We are fighting for life on the planet. And the truth is, the planet’s life is worth more than you. It’s worth more than me. It is the source of all life. That doesn’t alter the fact that we should be smart. We need to be very strategic. We need to be tactical. And we need to act.
There are times the lies get to me, times I weary of battering myself against the obstacles of denial, hatred, fear-induced stupidity, and greed, times I want to curl up and fall into the problem, let it sweep me away as it so obviously sweeps away so many others. I remember a spring day a few years ago, a spring day much like this one, only a little more sun, and warmer. I sat on this same couch and looked out this same window at the same ponderosa pine.
I was frightened, and lonely. Frightened of a future that looks dark, and darker with each passing species, and lonely because for every person actively trying to shut down the timber industry, stop abuse, or otherwise bring about a sustainable and sane way of living, there are thousands who are helping along this not-so-slow train to oblivion. I began to cry.
The tears stopped soon enough. I realized we are not so outnumbered. We are not outnumbered at all. I looked closely, and saw one blade of wild grass, and another. I saw the sun reflecting bright off the needles of pine trees, and I heard the hum of flies. I saw ants walking single file through the dust, and a spider crawling toward the corner of the ceiling. I knew in that moment, as I’ve known ever since, that it is no longer possible to be lonely, that every creature on earth is pulling in the direction of life—every grasshopper, every struggling salmon, every unhatched chick, every cell of every blue whale—and it is only our own fear that sets us apart.
and it continues…….All humans, too, are struggling to be sane, struggling to live in harmony with our surroundings, but it’s really hard to let go. And so we lie, destroy, rape, murder, experiment, and extirpate, all to control this wildly uncontrollable symphony, and failing that, to destroy it.
The answer is that life is really, really good. I am a complex enough being that I can hold in my heart the understanding that we are really, really fucked, and at the same time that life is really, really good. I am full of rage, sorrow, joy, love, hate, despair, happiness, satisfaction, dissatisfaction, and a thousand other feelings. We are really fucked. Life is still really good.
Derrick Jensen, and environmentalist and writer, who is very pessimistic in his hopes of the Earth’s survival. This is in response to the question “If things are so bad, why don’t you just kill yourself?”.
My apologies to all my followers (I even lost 3) for my absence for the last week, and for the last day of posting, which was very negative. I woke up that morning so angry, so bitter. I was staying at a beach on the coast of Vietnam, had decided to get out of Nha Trang for a bit. Surrounded by this tropical paradise, I should have woken up relaxed and at peace. Instead I woke up full of vitriol.
So that morning I started writing some of my thoughts down:
I think I have been very naive and ignorant. I think I have been a fool. I have always believed that people could change. That they would change. I think I always believed that a few people could make a difference. I think I have always, simply, believed in people. Believed that they would do the right thing, in the end. Believed in a Hollywood style happy ending.
But of course it wasn’t belief, it was hope. Not just hope, but bullshit. The evidence is all around us. It’s 2012. how long ago were the 60’s? Are we any more free than we were then? Of course not. Is the world considerably worse off now than it was then? Yes. In 60 years we’ve managed to ravage our world, lose our freedom, be behind some of the worse atrocities of war in the name of defence, and now live in a world of fear. We lost then as we continue to lose now. Even as I write this, we might allow SOPA to be passed. WTF?! This, in itself, is a reason act. It’s now 2012, and we still go about our day to day grime and monotony. Most still watch utterly soulless dumb television which sucks any notions of real thought out of our heads. We still allow the completely biased and controlled reporting by journalists dominate our headlines and tv news. We still allow primary forests to get ripped down (Australia, wtf?) We still allow the overfishing of our seas (oh but the poor fishywishymen will lose their livelihoods, and that’s far more important than our long-term sustainability….), etc etc etc.
You know what? I want to rip our society down. I want to see money keep us warm, by burning it. I want every tv in all the countries to implode, so people wake up to the real world……
But then it dawned on me what I had just written. “I want to rip our society down”. All the other stuff fair enough, but the bit “I want to rip our society down”?
Fuck. Do I? Do I really? Are these MY thoughts, my actually wants and beliefs that I am writing down? Do I want to put the lives of millions of humans at risk by bringing destruction and chaos to this world? Is that the best course for this world? I realised that my anger for the wrongs of this world had totally got control of my emotions, and now controlled my thoughts.
So I jumped on my motorbike, and went for a ride. And I haven’t been on tumblr for a week. And I researched. And I read. I discovered great websites. I decided to get knowledge on my side, not emotions. So that’s why I have been away. Sorry but I needed it.
And so I think you’ll notice differences to my posts now. I will add more of my thoughts, so I hope you still stay interested. I’ve never thanked any of my followers for following me, or even asked why. But it’s true what they say, I appreciate every one of you. But I want to get talking, get debating. Lets share links and ideas. If I post something and it creates a reaction, let me know, good or bad.
What have I always believed?
That on the whole, and by and large, if a man lived properly, not according to what any priests said, but according to what seemed decent and honest inside, then it would, at the end, more or less, turn out all right.