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.
THE QUESTION OF REPRODUCTION
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).
"YOU NEED TO GET ON A LITTLE PILL"
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 school....you 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.
CHILL PILL AND FUKITOL
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 them...it'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.
INEBRIATION AS HOPE
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.