Moving on from Cheap and Plenty

Waste – where does it all come from, where does it all go? In a closed system (Earth), a little of it goes everywhere and all of it goes nowhere. We ‘deal’ with waste by putting it out of view, all the while we make more stuff, want more stuff, buy more stuff, sell more stuff, invent fake stuff to buy and sell, even if it’s a ponzi scheme [Narrator: It’s a ponzi scheme].

Now comes the lament that the good days of cheap goods and easy access to them is coming to an end. It is but a scare tactic. And from the perspective of waste – and not only that – were those days so good? The ethos, such as it is, of disposable _____ (goods, culture, food) creates a self-fulfilling emptiness. We could argue that cultivation of these seeds of despair have bloomed and blossomed, and as we feast upon them, they only serve to further famish. Why? What’s the mystery? From wanting nothing issues the inability to figure out what is wanted, what is meaning, what’s it’s all for. As the noted philosopher Jethro Bodine reminds us, “naught from naught equals naught.”

We shudder at the very thought of empty shelves or infringements on long commutes, when fewer shelves and shorter drives represent a signal turn for the better. But gladly to rush into the arms of division and destruction only to maintain the misery fix, we’re only the worse and will fight to keep it.

These failings are ours, but within them lay great tools of rebuilding – not more new things, but better new selves. All of our many advantages were not achieved just to make money off of money, but to make music – whether that means actual notes and tones to you or not – to enjoy and enjoin.

How to channel the urge to exploit? Realize every instance of the act reserves a double portion for the actor and we won’t need to worry with saving the Earth (closed system) when we get serious about saving ourselves.

Two good shoes and all.

Canary in a (Saudi) Coal Mine

Not a perfect analogy, I’ll admit. But something huge seems to be brewing in the tiny island nation of Bahrain.

The king of Bahrain declared a three-month state of emergency on Tuesday as more than 10,000 protesters marched on the Saudi Arabian embassy here to denounce a military intervention by Persian Gulf countries the day before.

The entrance of foreign forces, including Saudi troops and those from other Gulf nations, threatened to escalate a local political conflict into a regional showdown;

As vulnerable as any modern dictatorship and perhaps more, Saudi Arabia welcomes no semblance of the regional revolutions that have swept away the leaders of Egypt and Tunisia. The royal family may see the writing on the wall, but sending in 1,200 troops to the tiny country with a Shia’a majority, governed by a Sunni minority and historically a part of Iran… they may need to call in a translator. The thing is, with Bahrain as longtime host to our own Navy’s Fifth Fleet, the U.S. may not have any better advice to offer. Which is awful.

The Saudis may be trying to nip this unrest in the bud, but they are just as likely to escalate it with these actions. It’s a test case/ microcosm of the situation in Saudi Arabia itself. We have armed them to the teeth over the years, sure, but made (nor attempted) few inroads with regard to Locke, Rousseau, Hobbes… much less the case of King Juan Carlos of Spain.

And this is no pass-the-popcorn moment; just go fill your car up and see.