Thursday, April 26, 2012

Mining Asteroids

I want to stay positive but unfortunately I've got an advanced degree in Practical Philosophy and that prohibits the slightest bit of optimism to shine on the dark side of my moon. I read about clean energy and wind turbines and genetically modified crops and chickens with no beaks and goats with no lips and efforts to collect precious metals from asteroids....and I know where this is going.

I'm learning the bongo drums in preparation for my Mexican drum circle peace marathon and part of my education is understanding the roots of drum music. And the roots of drum music are the African talking drums that were used as communication tools. They hollowed out logs and the code they banged out would translate into information for another person. Now we have cell phones. And somehow, that will not be adequate. No. It wasn't enough to bang a log to communicate with another nearby village. We need a private communication device to communicate with individual people. And still that is not enough. We go from using trees to communicate to mining asteroids and I would think that the development could stop there but it won't stop. This is the flaw of a consumer culture, contentment breeds despair. We're like little kids with toys on Christmas getting bored with the latest one and moving on to the next. Asteroid hold metals used for the next stage of gadget so we'll mine them. And will that be enough? No. Next comes planets and the livers of wooly mammoths shriveled in glaciers. There's no room for 1 billion electric cars. The cars coud run on the hopes and dreams of little league players and it doesn't matter. This is the slippery slope of unfettered development...eventually it has to stop because the Earth isn't an all night diner with breakfast served all day. It took 100 million years to create the petroleum that we used in 100 years.
I'm not making myself clear. This is one of the problems with practical philosophy. I'm only as good as the last theoretical argument I made. Sigh.

Driving through the suburbs of Missouri recently I felt like I was in a Chuck e Cheese inside a Walmart inside a Costco. Drive thru dialysis next to a dairy queen. lasers for your lips and your eyes and your varicose veins. Golf for your lawyers and prison for you gangsters. It's awful to me. Awful awful awful. Only a blind person would ignore it. But it's not even good enough for corporate America. We'll all be working for corporations because mathematically that must happen. Isn't it obvious? The corporations will compete with one another but it's a guarantee that Google or Microsoft will be the next Baptist and Pentecostal sects. I think the armed forces still drive much of the development of man. A well defended country fights wars somewhere else. That's the message. And if we deplete the resources of today to stay safe then that's like using the entire bullpen to win Game six of the world series to force a game 7. We'll worry about a worn out bullpen tomorrow. OR someone will. I don't approve of using resources to mine more resources on asteroids for gadgets that may or may not save lives. I've said before that if gadgets were the source of happiness then the ancient Greeks must've been the most miserable people alive. Instead, they wrote absolute perfect poems, timeless philosophy texts, plays and revered science. Obviously, gadgets do not provide happiness...but they are a distraction from reality and that allows the media monsters to sell you vein surgery. They sell the disease and they sell the cure. It's the oldest scam in history. Basically, it will never end. There will never be a time when corporations think they have developed enough. The average person rarely demands anything of the market, but the average person generally will be manipulated into consuming frivolous products. I think of the talking drum and the day someone managed to sell the drum people access to a telegraph wire.
"This is like your drum but it talks to far away villages."
"But we have nothing to say to these villages."
"Oh, but you will. You can tell them when to harvest grain."

And the log drum became obsolete not through a conscious decision of the villagers but through a default passive acquiescence to a foreign force. I dislike that the most, default submission. I may wear my bellbottom jeans and disco shirt and ride my 1974 vespa ciao to buy my mexican bongo drums and that may appear to be forced rebellion but I'm telling you that's what it takes for me to rebel against the fucking hoover dam of cultural strangulation that is going on right now. Three cars tried to hit me today and I may be run down eventually and my bloody disco shirt torn but I can not live on tv dinners and frozen dreams in an industrial chicken shack world. Give me back the talking drum because my voice is hoarse and my spine has become pudding in a corn syrup breakfast shake.
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.