Friday, January 4, 2013

Life's A Bitch, Then You Die...

 "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose"

---Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr

    I went back to my hometown for Christmas. See family & friends, law-de-daw...
I saw lots of folks, not everyone I went to see, but lots of folks I hadn't seen in years. I also saw lots of changes. Lots of deterioration & the apathy surrounding it. They call it "progress"...
I call it deplorable. The land has gone to shit. More on that in a minute.

    There's two faces of Pittsburgh: The face they display to the world - Heinz Field, etc. And the face they keep hidden - McKees Rocks, Northside, Clairton, etc. I figure it's like this everywhere in the country nowadays. There's the gilded-plastic, sugar-coated turd they present to the world, and then there's the actual town that's falling down, because nobody cares. Rather than maintain & refurbish/restore the historic structures, roads, railroads, and such, they just leave them go to shit, while systematically destroying open spaces to build new garbage they can market to yuppies.

    I can still remember West View Park. We used to go there every summer when I was a kid. It closed in '77. It's an ass-ugly, waste-of-space shopping center now. That's a goddamn shame. What kind of scum destroys a beautiful old amusement park and replaces it with a worthless cluster of stores? The same kind of scum that destroy forests & farms to build suburban sprawl, that's what kind. Places where I used to ride dirtbikes at as a teenager are gone, replaced by strip-malls and plans of McMansions with manicured lawns. Roads I used to race on have been re-routed, or oblitterated completely by toll road 43. Railroads and inter-urban streetcar lines have become bicycle trails for yuppies. It's all about money, what puts money into the pockets and bank accounts of unscrupulous assholes with delusions of grandeur, the grandiosity of wannabe millionaires. And the general apathy of sheeple who are force-fed the quarter-pounders of tv "reality" contributes to the snowball effect of it. Sheeple are sheeple because they are conditioned from early childhood to be sheeple. The snowball is gaining momentum, growing exponentially as it makes its way down the mountain, ever gaining speed & size, towards the inevitable big splat.  None of them seem to realize that money is just worthless paper, and that material things, cars, houses, and even gold are temporal.

    I don't know what to do about it. See, it's like this:  One day in 1980, I got drunk for 24 years. I stopped giving a fuck about anyone or anything except my own selfish desire to stay fucked up. I didn't just want to get high, I wanted to stay high forever, the search for the elusive, unattainable eternal buzz, which would allow me to forget responsibility and drift off peacefully into oblivion. I had my reasons for wanting this, I won't go into it here & now. Maybe another post, another time.

    Suffice it to say, when I sobered up eight years ago, I started to become aware of my surroundings. It seems that as I progress thru time, I become more and more aware of things, and I don't like a lot of these things. I am now aware of what was going on during the 24 years that I was too fucked up to care. And now I care. And it often seems like it's too late to fix it.

    I started using google Earth to look for things that I remember from childhood, and sadly, a lot of these things ain't there anymore. Almost all the drive-ins are gone, some replaced with subdevisions and shopping centers, car dealers, what have you, and some just big ugly scars on the landscape. The same holds true for amusement parks, farms, woods... And I want to know why. It makes me sad in my heart and sick to my stomach to see the wanton waste that passes for "progress". And I want to do something about it. ...But what?

    There's entirely too many humans. Mother Earth cannot sustain continued population growth. The douchebags in charge know this, yet they do nothing to change it. Why? In a word, self. Selfishness. They only care about what they can take from any given situation, and not what they can contribute. "I got mine, fuck you." They do not comprehend the temporal nature of matter. Material things are fragile, they become dust in the wind if not carefully preserved and taken care of. What legacy are we leaving for our grandchildren's grandchildren's grandchildren?

Sometimes I have post-apocalyptic dreams.

    Humans were put here by our Creator(s?) for a purpose. What purpose? To be caretakers of Mother Earth and to look after the well-being of other species? Or to wantonly destroy all we survey, ultimately destroying the environment, making Mother uninhabitable? Or was it something else? Were we created as a slave-race, to "terraform" this planet into one that is inhabitable by some other race of beings who breathe air that is toxic to us? Or to use up all the resources until nothing is left, like a parasitic virus?
 I don't know.

    Religions wrongly teach that "God" gave mankind "dominion" over all (other) animals, to subjugate them and exploit them. Selfish humans take this ball and run with it. We (as a race) exploit rather than conserve. The human race truly does behave like a parasitic virus. This needs to change, lest we destroy our Mother and all perish with her. The root of the problem is self. The root of all our troubles is self. All of the "seven deadly sins" can be traced back to self. This does not mean that I advocate unity over individuality, quite the opposite. Individuality & unity go hand in hand. Unity is the logical extension of individuality. Let me explain: Individuals must set aside selfish ends for the greater good of all, while maintaining their individuality. Conformity masquerading as unity breeds slavery - nobody benefits from it but the slave-master. True unity is a collection of individuals sacrificing selfishness for self-preservation. Eqality is the recognition of and respect for individuality. Individual freedom must be preserved, with selfless respect for the individual freedom of everyone else. Carl Marx had an idea, unfortunately the communists took that ball and ran with it. The downfall of individual freedom is oligarchy. Oligarchy leads to mass-slavery. We as a race must do away with selfishness. We must smash the "What's in it for me?" thinking, in favor of "What's in it for all"... What's in it for you? You get to live. You get to survive, rather than perish. You get to share the work with your brother, and share the fruit of that work, instead of fighting and killing each other over it. You get to divide the work and the fruit of the work evenly, (rather than working for a pittance that's doled out to you by the slave-master who does no work, while he gets fat off your efforts.) And you get to share your thoughts, feelings, and opinions. You get an equal say-so in the decision making, instead of letting the slave-masters do the diciding for you. {Google True Democracy and check out what comes up. Direct Democracy is another good read.} No matter what, we, the human race have to do something, and fast. We must get up off our couch-potato sheeple asses and take action in order to affect positive changes. Our  children's children's children's children's children's children's children's children's children's children's children will thank us.