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whatzabuzz

whatzabuzz

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Suggested reading:

Peak Oil
Presentation at the Technical University of Clausthal C.J.Campbell December 2000

Exerpt:

61 Logical Consequences

  • The market is now perceiving that OPEC has lost control. It is a devastating realisation because it means there is no supply-based ceiling on price. Accordingly, prices are set to soar. Don't forget that in to-day's money, oil price went to almost $100 in the 1970 shocks
  • Demand must then fall. The poor countries of the world will bear most of the burden. But the United States will be in serious difficulties. There is, I think, a strong danger of some ill-considered military intervention to try to secure oil. A stock market crash seems inevitable, as some investment managers are now telling us.
  • The global market may collapse because of high transport costs and global recession.
  • Self-sufficiency will become a priority.
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His fingernails, I see they're broken
- his ships, they're all on fire...

~L. Cohen.

The end of another year, an eventful one for both the world and myself - I got divorced, moved out of the country into town, I'm now a single father with two kids, boys - don't let anybody tell you it's easy - I've been lucky though, and they're great kids.

As for the world, Bush managed to get re-elected, or elected - possibly - in any case, he's still president, and the multinationals continue to run amok, reshaping global culture to suit their quarterly reports - I'm not anti-capitalist, but capitalism was never about corporations running the world, read Adam Smith sometime, he had no illusions about human nature. The concept has been twisted into some kind of Randian, social Darwinist travesty, however, closer to fuedalism than anything. Pity nobody reads anymore, people actually used to sit around and think about stuff even when they weren't getting paid for it, and that's what it takes to see through the bullshit.

Naturally, the corporate economic/media complex makes sure we have plenty of other stuff to occupy us, mass entertaiment is the new opiate, although religion still comes in handy when dealing with the reticent.

So, persuing as I am, a career in mass entertainment... I uh... have lots of time to think about stuff, and, having spent many years in contemplation of ethics and morality, some of which you may hear about eventually, you'll be happy to hear that I have managed to reconcile most of the more obvious conflicts of interest, but I need to be watchful of myself. I think empathy is the thing you are really trying to achieve with art and storytelling, it's empathy that weaves the spell - sex and violence in this context are merely spices, not the main course, and I believe that "redeeming social value" perhpas even artistic value is mainly to be found in how successful one is at evoking empathy - without it, sex and violence lose their meaning, becoming simply mofifs, stripped of meaning - like the altered states induced by chemicals, as I believe somebody, Tom Wolfe I think, distilled it - "simulating experience without the emotional engagment" - paraphrased, I might add, I'll have to look that up, it's from the Electric Kool Aid Acid Test, I believe, describing how Kesey and the Pranksters were tryingto move beyond the drug experience, but my copy is in storage, along with a lot of my other books - my new place is a bit smaller, and still not quite organized.

It's a significant observation, however he said it. I was into doing all sorts of chemi's at one point in my life, and most of it was a waste of time, money and brain cells - at one point I recall that we - the group I was running with at the time - even came to the same sort of epiphany, though in slightly altered form - we started to wonder why we couldn't be like that all the time - i.e., why we needed drugs to achieve these states of crystilline clarity, this pellucid madness - the brain just isn't wired that way as it turns out, at least for most of us, although as usual I have some thoughts on that subject too, which you might be lucky enough to hear about someday.

The subject, of course, is still empathy, all the action without the emotional engagment is just random, meaningless, red noise - like when dropping acid, you suddenly seem to grasp everthing - you understand how everything is connected together, you see the trees breathe, you feel the earthworms burrowing beneath your feet - then the next day it's just little old you and your stinky socks again - it slips away, slithering off into the limnal aether almost like it never existed, like a dream you can't quite remember. Most action movies, if they are even remotely well instantiated, just leave you with residual adreniline, eating inexorably away at your braincells, evacuating into post-violential (!) depression, and the empty, gnawing craving for another fix - empathy of a sort, I guess, but a cheap sort.

So art without empathy is like that, it's somthing that kills time until the next brightly colored frenetic image grabs your attention - most of it is probobly as emotionally evocotive to my cat as it is to me, maybe moreso -perhaps that's why reality TV took off so suddenly, it was real, and the emotions were real, rather than feigned, however cunningly - kinda tapering off now I guess, as usual, the corporate mind tries to formulize and shrink wrap it, sucking whatever juice out of it that made it interesting in the first place in the process. Bottom line baby, bottom line.

On that note, I guess I'll give it up for now, rather than start repeating myself - shout out to all the peeps washed away by the tidal waves, what a thing - I had a dream once about a tidal wave, quite unlike any other dream I've ever had, incredibly clear and real - probobly because I read a lot of Pearl S. Buck as a kid - I can remember the briny smell of the ocean, holding my breath as the tide sucked out and dissapeared revealing empty mud flats as far as the eye could see; then my heart rising in my throat as the dull, distant roar grew louder and closer, the hair rising on the back of my neck as the massive wall of water came rushing foreward, looming over me - the urge to run, the sure knowlege that it was pointless to do so - then I woke up. Weird, because I was born and lived in the desert all my life until that point, I'd never even seen the Ocean.

Empathy? The terror of those final moments, I can barely imagine, because of that dream - what the survivors must be feeling right now is beyond my art, beyond my imagination at this moment, even the survivors of 9-11 had a recognizable world to return to, whatever consolation that might've been - I wouldn't even know where to start with this.

Happy new year, happier than this one, let's all hope.

31 December 2004

The links page was lifted off another site I did, a website design tutorial I wrote while teaching myself! Hence, lots of links to technical material - I'll be culling some, and adding more personal links - soon - I promise.

Enjoy what there is, and I'll get more stuff up as it nears completion. Any comments or questions can be directed to whatzabuzz@hotmail.com  
 
 

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