Posts tagged ‘switzerland’...
Aug 11, 2011 @ 1:19 PM
Well I’ve returned from my brief absence, and I feel I must apologize to those of you who are kind enough to read this blog regularly. It’s been something of a week. Not a bad one, necessarily, but just … a week. As any creatively inclined person will understand, sometimes the inspiration flows and sometimes you have to drown your frustrations in pinot noir and dark chocolate quadratini.
In any case, thecryout is back, and just in the nick of time it would seem! Let’s pause and reflect a bit on some of the things that are happening in the world, shall we? Firstly there are those gyrating stock markets, which are definitely going to sour IRA’s and golf games everywhere. The United Kingdom has recently become one gigantic bonfire. The Syrian government is still brutally assassinating its own citizens, despite the global community’s recurring pledge to “maybe do something about it later.” Politicians continue to be assholes, but that’s now a moot point, really. Scores of children are starving in Somalia, which is absolutely inexcusable. And, oh, a neo-Fascist guy set off bombs and shot up a camp of innocent Norwegian youths a few weeks ago. Much to the chagrin of stereotype-loving folks everywhere, though, this terrorist was not a bearded male of Middle Eastern descent. For clarification’s sake, here’s an example of one of those:
Crazy stuff, right? I think anybody who isn’t completely self-absorbed or in a vegetative state must be aware on some level that we’re sitting in some serious hot water. I read earlier that the Statue of Liberty is closing for a year due to “safety renovations,” but my theory is that she’s just so ashamed to be a national symbol right now that she opted for a sabbatical. Can you blame her? Even Switzerland, which usually has its shit together, is starting to freak out. It’s a hot mess out there, y’all, and it only appears to be getting worse.
So now what? What is one supposed to do with this seemingly constant barrage of negativity? It’s beyond overwhelming. I used to be a fan of the news, until about two weeks ago when I figured out that the media is only exacerbating all of our problems (I’m a little slow on the uptake sometimes). But seriously, don’t turn on your television or use the Internet, because all you’re going to hear about is how we’re doomed and how every possible type of moron is planning to swoop in and save the day. Raise taxes! Eliminate taxes! Invade a country! Save the fetuses! Kill the gays! Everybody has a theory about how to pull us back from the brink, but if I may channel the legendary wordsmithing of E.E. Cummings for just a moment, here is the deepest secret nobody knows:
It’s out of our hands.
There is a concept in physics known as the event horizon, which basically means “a point of no return.” The idea, which emerged from Einstein’s 1916 theory of general relativity, refers to a specific position in a gravitational field — usually that of a black hole — beyond which any type of escape becomes impossible. Once an object has crossed the event horizon, its fate is mathematically sealed and nothing can be done to alter it. What does this notion have to do with the state of the world? Well, I think this is where we are now. We’ve gone too far in almost every respect, pushing ourselves to the limit financially, technologically, militarily, environmentally and politically, to cite just a few examples. Through a countless and ultimately related series of events, society has reached its own point of no return and is now on a path that can be neither predicted nor controlled.
We Homo sapiens are extraordinary in so many ways — just take a moment to look around if you need proof. Unlike other animals, we have the ability to feel complex emotions and reason through problems. If a negative situation arises, we have both the desire and the capacity to correct it. When the car tire goes flat, we change it. When bankers lose their bonuses, we buy them more yachts, even if it means destroying the middle class. Humans have a unique ability to exert substantial control on our environment, and we certainly aren’t shy about using it.
The catch, though, is that sometimes problems are neither worth fixing nor even possible to fix. When a patient’s body is riddled with cancer and the prognosis is grim, is administering yet another round of chemo the most sensible decision? If a bank or other institution is hemorrhaging money and placing a strain on the economy, do we always need to save it? There comes a point at which we must relinquish our persistent human need to intervene. It so rarely occurs to us that the fixing of a situation which doesn’t work might paradoxically lie in letting it disintegrate, thus allowing something better to emerge in its place. Despite our triumphs, we’ve clearly been doing many things wrong for a long period of time. The perfect storm of consequences that we’re witnessing now — economic, political, social and otherwise — will not just disappear overnight, even if every talking head in a suit promises that it will. Whether you choose to believe it or not, we’re on our way into the proverbial black hole, so it might be a good time to fasten your seat belts.
Will we emerge from the other end? Of course. This whole scenario isn’t nearly as depressing as it sounds. The only thing that’s depressing is watching leaders and pundits of various persuasions sputter out sentence fragments and fumble in vain to implement old solutions to new problems. The media outlets really need to cool it with their unnecessary fear mongering, too. As the world continues to unravel, our generation in particular will have to face significant challenges, but after all is said and done we might just end up with a better situation than the one we started with, provided we take some responsibility. While nobody can know what’s really going on or how to fix it, we can all at least agree that these are remarkable times. So until the answers come, let’s all just take a breath and not read too much into the hysteria that constantly whirls around us. Keep doing the work of your life and all of the great and silly things that go with it. Show up to your “job,” take a lover, give up your seat to an old person, eat cookies, care about something. How about donating today’s happy hour funds to Somalia? Whatever comes to pass, we can handle it, but for now just relax and meditate on some very useful advice from the Brits: