From the last episode of this piece, I began my diatribe rather softly, merely suggesting that the “job creators” who hire the rest of us for a mere pittance, make their money by taking all our resources, leaving us, first, sick and, finally, dead, while creating a dependency on the stuff they sell us, and make us have to have. <Breath>
Yep. First, they take all our resources, leaving you water you can’t drink, mountains with soil that has no health (so you can’t even grow and can your own beans anymore, without worrying that there might be toxic levels of metals in them beans), and you with a host of health problems. In toto, they have left you with a once beautiful home, a home to not just you but also millions of other creatures, that is forever (in all human lifetimes) changed. Forever, disturbed. The Appalachia of your grandparents’ youth? Of their grandparents? Well, at the risk of being accused of being nostalgic, and not merely reporting facts about a very old planet and what a few latecomers have wrought, their Appalachia was better. Objectively better. Sorry. There wasn’t a Superfund site because of the reclaiming of mining equipment. Then there were watersheds that were created naturally. Now, we have watersheds that we are working to safeguard and restore. Fishable. Swimmable. Those were the days, and can be again.
But now that I’ve pissed off half of my friends and bored the other, with these bright and sunny facts, I’ll get to the point. That is, to my opinions about a system that would allow some people to do this to our home and the rest of us, under the guise of “giving us jobs.” Sell it down the road. This sister ain’t buyin’.
Here’s what I’m thinking. We must be either:
- not playing with a full deck of cards, to let some people take us to the proverbial cleaners, as they say, and on an ongoing basis, and saying thanks for it,
- playing a game of cards with our every breath, that we think is a different card game. That is to say, they have us thinking we’re playing something we’re not.
Because I think we’re a pretty smart lot, being apex scroungers and all, I believe it’s the latter. I think we have a full deck, but the cards we are holding in our hot little hands aren’t capable of winning, ’cause we don’t know the game we’re playing. And we don’t know that we don’t know.
Knowing better than to do so, you bite your tongue as you ask, “What is the card game we are playing?”
Well, since you asked, it’s the game of SORUBNED: the Stuff-oriented, Resource-using But Not Equitably Distributed game! Yay! And how’s our hand in the game of SORUBNED?
Well, that’s the thing. Whether you have a good hand or a bad hand in any card game depends on the game. It also depends on your understanding its rules. We play SORUBNED, thinking it was like Go Fish, and didn’t realize that it was more like Blackjack.
Picture the game being played. The card table that everyone in the 1950s had. A cheap, beige, vinyl-covered one. A few folks had the nicer ones with the green felt cover, with oaken hinges and sawtooth joinings.
The ones who think they are playing Go Fish have the vinyl ones. The group with the felt knows the rules of SOURBNED and knows that we don’t. That groups’ members know that if they play Blackjack against an opponent who thinks the game is Go Fish, their opponents will giggle gleefully until the winner is announced. At the end of the game.
During play, he will giggle along with you as you squeal with delight as he hands you over his Sevens and Fours and Sixes and Threes so you can amass a pile of matching cards. He giggles in the same tone as you pass your Aces and Jacks to him. So there we are, our scrambling for as many matching cards as we can; their looking for two cards that will seal the deal.
You know it’s true. We are waking up to this realization.
The problem is, we should have woken up to the rules somewhere around 1965 (back to the theme of this piece – 1945, when we really began stoking the furnace of unsustainability). But here we are. Some woke up a bit earlier, some weren’t ever really asleep, and some have managed to sleepwalk through the whole game, having taken the Blue Pill.
Solution? That’s for another day. Meanwhile, I’ll exercise my uniquely 1955 expression of the human ability to ignore the oncoming doom, with a song, as I begin to venture beyond the path between this chair and my coffee pot.
Oh, what a beautiful Jackman!
Oh, what a beautiful day!
I got a beautiful feeling
Everythin’s goin’ my way.
Oh, the sounds of the Earth are like music,
Oh, the sounds of the Earth are like music,
The breeze is so busy, it don’t miss a tree,
And an old weepin’ willer is laughin’ at me.
Oh, what a beautiful mornin’!