Thursday, May 31, 2007

Breaking Kay-Fabe: an explanation. [OOG]

(May 31, 2007)

Basically all these blog entries are part of a huge online roleplaying game called "World Without Oil." It helped that in real life during the month of game time we were dealing with gasoline prices that are, in real-money, adjusted-for-inflation terms, the most people have ever paid in the United States for gas. There were places in LA County where people paid $4/gallon if they were fool enough to fill up at those stations.

Yes, my husband has multiple myeloma. Yes, he's being treated at the City of Hope in Duarte. No, we don't live there. We still live in Panorama City. Both Watts and Pacoima are still alive and well. No bombs were dropped on Watts, no fires set by revenge-minded police in Pacoima. We did have a police riot at McArthur Park in the Westlake district of the City of Los Angeles (not to be confused with the Ventura County community of Westlake) on May 1. They're still trying to sort that out. It is likely this won't cost Chief Bratton his job. But at least his mentality seems to be more about finding the truth than circling the wagons. At least I hope that's the case.

If you are interested in multiple myeloma, which is being diagnosed more and more, particularly in people exposed to pesticides and/or diesel fuel, you would do well to drop in on the International Myeloma Foundation's website. They are at http://www.myeloma.org/ . The facts are all there, as is information on treatment and information about what you can do to help. The City of Hope is doing wonders every day at its facility: they deserve your support as well. Stop by and see them at http://www.coh.org/ . No they don't have sustainable power sources...at least, not yet. Someone should step up to the plate and hook them up. If this actually happened in real life, the City of Hope would probably not do so great.

Yes, I took a very pointed political tone in my writings. Yes, I am frustrated by the current state of affairs. We did not elect a Democratic majority to Congress and the Senate to roll over on its collective belly and tuck its tail between its legs. The idea of the bombing of Watts came when I thought "What's it going to take to get people to stop being obsequious to Darth Cheney and his Apprentice, Dubya? Are they going to have to be caught bombing US soil?" So that's why the storyline I put together. If the Republic we have was still working, still effective, still representing its constituents, Cheney and Bush would not have been back for a second term. And even if they were voted back legitimately, (and there is convincing evidence the elections were gamed once again) a truly functional Republic would have impeached and removed the bastards long ago.

I'm a bit of a pessimist with regard to Peak Oil, Global Warming, and the fate of the Nation. We could have done something about this 30 years ago, when Carter was seriously talking about weaning us off the petroleum teat. However, the Iran hostage crisis happened, Carter was not re-elected, and Reagan began 30 years of a "Don't Worry, Be Happy" policy with regard to our dependence on foreign petrochemicals. Global Warming seems to be a runaway train that nobody can stop. We're just going to have to adapt or die: emulate the small mammals who survived the Great Impact, or share the fate the large dinosaurs suffered.

With regard to politics, it might take a full-blown revolution at this point, because our political institutions have either been bought off or co-opted by other means, or in some cases directly sabotaged. I hope not: revolutions are costly, and it is never assured that the Good Guys win. Usually violent revolutions end with the most ruthless and the most savage warlords winning and imposing their will. Look at how France suffered first under Robespierre, then under Napoleon Bonaparte. Who came out the winner in the Russian Revolution? Stalin. I know I've said nice things about Hugo Chavez in other places, and I love the way he makes Dubya mad, but he's turning out to not be so nice. A legitimate leader can survive dissent. It is only the illegitimate ones who have to resort to suppressing freedom of speech and other civil liberties. He lost me at "let's close down all but the state-run media."

Much depends on 2008. I don't like the idea of Hillary Rodham Clinton as the Democratic nominee. I prefer General Wes Clark, Vice President (arguably President) Al Gore, or a ticket with the both of them on it. Either one of them have what it takes to lead us out of the mess we're in and get us back in the good graces of the rest of the world. Hillary is just more of the same old warmed-over DLC slightly-right-of-center pottage that Bill Clinton was feeding us. Don't get me wrong: I miss Bill Clinton. After seven years of George W. Bush, I have nothing but nostalgia for him. Anyway, hopefully the GOP nominee will be weak tea that satisfies neither the base nor the swing voters, because Hillary won't win this on her own merits. The GOP field would have to be so weak the base stays home and the swing voters hold their noses and vote for "anyone but the GOP candidate." So far none of them look like they can satisfy both the base and the swing voters. The ones pandering to the base are frothing lunatics like Huckabee and Brownback. The ones pandering to the swing voters like Giuliani haven't a prayer (heh) of being accepted by the base. And McCain looks more and more lost and unhinged as time goes on. Dubya successfully smeared him as unstable in 2000. McCain nowadays is proving him right.

Anyway, enough of the politics: peak oil, climate change, ecological crises and their economic sequellae are way too big for politics. We will all be affected. At best, we will have to adapt rapidly and successfully. At worst, nothing we can do will stop this, and the rest of the world will wind up joining us Angelinos in our perennial game of "Waiting For The Big One."

No, this will not hit all at once, in the space of 32 weeks of unleashed Hell on Earth. This will hit us gradually and subtlely. My friend Pam, aka Beep, runs a Live Journal community called boiling frog. The community is more about climate change issues than about peak oil but the myth the name comes from is a perfect metaphor for our situation. We're in the pot. The heat is coming on slowly, ever so slowly. We don't notice. By the time it's noticeable, it's too late. However, what really happens when a frog is put in a pot where the water is slowly heated, is eventually the temperature gets uncomfortable and it hops right out. We apparently don't have the same sense that a frog has.

I invite you to read my posts like you would read a novel. Start with the last one first and move up. I might even try to write this in prose eventually. I also invite you to visit http://www.worldwithoutoil.org/ and explore the other writers on this project's work. There may even be a PBS special on this sometime in the future. I don't know if there will be one yet, but there is a connection there with the sponsors of the master WWO site. I made it to #7 in the rankings of writers on WWO, and managed to score a winning post with my last in-game post.

1 comment:

Sal Ober said...

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