A recent thread inside the Diner brought up a very old problem many of us, including myself, have to deal with on just about a daily basis. The problem is one of HYPOCRISY. Bloggers and Commenters alike, most of us who have access to the internet LIVE inside Industrial Cultures, and while we decry the consequences of Carz or Iphones, we still “Live the Life”.
Just about a year ago on TBP while I was writing on that Blog as a Guest Author, I got taken to task for MY Hypocrisy. Following below is my response to being tagged as a Hypcocrite who enojoys the Benefits of the Age of Oil and living inside the FSofA, while at the same time decrying it all as usustainable and immoral. I am no less the Hypocrite today I was when I wrote this post last year. The parameters haven’t changed that much…YET.
However, you do not need to be a Weatherman to know which way the Wind Blows.
Punblished originally on TBP in March of 2011
My sometimes Friend and sometimes Enemy here on TBP StuckInNJ has an Ace in the Hole he periodically likes to pull on me, the Hypocrisy Card. Stuck is also a pretty funny guy and a good writer, and recently in one of LLPOH’s threads I was Trolling to make a nuisance of myself he wrote a pretty hilarious critique of the Hypocrisy he sees in my writing when you juxtapose it against my real life actions as a participant in the Industrial/Capitalist economy. This came about after I sarcastically recommended to Jmarz that he go back and read every goddamn post I ever wrote because he is “confused” by how I can be such a vehement enemy of Capitalism while at the same time being a beneficiary of this system. I replied to Jmarz that he probably MISSED the CRITICAL PARAGRAPH I wrote somewhere in the 10s of thousands of words I drop down here on a weekly basis that would tie it all together for him. At the rate I write, its not entirely impossible that I have already dropped a HALF MILLION words on these pages. I have no idea really though. In any event, looking for such a paragraph would be an exercise in utter & complete futility. LOL.
Of course there really IS no single paragraph in there that could do this, in reality you have to understand many different things I have written here over the last couple of years, going back to TBP1 and Raging Debate. Even more, you would have to be familiar with everything I wrote on the Peak Oil board during my time there. However, Stuck BRILLIANTLY took this as a jumping off point to write this paragraph for me as a Parody of my stuff:
“The one thing you all fail to realize is that I don’t believe half the shit I write. I mean for Chrissakes I was Pigman Semi-truck owner! And now I teach dumb fucking Alaskan Eskimoo kids … for MONEY! Are you fucking kidding me? I have a stash of money for a BugOut machine, gold buried near my cabin, guns, seeds, and case of blowup dolls. Guess what? That takes ….. MONEY!! I blow smoke up your asses day and night and you turd-fuckers fall for it everytime. Looks like my Ivy League education paid off. And yeah, that cost a shitload of money too. See you all in the Great Beyond …. and I’ll have a shitload of loot there too –RE!”
What makes this paragraph so funny is that so much of it is TRUE! LOL. The best parodies always have a layer of truth that underlies the parody, and this one most certainly does. I was an independent contractor with my Freightliner, I did make decent money doing that. I did go to an Ivy League school and spent a decent amount of money to do that also, though not nearly what it costs these days. When I attended Columbia, my Tuition was around $3500. Imagine that. Total costs including Books and Dorm and Food was less than $10K/year.
Nowadays, I DO have a Stash of Cash I saved up by virtue of being a penurious sort of fellow for the last 20 years, and I even have some GOLD as well I panned up over the last few years since moving up here. I have my Bugout Machine, which I purchased for $5K on the used market. I rent a lovely Cabin on the Last Great Frontier and have a nice middle class salary coming in running a Private Education paradigm with a friend of mine, essentially sieving a living off the children of Big Oil and the FSofA Military. LOL.
Since I sure live a whole lot better than the poor folks getting bombed back to the stone age in MENA, just how is it that I can go ahead and “bite the hand that feeds me” and lambaste the whole fucking Capitalist system as being utterly immoral and beneath my contempt as a way to organize up human society?
Rather than writing a whole PARAGRAPH on it, back in the thread where Stuck wrote his parody, I dropped down a single SENTENCE to tie it all together for the Confused among you. Its not original, but it explains this very well:
It doesn’t take a Weatherman to know which way the Wind Blows.
Imagine yourself for moment as a young boy in a Native American community overrun by the Manifest Destiny of the FSofA. You get dropped into a School run by the Missionaries. You don’t really like this, but this is what happened to your community and your father sent you to the school. You want to RUN AWAY, but you cannot. You are trapped in this paradigm by powers much greater than yourself.
Turns out you are a pretty smart little Native Boy and you rocket your way through the system and get sent to an Ivy League College. You become a Doctor, you are held up as an EXAMPLE of success, but you watch as your people are decimated by the culture that overran them. YOU succeeded, but most others of your community did not succeed.
That is not MY story, not exactly anyhow. It’s the story of Charles Eastman, a Lakota who became a Doctor in the years of the Robber Barons and the Railroads. He was absorbed into the culture that became dominant, and he succeeded in it because he was a pretty smart little Indian. But he became VERY unhappy seeing the results of the conquest of his community, and for what remained of his life he did what he could to help them. You can watch a movie made of his life if you like, “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”.
I have been immersed in the Capitalist Nightmare from birth. I am the Son of a Bankster. Circumstances of Divorce in my family life took me out of the Class for my formative years through my teens. That was the time of the Cultural Rebellion in the late 60s and early 70s. I identified with the disenfranchised because of that. But of course, I still was a smart little Indian. Smart enough to still get educated in the Ivy League, on scholarships and by working as a research assistant in developing Radioimmunoassays. I still had contacts from the Bankster world from Dad the Pigman, so on Graduation I was able to use my math gifts to go to work on Wall Street and make Big Bucks. But of course, I was a Fish Out of Water, and the whole thing just made me sick. So I quit on one cool September day, stopped playing numbers games in my head and went to WORK, for most of the next decade in various roles in Hospitals, Clinical Chemistry, Respiratory Therapy, Radiation Safety etc. Union Work mostly. For most of you, this is probably what makes you think I am”Crazier than a Junkyard Dog” as Muckabout puts it. What kind of psycho quits a 6 figure job barely out of his teens because he finds it morally repulsive? Only somebody who is thoroughly off the scale as an iconoclast would do such a thing. That is who I am, who I have been for these 30 years since.
Anyhow, I am not going to review every choice I made here along the way, most of them were not conscious choices anyhow. I most certainly HAVE benefited from my position in society, where I was born and when I was born and to whom I was born. But all along the way, ever so gradually I felt the Wind Blowing, and the direction it is blowing is NOT toward a continuation of the Industrial/Capitalist paradigm. It will not perpetuate itself, it is not sustainable.
So here I am today, and most certainly I still depend on Money, and I still make Money. Hopefully I will continue to do so as long as money still works to buy anything. I still consume Oil and drive a 1989 Mazda MPV also to get to work most of the time. This is the culture, and it will be what it will be until it is NOT. For me to try to reject it would be plain stupid, you cannot reject the dominant culture of your society. This is what the Whole Earth Catalogue, back to the Land Hippies of the 60s tried to do, and they failed at it miserably. Not even the few remaining Communes like The Farm in TN succeeded as independent self sustaining communities, really they became a Tourist Destination.
At this stage of my life, particularly considering Health issues I have, there is no WAY I can take myself out into the Yukon Territory and try to escape all this stuff. I do know however which way the Wind Blows, even though I am not a Weatherman. The Model here of industrial society is on its Deathbed. So I take the pennies I have saved here and I attempt to secure myself as best I can. I am NOT a rich man, though of course compared to the impoverished even here in the FSofA I still do pretty well, and compared to Egyptians living on $2/day, I am George Fucking Soros.
Is it truly ACCURATE then when Stuck writes the Parody of RE, a HYPOCRITE who lives well under the Capitalist Sytem but reviles it at the same time? No, it is not accurate, although it certainly is funny and certainly serves to undermine what I m trying to communicate as well. I am TRAPPED, as all of you are also TRAPPED. You have to live within your society as it is constructed, until such time as it falls apart. So if you were a Hebrew Slave in Ancient Egypt, you lived and accepted your circumstance as a Slave until that society fell apart, with the Plagues and all the rest that hit upon them. Only THEN do you go running off with Moses into the Desert seeking Freedom.
If you SEE IT COMING though, you can PREPARE yourself for when the society falls apart. I try to pass on some of the ways I am preparing for this, because I GUARANTEE IT, it is Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You.
You don’t have to be a Weatherman to KNOW which way the Wind Blows.