Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Road to Hell

Honestly, even though it was the political climate that compelled me to begin this accursed endeavor, I really wanted to divest myself into areas of passion and avocation-- guitars... photography... hardboiled crime fiction. But, like The Godfather III's elder Michael, each time I try to get out, they pull me back in.

I am not going to rant about Sarah. Lord knows, she has gotten in way over her addled little head and will implode all by herself. I am not going to kvetch about lame duck Bushie and his dark partner, Cheney. When they make the movie (not by Oliver Stone, who used up his 15 minutes a long, long time ago), he will be played by the ghost of Goering. I have nothing to say about McCain. He is a pathetic little man, who uses imprisonment by the VC as cred to be pres. You vote for him, you deserve him. No, what ails me greatly at the moment is the fact that the senate overwhelmingly voted for offshore drilling and... throwing billions at the auto industry... in a Saturday session, no less. Certainly, this vote and the anticipated disaster as a result is bipartisan in nature. More than enough myopic blame to go around.

I debated starting off with a pic of anti-semitic Mel as Mad Max. Viggo as the protagonist in Cormac McCarthy's The Road would be more apt. I said to Bea tonight that I am glad we don't have kids and she replied that she has thought the very same thing lately. What we will be leaving the next generation? Fossil fuel is finite. The very earth we live on is also finite. Bea says that every day we live on the planet, we destroy it a little more. The ways of "civilization" prevents it from it replenishing itself. It has a limit and once it reaches it, that's it. Like a Looney Tunes cartoon-- at the end, it is "th-th-th-that's all, folks." Do I sit here and condemn the members of the senate for allowing--no, promoting--this horrifc bill to be passed? Why? I will leave that to the myriad bloggers, pundits and armchair generals. Me? I am glad I live where I live. I feel sometimes like the Michael Caine characer in Children of Men-- without the pot. Contrary to some opinions, I did not run from Los Angeles. But neither will I mince words: I left, of my own volition. The stagnant autmotive traffic, the air quality and general quality of life had deterioriated so during my 26+ year stay that it became increasingly uninhabitable. Way too many people. And the climate of fear and street violence has grwon to unmanagable levels. I am comfortably isolated now.

But back to the issue (today's oil/automobile bailout): Did Ford, GM and Chrysler not see this coming? Building cars that depend on fossil fuel is aimed at making the short bucks. It is more than short-sighted. It aids and abets the demise of the planet, pure and simple. Okay, yeah-- I drive a car that needs unleaded gas. Give me an alternative and I will be there like that. It's a little like when Saint Lenny said, "if you are going to pay me $50,000 to work the Fremont Hotel and $50,005 to work the Christian Science Reading Room, I'm in the Reading Room... like that." I am just picturing dropping what? Like $350.00 a night for an ocean view room at the Fontainbleau in Miami to be able to see the pool... and the oil platform from my room? Polar bears are committing acts of cannibalism to stay alive as their disappearing habitat, while the potential vice-president claims foreign experience because she can see Russia from her house. Where is Howard Beale when you need him? This is not a joke, people. This is some scary shit. The planet is at stake. This is much more than red state and blue state. You can bitch and moan that the Democatic candidate is (gasp) a black man, and we can't have that. But, you know what? It doesn't matter. Birds washed up on the shore covered in 10/30 weight is just the beginning. Every speculative/sci-fi novel you have read is coming true. This ain't no religious apocalyptic vision. This is much more banal. It is McCarthy's Road. A meltdown of morality and civility. The clouds will gather and the rain will burn...this is the beginning of the end. Fasten your seatbelts. This is going to be a bumpy ride.

A few lines from Chris Rea--

Stood still on a highway
I saw a woman
By the side of the road
With a face that i knew like my own
Reflected in my window
Well she walked up to my quarterlight
And she bent down real slow
A fearful pressure paralysed me in my shadow
She said 'son what are you doing here
My fear for you has turned me in my grave'
I said 'mama i come to the valley of the rich
Myself to sell'
She said 'son this is the road to hell'


davneely said...

Chicken Little all over again?? Yeah, they’ve bee saying this for years. We gotta get off the oil, where’s the Betty Ford clinic for this one??? It’s running out.....the air is completely toxic. Thus the popular phraes...”they oughta do something...there oughta be come everything isn’t solar powered” The reality is that civilization is not a natural existence. It needs to be cultivated and protected. Not attacked. But, people just don’t give a damn. Most folks only care about themselves and assume that it just goes on forever. Gas comes out of a pump, lights come on with a switch, water comes from the faucet, food comes from the store....yep, thats’ all you need to know. If you ever had to work on a farm, you’ll know how disappointing it can be. Hunting for game, watching your corn dry up on the stalk, beans that can’t mature, tomatoes and melons that got a bug, too wet to plow, won’t stop raining, sweating in the kithcen to put up stores for the winter, that’s the real mother nature ..... heartbreaknig times. Now the city folk are crying over the very sources that keep them insulated....shameful.The only education these folks get are what labels to wear and which lousy little girl has celbrity. Let’s even elect a kenyan to see what happens...that would be cool. Then we could be like the africans, yeah that’s a great way to go. They seem to be very comfortable...they don’t have these problems....yeah, we could just play basketball all day. And we could get some real losers to write stories about how it will all end and belive it instead of being entertained by it. Only some very shortsighted spoiled city folk would turn on the very sciences that brought them their permission to be stupid.

barryshap said...

You had me right up until you got all racist. I agree completely with your premise that people don't care. I've written about it. You read it. People have chosen to be ingnorant. It offers them an excuse. You and I know about pumps and lightswitches. The vox populi chooses not to know. I am not saying they ought to do this or that. Living on a farm and hunting are two different things. I am not ashamed of saying I am living on what is euphemistically called a "hobby farm." But I am also getting a taste of what this life is like.

But David, really-- a Kenyan is not running for the presidency and it is not all that cool to say such a thing.

And, Africans don't have problems? Not having food is not a problem? Being a 9 or 10 year-old girl and getting raped by "rebels" is not a problem? Having your hands or feet (or both) hacked off is not a problem? It's hard enough to be black in this country, but Africa?

Wait a minute! Now, I get it! You're bein' like Stephen Colbert. You're doing a Neely Nation. I get it, now. Boy, sometimes satire hits me in the face and I don't even see it! And it wasn't even that dry! And here I was, taking you seriously! Who says country boys ain't got wit!?

davneely said...

A+ for Barry...I'm trying to get you some votes/dissension/reaction but I've failed miserably. There's only the two of us. I was going to announce my cleavon bit, but it's uncalled for at this sad point. Like Albert King told me..."never blow your wad." You know I'm not racist, just factist...that's facts, not fascist. Oh yeah, Stephen Colbert is a great Southerner as well...we have such a huge advantage!!! Have a great show my friend...break a leg.

davneely said...

I think your “hobby farm” is the right way to go. Our farm was in Cedar Hill, Tennesse about 40 miles north of Nashville and just 2 miles from Adams, Tn. That’s where the Bell Witch was/is....spooky. Bug Tussle, Tn. is about 10 miles away but you can’t get there from here. We had horses,cows, goats, pigs, dogs, cats, even a buffalo at one point and I loved it all. The thing about a farm is that everything has a smell...the barn, the smokehouse, the garage, the truck, the house, the pond, the back porch, the kitchen....I love it all. By age 10, I was out hunting with my grandfather and uncles and I couldn’t wait to shoot that 12 gauge shotgun that they seemed to manage so well....omg, you can get a healthy respect for weapons that way. The dogs are on auto pilot and are flushing out quaill and other varmints. To see what a shotgun does to a rabbit or squirell is shocking as well. I had to go round them up and put them in the bag and haul the mess of what’s left of formerly furry creatures to my grandmother where she would prepare them for dinner. She made a great vinegar/pepper sauce to help take the gamey taste out and it was really good. They worked so hard day in, day out. It was cold in the winter and hot in the summer and they never complained....they just made it all happen for us. All of the worlds problems were solved at the gas station and the everyday struggle between life and death was constantly reinforced without a tear. One day I was riding my horse and she hurt her foot somehow. We tumbled and fell together and I leapt from the saddle so she wouldn’t roll over me. I walked her home slowly, but that was about it for her.
If I ever had a chance to enjoy the country life again, I would do it just like you are....what we call “a gentleman farmer.” Go by the gas station and have a coke for me.

barryshap said...

I am not the least bit disappointed if, for the time being, this little adventure in the blogosphere is nothing more than a dialogue between you and me. We have certainly taken our intermittent conversations that we had in your shop to another level. This last comment of yours is rich in detail and goes a long way to fill in your backstory. Thank you for that.

So, get into character if--and when--you must, but at least I know a little more of who the man behind the mask is. Do you mind if it's a Diet Coke?

davneely said...

Diet coke is not good for you....but yes, get one and hang with the locals as much as possible.