I am an optimistic pessimist. Have you ever met one of us? We tend to be the keepers of reality...let me explain.
The overwhelming majority of existence is highlighted by painful suffering. Much of this suffering has been hidden from us by various petrochemicals, an abundance of high fructose petroleum sugar saturated beverages and snacks, Orwellian MSM disinformation campaigns designed to render a perpetual optimistic proletariat devoid of all reality, and a culture encouraged to follow a drooling pack of violent buffoons who win games by smashing their bodies into each other at high speeds. These drooling buffoons get paid more money than all of the proletariat who follow them signaling that the virtues of society are to be found in the ability to drool while hitting a target at high speeds. As an optimistic pessimist I have consciously decided to protect myself from this abstraction by turning off the television and refusing to care about sports. It's not that I don't mind being distracted from the harsh realities of our existence from time to time, it's just that I prefer to not fill my psyche with trivial triviosities such as retards smashing into one another.
In order to pay attention to the state of affairs in the union one must maintain their optimistic pessimism at all costs. We adhere to reality because we realize that the future is not going to be full of miniature electronic gizmos and fried corn snacks, but we maintain optimism by hoping that the worst does not happen. In all actuality I am not a pessimist at all. It just happens that society labels me as one. Society accomplishes this by ignoring the conditions of reality and perpetrating a paradigm of wishful thinking. The God of Western Civilization has become, to borrow a word coined by James Howard Kunstler, the god of "technotriumphalism". This is the idea that technology is going to find a way to reinvent the first three laws of thermodynamics. This belief largely manifests itself as the belief that we are going to find a way to manufacture and run cars on direct sun rays. Somehow we are going to find a way to capture 100% of the sun's radiation that manages to strike Earth's surface. We are going to capture that energy and convert it into a liquid that will be able to replace petroleum. Or you can just say screw reality and start chanting abiotic oil over and over again.
Optimistic pessimist will continually refer you to the state of ill repair our economy has fallen into. They will tell you that the economy is not going to improve for any long term anything at all. They will tell you that the infinite growth paradigm is set to smash into the steel wall of limited resources. They will tell you that human population has been in the process of hyper inflating itself for the last 50 years, and that we are nearing the vertical part of the exponential growth graph. They will also tell you that we are nearing uncharted territories of ppm CO2 in the atmosphere which is causing "climate weirding" and set to change the face of the world and provide an overabundance of geological refugees. We will basically tell you that the future is not going to be marked by stability. Actually the future is going to be accented by hues of catastrophe and olfactory wonders that will remind you of an outhouse at that football game I was alluding to earlier.
You see there are three major winds of change all coalescing into a magnificent hurricane of destruction. These winds are the trifecta of peak oil, climate change, and economic destruction. All three of these conditions are worsened by mans desire to consume without due regard. Nobody thinks about what is required of the rest of the world to subsidize our greed and lazy wastefulness. Everything we have is taken for granted because it's all we have ever known. Nature strives for equilibrium in all things. Our lowering discretionary income is a result of the equalizing that's just now become visible.
If society were to judge attitude relative to reality than I, and those who share my view, would be considered informed optimist. There was a way we could have mitigated the trifecta. Mostly if we had acted like grown ups instead of ego maniacal Paris Hiltons jacked up on designer drugs, we could have created a sustainable and comfortable lifestyle. Of course that would have required valuing common sense and the use of our bodies on a regular basis rather than believing whatever you want while mostly drinking alcoholic corn and yelling at drooling buffoons on the television. Comfortable sustainability means cultivating verbs like sharing, recycling, and composting. It means living locally in emotional spheres that can be walked to. It means giving up the two year old mentality of "mine".
I have to fight on a daily basis to not be a pessimistic pessimist. It seems everybody I talk to just believes whatever the hell they want to believe about the nature of reality. They argue about lies presented as their only options by Big Brother. Do you want the democrats to socialize everything via taking all of your money, or do you want the Republicans to privatize everything by taking all of your money. Either way the oligarchs are going to take all of your money. Do you want to kill me over your God or the other guys God...or do you want to kill him first and then kill me for having an informed opinion that I didn't get from the television. Do you want to argue about how the "Communist News Network" or the "fair and balanced" lies of Faux News are the correct brand of connivance.
I'm so tired of hearing "well there's nothing you can do about it so why worry about it?" Well that's only true if you're willing to agree that smoking doesn't cause cancer. Go ahead and smoke dumb ass (I used to be a smoker so don't go getting all offended, besides I warned you under the title of this blog and I don't care about your feelings being hurt). Everybody knows it doesn't cause cancer. When you die from COPD complications we'll all agree that it wasn't the smoking that killed you and you'll still be dead. There is something you can do about it...stop smoking. Yeah, you can't stop cigarettes from being manufactured, but you can stop smoking. So what the hell am I talking about? You can't change climate change, peak oil, or the crashing economy, but you can change the way you interact with your world based on being informed by the truth. You can analyze what all of this information means and change your behavior based on it.
All of the "what are we gonna do's" aside, how about just caring to know what is real for knowings sake? Do you really need a reason to no longer be deluded? The benefit to knowing and accepting the status of our likely future is that you become emotionally prepared before hand. While business execs and soccer moms are overdosing on their serotonin re-uptake inhibitors and alcohol because they can't handle the end of the infinite growth paradigm you will have already gone through the stages of grief. You won't be surprised when your plans get vetoed by the trifecta. Not to mention you have plenty of time just now to kick around ideas about how you can better prepare yourself for a "World Made by Hand."
If you have any kind of land you can at least remain optimistically pessimistic about what you might be able to do with it pending you can manage to stay out of the fed ghettos and actually remain employed. If your profession is not going to be worth a hill of beans when gasoline is 10 dpg at the pump than you might think about changing that vulnerability. Maybe you start learning all of the peculiar eccentricities of growing y0ur own food without synthetic chemicals, acquire the equipment and skills to produce your own ethanol on a small scale, learn how to sharpen knives, sew, preserve foods, pottery, knit...you get the idea. You can bury your head back in the sand and pretend you are Peter Pan en route to Never Never Land if that's what you need to do, but that just makes you a deluded optimist. There's no reason why you can't grow up and make friends with reality.