Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Kunstler's Yearly Forecast

Every year, James Howard Kunstler types up a long screed (redundant?) forecasting the events of the coming year. While he may not be exactly right about what happens, he has generally been accurate re: the meta issues and outcomes. The line that I couldn't agree more with and has been my underlying point with all the generational studies talks and writings:
My hope for the year, at least for my own society, is that we will transition away from being a nation of complacent, distracted, over-fed clowns, to become a purposeful and responsible people willing to put their shoulders to the wheel to get some things done. My motto for the new year: "no more crybabies!"
I've written before that we generally have two choices when society collapses, one of violence and retribution and one of rebuilding positively. In the 1930s-40s-50s, it was the latter for us creating the "Great Generation" and the former for the Germans after their entire economy collapsed. I worry that we might not be a well-educated enough society to appropriately handle the shock to the system that 2009 (exactly 80 years or four generations, ahem, Fourth Turning) might bring. Keeping the religious motif going, my point is to preach the positivity of the Millennial generation, as a rallying cry for all to get behind.

Have we chosen to stick our collective head in the sand and pray for the bad to go away? Or, was that just the Boomers, while everyone else was already working on creating a new society, away from merely "sustaining the unsustainable" (which is a perfect turn of phrase by Kunstler to frame the situation we face).

My question is, what are you doing to build a [intentionally left the word "more" out here] sustainable world?

Hint: Buying a hybrid car or tossing used cans into recycling bins ain't it. These are actions of the Boomer, sustaining the unsustainable - attempting to make ourselves feel good without actually having to put in any of the legwork to affect any real change. Something for Nothing - sort of the motto of the boomer eh (wasn't there a song back in the 80s that went something like that - not coincidentally)?

And by boomer, I don't mean to cast aspersion to any particular individual. It is merely a short hand for the accumulation of all the wrong decisions over the last fifty years, the construction of a failed world, and the decision-making process and framework that we currently operate in - a sort of self-reinforcing circle of shit.

As for my part, I promise to never link or reference Dire Straits ever again.