As we wrapped up our potluck lunch, at the request of my co-teacher and mentor, I read this bit from Pablo Neruda’s poem, “Keeping Quiet.” It seems fitting, as I step away from one life and move closer to the land.
The industrial economy is slipping through our fingers like mercury from a broken thermometer. Facing a rapid terminal decline in crude oil — the lifeblood of western civilization — there is nothing you, me, or President Obama can do to save the industrial economy. But as we near the end of the industrial economy, complete with the collapse of our fuel-, food- and water-delivery systems, individuals can make arrangements to thrive in the post-carbon era.
For the most part, of course, we prefer to look the other way, rather than staring into the unflinching eyes of truth. Civilized people don’t want to know the consequences of our actions, which include oppression, murder, and extinction, among other uncomfortable costs.
“The American public can, at this point, have zero confidence in the integrity of the Congress or of their own representatives, knowing that politicians and government officials may be acting not in the public interest but rather under duress in the interest of those who control the National Security Agency. We can have zero confidence either in the integrity of the president, who likewise may well have been compromised by NSA surveillance conducted on him before he became president.”
Joe Bageant’s recent piece, Escape from the Zombie Food Court, is a classic. He clearly and concisely dismisses the notion that our lives are lived in anything resembling freedom. The corporate media and their primary brainwashing device, television, have taken care of that.
We make sheep look well-informed and introspective.
Teaching? I’m doing the best work of my life. Scholarship? Likewise. Outreach? Ditto. Obviously, it’s time for me to move along.