Mems and memoirs
In his recent essay in the back of the New York Times Book Review, Benjamin Kunkel takes a whack at the seemingly endless number of memoirs published these days in the U.S. All that pain and redemption going nowhere! Kunkel closes with this remark:
“But no one says what to do with recovered health, let alone uses his newfound sanity to reckon the personal cost – in guilt, dread, shame or resentment – of a vicious political economy promising dividends in ecological catastrophe.”
Hmmm…seems like this writer has been doing that forever. Maybe the fact that I seldom self-reference lead the few readers I have to think I’m just another soul-less ideologue.
Hey, isn’t Rachel Maddow always talking about herself! And aren’t blogs supposed to be “my site about me!”? This damn program won’t even allow me to use a lowercase “i” for me! Sounds like I’d have more readers if I spilled my guts all over the page and avoided the end of the world as we know it. Fuck that!
I’m inclined to think a good bit of the cause of today’s ecological crisis has everything to do with “personal freedom” and “rugged individualism” (did I fail to mention the quest for personal gain?). Those potent mems, fucked up as they are in so many ways, have been hyped as a free pass to freebooters and corporados to trash the planet and its inhabitants for centuries. Don’t you think that here on the edge of the abyss we might want to consider some OTHER frame? How about “collective living beats collective suicide”? The so-called right-to-lifers might identify with that given their aversion to euthanasia and abortion.
How about this one: “There is no security when the climate melts down”. Hey, even the Pentagon buys that one. Their study, “An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security”, reinforces what the world’s scientific community has been saying all along. The report's authors identify climate disruption as beginning now, with the most devastating effects occurring possibly between 2010 and 2020. So much for that old worn-out bullshit about “natural fluctuations” (sorry, Rush). Even the biblical “dominion” meme is coming undone, thank god for that!
OK, indulge me: Once upon a time I was a drug-crazed hippie ready to party at the drop of a hat. Before that, before the proverbial “60s, James Dean turned me into a Rebel Without a Cause. I never was good at following orders, so I became disorderly. Somewhere in there I nearly screwed everything up with substance abuse, but somehow managed to pull through and become relatively sane. Now that I’ve recovered I’m filled to overflowing with RESENTMENT toward far-right Republicans, heartless corporados, assorted neocons, and brain-dead “patriots” bent on throwing Jefferson’s dreams against the curb. Let’s kick their ass!
Thanks for reading my memoir.