Riding with the four horsemen

“We are living in dangerously weird times now. Smart people just shrug and admit they’re dazed and confused. The only ones left with any confidence at all the New Dumb. It is the beginning of the end of our world as we knew it. Doom is the operative ethic.”
— Hunter S. Thompson

This is a strange time indeed. I have said it often. This has been said about Douglas Coupland: “He’s been described as an ‘optimist obsessed with apocalypse,’ but one might just as easily conclude he’s a pessimist preoccupied with redemption.”

I can’t help but identify with that sentiment. I have been accused of cynicism. I have been accused with pessimism. I have been accused of many being things. Who knows? Maybe they are right. God, I hope so.

So please read this rosy piece of news and tell me what you think:

Or read the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Website for yourself:

This isn’t bullshit green activism here. It is the result of some of the world’s top scientific experts in their respective fields. But who really cares though right?

I’m writing an essay for the Walrus concerning the most pressing issue facing the next generation of Canadians and what should be done about it. The working title is Bodies Floating in the Water. The main thrust is that we, being on the cusp of history, are the most likely to face a drastic and catastrophic change in the way are lives are lived. There is nothing to be done about it but conduct a dramatic change of our direction. This change will not occur. We as a generation will be very sorry about it, but ultimately lost as what to do about it.

It will contain the best story I’ve ever heard:

Once upon a time, a lily pad grew on a pristine pond. It started small. But it doubled in size every day. It did this every day for 30 days until the lily pad covered the entire surface of the pond…

So the riddle goes: On which day does the lily pad cover half of the pond?

The answer: Day 29.

We are on day 29 and a half. Don’t believe me? Ask your friends and family how far their money is going these days. Ask if they have any debts. Ask them if they were in better or worse financially this year compared to previous years. Ask if they know how to grow enough food to feed themselves for a year.

Chances are you’ll get some interesting answers. I’m going to write an in-depth feature about it when I’m not so busy cooking and eating the neighbourhood cats.

Meanwhile, today is Vincent Van Gogh’s birthday. Laying on his deathbed (two days after he shot himself) he uttered these words that pretty much sum up the human race, La tristesse durera toujours. Translated as: The sadness will last forever.

Chins up kids. I’m rooting for you.


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