Anyone from Chicago remember the chairs? It wasn’t that long ago that all the assholes that live in the rich semi-suburbs just outside the city limit were raising their annual stink about the chairs. I still support the people that actually live in the city, I mean, if you wake up three hours early to dig your car out of the wall of snow that the plows created, you have every right to claim that spot when you get home. Especially when the people bitching about it are ultimately the people that live next to a metra, work in the loop, & still insist in driving into the city, but park in the residential areas so they can take one of the lines five minutes & not have to pay for parking.
If you don’t want to pay for parking, stop the upper-class warfare bull shit & start taking public transportation into the city. It’s not demeaning & it helps save the world just a little bit. You are part of the reason no one has needed their chairs over the past two years.
I even formulated my own little way of dealing with the small talk.
“It’s cold out here,” When you take public transportation, you hear this a lot every winter.
“It reminds me of home.” It’s the perfect reply, because it will lead them to inevitably ask:
“Chicago.” This answer causes two things to happen, the first is Mr. or Mrs. Small-talk laughs, thus making you feel less like a dick. The second is that they come to the brutal & inevitable conclusion that they are just being pussies. It’s Chicago, of course it’s going to be cold, just deal with it like everyone else does.
Shit, I mean, I own a car, but I only drive it to the places outside the city proper that don’t have access to public transportation. Well, now that I’m living with mommy & daddy that’s just about everywhere.
I’m fairly certain, now that I’m out in the burbs, that areas like this are one of the major reasons why we have climate change.
Chicago has snow, FINALLY, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t fucked.
We are in a drought. In Chicagoland it’s a fairly minor drought. Minor in the way that potential crop failure can be when compared to enormous fires, or dust bowls. We are connected to our food source & this type of weather doesn’t exactly bode well. It’s interesting how bad weather often comes with massive economic problems. It makes you ponder the real world effects of bad karma. Of course it does work the other way as well.
On one hand, the Great Depression, pre dust bowl, was felt in the farm lands of the US long before the crash in 1929. But then there were massive droughts & enormous climate disasters when things were going well. We don’t know if Atlantis was thriving, economically, when the Minoans were destroyed, but we do know they seem to have had a better evacuation plan then the people that planned the Titanic, that suggests a decent enough, if not egalitarian enough economic plan to count in the successful column. But then that wasn’t exactly a crop failure.
Agrarian natural disasters are going to hit civilizations harder. Almost by definition, or rather exactly by definition, if you focus on the word: “civilization.” Anyway you look at it an economic disaster compiled with a natural agrarian disaster in the lands where you grow your food is something to panic about. It may seem trivial, but then, there was, you know, the French Revolution. The revolution that started it all, you know, if you ignore the American Revolution entirely. In America we are lucky, much like Stalin was able to push Russia’s famine off on the Ukraine, America, through globalization & puppet totalitarian regimes, has the opportunity to push this little crisis off on the weaker underdeveloped countries in Latin America & Southeast Asia.
But the economy is still sort of fucked, isn’t it? And it is mainly fucked because we are pushing more of this burden onto the weaker nations in Latin America & Southeast Asia, funny how that works.
A real life example: I worked selling dental equipment for a company with the principle factory here in the US &, as I am assured, uses steal from here in the US. Yeah, yeah, that’s great, but it also comes to no surprise that our biggest competition is coming out of factories in Pakistan & China. Many of these companies are located here in the US. It’s also not surprising that I was working with a man that used to have a job in a factory that is now located in Southeast Asia.
Have I mentioned that these areas—where we are certainly exploiting the labor—are the areas that we are going to push our food burden onto?
Historically, massive social upheavals tend to come along with economic problems & a lack of food. Again, because I’m mentally lazy & I think that repetition is funny, I feel obligated to point to the French Revolution, the revolution that started it all, if you ignore the American Revolution entirely.
Thanks to brute force–both economic & military force–America is able to pass this burden off on other countries. We already do that, but now we’ll just do more of it & suffer a minor increase on price on everything NOT on the MacDonald’s dollar menu. And if the social upheaval disrupts production in one area, we can just plant the seeds of secretariat violence in another nation, & another, & so on.
It’s no doubt that western states have in some way helped hasten the Arab Spring, but thanks to the weather we are now in the position to cause the Asian Spring. Any way you look at it, what we are ultimately doing, is pushing off the exact same social upheaval. Postponing our inevitable demise. Despite that, the Western World is still in the better position. If you DON’T ignore the American Revolution you are forced to the conclusion that we are fundamentally designed to suffer through social upheavals without much of the upheaval part & certainly designed to weather through Revolutions without firing a single shot. We do it every time we cast a vote.
In a very literal sense we can vote the changes of the social upheavals into place & do it without firing a single shot in anger. That’s not a bad position to be in, & certainly a far better position now that we have the luxury of pushing starvation off on others. It gives us time to sort our shit out before we actually progress. The down side is that we don’t see it as much as we should. We are in the biggest economic disaster since the Great Depression & yet we are suffering through a coalescing epidemic of fatness. It’s enough to let is ignore the bigger issue & focus on the bull shit baggage.
It’s really the shit that’s the problem. The Western World is best suited to weather the storms because when it adopted things like the Bill of Rights and Universal Suffrage it did so only by dropping the baggage that comes with many other cultures. You can change you government easily when things like the sexism & strict hierarchical order & honor issues that other nations carry with them are left at the door. It’s just easier to adapt to problems when your culture doesn’t prevent you from taking women, youth, sexuality, & subordinates seriously.
Our problem is that we are too focused on the baggage. We’ve ignored what has given us the flexibility to cope with a new strict set of social restrictions that Asia & the Middle East & Africa suffer with every day. We just don’t do as much of it, but still far more than even “everything in moderation” would dictate. We are actually fighting about giving Gay people the same rights as straight people. We’re outraged over the Fast & the Furious—you know; the scandal not at all based on the unfortunate train wreck of a movie. What we are doing is ignoring the material causes of our current problem.
The roots may be simply that we are a culture that embraced existentialism far too closely during our drug crazed 1960s Counter Culture movement. That is a firm anti-drug argument. Drugs could very well be to blame for the fact that the Western world has evolved to the point where even our bankers & businesses are ignoring the material world & speculating on the immaterial. The hallmark of an insanely detached civilization.
Don’t do drugs kids; they may lead to the Me Generation, Hitler, Sartre, Voodoo Economics, & CIA experimentation with LSD. Hunter S. Thompson, Woody Nelson, & Lou Reed are certainly not strong enough arguments to stand up to Adolf Hitler & disco, especially not when you add the people that are voting Libertarian for the soul reason that Ron Paul wants to “legalize it” into the American melting pot.
Generally speaking, when you are in the economic & agrarian crisis like that which the Western World is currently facing, you want to drop the immaterial issues & focus on the actual material causes of the problem. Logically when you have a fire you don’t want to sit around & argue about sodomy being the metaphysical cause of God’s wrath, having been himself forced to punish us because of our sinful ways. What you want to do is put the fire out, then collect the evidence to find the causes of the fire so it doesn’t happen again. Trust me, Gay sex is not what caused our little problem, & not allowing them to marry won’t solve our current problems. Some of which are weather related.
I know it’s only the weather. It’s a small thing. It’s a footnote, but it is the footnotes that change history. The potato was a footnote, but it was also the grease that lubed the Industrial Revolution. You can blame wheat & rye on World War I, as a cause of World War I, that is if you move past the flash-in-the-pan that turned it into a shooting war. But then, if you go back far enough the color green might have also been a sponsor of that insanity.
When we turned into an agricultural people, so the historical record tells us, we started dieing younger again. It wasn’t illness or malnutrition, it was violence that killed us. When you are a hunter-gatherer, you don’t have much to fight about, you can simply move on to the next food source. Once you start depending on the land you start having serious reasons to fight & kill your fellow man.
The earliest wars were caused by drought & famines & up until the middle ages the wars were fought because food was still the most important commodity. It wasn’t gold, they were fighting to control the food supply, with the food supply came wealth. Any good historian will tell you that most of the wars, right up until WWI were over food, not oil, & as a society we haven’t moved too far from that.
Don’t take my word for it. Five minutes & the internet should be enough to prove that these types of things often breed the same results, no matter how advanced you are. It should be enough to persuade you that you should be focusing on the material problem. Even with Faint currency, it’s still probably prudent to only deal & trade in the material world. Speculating on fantasy is ignoring the material world & we are currently in a situation where the material world is kicking our ass.