Friday, October 15, 2010

Evil

I visited with Suzanne last night and we had a conversation about anger and the world in which we live in an attempt to get a handle on my increasing distress and halt my tumble into the mundane world of exhaustion and cynicism. My work is starting to get in the way of my life. I’m losing my erotic charge, becoming grim and unenthusiastic, and I’m less able to hear the voices of nonhumans, less energetic and more ill.

I don’t want this.

How do I stop it and still continue on at my job? My art is getting better and it appears likely that, given the time and energy, I can come up with products that will enable me to support myself with my art. Can I do it, however, and still cope with the impact of 10-hour days in the mundane?

Meanwhile, the stress of work has brought to the fore my belief in evil and my disdain for the pollyanna quality of new age thinking. I simply don’t accept that everything happens for a positive reason or that our souls have some say in the particularities of our lives. I’m with the Christians on this, whose philosophy, after all developed at a time of rampant violence and oppression: the world is full of evil.

The Holocaust seems to me to have been quite predictable, a link in the continuum of human evil, and bound to happen again. The only difference between the holocaust perpetrated by the Nazis and other examples of human evil was its enormous scale and cold-blooded efficiency.

But efficiency is still the measure of social good in our "capitalist" society. We're called to get the most produced from the least labor whether this value is applied to the production of plastic goods for sale at Walmart or oil from under the sea or test scores for students or the deaths of the designated bad-guys. Collateral damage is acceptable, as long as it doesn’t disturb the bottom line, and the bottom line is the production of a wealth so great that it transforms into power—power for the dominators at the top, the very few, the global psychopathic elite.

No, I don’t have any hope anymore that I can impact this evil or banish it, this evil that manifests in great and small ways, carelessly or consciously. It’s too big for me, and I’m sick of seeing our youth throw themselves against it as if it were just a giant beast susceptible to the onslaught of enough holy spears. I see the suicide bombers and my own daughter protesting at the Mexico border wall and my generation’s not-so-feeble protests against the Vietnam War as so much wasted breath. The dominators become more sophisticated and scientific in their means of control with every passing day. The police still beat us, but how brutal that appears today. It’s kept out of the media, while the masses are soothed with pretty techno-toys and plastic food and nothing comes of it. Nothing comes of Earth First! and the monkey wrenching of the dominator machines. Nothing comes of our poetry and art. Nothing comes of our meetings and votings and writings and organizings.

Suzanne says that if we expand our vision to include human history (not prehistory, you understand) we can see that life, for us in the US at least, has become better and less brutal, that Luddites are no longer hanged for breaking the machines and women are no longer burned for working with herbs. But I see in that attitude a false sense of security and the belief that what we see reflects what is really going on. Beneath the right to vote and protest, the right to worship and speak, is an ever tightening noose around our necks.

Dig deeper and you'll find out that the dominators wield more power than ever. The improvement is that their methods are less unsightly to the liberal heart. If you lift up the pretty rock and look underneath, you'll find the destruction of our earthly home and the genocide of the nonhuman species in which our only hope for salvation lies. Outside of our cozy United States, people are starving and murdering one another, and even here we gobble drugs to ease the pain while we are fed food that does not nourish, drink water that poisons, and sacrifice our children at the altar of greed.

In other words, the apocalypse is upon us while we cling to our new age notions of positive outcome and souls in joy. This earthly life is no longer the school of hard knocks that our Creator intended for us. This is a hell of the dominators' making and we’re being dragged into the fire with them.

That’s what I see. I can ignore it as long as I’m able to live in trance with the trees, but put me into a school building with no natural light and no fresh air, along with 600 children whose dying souls fill the air with a moaning only I can hear, and I am no longer able to protect myself or deny the onrushing apocalypse, and I become weak with despair.

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