pan·ic1 /ˈpanik/ noun sudden uncontrollable fear or anxiety, often causing wildly unthinking behavior.
January 23, 2020
Five thousand miles from Wuhan, China, our office is abuzz.
A co-worker has now been home for two days with a mysterious ailment.
She’s upset because her doctor will not prescribe antibiotics until he sees how the illness is progressing. And she feels like warmed over horse dung.
The media, doing its usual job of panic-selling, is couching it’s reports on the latest Coronavirus update in quasi-apocalyptic terms. Twitter is doing its job of amplifying the growing panic and feeding us memes of beer bottles.
Of course, as a person with an anxiety condition and PTSD, I’m consuming a steady diet of panic reporting, trying to remain emotionally detached while mentally calculating if I have enough food and bottled water in the house to wait out a global pandemic.
And as I stare at the photos and memes churning from social media I wonder: who eats bats?
But seriously, listen up — as a dedicated follower of all things climate emergency, I can only worry about one global extinction event at a time, OK?
I think I’m getting swollen glands. I’ve just downed a multi-vitamin. Maybe some hot tea?
Nervously, Twitter scientists tell me that the virus can be spread to each other through coughing. Every damn person up here is coughing.
Look buddy, I’ve seen the movie ‘Outbreak’ as well as ‘Twelve Monkeys’ and ‘Contagious,’ and read ‘The Stand.’
It strikes me at that moment: I work in a hospital.
OK, I’m in public affairs but just across the parking lot are sick people. We’re a veritable living stew of reduced resistance.
The world’s attention ricochets sharply from a burning Australia to the far east. In America, we’re distracted from the Kabuki theater of a presidential impeachment. In a world where dystopia is an everyday media experience, everyone suddenly wonders: now what?
In China, they’ve quarantined an entire city of 11 million — no one in or out. Imagine trying that in New York.
If you really want the whole scene in real time, US researchers have created this map. Go on, you know you want to see it. Look at it every 15 minutes for updates on your smart phone.
Sometimes I think America has been so amped up about so many things that we’re just waiting to panic. A few weeks ago, we were going to be at war with Iran until we weren’t. Before that, we were thinking North Korea could launch a nuclear weapon against the West Coast. Events move from one crisis to another and everyone wonders: which one will be the real deal? Which one will be the existential threat?
Again, I must remind myself that each person faces their own fate but so do nations and worlds. At an individual level, I think that by paying constant attention and figuring out the angles, I can avoid catastrophe. I’ve been doing it all my life thanks to a volatile family upbringing.
I know that’s an irrational belief, and yet that’s my coping mechanism and so many others’ as well. We don’t trust anyone, but we read everything. We say we’re comfortable with our fate but want to choose how we’ll meet it. We say we’re not afraid, but deep down inside we are terrified.
And, as if to make us even more frazzled, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists just pushed the hand of the Doomsday Clock to 100 seconds from Midnight.
It almost seems as if events are calculated to keep us in continuous agitation. But I’m not paranoid. I think.
In some respects, going to Key West is akin to traveling to the edge of the American universe and taking a good look at the future – and it’s not bright.
I’ll spare you the geography lesson, but suffice it to say we are dealing with an isolated island community that has been pumped up almost solely by tourist dollars. It is also a community that can only be supplied by road (only one), and, to much lesser extent, by air and sea. If Key West had to depend solely on air and sea replenishment, it would probably last about two weeks.
It is hot there in October and very humid too – much too much for me. I had hoped that there would be some moderating in temperature, but there wasn’t. Daytime highs were 87-92 not counting the real feel which was more like 91-99. Nighttime lows were in the mid to high 70s. Humidity generally was around 60% in the daytime hours. Without air conditioning, this place also curls up and dies.
The town itself is fighting a losing war on two fronts – culturally and environmentally. First, culturally. Key West is, if we are to be honest, a giant tourist trap that is fighting a rear guard action to maintain it’s historic charm. The famous Duval Street has, in the past few years, been likened to New Orleans’ Bourbon Street with the exceptions of the lack of world class restaurants and the proliferation of chintzy souvenir shops.
There have been some efforts to rein in the scam artists in the last few years but overall, the street is best taken in during the day unless you want to experience a mile long fraternity drinking party at night with all that goes with it.
The charming parts of the city are holding their own and are
worth a look. Hemingway’s house, in my opinion, is well worth a look. We didn’t
go to Truman’s Winter White House – they can sell their Trump souvenirs to
someone else. There are gardens and wildlife exhibits as well. Basically, the
tourism revolves around water sports and drinking. There are only a few bona
fide land based attractions.
The old homes sit uncomfortably near new development, which is making continued infrastructure demands on the city. Also, you don’t have to set foot in the city proper, as there are a number of all inclusive resorts in Key West that have their own private beaches.
A final point – the city is for the rich. Cheap shacks and beat up trailers are going for $250k and up. Trolley drivers and other residents constantly complain they can’t afford to live in the city. Everybody is living 2-4 to a flat. The one trolley driver admits he and his wife can only afford their modest flat because she is a ‘professional,’ whatever that means.
And the apartments they live in are ugly. All of the new housing in Key West looks brutally out of place. For the sake of the people living in the old town, they can’t be seen from there.
If anything, the cost of living will get worse. Key West’s police cruisers are emblazoned with the words ‘protecting and serving paradise.’ Remembering the lyrics of the Eagles’ song ‘The Last Resort:’ “call some place paradise; kiss it goodbye.” Never truer than referring to Key West.
Strangely enough, perhaps out of sheer necessity for ‘the help,’ Key West has the rare distinction of having both a working Sears and K-Mart in town. I doubt you will find that combination anywhere else in the USA. Outside of the immediate downtown and quaint living spaces, it’s pretty much a resort town strip shopping center. I don’t believe there is one square foot of undeveloped land left in town, but I may be wrong.
This leads to the obvious – the whole thing is
unsustainable. I wonder how many people know it?
Each day I was there, the sea reminded both tourists and residents that it will reclaim their paradise soon. Flowing under the permeable limestone, the sea water (from the Atlantic or Gulf, take your pick) comes up, sometimes violently, from the storm grates in the streets all over town. Some of the streets get a little wet, some turn into un-navigable rivers. The city leaves ‘Street Closed’ signs on most street corners to make shutting down the streets easy and fast. They need to: I saw the street in front of our place go from zero to completely flooded in about 30 minutes.
The National Weather Service issues bulletins about this
phenomenon every day. It looks like this:
Minor coastal flooding is possible in portions of the FloridaKeys. The coastal flooding will be greatest around the times ofhigher high tides in the Middle and Lower Keys, but water levelswill remain high even during low tide along the Bayside of theUpper Keys. See the latest Coastal Hazard Message for additionaldetails.
And the water smells. God, does it smell. If you go to the south beaches as we did on the trolley tour, the guide will point out that these beaches, usually swarmed, are practically empty. Because it smells so bad. Why? Here’s the brief explanation from keywestislandnews.com:
That ubiquitous smell is decaying sargassum, islands of floating, brown sea algae that is piling up along the beaches of Key West, the Florida peninsula, Mexico and other Caribbean islands. Happens every summer when the winds and currents come from the south.
Except October isn’t ‘summer’ and this stuff is coming in by
the tanker load. We had just observed the beach after the city had come by with
some kind of scrapers to take as much of the sargassum off the beaches although
some remained. The water is still full of it – you can tell because it’s brown.
No one wants to swim in it because you will smell like raw sewage the rest of
When the water comes up from the drains, it has the same
smell. It makes ‘enjoying’ paradise rather difficult at times.
But the seagrass, as the locals call it, is a natural occurrence and the rest of Florida’s beaches are stocked with it as well. The real threat is the red tide which was forming off the Gulf Coast in the Tampa area when we were there. From mote.com:
Why are red tides
harmful? Many red tides produce toxic chemicals that can affect both marine
organisms and humans. … The red tide toxins can also accumulate in molluscan
filter-feeders such as oysters and clams, which can lead to neurotoxic
shellfish poisoning in people who consume contaminated shellfish.
But back to the main point – Key West is barely above sea level and the rising ocean levels will eventually overwhelm the island. Miami is experiencing the same phenomenon, perhaps worse, since they get ocean currents that Key West does not (because of the coral reefs protecting the island). Building sea walls won’t work as the salt water is coming under the foundations, through the porous limestone and up into the city. There is no way to stop it.
Fun fact: Hemingway’s home was built on what may be the most hardened bedrock-like foundation on the island and its walls are three feet thick making it practically hurricane-proof. It’s also built on the highest part of the island. All this guarantees that when the island flood, Hemingway’s home will be the last structure standing. I’m sure he would have liked that.
Another fun fact: all the sand on Key West’s beaches come
from somewhere else. There is no natural sand on the island. And the world
supply of sand is decreasing sharply.
Some other things:
We saw one large iguana on a sidewalk in Key West. When the
state of Florida declared open season on the creatures, Key West really took it
to heart, according to the local guides. The only iguanas we saw outside of
that one big one, were little baby ones here and there. The exterminators had
done a pretty thorough job which kind of saddened me because I wanted to see
more of them.
Burmese pythons and other snakes: we didn’t see any snakes
And the most important:
Insects: imagine this subtropical island surrounded by water
and there are no insects at all.
No June Bugs or ‘Palmetto Bugs,’ ants, mosquitoes or any
other flying pests.
I came ready to do battle in our rented condo. I was
mentally prepared for big bugs. There were none – not even an ant or housefly.
There was no need for DEET spray at all.
At first, it seems OK. Then when you think about it, it gets
creepy. The insect apocalypse is real and is no more evident than at Key West.
The place should be swarming with pests and it’s not. Not at all.
Of course, I could say the same thing for Florida as well
and most of the South. And this is not good.
So Key West may not be the end of the world but you can see
it from here. Despite the time and money we spent to come here and take a look,
I still feel it was worth it, even if the fun quotient was lacking. I did come
back with some nice cigars, so there’s that.
But I couldn’t help feeling sad as I left that so many of
these people who have paid so much to live in this ‘paradise’ will soon see
The whole island is unsustainable and, well, nature bats
Some rich man came and
raped the land, nobody caught ’em,
Put up a bunch of ugly boxes and, Jesus, people bought ’em
And they called it paradise, the place to be,
They watched the hazy sun sinking in the sea
When I was in the Army in South Carolina, the advice from our drill sergeants was: leave Jake (the snake) alone. Well, we’re not when we overbuild the South and Jake is striking back. They didn’t even mention Florida being overrun with Burmese Pythons and Iguanas. We’re going to Key West in October – might as well have gone to Australia with all the critters trying to kill us on the way.
From the story: Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest increased by 278% in July 2019 compared with July 2018, resulting in the destruction of 870 square miles (2,253 square kilometers) of vegetation, new satellite data from the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE) show.
That’s an area about twice the size of the city of Los Angeles. And, while the forest still spans some 2.1 million square miles (5.5 million square km — just a little bit bigger than Mexico), the spike in tree loss is part of a dangerous trend. According to the Associated Press, this is the single biggest surge in rainforest destruction since INPE began monitoring deforestation with its current methodology in 2014.
Bolsonaro – the Amazon belongs to us, not you. We will do what we want with it. Yeah, like genocide against native tribes. Butchers.
Alice Hill, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and former senior director for resilience on the National Security Council under President Obama, said she created a Department of Homeland Security task force modeled on the one created by the Navy.
“They did great work; they were the first task force within the Department of Defense,” Hill said. “We viewed them as a model of how the government should initially focus on the problem of climate change.”
Hill said that while it was important to mainstream the TFCC processes, she remains concerned that ending the task force has more to do with a pattern of climate change denial in President Trump’s administration.
“It’s consistent with the patterns we’ve seen: Efforts with the title ‘climate change’ have either been suspended or renamed,” Hill said.
“By not mentioning climate change, we are signaling the events that we’re experiencing now, the impacts, are not something that immediately needs to be attended to and planned for,” she added.
From the story: A particular danger is that food crises could develop on several continents at once, said Cynthia Rosenzweig, a senior research scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and one of the lead authors of the report. “The potential risk of multi-breadbasket failure is increasing,” she said. “All of these things are happening at the same time.”
Huh. I’m surprised the climate change Gestapo in the Trump administration hasn’t gotten around to firing her yet.
More: Planting as many trees as possible would reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by about nine gigatons each year, according to Pamela McElwee, a professor of human ecology at Rutgers University and one of the report’s lead authors. But it would also increase food prices as much as 80 percent by 2050.
Trees will not save us. Neither will corporations and governments making the hard choices to cut profits and manage economies.
Final thoughts: Every day it seems now, I wake up to increasingly dire news on the climate front. In addition, more stories in more mainstream news sources are covering the issue. It would have been nice it they had been covering climate change like this 20 years ago.
But what can one do about it now? As I’ve written, Wall Street and religious fanaticism will effectively check anything that could be done and it’s probably too late anyway.
Again, it’s the little things – being bitten by a snake you’ve never seen before. Invasive species. Dying wildlife. Things . . . missing – like insects. Waiting until early December to change your summer into winter clothes. The prices on food growing steadily higher. Gradually, we begin to notice these things.
The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City on March 25, 1911, was the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of the city, and one of the deadliest in U.S. history. The fire caused the deaths of 146 garment workers – 123 women and 23 men – who died from the fire, smoke inhalation, or falling or jumping to their deaths. Most of the victims were recent Italian and Jewish immigrant women aged 14 to 23; of the victims whose ages are known, the oldest victim was 43-year-old Providenza Panno, and the youngest were 14-year-olds Kate Leone and Rosaria “Sara” Maltese.
The factory was located on the 8th, 9th, and 10th floors
of the Asch Building, at 23–29 Washington Place in the Greenwich Village
neighborhood of Manhattan. The 1901 building still stands today and is known as
the Brown Building. It is part of and owned by New York University.
The last time I was in New York, I went to see that building
to pay my respects to those who died. I had first read about this tragedy in a
book on disasters my mother had gotten me as a present when I was about 12. It
included some seriously grisly photos I won’t get into here.
No one knows exactly how the fire started but the doors were
locked on the workers so they wouldn’t ‘steal’ from the owners and in any case,
the only opened inwards. The fire escapes and elevators were flimsy and many
people died trying to get out that way. The hallways to get there were only 33
inches wide. The fire hoses didn’t work.
Because the ‘shirtwaist,’ a blouse-y suit popularized by the
Gibson Girl of that day, was made of light cotton, the fabric on the 10th
floor lit up like dried kindling. In just minutes, the only way out was out the
windows. And since New York City fire ladders only reached to the 7th
floor, jumping meant death.
Fireman tried catching the women in canvas, but from that
height, most hit the sidewalk and died. Some crashed through the sidewalk into
the basement below.
As countless New Yorkers watched in horror, the women and
some of the men appeared at the windows, hung on against the flames for as long
as they could, and then jumped.
What does that have to do with this blog?
Legend persists to this day of the figure of a man, dressed
in tailored clothes, like a supervisor, who appeared at the window. He took the
panicked women by the hand, kissed some of them, and then let them go as they
jumped. It seemed to those watching below that the man’s demeanor had a
calming, almost tranquilizing effect on the women and helped them take the step
none of them wanted to.
Imagine the women at the Triangle Fire as the people I know
and people who read this blog, listen to the podcast and watch the You Tube
channel. When their future become uncertain, they will need someone to help
them over the pain of accepting their fate. I want to be that guy on the 10th
floor, real or not.
No matter how it goes down and when, it won’t be pleasant.
We all need to try and be the ‘hospice worker’ of the person on an Earth that
is in hospice, helping people cope as best they can.
And that is what this is all about.
Oh, by the way, in the aftermath of the fire, the factory owners were tried for murder. . .and acquitted. Capitalism must be protected, you know. But a shocked press and public demanded and got, safer, more human working conditions for garment workers. It sped the growth of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) whom you may have heard of.
The loss of human life will probably reveal itself next week, when the weekly mortality figures are released. The loss of human potential will take a bit longer. Young children exposed to extreme heat suffer subtle brain damage that can be measured through reduced personal income at age 30. Children playing at a summer camp had to be hospitalized, because their brains reached temperatures of up to 42 degree. Compared to us humans, many other lifeforms are even more sensitive. Male insects exposed to extreme heat have their fertility damaged and insects exposed to consecutive heatwaves are practically sterilized. This is our second heatwave in a short period. Insects around the country have been decimated, by two consecutive droughts during the summer and now an extreme heatwave that is unprecedented in the historical record.
This is heady stuff, well written with care and concern. Yesterday’s record temps in Holland, as the author writes about, are not merely hot days to be endured, but have serious consequences in the long term that are not readily apparent.
What struck me the most about the author wrote was the need to understand that the beauty we see today as well as the animals and the insects, are not guaranteed to be there tomorrow so we must pay attention. We must, in order to appreciate what is leaving us, take mental pictures of what exists now. In other words – notice life around you.
The post ends on a wistful note, one that resonates with me. I know the insects are going away – so many less that what I remember from my youth. I thought it would be wonderful to be outside without the bugs. Now it just seems weird.
But it reminded me of one of my favorite songs that has been on my mind from time to time and always leaves me feeling sad.
Before the breathin’ air is gone Before the sun is just a bright spot in the night-time Out where the rivers like to run I stand alone and take back somethin’ worth rememberin’
As a person with mental illness, you would be correct to
wonder how I respond to all the increasingly dire climate news. After all,
although you wouldn’t know this, I’ve my periods of suicidal ideation.
I’ve found that I no longer have any periods of suicidal
How can that be?
To understand why that is, remember that each person with a
mental illness will see and react to things just a little bit differently that
someone who even has the same diagnosis.
Also remember, that the external motivations of those of us
so afflicted work in unexpected ways.
I no longer have suicidal ideation since the endgame of
abrupt climate change has placed an event horizon on my life anyway. I merely
have to give in to every sybaritic pleasure I’ve ever wanted to indulge in and
wait for the inevitable.
Having a 10-year (or less) event horizon on societal
collapse, renders quite a bit of the things that deeply worry me, well, moot.
In a way it’s like the tagline of my all-time favorite movie ‘Dr. Strangelove,’
or, how I learned to stop worrying and
love the bomb.
The fuel that runs my conditions and all their attendant symptoms are the things
ordinary people worry about all the time but get blown out of proportion by
myself. Things like: worrying about keeping my job, whether everyone can be
made to like me, will I ever find my purpose in life, am I going to die of
cancer, whether I have enough to retire on, etc. etc.
The likelihood of social collapse due to global climate
change has freed me from all that.
The one thing I have learned is not to worry about things
that are out of my control and climate change and societal collapse are WAY out
of my control.
And to add something else that must be admitted: the
medications I am on make it very easy for me not to worry about things I can’t
control. The downside is that I’m unable to experience joy.
It’s a necessary tradeoff, unfortunately. Me unmedicated is
not good for myself or anyone else.
I’ve spent a lifetime vainly trying to find a mission.
Climate change and societal collapse has given me one: you’re reading it. And
my podcast as well.
Why do I do it?
Because I can and do feel terrible for the people mentioned
in this article because I used to worry as they do – to the point of being all
but dysfunctional. It’s not their fault – worrying about having your future cut
short is very legitimate.
Being something of an empath, I don’t have to personally
know the people in the article to image the pain they are in. Everything I do
now is an attempt, in some small way, to help them.
I believe we must not lie about what is coming. My greatest
fear, one I still possess, is being blindsided by bad news. Setting people up
to be blindsided by the sudden realization that climate change and its
attendant societal collapse was not a Socialist plot by evil scientists is
going to hit people very hard.
Not that people shouldn’t protest or do what they can on a
local level to help the earth, but we need to be realistic: for every tree we
plant, Brazil cuts down 30 and the industrialized nations pump untold millions
of cubic tons of carbon into the atmosphere. Meanwhile, the threat of a giant
methane threat looms. And with Trump and Johnson in charge of the US and the
UK, things will just get worse.
Physically, most people can bear a surprising amount of pain
and stress. Mentally, things are a different story nowadays. Western societies,
especially the US, have given their people the expectations that each
succeeding generation will have it better than the one before, technology will
free us from our mundane existence and provide us with so many wonderful toys,
and human progress is measured in an ever-increasing GDP which will one day
make everyone rich.
The whole idea that everything in that preceding paragraph
set us up for this disaster is something people are not handling well. They
shouldn’t be expected to.
This is not license for people like me to run around
pointing at people and screaming ‘you’re all gonna die and you deserve it you
Most people simply believed what they were told. And why
would the government and corporations lie to us? In the absence of other
competing information, what were people to think? Surely a climate Armageddon
seems so far-fetched!
Although I consider myself an agnostic now, I was raised
Catholic. In Catholic school, while my eyes glazed over during most classes, it
seems that Catholic social teaching, derided as it was at the time by many of
my classmates, stuck. And the whole ethos of Catholic social teaching can be
summed up thusly: ‘we are made for service to care for all men.’
The masses of people are going to have a hard time imagining
their hopes, dreams and aspirations being cut cruelly short. They deserve our
care and sympathy, not derision. The denialists, well, OK, they deserve
derision, but ordinary people need care.
I’m 56 years of age. It’s easy for me to say I’ve had a good
run. But for my sons, for your children, for those embarking on their adult
lives, for lives of those being born now, this is a monstrous thing.
Even if we can hold civilization together for 10 years or
more, our children will remember these times of relative plenty as they live on
a globe radically different than the one they knew just a scant decade ago.
What will we tell them? How will we prepare people for this?
How do we ease the pain of knowing, of realizing? How can we nurse humankind
into their fate?
There’s an oft-quoted line from the movie Braveheart: “Every man dies. Not every man really lives.”
And there’s another, just as important: “I’m so afraid. Give me the strength to die well.”
Regarding the first quote it is imperative that we assist
people, not to stand in frozen terror, but to go out and live as they have
never lived before; to try everything they’ve ever wanted to do; go everywhere
they’ve wanted to go. If you feel called to devote the remainder of your life
to the Earth through Extinction Rebellion or another group – great! Bucket
lists must be honored. Enemies must be forgiven. We must reconcile ourselves to
whatever spirituality we seek. For the love of all that’s holy – live with
reckless abandon. The future truly is now.
As to the second one, if what I have suggested people do in
the paragraph above is done well, then dying well, whenever and however it
comes, will come with satisfaction of a life, perhaps shorted than we envisioned,
but just as well lived as any longer.
When I was in Catholic elementary school, we had a nun who
taught math to the junior high grades. In our intentions said at the beginning
of class, she would make us all pray for a happy death.
As you can imagine, this was quite a shock to 13-year-olds.
But as she explained it, the concept was very important. In her mind, when the
time came, we should look with favor upon our lives as servants to God and God
would look favorably upon us and, thus, we had nothing to fear from death but
only the grand expectation of an eternal afterlife.
For those of us not Catholic or Christian, a ‘happy death’
can mean being reconciled to all that is good in your life, forgiving
yourselves and others of transgressions, and having a minimum of regrets to how
one has spent their time on Earth. Or it can mean whatever the bloody Hell you
want it to mean.
I know one day that I will face the fear that my medication
and psychology has buried. Until that time, I must do what I can to help people
with the transition.
So, I dedicate this to all of healers of the Earth, of humanity, the people in the helping professions, all those who believe they are their brothers’ keeper. We all have work to do.
But the preppers — the people who just buy their generator and their guns and store food for three months — I’m worried about them. In America where there’s so many guns, we’re going to shoot each other, and it’s very scary to me. It’s a very individualistic, survivalist approach, whereas the Dark Mountain project and Jem Bendell’s deep adaptation are actually doing some of the deep psychological and social work required to get to a different place.
— Susanne Moser, climate scientist and adviser to governments on climate issues. German by birth.
Societal collapse will look very different around the world. In Europe, it will look like the closing of a large department store. People will queue up in lines for the last merchandise and be given shovels and instructed how to dig – dugouts, crops, graves, whatever. It won’t be any fun and a lot of people will die but there’s a chance a new society, one far less complex than the old one, will emerge. That is, of course, unless the certain nuclear powers bring the curtain down on all of us.
With Boris Johnson now PM in the UK, and Brexit beckoning, all bets are off. But whatever happens in the UK or Europe or the rest of the world for that matter, nothing will come close to the apocalypse of the USA.
And it’s all about the guns. And the loss of the commons which breeds social isolation and distrust. And the racism. And the petty hatreds and insecurities fostered by our particular form of capitalism. In fact, one can say with a straight face that societal collapse is already happening in the US, with climate change playing a very small role – for now.
As opposed to the thousands that rallied in the UK and Europe, a few days ago a handful of Extinction Rebellion Americans glued themselves to the front doors of the Capitol and received zero mainstream media exposure. Reactions from legislators were pretty much the usual:
Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., former vice chair of the House Subcommittee on Environment, mocked the group on Twitter, posting a video of himself appearing to duck under a protester’s arm to get through with the note, “…Supergluing yourself to a door is a very dumb way to protest.”
Recently a half million people in the American protectorate, Puerto Rico, took to the streets to demand the resignation of their President. They were successful.
Activists in the US bemoan these developments, asking ‘why can’t we do that here?’
You know why.
Here’s part of the reason:
Here’s the other:
First photo: the people who want to protest can’t risk being away from their jobs or arrested since most of them are in a precarious financial position. The system keeps you tied to your desk and dependent on whatever scraps you can get to eke out a living. They have neither the time, money or energy for protest.
Second photo: American cops can pretty much get away with anything nowadays and know it. A severe beating could send you to the hospital (good luck with the bill), to jail (good luck keeping your job) or the morgue.
But what if things get really bad and so many people have nothing to lose? Then the last system of social control comes in: psychological. This is the greatest country in the world – what the Hell are you protesting about? Also: protesters are probably a bunch of Communists and anti-American. If they get in the street, maybe we can run them over in our cars someday. We’re expected from childhood to be very obedient and do what we’re told. We see people losing their livelihoods and futures because of Trump’s policies and they’ll still come back and vote for him because: racism and: owning the libs.
We’re an interesting people, we Americans.
So who will we turn on? Ourselves, naturally.
So when collapse happens in the US, expect scenes right out of every dystopian movie you can think of from ‘The Road’ to ‘The Postman’ to ‘Soylent Green.’ Why do you think Hollywood is so good at making those kind of movies anyway?