Truth Against the World

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A String of Comments

This blog entry is actually a bunch of my comments on a thread on the kunstlercast forum where my avatar is Luciddreams. In case you didn't know that I was both (talking to you big brother) figured I'd help you out. This is the best I can do to change the world. I wanted to share these comments here. If you want to read the entire thread to see what I was responding to and what other members have to say about all of this then you can find it here.


I think the "middle class," those who still have a house and a job to pay for it, are keeping the party going with credit cards.

They are just getting by, just makin' the bills every month. Then they want to go out to eat, or buy some stupid shit, and they do it on credit with the belief that it doesn't matter because things are going to get better...if they even think about it at all. A large majority probably just don't think about it because they have been conditioned not to. The four credit card bills are just normal for them, and the "bill" only ticks up in five dollar increments every other month so it keeps going. I think this process, as a collective one, can stretch out for a few years. Slowly people start defaulting on credit cards and other bills. It's slow enough that nobody notices until THEY lose their job and the rug gets pulled out from underneath them. At that point they move in with their parents rather than become homeless. Mid 30's and 40's moving back in with their boomer parents who grabbed onto enough wealth during the real American party that they at least have a 4000 sq ft home with plenty of room in it to absorb the now economic non-family to move into.

The amount of visible homeless remains low, but they are there.

They just happen to be the ones with no family to fall back on. The result of this is that it makes it easy for even those who move back home to deny the collective reality. This has been going on since the housing bubble blew up, it hasn't stopped, just slowed, but it's going to quicken in fits. One "emergency" after the next until there is no familial absorption left. That's when the people will start waking up...IMO.


I'm not sure what it means, but there seems to be a large internet presence of awakened people in upper midwest. Something about the northern midwest states is conducive to being awake. It's definitely a real thing on the net at least.

In the South East it's a different story. Not many people here have a clue or even want to have one. I think it has something to do with the Southern Baptist hard right influence coming from the parents of the 20 somethings. We are behind here. Even when I was in high school we were behind. I remember my cousin from SoCal coming to my high school graduation with Inusbus's album SCIENCE. I hadn't even heard of Incubus at the time. Granted this is just music, and SoCal is always ahead on such things. But the point is that we are easily 10 years behind the rest of the country in many things here.

Further more, what I'm saying is that opening up to the reality of TLE (the long emergency)is a regional affair. It's very real to say that the religious influence in this part of the country is a hindrance to an awakening to the new paradigm. It doesn't seem to be the case further north. I have no idea why, or what it means, or the cause...just that it's a reality and relevant to this discussion. I have a hunch that it has something to do with religious influence.


I spent a lot of time thinking about whether I wanted to reproduce or not. I was PO aware during this decision making process (hence the process to begin with). How could I in good conscience bring a child into this fucked up world where even the optimist are lookin' at a half empty glass and callin' it what it is. I suppose I marinated on the idea for a couple of years. In the end I asked myself if life was worth living, even in my darkest hours when I was in solitary confinement eatin' bread and water. The answer was yes, it most certainly is. Even in that cell, when I was in the belly of the whale, life was still worth living. So, who am I to keep that life from happening? Further it's just what beings do, reproduce. I didn't want to miss out on that experience because there is no vicarious way to experience it. It's just one of those things you have to do to know. Once done (my son is 15 months old as of yesterday) life becomes something completely different. In a lot of ways it's more complicated, but in other ways it's more enriching.

I heard an interesting thought the other day while watching a documentary about the meaning of life (I think that was the name of it). There was some evolutionary psychologist who said "would you rather do what you want uninhibited 99% of the time and then during that 1% when you stop to reflect on your life think how meaningless it all is, or would you rather be worried and stressed about another being 99% of the time and that 1% when you reflect have a sense of fulfillment and meaning." Something like that. There is much truth to what he says, but it's also not the whole story.

At this point, without my small family, I'd like to think that I'd be a hippie hobo stoner. Just on the road like Alexander Supertramp living for the moment and probably not in the U.S. I would have long ago told society to go fuck itself and probably about the time I reproduced no doubt. In fact, about the time I was going to "get thee to a nunnery" at Shasta Abbey on Mt. Shasta, it's a Buddhist monastery, was about the time I got married. It seems family continues anchoring me to society and reality no matter how far I run. My entire family is in Southern California and I moved to SC. I went East young man Symbolic since I went East and got married and had a child. I suppose there is some truth to that directionality spirituality.

Now my only hope is for my son. I just hope that I can teach him the skills that he needs to make it in a world with no future except for an apocalyptic one. By skills I mostly mean psychological. So that means I have to find some hope for myself so that I can give that to him. In this world, that means constantly going to school to further myself in healthcare since that's the only way to extract money out of this fucked up economy. I'm tired of school, at least learning shit just to make money. I'd much rather be a full time student, like Joseph Knecht of Hesse's "Glass Bead Game." I could have done that (essentially Castalia is Tibet IMO) but I have a soft spot for the ladies. Now here I am, 31 and gettin' ready to go back to school to study technical shit to make technical money in a technical society that is collapsing (technically).


I guess this is as good a place as any to insert this monologue. I like anecdotal (in case you haven't figured that out yet).

Lately my partner has been telling me that "you need to get on a little pill." He honestly thinks that the best thing for me would be to get on a psychotropic medication. His reasoning? Well I have a LOT of stress and work what most would consider a very stressful job (EMS). My wife's business tanked last year and we can't afford child care (no family on either side around to help). My wife's credit has gone to shit over business debt and my job is all that's keeping us in our house and just slightly with our noses above the rising waters of civilization's contraction. We're one major something breaking away from being "shit out of luck and jolly well fucked" as Carlin would put it. Every year they find some way to pay me less. Let me quickly illustrate this. I've been working for this service for five years now...I've had six raises in that time and I'm making less then when I started...figure that one out.

At work I see horrific shit (which doesn't bother me...usually). I am constantly in dangerous situations. None of that bothers me. What bothers me is all of the stupid shit I have to do every year, all year, to keep my job and all because of governmental regulations. One would think that simply doing something 40 hours a week would keep you proficient at said activity. The various governmental bodies don't think so. I have to do around 70 hours a year of continuing education, as well as another 40 hours or so of various odds and inns that my employer requires. I could go on and on with this but you get the point. It's a never ending siege of shit I gotta do to keep my job. Then we get an email for a new policy that if you miss anything that is mandatory you will be terminated immediately. My annual TB screening is due, if I don't get that done by the end of oct I will be fired, end of story. Or if I don't get the flu shot, or if I miss a mandatory training, or let one of the various certifications that I have to possess lapse...fired. Insurance is once again going to get more expensive and cover less when they change plans on us for the fourth time in five years.

I hope I'm painting a good picture here. This is just my story. Now this could be any man's story in the current U.S. and probably mostly is. Here's the difference between that other guy and me (any of us no doubt). I am PO aware. Now you take all of the above outlined stressors and that is going to be enough to cause many a man to have a mental crack up. One can only apply so much stress before something breaks. Example, I was walking by one of our ambulances in the bay to change a portable oxygen cylinder the other day and as I passed the truck my minds eye played a movie of me bashing in the hood of the ambulance front windshield with that cylinder. This is stress rupturing through tiny fissures in my unconscious armor.

Add PO to this soup of stress. Now I'm aware that civilization is on a downward spiral and it's only going to get worse from here on out. The only argument is the timing of that collapse. Either way it ends up the same, contraction. As a man I want to do everything in my power to ensure I provide for my son and wife. That means, on top of all of the time I must spend at work and just keeping my job, I have to go to school full time. There are people in my position where I work who are doing this. Every week they lose hours at work juggling work and school. They get paid less every check because of this. On top of that they have to pay for the technical school (lot's of nickel and dime shit goes on) plus the gas to get to the school that is 40 miles away twice a week (sometimes three). They go days sometimes without sleeping because they work, go to school, go do clinicals, go back to work, do ride time (work for free), go back to get the idea.

So here is the question I have. At what point does a man say "fuck it." That is a very real event no matter how tuff somebody is. I have responsibilities. I can't say "fuck it." So my partner says I should get on a fuckitol pill so that I can continue gettin' fucked in the ass by the man for less and less every year. So that I can slow my descent into economic non-person status while not caring about it. There's only one problem with this. I am vehemently opposed to it. Way down deep where it counts and so it is not an option. So I continue paddling along trying to hold it all together with no help from anyone. In the midst of a collapsing world while witnessing the crack up of society one lunatic at a time. Every day at work here lately I am once again surprised at the level of absurd insanity that people are reaching. I took a guy to the hospital yesterday that actually scared me with his particular insanity. These calls are increasing. I am witnessing the contraction of western civilization one lunatic at a time. One desperate situation at a time while at the same time operating from my own unique desperation. Reality has set in for me, a long time ago. I think a lot of this insanity is the refusal to allow reality to set in on societies part. I can tell you, they won't let it sink in. They will go insane resisting it. Indeed, they are going insane one at a time. That patient I just alluded to was on four different psychoactive prescription pharmaceuticals. He was card tottin' nut house insane and loose in society. He's behind the wheel of the car's passing you, he's in line behind you at the grocery store, he's watching your children in day care, he's stitching you up at the hospital, he's running Wall Street and he's who you are voting for. Society will never wake up to our reality, they will go insane resisting.


I've softened a bit on my stand where that is concerned here lately (mostly probably due to my partners incessant assertions).

Here's the thing, I drink and smoke cigarettes after work, and so how is that different from just taking a "chill pill" as opposed to a "Fukitol" pill (the later being what I am vehemently opposed to. A chill pill....ativan, clonipine (class of drugs known as benzodiazipem's or "Benzo's"...and I know my spelling is incorrect). The chill pills are pretty benign pending you don't get drunk while taking them (it can literally stop your respiratory drive). You can use them situationally unlike the fukitol pills (seratonin reuptake inhibitors). Fukitol pills are the Xanax, Zoloft, Paxil, Prozacs...there are literally hundreds of fukitol pills. They are the ones that cause you to have very vivid dreams of slaughtering your entire family and have side effects like "suicidal thoughts" which many times are what they are meant to combat...ironically. If anybody reading this is on a fukitol pill...I'm not making any judgments, but I have a very solid opinion on the matter (however I do realize that there are cases where they are warranted).

I've been considering a "chill pill" lately because I'm starting to think it's better than just gettin' drunk. Better for my liver at least. I'm of Irish decent and have been drinking heavily my entire adult life (I was a sailor for cryin' out loud). With my son's presence, however, I now actually care about dying from cirrhosis or lung cancer, but both have been a much needed crutch for me here of late. I've been considering gettin' a chill pill to knock the edges off situationally rather than gettin' drunk.

As far as getting the pill. Shit, I could get a script today, so there may be something to your claim about the different subcultures throughout the U.S. Plus I'm a medic so all I have to do is basically go to a general practitioner and say "hey doc, the dead babies fuck my nerves up," and he'll say "here's whatever you want will that do?" Most medics are on various forms of fukitol's and chill pills. As one medic recently told me the fukitol basically "takes the really good highs and lops the tops off of them and takes the lows and completely gets rid of's awesome." He has a very good point which is basically one of environment. He says that we didn't evolve to be dealing with the particular stresses of this jacked up environment so there is nothing wrong with combating this artificial environment with artificial chemicals. He has a good point, but I don't want to risk thoughts of suicide or have dreams about slaughtering my family and setting my house on fire.

Other medics just go to church and worship Jebus. I've tried that...doesn't work for me.

Right now I'm in a limbo state trying to figure out what the best course of action is. I can't lose my shit on a scene cause I'll get shit canned. I've got responsibilities. I'm a 21st century man resisting the "Brave New World" and it's Soma shots. It's like my partner says "you should be in a room with no windows gettin' paid a lot of money using your intellect, but you squandered all of your opportunities and now you have to dumb yourself down to fit in with the rest of us." He's mostly correct. I'd like to think that in the day's of yor one such as I, having finally grown up at 31, would be able to enter the university to utilize my potential. That's not the case now, the world has become much less forgiving.

So now I'm contemplating a chill pill so that I can keep a rough over my son's head and food in his belly. When what I would really like to do is to tell the man to go fuck himself and go study academic things to contribute to the betterment of our species.


True enough, but a couple of drinks at a pub to loosen up after work isn't getting drunk. That is "drinking responsibly." The majority of a fifth to get inebriated and a pack of cigarettes a couple times a week is self destruction and self medication.

What are we accepting? The plunder and looting of the commons? Austerity measures to keep the blood sucking boot licking financial elite fat and happy?I think the natural response to all of the truths of this current world is revolt and we are seeing that mostly in MENA and it's starting to emerge in the Western world now in small fits...Greece, London. What about America? Where are the riots and revolt that is so badly needed? Where is the revolution? It's nowhere to be found and it won't be so long as they keep feeding the cattle with the industrially processed and chemical shit. Americans are fed a diet of fast fried cheese, corn, pharmaceuticals, and instant iPhone entertainment all sponsored by the state. The world will literally crumble around their iPhone and they won't notice. Where's the hope in that? We should be depressed. Not being depressed about this is insanity.

Denial is the only hope we have. Ignoring the collapse will keep you operating under the business as usual the sun is gonna rise mentality. Waking up to the truth of the near future means you now have to do something about it. But what can you do? Store water and food? Grow food? That's great if you have a community to help you secure all of these things. But where is the community in America? The only trace of it is in the churches, but that comes with exoteric baggage. America is anti-community. America is a million little privacy fences and homes stacked on top of each other in suburbia with a driveway into a garage into the recesses of the windowless sector of the closet you drink in. All isolated and depressed about how fucked it all is but to fat and happy and drugged to do anything about it. The idiot box doesn't say anything meaningful to you. It just spews forth more state sponsored bull shit to convince you that 5 dpg gasoline is normal no matter what the cost per barrel. The talking heads carry on about Michael Jackson's drug pushin' doctor and the latest stupid ass comment by some stupid ass celebrity while the Iranian President calls out the western world on it's Newspeak and Double Think.

The idiot box doesn't say anything about the lower pay and ever increasing cost of healthcare. It doesn't help you pay a bill that is due that you have no means of paying now because they had to lower your pay to assist in the bottom line, oh and by the way there won't be any more overtime because we can't give ourselves bonuses if were giving it all away to the proletariat swine. You should be happy that we give you the opportunity to work. You should be happy with whatever we give you, and you should be willing to work more and more hours for less and less every year. Taxes must rise to pay for all of the fried cheese you have eaten. They lie and smile, lie and smile, lie and smile. We care about all of this very deeply but they've got us by the balls. They just apply a little pressure every now and then to remind you of your place beneath the wheel. Your place as a cog in the great American war machine that lumbers on killing brown people and starving Africans. The same machine that removes mountain tops and ruptures the Earth's major veins and arteries in the gulf. How quickly America forgets and goes back into that windowless drinking closet.

But I'm just a pessimist because I see reality and call it what it is. I'm not looking on the bright side. I suppose I can be happy about the fact that I'm not starvin' to death, or I'm not that poor sap that had his johnson sliced off with a knife stuck up his ass the other day at work. He must have done something terrible for that kind of revenge. But these are terrible nightmares to be found in reality on the under belly of civilization. How do you witness and live in the under belly of a collapsing civilization with a smile on your face? The only hope is for a rEVOLution. Every American will vote for Ron Paul and when he's not elected what will they do? When they put Perry in office anyway, even after America cast their vote for Paul. They won't do a damn thing. They'll go back to eating corn and popping Fukitol.

But I suppose I should stop now before Big Brother shows up to cart me back into the solitary confinement. I suppose I'm lucky because I don't believe in violence. I believe in peaceful civil disobedience, MLK, Gandhi, and the Buddha. Or maybe I should say that society is lucky.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Dysfunctional Critical

"This is complete crap" grumbled Jay to his equally dissatisfied partner.  

"Well, whataya gonna do about it? You gotta house payment to make. The man doesn't care about you and your opinion." Said Dan.

"I know but damn...they give us a 'raise' by lowering our hourly rate and making us work ten more hours a week, they raise the cost of medical insurance while decreasing the coverage, and now they have us coming in an hour early without pay to fuel the damn trucks up. What's going to be next? Are we going to have to pay out of our pockets for the fuel to keep these damn things on the road?"

"You'll do whatever you're told to do boy. You wanna keep yer house don't cha?"

"Yeah, but this is ridiculous." Said Jay. They had been sitting in line at one of the only gas stations in Spartanburg County SC that had any fuel at all, much less the diesel that was required to fuel their ambulance. The county had mandated that all EMT's come to work an hour early so that they could get fuel in their truck before their shift began. They had a quarter of a tank left from the previous shift, and with a truck that got 8 mpg, a quarter of a tank wasn't nearly enough.

"If this line doesn't getta movin' soon we're gonna have no choice but to go out of service. We don't need to run out of fuel with a patient." That's when the tones went off. Dan McCants was a 25 year veteran of EMS and as southern as southern gets. Dan's southern drawl and proclivity for speaking in coded southern aphorisms made his way of speaking nearly impossible for Jay to decipher half of the time. Jay had been in the south for ten years now and had grown accustomed to the southern accent and even had a slight twang to his speech. A Californian can't help but take on the southern accent after spending a few years in the south. A Yankee, on the other hand, can spend fifty years in the south and still sound like the day they left.

"Turn down your damn radio ass hole," admonished Jay. "Are you trying to make me go deaf?" Dan just ignored Jay as usual. Dan had congenital nerve damage to his vestibulocochlear nerve which caused him to not hear so well in certain frequencies. At least that's what he told Jay. Jay had to wonder at times because Jay wouldn't be able to hear a blood pressure or lung sounds at times and Dan would have no problem. Most times Dan was a walking contradiction of science and logic. At least from Jay's perspective.

"EMS 2, Pri One, 1293 Blackstock Rd for a Stabbing, operate on Med Op's two. Scene is secure, PD is on scene. Repeating 1293 Blackstock Rd."

"Well, git it and growl," said Dan. Jay looked at Dan with that usual what-the-hell are you talking about look and quickly set about getting their ambulance en route to the call. They were only a mile from the location of the stabbing. Unfortunately they were in a spare unit. This particular spare had the sirens mounted above the cab which made it hard for the occupants of the cab to hear anything other than the deafening shrill of the sirens. They quickly arrived on scene and located their patient. It wasn't hard since their patient was lying in the driveway next to an old pickup truck. A police car was present but there was no police officer in sight. Dan grabbed the first in bag and followed Jay over to the patient who was curled up on the driveway grabbing his gut.

"What happened?" Asked jay.

"That sumbitch stabbed me."

"Who stabbed you?"

"That sumbitch did!!" Said the patient.

"Oh, THAT son-of-a-bitch, well why didn't you say so the first time?" Said Jay. Leave the bag and go get the cot," said Jay to Dan. "Let's see what we're working with. I'm going to take a look okay?" Jay grabbed the patients hand and moved it out of the way. There was plenty of blood, but nothing oozing or squirting too fiercely which told jay that no major veins or arteries were hit. "Well the good news is that you're probably not going to bleed to death anytime soon." Jay's bedside manner had long since worn thin during the last years worth of hardships. There was stress from every angle. His job as a medic was the only thing keeping a roof over his head, but the complete lack of concern for his well being from his superiors was making it impossible for him to remain professional. His entire family was counting on him remaining gainfully employed to acquire their immediate needs. Jobs were as rare as gasoline these days. In fact the relationship between the two was more than just an analogy in this tale of mine.

The second decade of the 21st century proved to be more than just the canary in the coal mine for Western Civilization's demise. The canary never made it out of the coal mine. A few flies did, but nobody paid any attention to them. It turns out that the clarion flies left plenty of maggots on the rotten corpse of the abundance society of the previous two hundred years.  That corpse rotted along with the rest of the coal that was never to be mined. The coal that was just too expensive to get at. It turns out that when gasoline reaches around 200 dollars per barrel, it gets too expensive to continue moving mountain tops to service a collective fantasy of endless growth.

Jay and Dan picked up their patient and placed him on the cot. They loaded him into the back of the truck and drove routine traffic to the hospital. Jay didn't think this emergency warranted using lights or sirens to get to the hospital. Most of the time using lights and sirens only saved a minute or two and it wasn't worth the risk of losing his job over something like two minutes. The driving public tends to act very erratically when an ambulance with lights, sirens, and air horns shows up behind them. They tend to do things like slam on their brakes, dart out into oncoming traffic, some go right, some go left, some speed up, some pull into the median. The point is that driving lights and sirens should be limited as much as possible because in the event there is a negative outcome with traffic the EMT's can be easily found at fault and therefore find themselves unemployed and in criminal court defending themselves. All because people are too busy doing things like texting and driving while under the influence of prescribed mind altering pharmaceuticals.

"So how did you come about getting stabbed in the stomach anyways?" Asked Jay after establishing an I.V. for the patient.

"Well I was eating my lunch and I happened to hear a bunch of bangin' and carryin on, so I took a look out my kitchen window and saw that ass hole in the process of siphoning gas out of my pickup."

"You don't have a locking gas cap?" Asked Jay perplexed. Nobody was stupid enough these days to leave an automobile unattended without a locking gas cap. If they had any gas in the tank that is. Usually people would steal gas at night, but lately the situation was getting desperate enough that people were starting to lose their wits.

"Well hell yeah, of course I do, I'm no idiot. That sumbitch took a crow bar to it. I grabbed my pistol and went outside to put a stop to his shenanigans. I would have shot him dead but I don't have any bullets. Anyways, I ran out of the kitchen with my pistol and pointed it at his face and said 'Ima shoot you in the face if you don't stop what ur doin' mister.' And would you believe it that sumofabitch had a knife strapped to his left leg. I couldn't see it at the time. It was one of them combat deals like the marines used to be issued. He grabbed that knife out of it's holster all quick like and stuck it in me like I was a gold durn hog and then ran oft with his Jerry can. He didn't get any of my durn gas at least. You reckon the cops will keep them thief’s off of my gas while I'm gone?"

"I wouldn't count on it. They're stretched pretty thin these days. I mean you can't not pay the police and expect them to keep putting their lives on the line to keep law and order."

"Damn, I needed that gas. I spent my last twenty dollars on that gallon of gas." That's how it was these days. It must seem strange to think of a man that just got stabbed in the gut with an eight inch combat knife being concerned with a gallon of gas. The truth is that Jay understood his concern completely. Normalcy was breaking down in society and nothing was as it seemed any longer. A fiction had descended over all of society that was perpetuated by the main stream media. A cover of business as usual that was to be kept on at all costs. The realities of human life as it had been for the vast majority of the human experience on Earth had been forgotten completely by the soft society created by the abundance of free energy humanity found beneath the surface of the Earth.  Humanity forgot that nature could care less about things like hunger pains and mankind's preference to be kept at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Life was becoming hard and depressing but mostly because of the psychological shift that was being mandated by Gaia. Jay was stuck between the reality of the world in 2025 and the life that he had lived up to this point. He was just unfortunate enough to be born at the end of the Age of Abundance as it would be known through the lens of history. The lengths that people were going to in his time to keep from accepting the new reality were akin to the tragedy of Icarus. The government, main stream media, and the major corporations (that were left) were all too happy to continue servicing the hallucination of endless growth.

"Yeah, I can understand that. You did get lucky. Looks like he probably just got some of your intestines. They should be able to fix you up at the hospital. Speaking of, I've got to radio the hospital and let them know that we are coming."

"Regional, EMS 2." Said Jay into the radio. After a minute or so Jay radioed again. "Regional, EMS 2." It was becoming increasingly harder to get answered by the hospital as every hospital had become overwhelmed with citizens who had no other recourse but to use the ER as their primary means of healthcare. When Medicare and Medicaid disappeared it put a strain on the broken healthcare system of the United States that would prove to be the final nail in the coffin. The government still kept it mandatory that citizens be "stabilized" in the ER facilities of every hospital in the United States, but they no longer provided any financial assistance to either the hospitals or the patients. The system was in the final process of decay and society was beginning to realize this. The majority, however, was still in that painful process of denial. That denial was giving way to the grief and depression that was all around.
After several minutes the radio finally made some noise. "Go ahead 2 this is regional."

"We're en route to your facility priority two with a 40 year old male, chief complaint is a stab wound to the lower left abdominal quadrant. Bleeding is controlled at this time and the patients vitals are within normal limits. We've got an ETA of five minutes. Any further?"

"Negative two. We're on diversion. You're going to have to go to another facility."

"Regional there is no other facility." Jay and Dan had been informed by their supervisor at the beginning of their shift that Regional was the only hospital that was not on diversion. There were two other hospitals within 20 miles, which were the only other hospitals they were allowed to transport to, and both of them were on diversion. That meant that they were not taking any patients from EMS.
"Go to another facility, we can't accept any more patients. Regional out."

"Dammit!!" Yelled Jay. "you here that Dan?"

"Yeah, dammit to forty hells," said Dan "where the hell are we supposed to go with this patient?"

"Screw it, just go to Regional. Let them turn us away in person. I mean every other hospital is on diversion to and we have to take him somewhere so it might as well be the closest facility which is Regional."

"We'll I don't want to get wrote up again," said Dan.

"Wrote up again?" Jay screamed, "how the hell are they going to write us up for doing our job? We have no other choice. We have to take him somewhere and we're not allowed to leave the county because of the fuel restrictions. So take us to Regional!!!" Jay felt his brain cracking up with a permanent fissure. One that would prove to be the end of his existence in service of the old paradigm. The stress and impossibility of business as usual had reached it's logical conclusion for Jay.

 This was how the Long Contraction worked. Each individual that composed society would hang on as long as they could before they would let go and enter into the reality of the limits to growth. There never was a day where the world woke up to this new reality. It happened one individual at a time. One day you had a job, and however impossible the demands of the broken system were, you continued extracting your particular needs from it. You told yourself whatever you needed to tell yourself to continue getting less and less from the system. Then one day you no longer had a job. Every month that passed by it would get more and more difficult to get your basic needs from the system. Gasoline, food, toilet paper, the every day items that you had come to require to live in the old infrastructure that had been the last 200 years of life in the civilized world, were all becoming increasingly harder to acquire. We had grown too many. The world was restrained by the limits of its own size. The middle class was about to be completely phased out and Jay was about to willingly phase himself out. Not because he wanted to but because he could no longer hold it together. Maintaining that business as usual mindset was requiring too much delusion for Jay's ability. He could only delude himself so far before this moment arrived. He had long since known the truth of his immediate future, but he had fought it tooth and nail because he had to. What was the alternative? No hope? From where Jay sat that was the only alternative he knew, but even still his decision to hang it up was not really a conscious one. It was one of necessity. Because to stay in service of this lie was going to drive him mad.

I suppose he figured that at least he wouldn't have the struggle with the everyday contradictions that his employer made him turn a blind eye to. The demands of the system were requiring impossibilities from the servants of that system. The demands were requiring solutions that could not present themselves because there were no solutions. The solution was that a lot of people had to die and a new way of living had to emerge. That couldn't happen in the paradigm of infinite growth because there were limits to physical growth. That meant that the only solution was to give up on the old paradigm and enter the new. The next step for Jay was to finally give up on the false securities of employment and digital currency. Jay was about to enter the class of economic non-persons that were now the vast majority of the populace. This same populace was foreign to itself because it would not show up on the news or on the iphone screens. The news had become 24 hours a day of servicing the dying paradigm. That meant showing the world through the eyes of the elite class with their celebrities and politicians. The news had become 24 hours a day of celebrity/politician distraction. The world was crumbling before the world's own eyes, but the population could not see it because their faces were only paying attention to the mesmerizing screens of their smart phones. This was what the 21st century American Dream had become. It was an alternate universe created by the internet and manipulated by the controlling powers. People who still had the means to delude themselves did it with the electronic gizmos and their pulse of the internet. People learned to live life through their digital avatars. In fact, smart phones and the internet were among the few things that the government maintained for the people. The elite class realized early on in the 21st century that their only hope of hanging on to all of their stolen wealth was to keep the proletariat plugged into the alternate reality of the internet. You would not believe the lengths people would go to ignore the physical reality of the world when their digital screens would tell them the opposite.

"We can't go to Regional you igit. Didn't you hear them. They said they were on diversion." Said Dan.

"Well where the hell do you propose we go then?"

"I don't know, but we can't go to Regional."

"Like hell we can't. We can, and we're going to Regional. I'm tired of playing this damn game. Take us to Regional." Jay was almost there. Just a little bit more pressure was all he needed. And Dan's ability to ignore reality would prove to be the final straw.

"Ima call the supervisor. We'll put the monkey on her back." Dan grabbed his personal cell phone and called the supervisor. "It's gone to voice mail." He hung up and called again and again it went to voice mail.

"She's not going to answer you ass hole. She's too busy writing people up for doing their jobs just like she's going to write us up for taking this patient to Regional. Now take us to regional." Jay was at the end of his rope. Just one more contradiction or delusional thought from another was all that was needed.

"I can't get wrote up again" said Dan, "if I get wrote up again I won't get my raise at the end of the year."

"Raise!! You think you're getting a raise? Have you gone mad. Have you not been paying attention. Stop the truck!!"

"Why?" asked Dan.

"Just stop the damn truck now!!"

"I can't stop, we have to get this patient to the hospital."

"What damn hospital, they're all on diversion!!" Jay was now red in the face and screaming at the top of his lungs. He was there, at the breaking point. Even Dan heard the snap from his seat in unreality. Dan, the perpetually optimistic and impossible contradictory harvester of business as usual and hallucinatory thinking. Jay was finished. "STOP THIS DAMN TRUCK BEFORE I THROW THIS PORTABLE OXYGEN CYLINDER AT YOUR HEAD YOU BUMBLING MORON." Jay was now in a fit of rage in his minds last stand between old and new. He was about to break through to the realization that this was no longer working for him. He was no longer able to continue in this madness. Dan looked into the rear view mirror that peered into the patient compartment of the ambulance and saw Jay's red face ready to explode all over the back of the ambulance.

"What's wrong with you?"

"Fuck it," said Jay, "I've had it. Stop the truck, I quit."

"You can't quit. You'll lose yer house. There are no other jobs to be had. How are you going to feed your family?" Luckily for Jay they had come to a red light and so Dan had to stop the truck.

"Tell the Supervisor and Director that they can go FUCK THEMSELVES." Jay opened the back door to the ambulance and hopped out in a delirious state. He turned to the patient and said in a voice as  calm as an autumn breeze:  "I apologize. You met me on an unusual day for me. I simply prefer not to any longer." With that he turned and began walking in the opposite direction. All of the pressures of his domestic responsibilities were screaming at him to stop what he was doing. He had a mortgage payment and family that depended on him for groceries. Jay could no longer translate that pressure into logical thought. He could no longer continue on in this world of impossible demands. He simply had to begin living an authentic life. A life that paid strict attention to real reality and all of it's conspicuous agendas. A life that listened to his inner bliss.  That bliss said that he could no longer participate in the fiction that was the end of this age.  Besides, it was either quit or choke the next security guard that told him he could not take his patient through the emergency room doors.

The truth was that EMS was over. This was the moment where society could no longer pay for EMS. This was not just a turning point in Jay's life, but it was a turning point for the infinite growth paradigm. Jay had no special providence, he just happened to be the human being who jumped out of the infinite growth paradigm at the exact moment that said paradigm was no longer possible. That's not to say that society didn't keep attempting to service it with their willful deceit because they most certainly did. It's just to say that this was the exact moment that the old paradigm of infinite growth died. It was similar to when Nietzsche declared that God was dead. What Jay didn't know at the time was that the next day the county mayor was going to furlough all EMS personnel on account of there not being enough money to pay for it any longer. Nobody could blame the mayor. His choice was between the fire department and EMS. Even that was temporary because three months later he would permanently furlough the fire department as well. His choice at that point was either the fire department or the county police, and what kind of choice was that to make? Volunteer fire departments had long ago disintegrated because they could no longer afford fuel for their trucks. Of course fuel costs were the number one driving factor behind the wheel of non-progress. The new paradigm, or what would soon be called the Neoparadigm, was one of anti-growth and therefore anti-progress. At least as man had come to know progress. The Neoparadigm did not care about profit. It's god was the god of renew-ability and sustainability. Indeed, you might as well call it the god of scavenge and scarcity.

The Walk

Dan was at a loss as to what to do next in order to assure his end of the year merit increase. He couldn't leave the patient, and he couldn't transport the patient anywhere. He couldn't even drive because somebody had to be in the back with the patient. His mind was at it's own limit and was currently being shorted out with the lack of options. In fact there were no options except the one that he chose. He turned the truck around and followed Jay. He got on the P.A. and said, "get back in the truck man, for cryin' out loud, are you tryin' to get me fired." Jay just kept walking.

"Come on man, get back in the truck, this is craziness."

"Fuck you," said jay. "Leave me the fuck alone."

"Come on, you got responsibilities, get back in the truck. The patient is hollering back there!"

Jay knew that Dan was just going to keep on attempting to get him back in the truck no matter what he said, and he could hear the patient hollering over the P.A. Dan was just too stubborn and too stuck on stupid at the moment to do otherwise. So Jay walked over to the driver side of the ambulance.

"Look, there is nowhere to take the patient. Alright. Even if I stay on the truck where are we going to go? What are we going to do? There is nowhere to go and nothing to do accept for what I'm doing." Dan starred at Jay for a few moments and then looked away in contempt.

"Yeah but.."

"But what," interrupted Jay. "Where are you going to take him? Security is just going to tell you that he can't be admitted, then what?"

"Well, I'll call the supervisor and ask her."

"You mean you'll call her like you just did, and she won't answer like she just did, and then we'll be sitting at the ER with a patient that we can't take in and it will be no different than being here with the patient. Either way the situation is not going to resolve itself."

"We can't just abandon the patient" said Dan. He was right, and Jay knew it, but what were they to do.

"Look, I'll try to help resolve this, but then I'm done. I can't do this any longer." Jay climbed into the back of the truck to have a talk with the patient.

"What in the hell is going on with you two gold durnit?"

"Yeah, about that" said Jay, "it seems there is nowhere that we can take you to get the care that you need."

"What the hell do you mean there's ain't nowheres you can take me. Take me to the gold durn hospital." Said the patient outraged.

"Yeah, about that, the hospital is on diversion which means they aren't accepting any other patients."

"How can they do that? Ain't it illegal?"

"Well technically it's illegal but it doesn't change the fact that security isn't going to let us in because the hospital is on diversion. It's against policy for us to take you out of county without supervisor approval and anyways we don't have enough fuel to take you out of county. So what would you like us to do?"

"I need to be treated. I've been stuck in the gut."

"The best we can do is to take you back home and see about treating your injury the best we can with what we have, and we aren't set up to take care of something like this long term. Everything we have is just to deal with stabilizing emergency situations. Your bleeding is controlled right now, but I'm not sure if your intestines were cut open or not. Basically your problem is going to be infection and you'll need antibiotics for that. You need to be sown back up and we don't do that."

"Take me to the hospital." Cried the patient. "Please, I don't want to die, just take me to the hospital."

"Fine." By that time Dan was already in the back with Jay and the patient. Jay turned to Dan and said "let's go. Fuckem." So Dan drove them to the hospital where there were three other ambulances with patients on cot's just outside of the ER doors. Security was there refusing to let anybody in.

"We're on diversion" boomed security. "Take your patients elsewhere."

"Where the hell are we supposed to take them" shouted Garen Spencer. Garen was a rather burly and rough around the edges veteran of the desert wars of the early 21st century. He had a short fuse and no tolerance for stupidity.

"I don't give a shit if you take them to tenbuckto, you ain't taking them here. Now get the hell out of here before I call for police."

Jay, knowing Garen pretty well, knew that this situation was going to get violent. He figured he'd better step up and see if he could help resolve the situation. "Where is the supervisor" Jay asked Garen.

"Hell, I don't know. Nobody can get her via cell or radio."

"Well, I suppose we're on our own. I'll tell you what I'm gonna do." Jay turned to the security guard and said "you see this patient here," pointing at his patient. "He's been stabbed in the gut. He needs a doctor. He's your problem now." With that Jay turned and walked away. Everybody in attendance at this unsuspecting event were stunned stupid. How could he just walk away they all thought. Jay realized that the system was broken. It had reached dysfunction critical and there was nobody who could do anything about it. Healthcare had become overwhelmed with societies own dysfunction. This was just one aspect of civilization that was no longer working. It could no longer work. There were too many people who needed medical attention and no money to pay for it. A new way would have to arise from this juncture. This new way was going to have to depend on things that did not need petroleum to make them function. Without the petroleum to make all of the plastic and supply all of the energy to move modern life and to grow modern food it all ground to a halt. Jay was aware of this halt. Jay was embracing the moment where the wheels of progress stopped moving forward. The wheels would not turn due to will alone, nor would they turn due to wishful thinking. The more denial that was piled up, the more dysfunctional the whole thing became. This was the logical conclusion of existing under a paradigm of infinite growth on a finite planet. From here on progress was going to mean your ability to scavenge and adapt. Progress was going to mean contraction for a while. We had to progress towards zero growth. Slowly the wheel began turning backwards and it would be up to every day people to figure out how to get out of the way and learn to sketch out a slow living.

Jay walked home from the hospital. His house was five miles away and he needed the time to "cipher and gonkulate" as Dan would say. What was he going to tell his family? He had a wife, two toddlers, his mother, and his father-in-law at home waiting on his check to purchase the food that would sustain them. They all depended on that check to stay above water and out of the government food lines. Jay figured that life was going to have to get a lot more local. These large machine scaled requirements of daily life would not abide a crumbling infrastructure. As I said before, there was not a day where society woke up and realized that the apocalypse had happened. The truth of infinite growth would reveal itself one individual apocalypse at a time. The end of growth would stretch itself along a chain of one epiphany after another all the way to a plant paced present future. Once again man would learn his true place amongst the giant organism of which he was a vital part, Gaia.   

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Requirements of the Neoparadigm

James Howard Kunslter's The Long Emergency is making itself more and more visible in my life as the days move on. I've been a student of this particular study for approximately three years now and I have read from authors encompassing the full spectrum made visible by this particular telescope into the future. You can see this future with binoculars now if you are paying attention. For many they need no assistance in seeing this future because it has become present for them. This is the way it looks from the American Hallucination, as Joe Bagaent would have put it. The fact that this is not the collective conversation amongst the masses right now is testament to the magnitude of delusional thinking of the masses just now. What the masses can't see because they are unwilling is the single fact that growth on Gaia is dead for now. In fact, not only is growth over with, but contraction is very much Gaia's meme for our time. This means that our way of providing sustenance within this civilization is changing. I covered many of the reasons for this in my last blog

Indeed, growth has been replaced with contraction. In other words we are living through the age that is the end of the "golden years" for our civilization. We're at the end of our retirement and many of us will die to make room for the new and young. We take with us our fossil fueled legacy of easy living. Michael Ruppert places those of us responsible at right around 30 years and older. I'm not sure I agree entirely with his quantifying on the matter as I am 31 and I don't feel too responsible for the mess the world is in. I'm not saying there's no blood on my hand, there most certainly is, but I was born into the cancerous growth stage of this death spiral. I was born into the paradigm that has died already, and I have lived my entire life from within it. It wasn't until Peak Oil came to my attention via The Long Emergency that I realized exactly how we had been duped and what to do about it. What to do about it is a damn good question worthy of much thought, and believe me I have put much thought into it. Most books on the topic have a chapter on what to do about it, and that's just biased opinions from the authors subjective perspective.

The spectrum explored by the PO authors ranges from the fast collapse, as epitomized by Michael Ruppert with around a 10 year timeline from now, to The Long Descent outlined by John Michael Greer with his "Catabolic Collapse" lasting nearly a century and happening in fits of collapse followed by new normals and more fits until the "Ecotechnic Future" is reached. Between these two authors rest many opinions, all of which are well informed and even empirical such as Dimitri Orlov's Reinventing Collapse. Trying to figure out what to do about all of this is a daunting task that requires a strong and vigilant psyche to navigate. I'm of the opinion that survival, in any situation, is mostly about psychological adaptability. I think a good place to start is to learn how to develop a stoic attitude towards the ownership society. This is the shining example of what I'm talking about:

and the more mature version of this young man:

This exemplifies what our future is going to require of us. A composting toilet, above ground cistern collecting rain water from the roof, some consumer grade solar/wind power (wind can be made with an old automobile alternator and bike parts), and small wood burning stove can all keep you independent, healthy, and happy with the right stoic attitude. These tiny dwellings can be built with recycled materials that create extremely insulated spaces.  The pictures featured throughout this blog are from this website.  Part of the New Paradigms requirement for survivable adaptability is the embrace and cultivation of salvage. The Buddhist/Stoic attitude addressing possessions is also an imperative. Owning things does not work in small spaces in an age of contraction. It will be required to replace ownership with earth stewardship and community resilience.

Waste is no longer viable in the New Paradigm. Waste will be seen as something to be avoided at all costs. Our waste is embodied perfectly in our cultures attitude towards our own bodily functions. There is a phobia and taboo associated with our bodies own form of waste removal. Our culture uses drinkable water to deal with this "disgusting" function of our own bodies. We urinate and defecate into a magic hole and we whisk away our own dirtiness with the elixir of life. Without water you will die in three days. We are 70% water and this is a resource that is growing more and more scarce. Humanure is a practice that man has used for thousands of years and yet society scoffs at it now. Advocates of utilizing human urine and feces as safe and composted fertilizer for growing food are seen as nut jobs by the popular culture of the old paradigm. The day is approaching where those of us who do not embrace salvage entirely and with open arms will remove themselves from the gene pool. In fact, that day has arrived already for many, and they are being removed because of their own ignorance and stubbornness.

The class of economic non-person is growing rapidly in America. This class is hiding in plain sight and we are all too happy to ignore them. Until we join them and join them we will. As in you, dear reader, will probably become one of them in the not too distant future. This is the genesis of this essay. I am seeing this reality emerge in my own life. The day where I will no longer be able to abide in what the system is requiring of me is approaching rapidly. As of now I'm hanging on to it by a gossamer thread that is seconds away from snapping. I'm strongly considering cutting that thread myself so as to buy myself what little bit of time I can for preparation. I am a husband and a father and because of this I am still hanging on, but only because of this. Yet this reason is one of fear at the precipice of embracing the Neoparadigm.  It's also a stronghold of my stake in the collective denial perpetuated by wishful thinking.  Most new economic non-person's think of their new status as a reflection of their own failures. This is not true. It is a reflection of a society that has overshot it's capacity. That is, it's a society that has out grown it's energy supply. It's not your fault. It's just the fact that the New Paradigm is insisting upon. I am beginning to believe that the best thing anybody can do at this juncture, indeed the moral thing, is to no longer contribute to the debt society. The ultimate in non-violent civil disobedience in protest to this dying paradigm is to quit the debt slavery system. Stop paying your credit cards and foreclose on your house. Our leaders are administering palliative care to their selves right now and they are throwing us overboard. An anecdote may help illustrate my point:

The American Healthcare Casino

I work for a for profit corporation that deals in the hospital business. My particular area of healthcare is EMS and my agency is owned and financed by this corporation, I'll call them the For Profit Corporation (FPC for short). I've been working for FPC for five years now as an EMT. Every year I have somehow managed to bring home less and while getting a 2 to 3% raise every year. Mostly this is due to insurance costs and newfangled scheduling practices. The last two years they have changed plans on us and this always equates to paying more for less. Every year the options for healthcare are fewer and more expensive. They are changing our plan again at the end of the year. We now have two options one of which costs around $400 a month for my family (my wife and 14 mo old child) with an $800 deductible. After the deductible is reached they cover 80% of the costs so long as it's in network. This can still result in crushing debt under the wrong circumstances.

The other option costs almost nothing per month with a $2400 deductible that comes with a convenient "healthcare savings account" that is the brainchild of our altruistic government. This plan is called the "healthcare savings plan" in perfect Orwellian notes. Here's how it works. I pay the $2400 deductible and get coverage for any major detrimental healthcare issue at around 80% coverage. I'm still on the hook for 20% after the deductible which can result in crushing debt. The healthcare savings account allows me to place money into it tax free. Every year my employer will contribute $1900 to the account which I can draw from to pay the entire costs of doctor visits for any of my family. This means I have to add an additional $500 to meet my deductible. This all sounds pretty good, but it's not. Basically FPC has bought me off for $1900. Where before, as in now, they are paying around $8000 dollars per year on my families behalf for the insurance. They are saving a lot of money for themselves. Here is the catch. That money that they contribute into the healthcare savings account, and the tax free money I contribute is managed by Fidelity. That money resides in the hallucinated market that is Wall St. FPC is giving me some chips to take to their casino so that I can gamble for my families healthcare. This is what it has come to.
The Decrease In Hourly Wages Raise

Now factor into this mess the second blow to this years one two punch. We were informed that we were getting "raises" along with our new schedule change. A 3% raise no less!! At the end of the year we will net 3% more. Let me explain. They are lowering our base hourly rate and working us two more hours per week. The 3% comes from the fact that we are working more hours during the week. The end result of this is that they lowered our hourly rate and called it a raise!! While at the same time essentially removing our full coverage (while pretty expensive at $600 a month for my family of three) healthcare and replacing it with a cheaper and almost non-existent form. This is the worse year I have seen for evaporation of benefits and wages. I work for a hospital and essentially I have no insurance, not for the day to day practical coverage at least. I will have insurance that will pretty much require me to pay full price for doctor visits. Luckily, if I go to the hospital I work for, they will comp any care. As long as I don't go anywhere, I don't have to worry about being financially ruined due to a health issue. If I leave the county I reside in, however....I enter into the American Healthcare Casino where the wager is my credit. This is still pretty much the best America has to offer for it's still viable employee.

By law the ER has to "stabilize" you. The class of people who use the ER for their primary (and only) source of healthcare is growing by the year. Every week now I have a patient that actually needs to be seen at the ER who refuses ambulance transport because they have no insurance and cannot afford it. These are people with life threatening issues who refuse treatment because they don't want the $8000 bill that the hospital will send them for an ambulance transport and a bag of saline. You see, the hospital has to administer a battery of test because American Healthcare operates under the lawyer mandated and government approved CYA (cover your ass) principal. The healthcare system has to make sure that they insulate themselves from being sued all while adhering to the federal governments every tightening purse. Medicare requirements are getting more and more impossible by the year. Indeed, our society is contracting. What more proof do you need than to realize that our healthcare workers are being pushed out of healthcare insurance. Healthcare is refusing to take care of it's own.

I'm at the point where I'm ready to forgo paying into the American Healthcare Casino all together. That $600 a month extra that I'll bring home will do more for me in my bank account than it will in the hands of Fidelity. How do I know if they are too big to fail? The fact of the matter is that I'm already $100,000 in debt due to the mortgage on my residence. If something major happens to one of my family members they will have to be treated at the ER. So what if I have another $30,000 in debt piled onto my credit. As long as I pay $5 a month they can't do anything except harass me by phone. Hell, they're already doing that over the failed business debt hovering over us. A failed attempt at the end of the great American Dream by the last generation that even had half a chance to begin with. What does all of this debt mean anyway? It's all a hallucinated illusion perpetuated by the Corporatocracy to extract as much work and wealth from the world as they can. It's just a fantasy of the elite that we all agreed to take seriously. They are shackles that we collectively agree are real, but they are not, they are fantasy. Mortgage, credit card, car payment, housing upkeep, home depot credit, insurance, and finally illusory healthcare all designed to keep us convinced that we need to sacrifice our lives at the alter of false security for the FPC's own profit. Quite frankly sir, I'm with Thoreau and Bartleby the Scribner..."I prefer not to." This has become ridiculous and I've just about had enough of your bull shit false promises and fictitious shackles. I told you many blogs ago that I will find a way out. I haven't quit looking and I'm hot on the trail. Soon I will find the exit from your rigged game...and if you look around you will see that I am not alone. In fact, I am growing. I am the reproducing member  embracing the Neoparadigm.