It's your favorite Thursday of the month and you know what that means! I'm back to rattle whatever remains of your senses!
Regular readers may recall that in March I boasted of being invited to an intimidating dinner party for one of my favorite social critics (Guy McPherson) and I wasn't sure if I was going to have the nerve to attend. There's good news and bad. The good news is, my nerve is still intact and I got hugged by a mentor, the bad news is ... we are increasingly likely to die in a horribly uncomfortable manner in a relatively short amount of time.
Personally, I was convinced of that probability before I went to "the doomer party," but I ventured out so as not to let my readers down (and morbid curiosity for what kind of entrees and banter that my fellow doomers would bring to the traditional potluck format). I'm pretty laid back, for an anxious "doomer," but please don't confuse my jocularity with flippancy - I do take doom to heart.
The event was in the Ithaca-Syracuse area (in the farmhouse of a painter from Australia and her husband - some sort of engineer who travels abroad). I had never met the hosts of the party, nor any of the guests who had established familiarity with each other through an online group. Knowing that some of the attendees were also going to be professors, I girded my loins knowing I was about to enter a room full of the kind of people my grandma would cheekily call, "high-mucky-mucks."
I asked my mom to drive this road trip with me and stay in a motel one night ahead of time, so that I would have plenty of time to get my nerves under control. Mother hadn't been this far East on I-90 since she moved back from Syracuse (an ordeal wherein she endured years at a "temporary transfer position" in order for her seniority to come up on a waiting list for a full-time position back here at home, only to be laid off along with a slew of other toll workers within months of returning home).
One can't help but visualize her dreams of security and retirement, slipping like sand through her fingertips and scattering into the four winds. How strange to be employed by a hierarchical entity that influences so much of one's personal reality - and then suddenly, they vanish you. I hoped our trip would help my mom be sure that the roads in her memory were not a dream, she had really been there. Similarly, for me, to meet my doomer mentor in the flesh, was important, to see that, yes doom really is a conversation that intelligent, coherent, reasonable people are having, in America today.
Now, I knew it was going to be awkward to have my mom drop me off at the party and pick me up, but I had no idea how much more awkward I would make it by laughing inappropriately every time I had to explain to the other doomers that my mom was my ride. I was the youngest doomer, the rest were somewhere around baby boomer age.
I brought chocolate skull lollipops I handmade and no one would eat them or even acknowledge them. So I didn't really make any friends, but I had a great time on the road trip part with my mom, and I had a great time hugging Dr. Doom and using his phone to call my mom at the hotel. The potluck, was all right but rather tame for my tastes. I had hoped that it would burst into an orgy or something would be, you know, like ritualistically sacrificed, but these were just very literate people who happen to share the same understanding - that humanity is up a nasty creek without a paddle.
If you doubt me, why don't you chew on this fact for a minute or two: we all know the government and the corporations have merged, which is also a definition of fascism, and that's why when Harvard students are getting national funding to make robobees, what you're also talking about is corporate interests funding robobees and nobody having the power to say, "Are you crazy? This is wrong." What are robobees, you ask? Robo-bees are Robotic Bees to replace the honeybees because they are going extinct because of our lifestyle of industrial single-crop farms and manicured suburban lawns devoid of wildflowers and weeds that the natural, diverse, natural world is designed to thrive upon.
Yup, it's the darndest thing - evidently you can't just have European conquerors stride onto a continent, carve up the wild into grid plans and rectangular lots, whip a bunch of slaves, erect complicated systems depending completely on a finite ancient resource, carry out perpetual warfare on a global scale, inflate the currency every year, anonymize and mechanize human labor further and further away from basic family homestead skills and degrade a meaningful sense of community, alter the DNA of seeds, and have it all work out peachy keen and last forever!
The important thing for me, is that I felt closer to my mom, because within weeks of that doomer party, one of my most influential doomer heroes, committed suicide by gunshot to the head and the thought of his horrifically sad demise made me feel on the verge of vomiting.
I made a commitment since then to be more careful how long I think about tragedies. I feel I have looked into the abyss, but I don't want to stare because I am still lucky to have people who love me and need me and a beautiful place to live in Chautauqua County where I'd love to see a rural rival.
It is said that if only 10 percent of the population were to demand raw milk from grass-fed animals, it could bring back thousands of farms. I had to buy a share in a cow to obtain raw milk, and boy is it delicious and beautiful and I love my farmers.
I had no idea raw milk was illegal in all but six states now. This is why I don't do good at small talk. You can't really talk about anything except television entertainment without stepping on toes.
Instead of watching TV, get educated on what you can do to help the (non-robot) honeybees and advocate for clean, local honey. You can plant the forage bees love, and leave out little dishes of water in your garden, with pebbles so these vital pollinators can drink without drowning. Thanks for reading, and good luck out there!
Lindsay Morrison is a Forestville resident. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org