Published on The Doomstead Diner May 26, 2017
Discuss this article at the Medicine & Health Table inside the Diner
Yes indeed, this is truly looking like a Message From God now that the time has come to make some serious changes in my life, or what little is left of it.
The Diner has had some technical problems in the last week, which our Wizard Genius Code Jockey Palloy has been trying to get fixed up. It has something to do with compatibility between the various software packages and plugins and PHP versions, most likely. Whatever the problem is though, without somebody like Palloy to keep everything ship shape after a couple of years at the most something is going to go wrong, and down goes the website. Besides that, somebody has to be around to pay the server bills.
A while back I created a FREE WordPress Blog to handle this situation, DoomsteadDinerBeta.wordpress.com. It has most of my articles up to about 2 years ago on it. I haven't been good about maintaining it since though. However, for as long as the Forum database holds up, all the articles I wrote in the interim are preserved there as well as on this WordPress blog. You can still dig them up if you like for the moment, but probably not for too long once I buy my ticket to the Great Beyond.
The Internet is a Temporal medium in one sense, and an Eternal one in another. It's temporal in the sense that after about a month, anything you wrote is OLD NEWZ, and nobody ever goes back to read it, even if you are a famous Superstar of Doom like John Michael Greer. Who goes back to read 10 year old posts from Mr. Wizard on the Archdruid Report to try and catch up on his evolving philosophy and ideas? If you followed him for that period of time and could tolerate it, you know what he is saying. Who will buy this full 10 Volume Collection of all his posts he intends to publish, and WHY? Nobody statistically speaking ever goes very far back in time reading old articles.
In another sense though, eliminating the reader from the the equation, the digibits stored on silicon memory chips are very long lasting unless hit by an EMP, so whether it is read or not, the organization of letters into words and words into a story remains around for quite a while, even after the computers are all shut down from lack of electricity.
In a more metaphysical sense, your thoughts and ideas are never destroyed, they exist for all eternity whether you wrote them down or not. Do they need to be read by someone to have meaning? No, the meaning is still there whether anyone is around to read them or not, or can decipher what is written. We have a few old books like the Bible around that can still be read by people, but this is of course only a tiny drop in the bucket of all the thoughts of all the people who ever lived since we developed sapience somewhere back in the mists of time.
So what I realized here with this latest software problem (which doesn't appear yet quite as serious as the Big Crash of the Diner we had a few years back which took it offline for a full week) is that it's not really that important to me that the Diner stays up after I cross the Great Divide. I'm not writing for posterity for some readers in the far future, I'm writing to communicate with people who live in the here and now and who are experiencing collapse with me. It's not a huge following of people, but it's enough for me and I have made good friends during the time I have been running this blog and forum. As I said in my recent Death Chronicle Grim Reaper post, without those friends I wouldn't have anyone at all around as I edge my way out of this world and into the Great Beyond.
I also have a better clue now as to what is wrong with me, my Liver is pretty well shot. All the years of drinking finally caught up with me. It's amazing it lasted as long as it did. If I want to live any longer at all I have change this behavior and stop, and so I did 2 days ago after returning home from the clinic. I don't know whether it's in time to reverse the problems and live a while longer, but I'll give it a shot. Livers do regenrate if there are still enough good liver cells left. My mom had Liver Cancer and had a third of hers cut out and lived another 10 years. I at least want to live long enough to get the SUN☼ Project off the ground, which entails getting out of Alaska and down to South Carolina where the non-profit is chartered and where the other principal officers of the corporation live. I have to try and stay alive at least for a couple of more months to get this done properly. If you have enjoyed my writings on Collapse over the years or my Rants or Interviews, drop by the SUN☼ Project Website and make a Donation to help us along. It's TAX DEDUCTIBLE.
I have quit drinking a few times in my life, most notably when I was out on the road trucking and it was against company rules to drink even while you were off duty. If you got caught, instant dismissal so it was a very good motivator to quit. However, I always went back to drinking if I didn't have some threat like that hanging over my head. Why? Because I enjoyed drinking, it gave me pleasure. Same thing with smoking. I was of course well aware of the negative health consequences of both, but they generally take years to show up, and in some cases never do. I had an uncle who smoked 2 packs of Camel Straights a day and drank a bottle of whisky a day into his 90s. He did have emphysema at the end, but by 90 just about everyone has something wrong with them even if they have perfect habits. So I just kept my fingers crossed I would be one of the lucky ones. I was, until now.
Do I regret my choices now that it caught up with me? No, I really don't, at least as long as I can get SUN☼ off the ground and I think I should live long enough to manage that. To not have drank and smoked for these last 40 years or so would have taken some of the pleasure out of my life. I sacrificed an unknown number of years I might have lived longer to do as I pleased in the here and now. Not having any kids to worry about or look forward to seeing grandkids, it really didn't matter to me how long I lived. Also, after getting out of the truck nearing age 50, I realized I wasn't going to make any earth shattering accomplishments, and I was just going through the motions of daily living inside industrial society. Get up, shower, go to work to keep a roof over my head, go home, eat, go to sleep. Rinse and repeat. If I lived longer, I would be doing just the same thing. Well, except for the working part. lol.
I did get a hobby though just around the time I hit 50, which was following Collapse on the internet. This has kept my mind occupied for the last decade, the last 5 years of which have been spent writing for the Doomstead Diner. That gave me some meaning and purpose to my life, but it didn't stop me from drinking. Then after my injury 3 years ago and leaving work, I started drinking even more. Living life as a cripple is no fun, so there was even less reason for me to want to extend my life out further. Beyond that, my knowledge of collapse and my own condition informs me I stand no chance of survival in even just a mild collapse scenario. I'm too dependent on modern medicine to stay alive without it.
Understanding collapse did give me a Goal to shoot for though, which was to get SUN☼ off the ground, and that really only became possible once I won my Workman's Compensation case and got my lump sum award. The big hangup for SUN☼ has always been not having enough money to get some land and demonstrate sustainable living techniques while trying to build a bigger and more resilient community around it. In this world, if you don't have money you can't get anything done.
So I was already planning to leave Alaska for South Carolina this spring, but then another monkey wrench got thrown into the works when Social Security went and cut 1/3rd of my bennies in a misapplication of the reverse offset law. I had to appeal that and get a hearing scheduled, which isn't until August 16th. The new plan then was to make the move right after the hearing, but then this new problem cropped up with the Liver, and now I'm not sure I can make it to August 16th. So we have now upped the timetable to moveout to as soon as Lucid Dreams can get his passport and fly up here to help me. He needs the passport because we plan to drive back and to do that you have to go through Canada. If it doesn't appear I can make it for another month, he'll fly up with a round trip ticket.
If I do make it as far as August 16th, then I'll fly back up here to make it to the hearing, which I'm not expecting to win, but will follow through with on principle. Then if I stay alive even longer, I'll appeal that judgement to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. I think my chances of surviving that long are quite slim though.
This decision and the Changes I am making also made an important goal of mine with the Doomstead Diner accomplished. My Tag Line for the Diner has always been "Save As Many As You Can". Not having $Billions$ in my Credit Union account and not having any Political Power limited me in my selection of means & methods to do that Saving to Blogging Collapse, to inform as many people as I could about what was coming down the pipe. Not everyone agrees with all my analysis of course, but for the most part I have been proved correct about the event sequences if not the precise timeline for them. I also am aware of at least 2 people who made life changes and took themselves off grid as the result of what they read on the Doomstead Diner. However, to actually be able to physically and IRL Save anybody with the SUN☼ Project has remained just a dream until now because of…you guessed it…lack of money. Winning my Workman's Compensation case gave me the money I need to get SUN☼ going, and to Save at least 4 people before I buy my Ticket to the Great Beyond, LD, GM & their two young boys. I am giving LD the opportunity to follow his Bliss and get his Bamboo grove growing. That's a Lifetime Accomplishment I can be proud of as I exit this meat package to cross the Great Divide.
It's quite weird to know you are going to die very soon. After I got injured I started a thread inside the Diner on a members-only board called "RE is dying". It became a running diary of all the trials and tribulations I have faced over the last 3 years. It was said kind of tongue in cheek originally, because with the exception of right after leaving work I haven't felt in danger of imminent death. That was mostly psychologically driven though. Now it's very real and very physical. I will be no more in this world, at least not in this meat package. I look around my digs at all my STUFF, which besides my writing is my history of living on Earth. I imagine dying with nobody here to collect it all and it just getting scattered to the wind. Then the maintenance man will come in and clean the place out, they'll give it a new paint job and somebody else will move in. For a while letters addressed to me will drop in the mailbox, but they'll peter out as well and there will be no memory that at one time I was shuffling around this place as an old cripple in his last days on earth.
The Diner may stay up a bit longer after I am gone, but not by very much I imagine. My few close friends from the Diner will remember me longer which is the best legacy I leave, and with luck the SUN☼ Project will get off the ground and get a building up called the Doomstead Diner that will be there for some period of time. Then that too will crumble to dust.
Even though it will all vanish though, written in eternity it will always be true that once there was an RE, once upon a time he walked the Earth and he was a Good Man.