What’s Wrong With This Picture?
A big part of the reason I have had such a hard time blogging recently is because the world is going to shit. So many ongoing catastrophes, it’s an embarrassment of riches. I mean, as I type, there are things going on that entire decades didn’t see back in the late 20th century. Are the End Times here? No, the End Times are superstitious nonsense. One of my best friends once said I “freak out every spring.” In some senses it’s true, though more so in the past than now. Aside from that tendency, the northern hemisphere summer is when war gets into high gear. War isn’t as exclusively a summer event as it as for much of US history, but it’s still the best and most common time to fight wars. And when war is compounded by so many other problems, look out.
In summation, in my nearly forty years of analyzing current events and trying to make sense of it all, this upcoming summer is the scariest summer I’ve ever seen. For my American readers, this could be the summer where one day the store shelves are empty and the US dollar is worth the paper it’s printed on. And it’s a scary summer because of number of events and trends are coming to the end of the tracks so to speak. I spent a week trying to fit them all into one post, and it just can’t be done. At least not in any sense that does them justice. So I’ve decided to do a series of ten posts, the ten things going on now that all added up have me worried that 2012 is going to arrive a year early.
Or, to put it another way, I think that the world order that has held sway since the end of World War One is under serious strain. This would be the neo-colonial world, a world seemingly made up of three hundred independent countries, all living in a world community of nations. In reality, it’s all a fiction. Only a handful of these countries are truly independent, and a large number of these countries are only lines on a map drawn for the benefit of the colonial masters. For all practical purposes, the western powers, primarily France, the UK, and the USA, have ruled the world since 1918. And since 1945, the USA has pretty much tried to rule the world itself. We redoubled our efforts in 1989, and again in 2001. The world is too big for any one country to rule though, and the whole Byzantine dream is about to collapse of its on weight.
Am I being alarmist? I hope so. I think we’re really screwed though. The next nine posts will cover the ten harbingers of doom we are facing so to speak. Nine posts because I already covered the first one. Fukushima. Yeah, maybe the reactors won’t be the death of us all. However, even with best case scenarios, the damage done by the tsunami and reactor accident is staggering. The economic cost and the social/psychological costs will be felt for decades. In fact the social and psychological cost of so much of what is going on is as much a part of the picture as anything, yet rarely gets mentioned in the western media.
And in any event, so that readers can give it some forethought so to speak, here are the upcoming nine posts:
2. War. There’s a lot of wars going on, scary developments in what wars are going on, and potential for much wider war.
3. Fundamentalism and ignorance. These two come hand in hand, and they are more in the corridors of power every day. And I’m not just talking about Islamic fundamentalists either.
4. Fascism in the USA. I never used to think it was possible, now I’m not so sure.
5. The Arab Awakening. This is both wonderful and scary. And it seems to be trending to scary.
6. The world economy. Fox News viewers might not be aware of it, but the world’s economy is more fragile every day.
7. Climate. Global warming and global drought are both ramping up nicely, not a good sign.
8. Global breeding. Yes, humans have been breeding like, well, humans. Another terrible problem largely ignored by the fawning corporate media.
9. Chemicals/pollution. There’s more bad news every day about the stew of chemicals we live in. They may not kill us all, but they are sure making us stupider.
10. Wild cards. From antibiotic resistant bacteria to bird flu to the zombie appocalypse to stuff that no one’s even thought of yet, there are all sorts of things waiting in the wings to kick us when we are vulnerable.
Ah, this will be fun. And if anyone looking over the list sees that I’ve missed some obvious impending appocalypse, by all means enlighten me and I’ll add it.
Happy Easter everyone!
(The above painting was made c. 1562 and is thus public domain under US copyright law. It’s called “The Triumph of Death” by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. It’s pretty much self-explanatory, and its also should be fairly obvious why I chose it to illustrate this post. The details in this painting, like all this master’s paintings, are wonderful.)