Saturday, September 17, 2011

Wonderful Weather

"15 November 1940 Yesterday: Weather here wonderful, awful in England. So only minor air activity over London, by day or night."

"17 March 1941 Yesterday: Roosevelt has made a blustering, shameless speech attacking us. A lacky of the Jews! I have him attacked unmercifully by the press and radio. There is no point in holding back any longer. It only makes the Americans more insolent."

These are excerpts from The Goebbels Diaries, written by Dr. Paul Josef Goebbels, the "Minister for Propaganda and Popular Enlightenment" of Hitler's Germany.*

Why do I share these with you other than to demonstrate that I wander the library here in Corner Brook abusing myself with literature. I think it was the weather comment that gave me pause because it relates in some telescopic way to my theory of the conditioning of the human mind.

The weather here in Corner Brook has been unpleasant for those of us living in vans. The temp dipped to 4 degrees C. The wood stove kept me warm but with no damper it also burned much of my precious wood. The vacuum modulator that was supposed to arrive on Sept 6th is still not here. Casually he says, "Check back Monday." not understanding what that means to me. Why would he? I live in my world and he lives in his. Goebbels lived in his.

My world is Rainy, cold, no air raids, Belgrade is relatively peaceful. The earth has been warming for approximately 18,000 years. Yes, there has been a steep climb in c02 recently and temperatures are climbing but is it possible that would happen with or without V8 vans driving around and coal furnaces burning day and night in China? The glaciers that carved Gros Morne didn't need any help melting for 17,000 years before the coal and petroleum boom started 200 years ago.* I can see how the climate change deniers can think humans are unrelated to planetary climates. We all build our theories and few "follow the evidence" but manipulate the evidence to fit our theory. Goebbels had his own theories and I have my own. I don't mean to justify the holocaust or the "enlightenment" of the German people through the extermination of millions of people but I feel these are all related.

Maybe the answer is inside this yellow greeting card envelope I found stuffed inside the Goebbels diaries as a bookmark. It is unopened and I have a few choices. I can leave it in this book. I can open it and keep it or I can find 17 Edinburgh St and see if the resident is still home or I can drop it in a mail box. It looks to have been stamped on the 8th of december in 2009. (canadian and european dates are day/month/year) and it is a hallmark envelope so it could be a christmas card with hopes of health and prosperity for Stella L. of Corner Brook.

I'll be dropping it unopened into a mailbox. Strangers from America arriving at your door with 3 year old cards from the Ukraine might be too weird and I am, should I remind you, living in my van at a used car parking lot and attention is not what I need right now.

If I were to make a wild stab at a connection between all of these unrelated details I would say that the world is an unpredictable place and that in our effort to make sense of it we will believe in Santa Claus, commit atrocities, enjoy the weather, curse the weather, and place all our hopes and dreams of safe travel in a vacuum modulator that may or may not exist in a crate in a freighter that was rerouted to Lybia. Did I leave anything out?

* This is a dangerously sinister rationalization because it presupposes the inherent value of the earth but then cops out by saying "I'm not doing anything bad so it doesn't matter." But how are poisons in a polar bear's diet justified? Those are definitely our fault and if the above rationalization was made to tentatively admit we would make changes to our lifestyle if, in fact, we were doing harm then look, there is actual harm being done. Maybe not to the planet but to arctic wolves and shrews and harp seals, so what now? I think you can either say "I don't care at all because my immediate happiness and convenience and goals is more important than everything else on the planet." which would put you in the company of Dr. G, or you can say, "What changes can I make to better accommodate the other inhabitants of earth?" I'm not sure there is a gray area on this.

*tasteless trivia: when I posted this a google instant ad came up advertising a better and more efficient furnace.

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.