FOWC with Fandango — Abstract

Life is abstract. Truth, apparently, is the ultimate abstraction. Today, we live in a fictional, abstract universe and wonder why we aren’t entirely happy.

It’s hard remaining at peace with the world. Between the political mess into which we’ve been sucked and the slow but steady erosion of the planet, it can be terrifying. It’s a lot easier to not really look at it and pretend it just can’t be true. Reality is not abstract and frequently very unpleasant.

Someone, the other day, wrote that there were plenty of “nice people” in the world and therefore, the planet couldn’t really be falling apart. That’s kind of like saying you bought a new sweater at a terrific discount and therefore, you can’t possibly fall down the stairs.

The planet. Earth. Our planet has been in trouble for a long time. The climate changes we are seeing now are relatively recent and mostly are emerging from the past couple of hundred years of coal smoke and poisons in the soil and water. But even before the industrial revolution, ancient men turned open grassland into the Sahara desert while killing off the woolly mammoths.

Roaring Dam: Garry Armstrong – They cannot remove the dam because it is built on horribly poisonous earth and freeing that earth would destroy the river — all over again.

We are a murderous race. We are also the only animal on this planet who pollutes. Nothing else living ruins the home in which they live: just people. Every other species seems able to live in harmony with Mother Earth. Only humans cut it up into pieces, pour trash in the oceans and hazardous waste into the ground.

Do scientists argue about this development?

No, they don’t. ALL of them are in complete agreement that we are trashing the earth. There is some minor discussion of exactly how long it will take to fully accomplish the task, but no argument that we’ll get there. We are determined to kill ourselves off.

Flames from the Valley Fire cover a hillside along Highway 29 in Lower Lake, California September 13, 2015. The swiftly spreading wildfire destroyed hundreds of homes and forced thousands of residents to flee as it roared unchecked through the northern California village of Middletown and nearby communities, REUTERS/Noah Berger

Trashing a whole planet is not an overnight job. You aren’t going to see a timeline with a steady line of changes, evenly spread out. Some places will be hurt worse than others and along the oceans, you’ll see the disasters first. Really, you are already seeing them, but most people don’t want to recognize the pattern. It’s a relatively recent development. A giant storm that might have happened “once in a lifetime” is now just “wait a few weeks.”

Tahlequah and her dead calf

Meanwhile, there is the incredible stupidity of the “anti-vaccinators.” They are convinced — based on zero evidence — that vaccination is in some way dangerous, so measles and whooping-cough are back. Measles is sweeping the U.S. and Europe. We are actually going backward and behaving like the morons who refused to let Pasteur vaccinate cattle against anthrax or the people who drowned witches for helping sick people survive. And last year, we had more deaths from flu than we’ve had in 50 years. Not because the flu was worse, but because adults decided to not get flu shots. I know people who point out they haven’t gotten the flu, so they don’t need a shot.

You can only die once. For old people like me and my friends, one round can finish you off. You don’t get to say “oops” when you’ve had two heart by-passes and catch the flu. I don’t care how much yogurt you eat. Diseases are caused by germs — bacteria and viruses. As we get older, we get more fragile and stuff that would have inconvenienced us when we were thirty can kill us.

Don’t be stupid – get a flu shot. I don’t have enough friends and I don’t want to lose any.

Add that to the growing fascist politics worldwide? What a world, eh?

I am personally pretty happy. Poor, but happy. I wish I were healthier and wealthier, but within the limits of our lives, I’m pretty good. My family and friends are great people and we meet plenty of lovely people outside in the world.

A child wearing a gas mask against air pollution
Photo Credit: xef/Shutterstock

But all the lovely people won’t stop the ice from melting, un-pollute the oceans, or stop superstorms from devastating our coastlines. Or educate the idiots who think eliminating lethal diseases is a bad idea. Some of these people are simply too stupid to fix.

Add it all up? Kind of hard to really feel happy with our world as they threaten to remove the money on which we live, the medical care we need, make our air unbreathable while polluting the water we drink.

Hurricane Florence in North Carolina

Terry Pratchett used to point out that if humans lived long enough to see how much damage they do, they might think twice before doing it. Polluters need to live in their own filth. People who try to sell “clean coal” should live next to one of those generators and spend their lives breathing it. What a pity that the worst of them don’t have to live with the horrors they create. And what morons are we that we believe the tripe they tell us?

And the other thing I heard: “Don’t watch the news. It’s all lies. Get your information from knowledgeable sources … like Facebook.”

The news is not all lies, but quite possibly Facebook IS.

In the end, I’m okay. I’m old and before it all turns to crap, I’ll be outta here. If humanity is that stupid, we deserve to vanish. I’m sure the earth will be better without us.

This isn’t abstract.

It’s true. Provable. Scientific. Factual. Real. But before you believe it, better check Facebook. You wouldn’t want to be deluded by facts!

19 thoughts on “LIVING ABSTRACT WHEN TRUTH NO LONGER SERVES – by Marilyn Armstrong

    • And remarkably, there are people who seem otherwise normal and rational who BELIEVE this. Some of them, I’ve actually talked to. Civilly at that. How stupid ARE we? It’s like we are reverting to the 16th century in some kind of international time tunnel.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marilyn, much of what you’ve written about stands out in my mind against the sendoff my High School class received in late Spring, 1959. Our Principal, John “Jake” Archer — and, yes, I still remember almost 60 years later, told us “You are embarking on a journey into a world we’ve only dreamed about. You’ll see space exploration, eradication of diseases that once threatened mankind, dissolution of racism, a greater appreciation of ecology…. and technology that we’ve only begun to understand…you’re walking into a bright, brave new world of the 60’s….embrace it”.
        It sounded wonderful! I don’t know how much of that speech was accepted by my classmates and me. I know I was certain I was embarking on a series of adventures in a much more compassionate world than my parents and their parents had known.
        60 years later, I’m not so sure about this ‘bright, brave, new world’.


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