Wednesday, April 19, 2017

What the heck am I gonna write today?

I spent some time with the walking dead recently. It was anything but pleasant.

It seems to me that a great many modern, first-world humans spend a lot of their lives in a seething cauldron of self-centered hysteria. They're like little kids rebelling at not being completely in charge of their lives, and they desperately want to run away from home. To run away to the promised land where they are in absolute control of everything. Where they are the center of the universe and every object in that universe bows down to their Olympianness.

This desire to be in control and in charge is a perfectly normal human trait. It stems, it seems to me, from the fact that we are utterly in charge of all the things we do as individual human beings. We're the only ones inhabiting our minds and bodies. From awakening in the morning to falling asleep at night, everything we do, we do. Get dressed, eat, go potty, go to work, read a book, watch a video, go for a walk. Nobody else does or can do these things for us. We're in charge of all of it. Naturally, we seek to do things which help us succeed in accomplishing our near- and far-term goals. We plan. We use tools. We solve problems. It becomes second nature, or reflexive. And everything is wonderful.

Until we find ourselves interacting with other human beings who are just like us. Completely in charge of their own existence and equipped with the ability to reflexively accomplish goals. Only occasionally do their goals and our goals line up, and then only imperfectly.

Civilization is the place where human beings meet and mingle. It works best where a majority of those humans recognize that they are all equally alike. Where they work very hard to treat their fellows as they themselves would be treated, and work even harder to hold themselves to the same standard they hold their fellows to.

The United States of America is, to the best of my knowledge, the only nation in history to codify this notion in the very first document it published upon declaring independent nationhood.

Today our civilization is breaking down and falling apart. The walking dead have become the majority, it seems, and they see nearly every other human being in the universe as the problem. They continually lash out at those they see as "civilization wreckers." They want those horrible people to be jailed, silenced, killed. And they don't want to be bothered by the details. That's what governments are for, right? To imprison and silence and kill the enemies of the Olympians, so that the self-chosen ones can get on with a vibrant existence of egocentrism.

The Olympians aren't demoncrats or republiboobs or libtards or cornservatives or progressives or fascistarians.

They're just normal people who happen to believe that other human beings are mere objects to be used, manipulated, and discarded.

See how simple?


I imagine that everyone is getting tired of the exploits of the old fat guy as he bumbles back into shape. So I'll keep it brief.

I had plans for a long hike but as I was checking cows I discovered some fence that needed repairing. That took several hours and I found the experience quite vexing. Mostly because I wanted to hike first. You know, put play first, and do the work stuff later. If I managed to get around to it.

However, I gritted my teeth and fixed fence. Within three hours I got the mess taken care of and I did it right. I also managed to cover about three, three-and-a-half miles and did a lot of lifting, carrying, pulling, pushing, and cursing. Which can all be classified as exercise. Which I finally admitted to myself. But it was like pulling teeth to get me to make the admission. I swear, sometimes I just don't understand that guy.

Anyway, I finally got to my hike. I only went 3.25 miles but I did it with pack and rifle and I charged some big hills. It hurt a lot. My legs were sore and tired and I kept wanting to quit. Pushing muscles that are sore and tired is a good thing, because that's when you really make progress. I still wanted to quit.

The good thing about prairie hiking is that if you quit, you still have to hike back to the pickup. Which will take just as much exertion and pain. Therefore quitting won't bring instant relief, but it will bring disappointment. So an old fat guy might just as well keep going and do the job right.

And a good thing about the pain and fatigue is that they keep a fellow from worrying too much about the decay of civilization.

For a while.


  1. I'm a bit more optimistic about humankind's future, probably based on my studies of history.

    There have always been idiots and fools in the world, there just seem to be more of them now, thanks to that whole 24 hour news cycle.

    I'm pretty sure that some villager out in the steppes of Russia a couple of centuries ago would think that we have it pretty easy. He has to work to survive, there is no government that will take care of him. And there's always a chance that the Mongols will come sweeping in from the east and take everything you own. Then kill you.

    Of course, there were a lot of people who were pretty optimistic about the world back in 1913. We all know (or should know) what happened a year later.

    Am I pessimistic? Not really. Am I nervous? Yes, quite a bit. Of course, I do have a son-in-law and a few friends out west on an aircraft carrier, plying the waters of WESTPAC, trying to prevent Bad Haircut from destroying stuff. Yeah, there's that.

    So I guess you could say that I'm cautiously optimistic. And praying. A lot.

    1. The praying stuff is important and along with a study of reality allows for optimism. I don't doubt that humanity will survive, but I doubt our present civilization will. Not without a major, deadly and painful adjustment. Hubris and egocentrism has already gutted the soul of America.

  2. There are many more like you than you realize, they just keep plugging along, trying to keep it between the lines.
    Not bad exercise for an ol guy! I had to miss my curcuit training/yoga class the other day and I paid for it the next class. Sore doesn't begin to cover it. I am very lucky that I have hit 70 with no major health problems, not on any meds, and can still walk, and talk. knock on wood.

    1. Sore is no fun. I'm going to start doing Tai Chi next month. Free classes at the hospital's community center! I'm needing to gain flexibility and peace of mind. Also I'm intrigued by Tai Chi since reading Nathan Lowell's Solar clipper series.