A Scary Story for Halloween and the Mid-term Elections

Those of us working to point out the breaking points and looking for different avenues for cultural development that would break from the norms of what passes for civilization are often branded as “Doomers.” We are seen as ghoulishly fascinated with collapse and openly rooting for the end of “humanity itself!”

Such a characterization fits in well with the histrionics abusers fall back on when defending their position. After all, they’re doing whatever violence needs to be done to us “for our own good!” If only we had their vision of how hard life was, we’d thank them for continuing to do whatever they please. If they stopped, everything would collapse and it would be OUR fault! We should settle down and be grateful, or they don’t know what they might have to do to us if we continue to rattle our cage.

Abused people tend to fall for this. We tend to accept that it’s probably our fault, and that we should learn to do better, so as not to provoke. We accept guilt as part of the punishment we deserve. We support the delusions of the abusers because we are also terrified at what would happen if the precarious present balance was to be disrupted, even if its continuation might mean our destruction. After all, it is our fault, isn’t it?

If we are secretly “pleased” that the limits to growth are finally making themselves felt, we are ashamed to admit it. People are hurt by the “faltering economy.” “Who could be against Growth?” I heard on The NPR yesterday, an incredulous “lefty” announcer knowingly discussing the “abuses” of an AstroTurf organization “taking advantage” of the Supreme Court’s recent blank cheque on the corporate financing of campaigns.

Who indeed! The fact that our food system is approaching a similar collapse, and that its end will mean the breakdown of the mechanisms currently destroying the ability of the earth to maintain some balance of life in a working ecosystem, is likewise taboo.

“Eating green is so expensive!” I heard yesterday in the supermarket from a well-dressed woman in the “Organic Food” aisle. Compared to what? Eating non-food that chokes that same store, and all the other stores in the “developed” world? Is effortless eating subsidized on the backs of “Illegal Aliens,” who are the “cause” of all of our problems, enshrined in the “acceptable parts” of the constitution? It must be in the clauses that say whatever fits into a corporatist agenda is OK, read from the slant that requires us to bend over backwards, to give up any sense of ethics beyond the “rights” of stockholders. These views are sanctified, unless those same provisions are abused by some trouble-maker?

To even secretly look forward to the end of such a hegemony; not only on the physical world itself, but on the very limits of our imaginations of what it might mean to be humans living in a viable world; is that so taboo that any offender holding such views should do everything possible to repress and disavow them at the risk of offending the masters, working so hard on our behalf? It is our fault, isn’t it?

“Fighting for the cure!” Who could possibly be against finding the “Cure for Cancer?” Who could possibly not be moved by the plight of toddlers with Lymphoma selling their crayon drawings of monsters to help pay for their chemo? Yes, that’s another example drawn from yesterday’s gleanings from the inter-web. Indeed!

That the cancer epidemic might have causes, clear causes that come out of the same series of plundering activities that provide for the all-giving good of economic growth, is irrelevant. Sort of like “dwelling on the past” when it comes to “alleged abuses” done in our name by those working ceaselessly to keep us “safe” and “free!” After all, if little Timmy can sell his scratchings to raise the cash to pay for his chemo, “we all win,” right? How else can we expect the beleaguered pharmaceutical companies, and their heroic researchers scraping by driving last years Lexus, to come up with new toxic compounds to spread via groundwater to cause the next batch of cancers to be treated by their latest patented “miracle compound” derived from the last shreds of biodiversity in the Amazon?

Who could possibly be against an “accounting” of the “value” of that biodiversity to the “economy?” Or the “costs” of carbon on our greenhouse, er, I mean atmosphere? Surely if we could only put a dollar figure on these, the divine market would resolve any difficulties? How could anyone be against that!

Add in “War is bad, BUT…” we all surely support our troops! Hell, we should be able to see the heroic side of the SS while we’re at it! Even the Gipper could spare some of his bottomless compassion for for the “victims” buried at Bitburg!

This Fall the Abuser Team, er, the GOP – didn’t that once mean government of the people? – is on the ascendancy. The Enabler Team, er, the Democratic Party, is falling back ready to lick its wounds and “Fight Another Day!” We are expected to pick a team and root for it, consume the advertizing dollars well spent by signalling our support, and hopefully donating some more cash so our side will do better next time.

I find myself rooting for the Giants this year. The Red Sox are out of it, as are our arch rivals the Yankees. I hold no grudge against the Rangers, they’re finally past “W” mismanagement and they’re grown boys are as worthy as the Giants to win. This bit of the spectacle is still relatively innocuous, at least it’s broadly understood to be just a game…

I’ll “vote” this coming Tuesday. I always have and habits are hard to break. I console myself that it costs me little to take an hour and go to the polls, after all, as a 99’er it’s not lie I’ll be taking time off of work! – It’s nice to know by the reckoning of the “impartial” GAO, I’m no longer dragging down the good news on unemployment! – I can take a certain slim comfort from helping defeat some of the most egregious local thugs running for state office, “Take that endorsement and Shove IT!” Caprio might join his little brother in an early retirement. I can “support” my local “Green” candidate, even though I find her “Windmill” logo as far off the mark as any of the others running under the prevailing “Smokestack Banner.”

I won’t be rooting for the “Sanity” March, or “Keeping Fear Alive!” Whether a “Grass-roots” campaign is paid for by Murdoch or Redstone doesn’t make it any more valid than any other. “Reasonableness” is the enablers creed, just as the faux rebellion of the wise-cracking bad-boy is THE haven for “crazy kids!” who hold down the opposite side of the seesaw from the “responsible adults,” incredulous that anyone could be against growth! Did I forget to mention Doritos and Sierra Mist? Grin! Wink, wink, nudge, nudge….

We’ve come full circle. The biannual cycle of Halloween scary stories ending not in All-Souls day, but the Ash Wednesday that follows Election Day, when we wake up to the blessed reconsecration of Business as Usual. Let’s not fret. Let’s be sure to maintain our side of the bargain, after all they’re doing it all for our own good, we should be Thankful.

I’ve indulged myself in this rant, in the spirit of the season….


Published by Antonio Dias

My work is centered on attending to the intersection of perception and creativity. Complexity cannot be reduced to any given certainty. Learning is Central: Sharing our gifts, Working together, Teaching and learning in reciprocity. Entering into shared Inquiry, Maintaining these practices as a way of life. Let’s work together to build practices, strengthen dialogue, and discover and develop community. Let me know how we might work together.

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