Website designers keep trying to come up with something that is actually worth using, going through a succession of attempts. Blogger is one, Twitter is one, and Medium was one for which we had high hopes. It didn't quite come up to expectations -- maybe they were unreal. The idea was free publishing of writing that was once edited -- this time paid "printdoms" curated and maintained by writers with different styles and purposes. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't. I'm not qualified to say a lot about it.
But one of the parts that DID thrive was captained by Umair Haque, whose analysis of the US and cohort is so relentlessly dark that no one was surprised to learn that he's actually physically allergic to sunlight. He was merciless -- if mourning -- until lately he bought a little white fluffy puppy not even he could resist. Here's the intro.
(I was so pleased to escape the pink mommie Pollyannas.)
The trouble is that he's almost always (I can't think of the exceptions) quite right about the terrible vortex we've gotten into, sometimes called predatory capitalism. Originally the idea of basing a whole culture on buying and selling was idealized as a way to create a level playing field where "value" was the lingua franca instead of right and left philosophies. Combining computer stock trading for profit-based corporations with the collaboration of governments that use laws to control markets (thus politics), and our shopping data for identifying and controlling us, we have been put in chains and blinders. This link is a good introduction:
Twenty years ago I began a life experiment of my own, living as sparely with as much focus as was possible. No one understood and I didn't waste time explaining. Most of them have concluded that I'm a loser. They don't get that I live in a knowledge world that is blooming, opening, the beginnings of a new understanding of the cosmos and time itself. The past written in the compass orientation of rocks (did you know that the magnetic north pole has moved from north of Canada to Siberia and that the Global Position Systems had to be changed?) or burbles in light waves tell a story or marine "snow" of tiny skeletons on the bottom of the ocean is soft with death? It's sci-fi stuff.
Then there are the hominins -- some of whom embraced us and had babies -- were still there fifteen thousand years ago? Farmers only began ten thousand years ago. Most people still haven't gotten past monkeys in their thinking. The study of human bodies is still discovering new systems that explain our minds. God is dead -- souls will follow. New knowledge means new worlds. New understanding of the genome, the epigenome, and several other accompanying phenomena has meant that we can almost -- not yet but torturingly close -- understand and cure AIDS and flu. Wikipedia's most factual entries are becoming out-of-date.
But we still can't figure out a system for allotting the obligations of nations, finding places for people to live safely, making sure children don't starve in cold cages because of the orders of a madman. We are murdering our own tomorrow. The rich think that because they own top-line cars, they needn't maintain the roads. That makes a good metaphor.
Last night in a note to my niece I said that at bedtime I watch "The Yorkshire Veterinarian" so I'll have images of English countryside and caring people while I sleep. But I typed by mistake "The Yorkshire Pediatrician." Pets do seem like a form of parenthood. I'm irresponsible about it, along with my other faults. Beside me in front of the window are two female cats with the five kittens of one of them. I call the kittens the "Sparrows" en masse. In the other room is another adult female with her three "Nestlings." (Newborns.) This is unsustainable. It is inhumane and irresponsible. I must think through what to do. If I had the money, I'd take them to the vet for neutering. No spay and neuter workship is on the horizon. I have no money.
But then there's me -- aging. The fires burn low. My dislocated shoulder aches. I need a plumber but they are all fixing furnaces and still thawing deep pipes after a ghastly winter. I need a dentist since that's an element of diabetes, but the dentists are thirty miles away and the one I liked got run off because some women were offended by the mounted heads of animals he had hunted.
Some days are too much. This may be one of them. I think I'll find a bucket and scrub floors while I think about Umair and his puppy. And the darkness.