to a terminal cancer forum, people are talking about making the most of their days. Yes, they commiserate and talk about the pros and cons of treatments, but mostly it’s about life. It’s about dreaming, it’s about their families, it’s about ‘how do I live my last days?’ Someone (I don’t remember who) mentioned that we should be telling stories of life here- of our dreams and aspirations, of our personal shit, the things we’ve learned. That is the stuff that life is made of. Let’s not squander our time. Let’s live our lives to the fullest and meet back here to discuss it. Yes?”

    Hmmm. Looks to me strangely like the emotion-focused attachment theory and empathy related to love that Susan Johnson, John Gottman, and Les Greenberg have researched for about 20 years. (Nah. No possible connection or relevance there.)

  • And don’t get me started on all the cruises and “bucket” lists! :-[

  • Babajingo – I think your observation is valid to a degree, but as Bud Nye has noted, there is a dominant faction here that seeks to control, and does so pretty effectively, by hassling anyone who wants to ‘look at the stars’ from this ‘gutter’ of NTHE. I was run off for talking about crop circles as rife with interesting and rich symbolism and mystery and taken for an imbecile who didn’t seem to understand what this forum is about! Also, for objecting to rough treatment for not submitting to the dominant ones, of course. So, it’s not as though no one has ever tried to discuss anything but the dying planet here.

  • Well, what a night last night was. (Part One.)

    A recent funeral for a friend led to some ‘old friends’ being in town. Even though I’ve chosen, in recent years, to withdraw from life and to live like a monk in my little urban cave, I let these old friends drag me out for a social get together last night.

    At one point, I let a subtle wisecrack slip out about global warming. It was just a tiny, funny comment. It was nothing, really. Well, that’s when I became aware that one of my old hippy friends has gone on to become a (not very prominent at all) geologist. Boy did I get a lecture. Did you know that we’re still emerging out of an ice age? Did you know that according to her we lose the ice caps between every ice age? I broke my rule of not engaging people like this (what’s the point), and mentioned how I’d read recent science that indicated how the polar caps haven’t been ice free for millions of years. She shot back saying that she was a geologist and that she knew that wasn’t true. I said this was legitimate science from people actually doing the ice core studies, to which she retorted, “Yes, those are geologists, but I’m a geologist too, and that’s simply not true.”

    I asked her if she did actual ice core studies. She said no, but that she was a geologist, and it was the same thing. Knowing something about where she lived, I asked her if she was an oil and gas geologist (obviously she was). She got this vicious look in her eyes and asked what that had to do with anything. Then, it was suddenly my turn to sing karaoke, and I escaped just before I was about to puke on her shoes. I got up and sang ‘Time’ by Pink Floyd. Luckily, we never resumed our conversation after I sat back down. But, I did have to order a double Jager just to help me forget about my friend turning to the dark side.

  • Well, what a night last night was. (Part Two.)

    So, the next thing that happened at my gathering of old, long lost tribal friends, was that I got cornered by two gals, both who happened to be ex’s of mine from way back in those blurry hippy years, who wanted to lecture me about the fact that they’d heard about how I’ve dropped out of life, and have recently quit playing music in clubs. I gather I’ve been quite a hero to them all over the course of my life for some reason (???), and according to them, they’re all very worried about where my head is at these days. You know, they’re ‘worried about me.’

    I tried to explain, but they just couldn’t get my angle about how I now view ‘wanking’ on a stage in a club as just being pure narcissistic vanity, at least within the context of the current state of our world. I explained that to me it just represented more of the delusion that exists in our twisted world, and that it was vain. They insisted that I still needed to dream, and urged me to keep on shining brightly. I insisted that I just felt that an aspiration to plug in a bunch of electric guitars and drums and keyboards for my own (and I suppose others) pleasure was just another manifestation of what had gone wrong with our whacked out society … this irrational urge to ‘do something’, this urge to ‘make a mark on the world.’ That drive to ‘be somebody special.’ It just seemed wrong to me now in a dying, exploited world.

    They could only see my withdrawal from ‘aspiring toward my music’ as being a sad, sad thing. They said that they could see I was unhappy, and they thought I should be out participating in life and shining like I used to. To them, I had wrongly given up on ‘living my dream.’

    What really irritated me about it, I think, is that their concern centered all on thinking that I ought to be out chasing after some sort of self gratification. That I should be out doing things; doing, doing, doing, as if that was the only meaning to life; as if gratifying my ego and making myself ‘happy’ was some sort of ultimate truth. I argued back that to me, it was all this aspiration to achieve and all this gratifying of the self that has led to all the problems in our civilization. It’s all just about me, me, me in our culture. I explained that to me, our culture was all just about ‘give me what I want’, ‘I want to be something’. ‘I just want to have fun’, ‘I just want to be happy’, ‘I just want to feel gratified.’

    I tried to explain how I thought this maybe was why we were all disassociated from reality, and why we wound up just inadvertently exploiting everything and everybody on our frenzied path to fill all our endless desires for achievement, for all this gratification of our own senses. I said I didn’t want to be like that anymore, even if it made no difference to the state of the world. I was just not going to be part of the problem anymore, whether or not it made any difference at all.

    They didn’t get it. They just left it off with some sad, mournful hugs, and a rephrased admonition to please get back out and to at least play some music again … you know, ‘for me’ they said. They thought it was sad to see me ‘not being part of life anymore.’ Jeepers, I always thought my choice was sort of noble, albeit in an irrelevant sort of way.

    I left our informal memorial feeling slightly envious of my lost friend, who had bowed out gracefully with a sudden massive brain aneurism two weeks ago. Before I left though, I grabbed a gal who’d been doing a killer job of karaoke all night, but wasn’t associated with our entourage, and we did a duet of one of my favorite Peter Gabriel songs that he recorded with Kate Bush called ‘Don’t Give Up.’ It felt kind of ironic, but we nailed it none the less. Then I was out of there; back home and back into my cave again. What a night. Sheesh.

  • Patrick – Thank you so much for sharing your story here!

    Babajingo – There’s a huge difference between those optimistic cancer ridden individuals you speak of, and those of us here who have eaten of the tree of knowledge.
    To even begin to compare the two is simplistic. If I was dying from cancer, and I knew the planet was well and healthy, I would be happy beyond belief.

    I’ve been fortunate to have a good life. Most of my days are walking prayers of gratitude addressed to all life forms.

    So to show that I actually can share something both positive and personal, here’s a small fragment of a memory from a few years back (when there was still a shred of hope):

    It’s mid July, a moonless, crystal clear night and the milky way is whirling diagonally overhead. The water is perfect in the sea of cortez, and the surface is calm. Every stroke is illuminated as I move through the water, and I feel as though I could go on swimming forever, lighting my own way. The captain of our little sloop is windsurfing nearby, painting the surface of the sea with great swaths of light, and the luminescence is at its peak. Ocean and sky are one. My skin sparkles as I rise out of the water.

    But even the good memories make me sad now.

  • Daniel,

    In reply to what you last posted on Aug 19th:

    For me, the “dying process” that you consider a “critical part” of living and coping today encompasses all of the dire ecocidal information (no longer at all ‘anomalous’ for those who care to see it) that is our daily bread and circuses. I take it you mean the same.

    As to “how we die” as a point of import for you, I just happen to see and feel the above is an inescapable yet crucial part and parcel of this ongoing anthropocentric living/dying saga. Never the less, how ‘we’ — either in the collective sense or individually — may actually ‘die’ is yet to be seen. One way or another, our deaths are assured.

    In any event, with respect to the “meta-dying process” of NTE (as I take you to mean it) and how we may be coping emotionally, I think most of us here are doing so with a vast melancholia. And I certainly consider all the posts here examples of how we are “emotionally” coping, manifesting itself in all the individual ways expressed here.

    For me, the melancholia I feel are like the tides — it ebbs and flows within my being, and the best I can do is not to drown in it (or needlessly lash out) when my melancholic tides rise. It is hardest on me not for any human suffering, but that happening by our entrapped species deeds (particularly as the result of western civilization’s FUBARed dominance goes) to living creatures and this particular state of creation that fostered such an amazing abundance.

    Yet, as much as the natural world is a spectacle that provides me inspiration and many profoundly moving moments of personal comfort, I am equally cognizant, in the words of Ernest Becker as penned in the closing pages of The Denial of Death:

    “Creation is a nightmare spectacular taking place on a planet that has been soaked for hundreds of millions of years in the blood of all its creatures. The soberest conclusion that we could make about what has actually been taking place on the planet for about three billion years is that it is being turned into a vast pit of fertilizer. But the sun distracts our attention, always baking the blood dry, making things grow over it, and with its warmth giving hope that comes with the organism’s comfort and expansiveness. ‘Questo sol m’arde, e questo m’innamore.’ as Michelangelo put it.” [Translated: ‘This sun burns me, and this makes me love.’ ]

    To put it bluntly, Creation doesn’t care how we die. Death is an inescapable necessity of living creation.

    This is not to say I as a human don’t care how we die, or that other species don’t somehow care in their own way about how they die. I would prefer we didn’t go about this meta-dying as we are, dragging down all the rest of creation with us. As disheartening as this prospect is, prior extinctions give reason to suppose life will one again rise from our ashes. And maybe evolution will get it right next time, bringing forth a creature with similar capabilities of self-reflective sentience combined with creative abilities, but more earthly wisdom in harnessing both; less individual ego and psychic angst and more humility to boot. To know once and for all that knowledge is a dangerous thing, and some things are not worth doing even when we know how.

    In any event, this is a philosophical digression.

    As far as your set of questions goes, some of which I consider more valuable than others, I haven’t any definitive answers to provide here. For me it comes down to personal inclinations. And for the most part my inclination is to keep on living as best I can manage, even with the weight of NTE in mind.

    I can only try and control myself and my reactions to the extent I am able within this FUBARed system of industrial civilization we are trapped in. And so far, particularly with certain familial responsibilities in mind, I feel honor bound and unwilling to give up the ghost of living just because things are unspeakably bleak. Besides, my tides of melancholia are counter-balanced by a certain perverse fascination with the lunacy of our predicament, especially as enacted by most of my fellow species. I have to laugh, while weeping too, at it all. Also I still am afforded moments of grace and beauty in my life, despite the ongoing and underlying disgust and angst at the way I am (we all are) constrained to live out these daze.

    I suppose too I’m of the mind that this blockbuster thriller ain’t over yet, man! And after suspecting for so many years complete calamity was where humanity would end up at, I kinda want to see how it will — finally — go down. With any luck I’ll try and be like one character in the movie Titanic, seated in his lounge chair who is rather calmly, but with eyes wide open, watching all the other passengers madly scurrying around, and he’s doing so with a final cocktail in hand!

    Ha! There’s some fine hopium to hang my hat on. Never the less, I am imagining that how I might die (when it seems inevitable to do so under a full blown EOTWAWKI scenario and further survival is senseless), and I can still choose how, perhaps along with some of my loved ones, it might matter as a way of showing them how I decide to go. And that’s where, instead of hopium, I can hope for some refined opium to do the trick with. Failing that, I can imagine there will be plenty of other options at hand — some more dignified than others.

    But until that day of reckoning arrives — and no one knows when that will be — I’ve still got some excellence (and utter folly too) in me, and even still in my diminished yet still amazing near at hand natural setting that replenishes me, to care about living more than dying quite yet.

  • Thanks, Babajingo, Little White Ass, Paul Marcotte and everyone else liking the idea of a psychedelic Hawaii black sand beach party — coming up soon now, as we spin on toward the Winter at the End of Time. I hadn’t been in the Valley for two and a half years. The ocean there was much warmer than I’d ever felt, and the days hotter and more humid than I remembered. The folks who live there say the winters are colder and summers hotter, that everything is more extreme now. While I was there it poured–the waterfalls went off like crazy and the river rose higher than it had for years. Sounded like thunder and the wild energy in the air made me deliriously happy. The river flooded and water flowed through the yard, the ducks came in and tree trunks floated by. It was thrilling.
    Nature is truly where my only love remains.

    Thanks for the story, Patrick. It inspired me to imagine that dying while fighting forces of oppression and empire wouldn’t be a bad way to go.`Might as well, I figure, if we’re going anyway.

    Here are two offerings for the day~
    first, a Banksy theme park, full of grim irony, which I find brilliant

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/dismaland-banksy_55d6dc9de4b0f593f7f6f11d

    And a video of true beauty, by Sigur Ros

  • Fabulous post, Lidia.

    @ Shep

    “It is worth asking why. Cubans, more than 15,000 of them, saw the fate of West Africans as their own, and volunteered immediately. The “nicely sweetened but rotten ideas” that human beings are best motivated by material incentives don’t explain how this is possible. But it can be explained – by ideas predating the Cuban revolution, and even Marx.”

    I loved this. On the question of Africa, no country has done more to oppose empire than Cuba. More than catholicism, Cubans practice Santeria, an African derives spiritual practice. I suspect that they are already “African,” but just can’t talk about it. It’s very hard to do, and America might need to help.

    It seems that the term “white,” has functioned as a linguistic tool of separation, dominance and control, while the term “black” is just the reverse. So why do people who care about freedom still call themselves white? Since “black” is the archetypal construct for “enslaved” or worthy of enslavement, why don’t those who see themselves as slaves of empire not identify as black? It seems that identifying as white only lends support to the prerogatives of oppressors.

  • bitter sweet planet

  • @Little White Ass, great vignettes! Thanks for sharing them. I haven’t had such an interesting former life, I don’t think, but that is exactly how I feel, and pretty much how my interactions—which I have severely limited— with old friends and colleagues have gone.

    It’s odd, too, to interact much even with folks I don’t know all that well. They don’t understand why I’m not interested in going to movies, say, or in anything on TV. Why I don’t think it’s very important to mow the lawn or weed the driveway or why I don’t want to drive an hour just to try out a new restaurant, much less go back to Italy every year. Why I’m not on Facebook or Twitter. Why I’m uninterested in their vacation travel. Why I’m not paying attention to politics. Why I don’t want to help decorate freaking plastic Xmas trees for a fundraising ‘gala’ and why I gave away all the holiday decorations that camouflaged me as a “normal” person.

    That’s why I toy in my mind with the convent thing: I would love a uniform that telegraphs to people, “I’m not quite like you anymore” so that neither they nor I have to have these uncomfortable social moments that can no longer ever be resolved satisfactorily. What does seem to work as a bit of a repellent are the tired clothes I can no longer be bothered to replace. Most people don’t want the contagion of apparent poverty. They can smell a “loser”. 🙂

  • Little White Ass,

    I can certainly relate to how performing onstage strikes you as “just pure narcissistic vanity, at least within the context of the current state of the world” and as ultimately delusional.

    But here’s the thing: No matter what you do now the world isn’t going to end any differently. (And that’s why too I danced my little white ass off at a recent Neil Young concert.)

    That being so the question I’d ask myself, and I have about my own artistic endeavors, is does it still provide me some measure of relief and satisfaction, regardless of any public vanity or acclaim that may accrue to what I do, even tho “within the context of the current state of the world” it is completely delusional and narcissistic?

    Truthfully tho, delusion is an inherent feature of our psychic make-up, and that’s not such a bad thing in and of itself. Narcissism is too. Granted there are extreme levels of both that are rampart in our culture, much to our detriment. However, just because these extremes are odious societal and individual features needn’t circumscribe your own measured narcissistic and delusion creative pleasures.

    From your description it appears to me that you did truly enjoy (narcissistically) the karaoke duet, and despite knowing it doesn’t mean a damn thing in the big scheme of things. But it somehow did, to you! Now who’s deluded, eh?

    Further more you don’t have to be anyone you don’t want to be; certainly not to the extent you ascribe to the rest of humanity. I.e., as someone who sees doing what one enjoys as a means to some elevated status of extreme vain self-centered satisfaction, etc.

    That does not appear to be your problem. If anything it bothers you that no one seems to get it or care as you do. I feel the same way. And like you for a long time I stopped doing what I enjoyed. But here’s where I differ now, in that why should the lunatic narcissism and delusion about the real state of world impinge upon something I enjoy doing for my own sake; especially when, in comparison to most other human activities, it does little harm, some people really enjoy/appreciate my creations, and ultimately, doing it will not matter as to how the world goes on and ends.

    Perhaps you still play at making music in your cave all to your lonesome, or maybe not. You didn’t say. But if you do and it still manages to provide some measure of relief and satisfaction to do so against the angst and melancholia of what you feel to be the real deal with the state of the world, what have you got to lose by trying to find the same relief and satisfaction out among the lunacy of it all?

    The point, if there is one at all now-a-daze, is now is not the time to crawl in a cave, but to go about living as best one can with whatever one’s ultimately harmless creative talents are. Life is and has always been irrational after all, and “the most that any one of us can seem to do is to fashion something — an object or ourselves — and drop it into the confusion, make an offering of it, so to speak, to the life force.”

    As Guy suggests, any life of ‘excellence’ still to be had is yours to either give or deny yourself. But you are welcome to tell me to go fuck myself if that’s where you’re at.

    Cheers.

  • @Lidia … thanks for understanding what it feels like to be so uncoupled.

    @Haydukes Monkey … thanks for your thoughts too, they mean a lot to me, more than you can know maybe. One of the two gals was coming from a very old school point of view, and she wasn’t reaching me so much. However, the other gal, who is a real off the grid hippy her own self and agrees fully with the way I see the world, was actually trying to say very much the same thing as you have said. She nearly paraphrased that statement …

    “the most that any one of us can seem to do is to fashion something — an object or ourselves — and drop it into the confusion, make an offering of it, so to speak, to the life force.”

    Maybe that’s why my head twisted up like a pretzel about it, because I knew there was a truth in what she was saying. She also said, “At this point, why send your letter back into the void of consciousness unopened?” “What’s the point in that?”

    Thanks, truly. I guess I have some more thinking to do about all of this.

    Sorry, again, for three posts Guy (I can’t seem to get that together.)

    Also, of course, thanks for your essay Patrick. I have several shovels. 😉

  • This story reminds me of the city wide martial law imposed upon Boston after the marathon bombing. Boston will soon look like a soft core event.

    As far as the subject of cancer goes, I hope this planet ultimately survives its exponentially growing tumors. When I was a kid I saw a photo of a cancerous lung. I’m reminded of it every time I see a photo of mountain top removal. My only concern is for NTE, not NTHE.

  • haydukes! amen! whatever gets you through the night. lilwhiteass, if you can find the motivation to string some words together and pick out a tune, god sure won’t mind…doesn’t seem to matter to me anymore either but it worked for a while and if you’re anything like me, music has kept you alive this long. I just happen to prefer earlier Floyd. dr. epiphany…thanks for the sigur ros. wren I’m glad you have that beautiful memory. I miss you lidia! I’m going to be a better monk(ey) some day. goodnight john-boy.

  • Wren says:

    “Babajingo –

    There’s a huge difference between those optimistic cancer ridden individuals you speak of, and those of us here who have eaten of the tree of knowledge.
    To even begin to compare the two is simplistic. If I was dying from cancer, and I knew the planet was well and healthy, I would be happy beyond belief.”

    I’d like to second that. If you got the impression that some people here just want to lead a “normal” life like the terminal cancer patients from that site you describe – possibly will bucket lists, travel and all the things they think they must do before they die – you haven’t been paying attention.

    Like Wren, I’d be happy to die of cancer of anything immediately if I could be sure to leave a healthy biosphere behind. But then that just a useless but very nice fantasy, isn’t it?
    Just like Wren, I’ve had a good life (and I’m not talking about material possessions, status and the “been there bought the T-shirt sort of good life). All this should be obvious if you pay enough attention.

    It’s all about the biosphere. My life is only important (like everybody else’s) to the humans and animals that regards me as such, the ones that love and like me.
    That’s it, period, for everybody. And that’s something every mature person should ponder…

    Mourning and talking about the horrendous loss of life as we know it: the deterioration of the conditions necessary for life to thrive, is what can be done here on NBL because this is what is happening and we’re all living through it. Everybody does this in his/her own way. And this is what I read/get in the comments of the mature posters. That’s why I value this site and some of the people here.

    To recap: It’s never about any of us humans, it’s always been about the loss of the biosphere! Mature humans who have found their way here, generally except that as the baseline.
    Everything else is spending time on the beach…

  • Eerie Ass Etyerepetyere Says:
    August 21st, 2015 at 9:04 am

    Dredd you have promised you`ll be a good boy and stop obsessing about sea level rise .

    ==================================
    Another lie.

    What you need to do is stop being a bitchy little priest and start learning the science as pointed out in a comment here.
    ——————————————-

    The evidence for SLR is far stronger than the evidence for methane release in the Arctc:

    No one can yet say with certainty how the methane release in the Arctic will develop with global warming, either in the ocean or on the land. This research is still in its in­fancy.” (The Methane Hydrate / Clathrate Controversy).

    Trolls like Eerie Ass can call people a sissy for not believing in their gassy rap, but can’t do jack when it comes to doing something scientific like writing a software projection model of ultimate simplicity.

    Even when based on modern computer science, which depicts the potential with mathematical precision fully acceptable to scientists who may not agree with the parameters, but who know the math and coding is absolutely incontrovertible (Mathematical Model).

    Yet some doomers also consider the gassy rap that is “in its infancy”  to be the holy grail, and consider SLR projections to be heresy.

    Typical case of religiosity posing as science.

    They are bitchy little priests and no more until they can write a mathematical program that shows, for example, specific sources of methane, specific quantities from said sources, and how that will do damage to what, as well as the rates of increase with their distribution patterns (see e.g. The Evolution of Models, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10).
    ——————————————-
    Still waiting for your science.

  • Haydukes,

    Yes, yes

    “…But until that day of reckoning arrives — and no one knows when that will be — I’ve still got some excellence (and utter folly too) in me, and even still in my diminished yet still amazing near at hand natural setting that replenishes me, to care about living more than dying quite yet.”

    And all of your posts! “Hopium…refined opium”…that would be an excellent way to go… she dreams

  • yes sabine , it is only about the biosphere…but it’s the conscious one’s here at nbl who may be suffering the most over it’s death. the sleep walkers don’t suffer for it. the plants and animals? we assume they suffer, but that’s a human construct. perhaps this planet was always supposed to be a garbage pail. earth is a speck of dust in gods eye. the only value it has in this universe, we have given it. we have a breakdown over the death of a lion, while we smother ourselves. just a thought. in no way do I mean to belittle this sad, stupid tragedy. by the way, our confused potus, is allowing tar sands production in utah…only a couple of hundred miles from moab. go see Arches and Canyonlands before we shake them all down. ed abbey is rolling in his dirt again. if only we would all WALK there to protest. meanwhile, down the street, a million hippies are going to burning man to make a big fire and do some acrobatic sport fucking. what the hell, trying to make sense of anything is suicide. have a nice day all. as far as I can tell everyone else is.

  • still waiting for your humanity…dredd I hope you realize how privileged you are to be able to ”write a simple scientific projection model”…fucking hilarious. more science posing as religion… excellent clip grant.

  • are you all getting enough traffic on your “web” pages? soon you’ll be able to make some money off it. regards, Kilgore.

  • In the preceding post about losing habitat, Paul Chefurka’s “The Carbon Trap” is so well done that I offer it again.

    Paul delivers us out of the swamp of ideation & bewildering intellectual confusion.

    Using only a few very tight & scholarly sentences, Paul tries to answer a big part of the big question; “What are the primary variables determining human behavior?”

    Paul’s scientific materialism/behaviorism is the exact opposite of the free floating ideations of cognitive idealist theories.

    *** Paul Chefurka Says:
    August 21st, 2015 at 5:58 am

    This short metaphor may prove useful in helping people understand our situation.

    The human experiment is caught in what I have come to call a carbon trap. Our continued existence depends on the very thing that is killing us: the combustion of the planet’s ancient carbon stocks.

    We are in a cell whose bars are made of carbon. The door swung closed when the atmosphere reached 300 ppm of CO2, and the lock snapped shut 50 ppm later.

    There is no key that will re-open it.

    The trap was constructed well outside of our conscious view or understanding.

    It was designed by our evolved desires for status, material comfort and security.

    It was built with the best of intentions by well-meaning scientists and engineers whose knowledge of the consequences was both incomplete and obfuscated by their own evolved desires.

    The strength of the bars comes from the thermodynamics of carbon combustion – an energetic process with a very steep gradient. Once we descend that gradient we would have to harness over twice the energy to climb back up again.

    We need the energy to keep things running (which is the reason we burned the carbon in the first place), the same amount of energy to break the molecular bonds and turn the CO2 back into harmless carbon and oxygen, and a little more to pay the Pied Piper of Entropy.

    Most of us distract ourselves by creating and admiring elaborate appointments for our carbon-clad prison.

    Most of those who are aware of the bars spend their time dreaming of ways to slip through them into the world they can see outside. They face one insurmountable problem. While the light of awareness can slip between the carbon bars, our bodies cannot.

    Those who are fully aware of the trap understand that we now need it to survive.

    We are collective victims of what complex systems scientists call “path dependence”: where we came from and how we got here limits what is now possible for us to do.

    One of the things we can’t to is simply to open the door and leave. Even the fact that our carbon-barred prison is now on fire can’t change the cold equations.

    We are condemned to wait until the very walls burn down, when a few soot-blackened survivors may stumble out into the blasted and barren landscape left behind by the construction project.***

    There aren’t any wasted words or double-talk in Paul’s tight & “on point” scientific materialist message.

    Jacques Ellul made similar scientific materialist claims in his 1964 opus, “The technological Society.”

    http://suite.io/nicholas-morine/2qkh2dq

  • Without endorsing Christian Anarchism, I offer this succinct review of Jacques Ellul’s position concerning mass propaganda & control from the malicious & manipulative elites above.

    The Power of Advertising and Propaganda

    Jacques Ellul speaks at length as to the subjugation of the individual spirit via the mechanisms of propaganda and advertising, going so far as to describe the methodology employed in order to enact total technique within the population – what he has termed the “obsessional technique.”

    For Ellul, mass media has finally allowed the cultural elite to dominate their charges without any blatant use of authority – overt shows of force being few and far between in the technological society.

    The reason for this is that mass media has allowed for such an effective and truly enjoyable method of cultural consumption that force is no longer necessary – a cunningly crafted message tied up in an attractive bow will suffice.

    According to Ellul, “It was necessary to use the so-called obsessional technique, to subject the citizen to propaganda without letup, never allowing him to be alone with himself. In the street he is confronted with posters, loud-speakers, ceremonies, and meetings; at work with handbills and “industrial mobilization”; in his amusements, with motion-picture and theatrical propaganda; at home, with newspaper and radio propaganda.

    All these means converge on the same point. All exert the same kind of action on the individual and are of such overpowering magnitude that he ceases to be consciously aware of them.

    Constant inundation of the individual with technological propaganda is essential in motivating them toward collective action. Via a predestined path of cultural consumption, the individual becomes predictable and malleable – both in their cultural consumption and in reaction to social forces.

    Thus, through constant and unrelenting exposure to directing forces present in mass media, propagandists, advertisers, and other creators of culture are able to successfully coerce their audience into complicity.

    For Ellul, a Christian Anarchist, this was anathema to the survival of the human spirit and the notion of individual sovereignty, and a stark warning to us all.

  • Lidia –
    Great report from the trenches of your cancer support group-think situation.
    I know you’ve probably read Barbara Ehrenreich’s book “Bright-Sided”. Maybe you could do a reading from it at your next group meeting. 😉

    Meanwhile, for me, until things spiral out further, the modern medical mindset looms as a major pitfall in my plans.
    I do have a medical ‘plan’, and that is to do Nothing until it is way too late to do anything, and then exit stage left. Fuck all the preventive MRI’s, CAT’s, pap smears, etc etc.. Still it is a battle fighting for the right to control one’s own life and death. I would prefer to spend that energy elsewhere. As it stands, all my plans must be very private, just me, and that only complicates things and creates stress. Even if someone close to me wanted to help, there would be legal issues for them. In this society you are not allowed to die, much less on your own terms; and no one is allowed to help you.

    In ‘my’ more perfect world, there would be No health care beyond herbs, diet, shamanic intervention, maybe some dental, and exercise. And when the time came for death, it would be an experience that would be supported and choreographed by yourself, friends, relatives, and the medical community.

    This reminds me, I am amused by the discussion of death penalty execution methods. They can’t come up with a good death cocktail? Are you kidding me? Just ask a fucking vet! Or a junkie. I have lost more than one friend from accidental heroine overdose. I think they just don’t want to give the victim a pleasant experience. The perfect proportions of DMT, opiates, alcohol, anti- nausea, and barbiturates could be …. well, very pleasant and profound.

    Btw, I love wearing old clothes too! There is comfort and a shared history there, a ‘relationship’. Think of the mindset back when all clothing was made slowly by hand, the precious fibers of plant and animal gathered and spun by hand.
    Katherine Hepburn was famous for her love of old clothing too!

  • I found a good site, its about what they will find once were dead

    http://www.spoilheap.co.uk

  • Martin; Archeologists NEVER find ideas.

    Archeologists find the material & physical remains of previous human societies.

    Archeologists find human skulls, but not the ideas that ideationists claim are all causative.

    BUT pompous cognitivists/ideationists routinely posit that all causative ideas & ideology are the supreme causal agents in human society.

    Engels euology at Marx’s graveside;

    Just as Darwin discovered the law of development or organic nature, so Marx discovered the law of development of human history: the simple fact, hitherto concealed by an overgrowth of ideology, that mankind must first of all eat, drink, have shelter and clothing, before it can pursue politics, science, art, religion, etc. that therefore the production of the immediate material means, and consequently the degree of economic development attained by a given people or during a given epoch, form the foundation upon which the state institutions, the legal conceptions, art, and even the ideas on religion, of the people concerned have been evolved, and in the light of which they must, therefore, be explained, instead of vice versa, as had hitherto been the case.” Frederick Engels,

  • Three quotes to help you live cancer-free:

    1. Chief chemist of the National Cancer Institute, Dr. Dean Burk when confronted with mountains of data, stated before Congress:

    “In point of fact, fluoride causes more human cancer death, and causes it faster than any other chemical.”
    Congressional Record 21 July 1976

    2. Dr. Robert O. Becker found that “all cancer patients had a definite deficiency of silver – A silver deficiency leads to an impaired immune system.”

    3. Dr. W. B. Clark of Indiana, says that “Cancer was practically unknown until compulsory vaccination with cowpox vaccine began to be introduced. I have had to deal with at least two hundred cases of cancer, and I never saw a case of cancer in an unvaccinated person.”

  • Griefwalking Toward a ‘Good’ Death

    We are all orphans now.

    Our mother matrix is turning her back on us. All those migrants trying to cross the Med., those wading through floodwaters, sheltering from howling gales, volcanoes, burning trees, storm surge, know what it is to be orphaned by our matrix.
    And those of us who no longer subscribe to patriarchal judeo-christian-muslim philosophies of control and dogma have lost that other parent too – the one William Blake referred to as “Old Nobodaddy”.

    We are orphans.

    Canada has a man named Stephen Jenkinson, he is known colloquially as the Griefwalker. A recent National Film Board of Canada film about him can be viewed online at the NFB website.
    The following 6 quotes are excerpts from an interview with him for the O World Project – his wisdom surrounding death is compassionate, subtle, and based upon a foundation of experience with death that shines through in his voice, his eyes, his every compassionate insight.

    All that he speaks of here is in relation to death as it plays out in our hospitals, and in homes, under the auspices of our medical system and the palliative caregivers who oversee the dying process in Western society.

    1. Human freedom is the capacity and the responsibility to wrangle meaning, particularly in things that seem habituated, inevitable, unconquerably toxic, and so on.
    There is no such thing as the absence of disease…but ask a deer, close to my farm, who or what in this world keeps you most healthy? And if they’re honest, and most deers are, you know what they are gonna tell you? Wolf. Wolf is closer to me – in maintaining my health – than my own offspring are.
    And we have no wolves. Or, worse, we’ve internalized this idea of adversary to the point where all our demons are human. And that’s the scorpion’s tale of the humanist inheritance we’ve had from the Renaissance, that when the universe is emptied of demons and satans and adversaries, you don’t experience adversity any less, so how do you account… what’s the story you begin to tell yourself? You psychologize satan, you turn it into ‘human nature’. And human nature, when it’s confronted with the things that we have done in this world, or the things we have allowed to be done on our watch, I mean, what conclusion can you draw but that the world itself is vulnerable to our inner satan. And inner satan, I’m telling ya, that’s just the inevitable other half of inner child fixation. But the world is not inner. Thank goodness. Goodness is not inner. And human freedom is not inner. It’s not how you feel.
    What merit is there to feeling good in the midst of a drought? Now, you know, the rehabilitation specialists among us will say until you feel good you won’t do anything about it. I say no, when you feel good, you forget. There’s deep purposefulness to being really seized by the laments of your time. Absolutely, not paralyzed by them, but, and I’m not talking about just mobilized, I’m saying your willingness for things to be other than what you’ve known is sensitized by your heart breaking about the way things are.
    We demonize heartbreak, unfortunately, as something that is treatable. And we anesthetize heartbreak as a rule, and so what is the antidote for an anesthetized broken heart? And the answer is not more broken-heartedness, because there would be more anesthesia, and before you know it you’re selling Percocet on the street corner.
    No, the antidote is grief, that’s the awakening, that’s the midwife of real alertness. Real adroitness is grief, but it’s not sadness, it’s certainly not despair or depression. Grief is a sign that there’s a part of you that is not completely swallowed by your own hunger for things to be ok. Grief is a way that life, or the world, or the larger story has not left you out completely, and it’s not completely internalized.

    2. My job was to get people to die. To re-present their dying to them as the last great project, let’s say they are a father, the last great project of your fathering. I don’t mean you die as a father, I mean, your manner of dying is how you father the kids now. And if you are a spouse, so on, and if you are a grandchild, so on, the whole thing. The manner of your dying is one of the ways by which your life has consequence for others. It either has the consequence of driving the whole mess underground or maybe it has the consequence of conjuring the possibility of dying well. And dying well, to my mind, has nothing to do with pain symptoms and drugs and all the rest, it has to do with whether your dying is small or big. Whether its private and the wagons have been circled and family and immediate friends only, or whether it’s a messy and unbridled affair that almost involuntarily conjures something approximating a village – because everybody’s not ok.

    3. To ask people to die means to let go your stranglehold on you thinking that you are going to ‘craft’ this. Your dying is something you have to give, it’s not something you achieve for yourself, y’see.

    4. I wasn’t being secretive. I’m making it sound like I knew what I was doing at every step, no, I had to find out what wasn’t working, what was a kind of insanity masquerading as compassion. These things aren’t announced, they don’t come with a label, you know. You see them four or five times, you have to have the capacity to be troubled by what everybody else longs for. And then you realize, it becomes a self-appointed task to see it differently, and to plead for a kind of sanity that’s unrecognizable to comfort-seeking people.

    5. To risk the friendship itself, not for the sake of your opinion, but for the sake of your friend. You act in a deeply friendly fashion and in so doing lose your friend. It can happen, a lot of people can testify to that, y’know, and I’m saying to you this is a radical understanding of friendship. That the friendship itself doesn’t survive. But the friend, not as your friend, but there is something about that person that is actually ennobled by your willingness to risk the friendship for their sake. Sounds vaguely religious … and probably it is.
    So that’s what you do – you befriend the people in that circumstance rather than comfort them. And then you ultimately realize that what you are doing is practicing how to befriend death. Befriend death doesn’t mean defeat death. It means feed it its proper food, as you would any visitor. You don’t say, ‘Well, all we got is denial. Well, actually, the fridge is kind of full as it happens and let me figure out what you guys eat. Where you come from.’ And death has a certain appetite. And it’s not destruction. It’s timeliness, it’s a certain sense of recognizing that you’re in it, that this is the moment, and you’re wondering where in the arc of your life you are. And so, I have the answer – it’s called ‘The End’.

    6. You, um, yea, you’re doing it for their sake, but the other half of the story is ….. you have to make your move now, you’re not gonna be there as a counterbalance to the lunacy of the time. So, you have to do something about the lunacy of the time. You can’t defend them from it. You can’t build a cocoon, ok. Then you become, involuntarily, some kind of spiritual activist. You don’t even mean to, but, for the sake of at least your own kin. … I can’t keep it small and say ‘Well, as long as my kids die well, then who cares.’ Because they can’t. They can only die well when dying well becomes the democratic reality, not the particular accomplishment of two or three people…

    Thanks to Stephen and to his interviewer – for me, they are good friends. I thank Stephen for sharing his “burdensome privilege” and I share it with you all here in a spirit of compassion for fellow griefwalkers.

    http://www.nfb.ca/film/griefwalker

  • WoodWose, thanks for your comment about Jenkinson. Mike and I will interview him on the radio show Tuesday, 1 September 2015. First up, this week: John Zerzan.

  • IN MEMORIAM – DEBORAH ANAPOL

    Anyone who is a member of the poly “tribe” – whether actively practicing polyamory or not – will probably know the name of Deborah Anapol. In brief, she was one of the founding wisdom teachers of ETHICAL polyamory – and she died three days ago.

    I did not know her personally – but I’ve read her work, and know people who did. From everything I can glean, she lived a life of TRUTH and INTEGRITY. If you want to use the phrase “Only Love Remains”, she’s a good example of what that actually means.

    Along with other thought leaders in the poly tribe (or movement), Deborah insisted that a rigorous commitment to living an ethical life was absolutely FOUNDATIONAL. If you consciously chose otherwise, you were a destroyer of relationships, and thus a destroyer of the world.

    She was absolutely, unequivocally, 100% right about that.

    As Guy McPherson himself mentioned the other day, the world is dying from the karmic action of cheaters and liars. He didn’t actually use that word – indeed I don’t know (nor care) if he even believes the in the concept. But the facts are – there is a direct, and quite evident, cause and effect relationship between the ethical and moral choices we choose to make, and the unfolding of life on our planet. It is all truly a “seamless cloth”.

    Deborah understood it – and she taught it – and from what I can gather, she actually lived it. Her teaching – and her work as a clinical psychologist and counselor as well – helped others to understand it as well – and make more conscious and more ethical choices as a result.

    Of course, there has to be the authentic desire to live that sort of congruent moral life. I’ve known plenty of poly people who simply didn’t have a clue about what that might mean, in the sphere of relationships. Poly isn’t a cure-all for what ails us.

    But the poly tribe is an interesting one – one I am glad to be affiliated with and have learned from through the years. They really spend a lot of time talking about what it really means to be a MENSCH (google it) – and many (certainly not all) walk their talk to the very best of their ability.

    My kind of folks, whether I’m sexing any of them, or not.

    Whether NTHE happens tomorrow or 100 years from now, Deborah actually left it a better place than she found it. She wasn’t a liar or a cheater. You never would have found her on Ashley Madison’s now hacked membership roles. She walked her talk; she practiced what she preached.

    Good on her.

  • In the same frame of view, I watched a woman cuddle with a tree as she readied to commute home on her bicyle and a man start up his monster cherry red SUV with the stereo blasting as he readied to blast his way on home. Wow. The woman took the long needles of an evergreen at the side of the road and rubbed them on her face, faced the tree and put the branch to her nose. She had a beatific look on her face. She took a couple of minutes to do this. Some of us are watching and very aware of the preciousness of all non-human life. Invertebrates are welcome in my house. Mourning the death of the lowest of the low, is it all really coming to an end.

  • Cheating, or more properly, deception, is found throughout the animal kingdom. A person might have more cheating aptitude (sociopath), or less (Asperger’s). Socially, the abstraction of evil is useful to minimize cheating within groups, or desensitize us towards out-groups.

  • We might as well just walk into the whirring blades, to make humanburgers

    at least i’de have the courage to take a shit as i died

  • @Hamlet Jones: Cheating, or more properly, deception, is found throughout the animal kingdom. A person might have more cheating aptitude (sociopath), or less (Asperger’s).

    >>>

    Aspies can be sociopathic as well as on the autism spectrum.

    Read this for one very clear clinical example:

    http://www.aspiescentral.com/threads/aspergers-and-lack-of-morals.1261/

    Another example is Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook elementary school shooter.

  • oh no, HMS Hood took a shot

  • Hello there,
    First post on this blog and i already have to apologize.
    Not for my post but for my lack of understanding chemistry and the ongoing Impact Co 2 or any other greenhouse gasses obviously has on the sea of gas on whose bottom i happen to live.
    To get to the Point, i just stumbled upon Mr. McPhersons Page and Videos by pure chance and have no credit or deep understanding on the whole climate Change topic.
    And i asume i’m not the only one.
    So, to believe or not believe for the masses has Little to do with empiric evidence but with faith.
    As i cannot prove or disaprove if climate Change is real or not i have to Resort to blind faith.
    And that’s just me.
    Regard to anybody out there.

  • It is early morning here.I noticed a Lewin honeyeater on the bromeliad flower on the verandah.It then flew instde and landed on the table,then onto the laptop,turning its head from side to side,evidently assessing my potential as a supplier of nest-lining material,as it then flew and landed on the top of m head and attempted to collect some hair.I am not sure if it
    managed to collect some before flying away.

    Who says I am not an important part of the ecosystem here? Think of the hard time those nestlings would have had if they didn’t have warm nest lining supplied by me.(joke)

  • There you are, being an obedient consumer in an industrial society, and for not fault of your own, a second later you’re dead.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/shoreham-air-show-plane-crash-police-say-death-toll-may-rise-above-seven-as-pilot-fights-for-his-life-10467534.html

    Obviously no one could possibly be to blame for this ‘accident’. Institutionalised insanity is mandatory to keep this insane society dysfunctioning just a little longer.

  • I recently read on some blog or website, I don’t recall, some guy’s comment about Guy. Commentator wrote, “I disagree with McPherson, I don’t have any evidence,I just don’t like his looks.”
    LOL
    WE ARE SCREWED

  • Some here might be interested in an experience we had with kangaroos.
    We have lived here for 38 years,and as we don’t have a dog,the resident mob
    of eastern grey kangaroos have become surprisingly tame. We regularly walk within 2 metres of the least nervous individuals.
    Several years ago we had a minor cyclone pass over slowly.We had strong winds and heavy rain for about a day or so. The front door and windows were open,as the wind was not blowing in from that direction. Joanna was sitting
    reading,and I was in another room,when I heard Jo give a cry of surprised alarm. I went to see what had happened, and walked in to find a large male kangaroo standing behind Jo’s chair. He was evidently seeking some shelter from the wind and rain. When I walked in,he looked at me, then looked around the room,then slowly went out of the room.

  • I relish the idea of retiring from the world but I couldn’t join a convent and scat about in a habit praying to the celestial shepard, although I do appreciate the concept. “Fake it ’till you make it” they say, and I don’t want to be made. Not into that. But I can well relate to wearing the mark of a doomer.

    Back in my punk years there was a daily uniform (shredded jeans, combat boots, black leather jacket adorned with all kinds of junk, dyed hair, wraparound shades, a scowl). I felt pretty invincible and unapproachable in that get-up. The look conjured up the reality that I wasn’t somone to mess with and few did. It’s ironic since both then and now I’m very quiet, shy, gentle and prefer the company of animals to most humans.

    On the whole, doomers are pretty invisible and we don’t really recognize each other in passing, which is kind of a shame. As a punk, I could immediately recognize who a potential ally was. I’ve toyed with the idea of making a NTE t-shirt so in-the-know folks might feel safe approaching. But then I might actually have to interact with others. Heh.

    I’ve haunted thriftstores and garage sales for years. I hate buying new clothes and almost only wear used things. Usually with dirty knees from being out in the yard digging in the dirt a lot. I also haven’t been bathing as much in a bid to conserve water (it’s turning into a terrible drought here in Western WA). Sooo, I wear ragged, somewhat dirty clothes and have accumulated a bit of an aroma after a few days. It does keep the straights away.

    It’s amazing how many people actually look down on shopping in thrift stores or especially in wearing old/used clothes. Almost everything we own came with it’s own history and the energy of previous owners. Love that. Although “things” don’t give me much pleasure these days, I can still capture a little thrill when I come across a rare find, like a scarce vinyl record, in a thrift shop. It’s the last gasp of a dying consumer.

    Lidia, I always enjoy hearing your thoughts and your “loser” comment reminded me of these lyrics:

    You’re beautiful, you’re glorious
    Now you’re covered in loser dust
    You’re fabulous, you’re gorgeous
    Now you’re you’re covered in loser dust
    And all the things I used to trust
    And all the things I’m about to crush
    Your youth is gone, it’s turned to rust
    It’s all covered in loser dust…
    -Hole, “Loser Dust”

  • Re: Stephen Jenkinson, I’ve heard him on the “Extraenvironmentalist” podcast:

    http://www.extraenvironmentalist.com/2012/10/15/episode-51-culture-dying/
    http://www.extraenvironmentalist.com/2014/08/05/episode-80-dying-wisdom/

    Looking forward to hearing him again.

  • Ed, I don’t see it. I don’t think she has Asperger’s. Highly intelligent sociopath, maybe.

    So, who’s this Martin asshole? What’s his disorder? Can we throw him back?

  • @Hamlet Jones: Ed, I don’t see it. I don’t think she has Asperger’s. Highly intelligent sociopath, maybe.

    Well, it’s her clinical diagnosis (per her mother) and she certainly shows traits…but perhaps she’s not on the autism spectrum. Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook elementary school shooter, sure seems to have been. And he was definitely quite capable of sociopathy/psychopathy, and it wasn’t an unknown problem. His mother (dead by his hand) was surely not using good judgment keeping guns in the house.

    My point is that co-morbidity is certainly not out of the question, Hamlet Jones. Aspies don’t get a halo to compensate for their other problems. They’re capable of breaking bad.

    >>>

    So, who’s this Martin asshole? What’s his disorder? Can we throw him back?

    >>>

    Who is anybody, when you come right down to it? Martin is one of many troubled folks you might meet on a forum like this, devoted as it is to talking about our troubles. He seems to go in and out of the crazies…but maybe he’s just trolling. Doesn’t really matter either way.

    There are a few folks here worth paying serious attention to – and a bunch worth having a good chuckle over. I find Daniel, Paul Chefurka and Robin Datta often have useful, non-trivial things to say as we grapple with the end of days. There are others.

    Others go on long rants, are obsessive-compulsive, or just gripped with NTE/NTHE hysteria.

    Some seem truly sincere, and others are hypocritical bullshitters, trying to sell something they don’t really own, just like out there in the real world.

    Some come philosophically prepared to contemplate what’s coming down the pike. Most do not, so there is necessarily a lot of weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    There’s a lot of arguing about why it’s all going down. What’s the reason? Who’s to blame? The blame game is probably the favorite pastime here, apart from feverishly documenting every twitch of the dying beast. Hang around for any length of time and you’ll see another round of it, for sure. Guy McPherson likes to say that “only love remains”, but in my observation blame remains, too.

    This place is like TMZ for doomers – a hoot, if you have the funnybone to see it. It’s a laff riot.

    OTOH, folks here suffer with the burden of knowledge difficult to bear – and mostly don’t know whether to shit or go blind. So you get your tragedy and your comedy as a one stop shopping experience – just like you do with Shakespeare.

  • Texas Man Shoots Armadillo; Bullet Ricochets Back Up – Gets Him In The Face

    http://thuglifer.com/texas-man-shoots-armadillo-bullet-ricochets-back-up-gets-him-in-the-face/

  • that’s a nice summation ed…but kangaroos with Asperger’s is completely new.

  • WoodWose Says:
    August 22nd, 2015 at 11:46 am
    Griefwalking Toward a ‘Good’ Death

    We are all orphans now.

    Our mother matrix is turning her back on us. All those migrants trying to cross the Med., those wading through floodwaters, sheltering from howling gales, volcanoes, burning trees, storm surge, know what it is to be orphaned by our matrix.
    And those of us who no longer subscribe to patriarchal judeo-christian-muslim philosophies of control and dogma have lost that other parent too – the one William Blake referred to as “Old Nobodaddy”.

    We are orphans.

    I really liked what you said Woodwose, I’m not a troll, i may be an arsehole I just find it very difficult to cope with the fact that 80% of or fellow human beings are oblivious to our plight as a world, so I get drunk all the time. As do many idealists, thats our fate

  • Love your encounters with the kangaroo and bird David Higham. They’re our fellow travellers through this finite fleeting existence.

  • @kevin moore
    Thank you for your reply and I’m sorry to hear of your struggles.

    The thing that makes my blood boil is that if we lived in a close-knit tribal community people would not treat other members of the tribe badly in a million years, or they would face lethal consequences.

    I used to listen to a Scottsh guy on the radio talk fondly about the good old days of throwing people down the hole. If you knew someone in the local area was a kiddy fillder there wasn’t any judge, jury fuss and bother. You just threw them down the hole and that was the end of it.

  • From http://www.dailygood.org/more.php?n=6372

    “…a new edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary was published. A sharp-eyed reader noticed that there had been a culling of words concerning nature. Under pressure, Oxford University Press revealed a list of the entries it no longer felt to be relevant to a modern-day childhood. The deletions included acorn, adder, ash, beech, bluebell, buttercup, catkin, conker, cowslip, cygnet, dandelion, fern, hazel, heather, heron, ivy, kingfisher, lark, mistletoe, nectar, newt, otter, pasture, and willow. The words introduced to the new edition included attachment, block-graph, blog, broadband, bullet-point, celebrity, chatroom, committee, cut-and-paste, MP3 player, and voice-mail.”

  • “evolved desires for status, material comfort and security.”
    – Uh. Thank heavens it’s “evolved” and not directly responsible from the willing, knowing acts of imperial corporate america who had their origins in the psychology of the English Enclosure Movement. The ones who throw out a ballast to the lovelies coddled in the Colonial Turtle Island Bubble out there.

    “It was built with the best of intentions by well-meaning scientists and engineers”

    – Ones whose highly conservative institutional grants paid their bills and consciously or not, were propped up by the capitalist system, and so accordingly, propped it back themselves.

    “whose knowledge of the consequences was both incomplete and obfuscated by their own evolved desires.”

    – Again. Thank god for evolved desires. Otherwise we might be obliged to actually {cough] do something, or {hack, wheeze} take on the burden personally.

    In the end, I find I am still the bastard child Gerrard Winstanley. The Diggers and The Levelers. Amazing in many ways that they could not make us go away. And it was their fight that they lost. It is the same exact fight in many ways that we are still fighting today, and looks like we’re going to lose as well.

    In order for power to be maintained, language must be corrupted, and can no longer serve its function of mapping reality. Language then becomes a tool of aggression, division, control, grasping, power, etc. However, that is the function and driver of a huge part of the US economy, which is Madison Avenue.

    Their function of which is creating on industrial scales, a usefully farm-raised human, ready built to fit into his sub-altern place. Thus the world is a farm, built to facilitate and manage wealth extraction and subsidy of a “ruling” managerial class to run the program and benefit fantastically from it.

    This is the system that was exchanged for a functional biosphere, and the relegation of out brothers and sisters, the animals, to slavery on the road to extinction.

    And it all begins with the corruption of language.

    —-
    You can read Elizabeth Fones-Wolff’s book: Selling Free Enterprise. Which is a straight academic study of post WW2 domestic US business strategy and tactics. But now reads as a blood & gore horror story of the successful systematic invasion, corruption, and complete destruction of the human experience on planet earth. The banal presentation of this book as a straight university level study does not remove it from being included in the epic historical tales of beastly terror. Except this one ends with the extinguishing of the human species.

    —-

  • The seaport danger is known to some degree by public officials around the world, but not to some doomers (You Are Here – 5).

    There is less evidence for methane science than there is for sea level change science (The Methane Hydrate / Clathrate Controversy – 2).

    Maybe the science research funding money is being spent on fighting hundreds of fires in the U.S. Canada, and Russia?

  • Patrick Frost wrote:

    “First it was San Francisco, then it was Sacramento, Berkeley and then finally Oakland. Camps were being set up for our safety. Water was flown in, trucked in, food was provided. Shots were mandatory for everyone who entered the Safe Camps. And the camps were ordered for everyone.”

    Once moderate officials are calling for internment camps (Another One Bites The Dust).

  • Woodwose,

    Thanks for sharing this man’s experience and wisdom. The grief walker…
    This part of your quote seems particularly relevant to our conundrum:

    “No, the antidote is grief, that’s the awakening, that’s the midwife of real alertness. Real adroitness is grief, but it’s not sadness, it’s certainly not despair or depression. Grief is a sign that there’s a part of you that is not completely swallowed by your own hunger for things to be ok. Grief is a way that life, or the world, or the larger story has not left you out completely, and it’s not completely internalized.”

    “The midwife of real alertness….not sadness… certainly nor despair or depression” I can identify with that.

    A truly wise man.

  • Dredd, if you hadn’t shown Gen. Clark on video advocating such top down total control, I wouldn’t have believed it. It is very alarming.

    Wester, your point is well taken, especially if one takes evolved to be synonomous with genetic/natural. I am almost sure that Paul means evolved in a cultural/social sense. You are right – the distinction is very critical. Orwell’s “Politics & the (corruption of the) English Language” is mandatory.

    Cindy, Behaviorist B.F. Skinner spent much energy demonstrating that both language & behavior are conditioned by the natural & social environments, & he was severely criticized by anti-behaviorists for doing it.

  • Ellul, yes, he is supposed to have coined the phrase, “Think globally, act locally.” during the 68 strike in France. His main Phd of course in sociology, no divinity degrees, he was just a smart person who taught himself theology, his books on Jonah and Genesis had a fair reading in Catholic, Mennonite and even in some Baptist circles. Interesting, with Ellul, everyone gets into heaven eventually. Ellul was “required” reading for members of the Catholic Worker movement from the mid 60’s to the mid to late 1990’s

    Of course many consider his opus to be his trilogy on Technology and the Technological Bluff, I gave all three to the third of the “4 M.s” in L’Arche Mobile about 1994. He needed them much more than I. I have given away a lot of books over the years.

    When the other main lay French theologian (Canadian born) Jean Vanier was in his final or ultimate (not pent-ultimate) tour to L’Arche Canada, he replied that he had never heard of Jacques Ellul.

    Funny, it is not that far from Bordeaux to the village of Trosly – but Jacques and Jean never met.

  • I’ve posted the first three chapters of my latest book. Read the excerpt here.

  • mrogness, Although I do not endorse Jean Vanier’s Catholic theoology, I love & respect the man.

    There is a literary theory that we get the faces we deserve.

    Here are some revealing photos of Monsieur Jean Vanier.

    SEARCH; Life at the Heart of L’Arche

  • Gerald Spezio Says:
    August 23rd, 2015 at 7:39 am

    Dredd, if you hadn’t shown Gen. Clark on video advocating such top down total control, I wouldn’t have believed it. It is very alarming.

    ===============================
    My chin needed a band-aid because it hit the ground so hard when I first heard it.

  • Gerald

    Jean Vaniers semi-recent book (2004) Drawn into the Mystery was written in Aleppo, Syria. What a difference a few years makes. Very rough times for the mentally challenged members of L’Arche Aleppo and the assistants. Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe, Haiti, etc. etc., rough times for all marginalized peoples and communities.

    Several L’Arche communities are in Muslim areas and they are spiritually based on that, Communities in India, Palestine, etc. etc., draw on the local areas spirituality.

    If one is younger than 50 and willing to embrace patience and poverty, there are worse things to do than try out a L’Arche community. There are about 150 communities in 35 countries. Camphill of course is another similar option – more rural and small scale agricultural.

    As Dorothy Day was fond of quoting (Brothers Karamazov) “Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared to love in dreams.” Whole lotta that living with the homeless and definitely some of that often working with the mentally challenged. If in fact “conventional” Alzheimers is partly an overamplification of parts of chromosome 21, well that would explain why trisomy 21 (Downs Syndrome) individuals have early onset and faster developing dementias. One goes through a period where someone will ask you the same question 200 times a day or repeat the same phrase. And after awhile- that is moot, because then the person is non-vocal. And death, and repeat – for Down’s individuals on the average excell at learning via modelling and in structured environments. L’Arche drew many in and the intention was/is a home for life and that includes death.

    Well, as they say, some of my best friends have an extra chromosome.

  • digixplor Says:
    August 24th, 2015 at 8:11 am

    dredd…I’m so sorry you’ve been cut off from your humanity…you should step out of your ivory tower…and eat a big bag of mushrooms!and quit with the” bitchy little priest routine”…it makes me want to puke on your shiny little shoes.
    ====================================
    How many of you does your master handle (The Private Empire’s Social Media Hit Squads – 2)?

    When sick like you, puke on your own fool (Mocking America – 3).

    I smell Oil-Qaeda all over you.

  • dredd, I’m not going to your site…but if you’ve got something to say, I’m right here. so far though, you’re are the fool. I smell privilege and elitism…and it smells like death.

  • boy you’ve got a link for every situation, don’t you.