Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Preserve The Core -OR- Fuck The Extremities

Warning: What follows may ramble.

In many ways and forms over these years, I've tried to present my observations in a somewhat linear manner. And failed; semi-miserably, but I have tried; in my ways... What can that say to anyone except in the unlikely case that their POV aligns with mine own? Addressing inculcated systemic infections -that have lopsided effects- through anecdotal examination of a singular example can be fun, but it's unlikely to solve the problems, or even shed light on the larger influences. Trying to debate a single issue within the carefully constructed, over-riding framing applied to ALL issues is a folly I cannot abide. Especially when that framework is pure falsehood, bolstered by decades of agitprop, defining our situation exclusively, with no allowance for potential errors in structure. Relying on meaningless "Either/Or" options of good and bad.

The proof of my postulate, for me, displays in the near absence of deviation from these norms. Not all that long ago, we very briefly considered the very real possibility of something resembling PEACE on this rock. Long standing impasses were bridged, obstacles were overcome, enemies dealt with and among the populace there was an expectation of real, tangible societal progress. It was short-lived. The so-called "peace dividend" was scuttled, in part, by the policies through which it was connived.

Historians might be tempted to point out that we've been here before. That over the arc of history, we humans have survived far darker days. That is undoubtedly true. What historians are reluctant to say is that we've been damn lucky to have survived. That despite surviving, we've never actually come out on top. That the forces that have plunged our planet into cyclical dark ages have emerged from such times diminished, but intact in both position and belief. Only rarely have the architects been led to the gallows, put up against the wall, or summarily executed. Never eradicated, only pushed back. Excesses tamped down beneath a threshold of tolerable. To do otherwise almost surely to fulfill the post-apocalyptic wastelands of fiction.

Up in the masthead, I placed a seemingly random quote from a lesser known novel by Frank Herbert, "Whipping Star". Herbert, author of DUNE, creator of several fictional universe, entered my life in high school. His fiction was wildly dark and speculative, yet optimistic. His disruptors stood apart, typically detached, from the ruling elite. This was by design and was recognized as essential to long-term sustainability. The balance of power was constantly adjusting, internally, via intrigue, succession, violence and inner manipulation. Externally, another type of elite with no interest in rule, applied needed corrections when the internals missed something important and the pendulum swung to an extreme. Herbert's heroes simply shifted the balance of power, leaving the masses free to live in relative tranquility. It's Speculative Fiction. What if?

Bildoon shook his head. "What Abnethe's doing - it's impossible!"

"If she does a thing, how can it be impossible?"

"They have to be somewhere!" Bildoon snapped.

"I find it very strange," Tuluk said, "this trait you share with humans of stating the obvious in such emphatic fashion. "

"Oh, go to hell!" Bildoon said. He turned, slammed out of the lab.

Tuluk, racing to the door after him, opened it and called at the retreating back, "It is a Wreave belief that we already are in hell!"

He returned to his bench, muttering. Humans and PanSpechi - impossible creatures. Except for McKie. Now, there was a human who occasionally achieved analytic rapport with sentients capable of higher logic. Well . . . every species had its exceptions to the norm.

- Frank Herbert in "Whipping Star"

In the far future, humankind has made contact with numerous other species: Gowachin, Laclac, Wreaves, Pan Spechi, Taprisiots, and Caleban, and has helped to form the ConSentiency to govern among the species. After suffering under a tyrannous pure democracy, the sentients of the galaxy find the need for a Bureau of Sabotage (BuSab) to slow the wheels of government, thereby preventing it from legislating recklessly. BuSab is allowed to sabotage and harass the governmental, administrative, and economic powers in the ConSentiency. Private citizens must not be harassed, and vital functions of society are also exempt. Jorj X. McKie is a born troublemaker who has become one of BuSab's best agents. Drafted for the impossible task of establishing meaningful communication with an utterly alien entity who defies understanding, McKie finds himself racing against time to prevent a mad billionairess from wiping out all life in the ConSentiency.

Ah, the incongruities of life on a single planet without benefit of airlocks or jumpdoors or the BuSab agency minding the bigger picture. We don't live in such a world. We continue to live in Opposite World.

Where is our Bureau of Sabotage? Is it the tea-party standing four-square against everything? Well, no, of course not, since preventing movement of any kind only assures the continuation of current policies. Was the U.N. conceived as our planetary BuSab? A structure to manage ambitions and expectations? What has prevented it from achieving its mission? How did it become the target, rather than the solution?

The world is round. We'll get there eventually. I'm still optimistic. Still sad that we're guided and ruled by fear. Finding little substance to maintain a rosy outlook. Heartened only by successive generations of malcontents taking up the cause of a sustainable place. Patiently waiting while impatiently urging that we get down to our real business in being here. Wherever and whatever here is.

1 comment:

amber ladeira said...


Welcome back.

Paraphrasing previously published concerns is not pointless repetition or stating the obvious, or all our human-caused problems wouldn't exist.

I keep fighting because I owe it to my daughter, who did not ask to be brought here, but is very happy
to be alive(unlike me, some days).
I also care about all the innocent lives and beauty being destroyed by the selfish and stupid.

Some past eras seem more benign than others. Maybe we can bring about another good period if we keep working effectively together.

Best Wishes!