Saturday, April 16, 2011

Capitalism saves

A brief disclaimer: If you read this closely, you'll not think I'm a crazy person.

I’ve long been of the mind that civilization as we know it is teetering on some dreadful precipice of which the bottom reflects no light. Why? Consumption, consumption, consumption; greed, greed, greed; me, me, me. That’s why. It sickens me to hear people deliberating over the necessity of some new product. “Why do I need this?” they say. Aloud. It’s not a matter of need, of course. It’s want. They want more and more and more. Why buy one, when I can buy three for the same price? Because you only need one, you asshole. But that’s what we do. Why does a family need two cars? Why does one need three? It might be a convenience but ask human viability in its manifest form (an E. coli tainted McDonald’s “beef” patty) if it’s convenient for us and the answer will be a resounding grumble of starvation.


Deep breath. 180.

I’ve been one of the crazies to suspect that we might have reached peak oil some time ago but after listening to a podcast on oil speculation cornering and inflating the cost of everything, I’ve come to an almost philosophical rest regarding our collapse.

Here it is.

See, with or without oil, we’re going to eat shit. There’s a loooot of dread in the back of a loooot of people’s minds but no one can say exactly why. I guess that’s what dread is, huh? Not being sure what’s around the corner but knowing that it’s either a hoard of brain hungry zombies or just good old fashioned fire and brimstone. Maybe both. Anyway, this collective dread has been fascinating to me for a long time. Collectivity in itself has been fascinating me for a while. Bear with me a moment. Anyone who’s read at least three posts of mine knows that I think American capitalism is just as evil as Soviet communism was. But on a macro level, I’m beginning to think that perhaps the innate greed in people might actually save us from total destruction. Is this unapologetic greed simply a pressure value of some collective human unconsciousness where this foreboding sense of dread resides? It would make sense if Soviet-style communism and American capitalism were reflexive actions by the human race to preserve itself but I guess you could make the same case with war and individually murderous derangement. If oil speculation is driving up prices in everything that uses oil . . . which everything, then people, more specifically the average consumer, won’t be able to buy, buy, buy because everything will become too expensive. Populations (of post-industrial societies) would retract their hedonistic explosions and in two generations, perhaps we’d be sustainable again? Or at least have figured out a way off this cosmic island to exploit another star system.

Hmmm, I think I’m describing social Darwinism.* Blast! I take it all back. But hey, it wouldn’t technically be social Darwinism if it’s a mechanism of the human unconsciousness.** It’d be natural selection on a massive scale! Is everyone following me? I’m not.

In short, greed puts the brakes on oil consumption through highly unethical speculation (Stalinist communism would have done the same by simply withholding and of course, strong-arming). That doesn’t mean I’m going to start wearing a Stars and Bars trucker cap or attend any Tea Party rallies. I’m just saying that it’s happening. Of course that doesn’t mean that speculation won’t cause a total collapse but it’s less abysmal for me to know that we haven’t sucked the earth dry of a resource that is second only to water.

Hi, Julie.

*A quick verification on the definition of Social Darwinism revealed the term, “Darwinist Collectivity” which paradoxically marries the “survival of the fittest” dictum to a collectivist’s recognition that as a species, we have an interdependency on one another and survival of the species trumps individualism. Translation: I’m a goddamned genius.

**A second verification on human unconsciousness revealed Carl Jung and affirmed my previously mentioned autodidactic genius.

Friday, April 8, 2011

You don't know $#*%

This week I’ve received messages from three Austin beauties that I haven’t spoken to in a while, and it occurred to me that I haven’t talked to any Texans (who aren’t my roommates or immediate family) in a long time. This post is for those people . . . mostly. Seven things:

1. I finally found work. It’s at a hardware store. Not ideal, but everyone there is extraordinarily friendly and my 1.7 mile walk every morning ends just past a hilltop that opens to San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz. The scene never gets old. Even better, I’m not desperately scrambling to figure out a way to pay rent. In addition, I get to wait on rich women who want nothing to do with a hardware store clerk but still wear athletic Spandex and low-cut blouses for me to better enjoy their boobies. It’s twitchy business maintaining eye contact when all I want to do is reach elbow deep into a woman’s bubbly cleavage, then climb in and sit with my head sticking out like a baby kangaroo.

2. My 3.5-ish year relationship ended about two months ago. I only mention that because breaking up after years is big deal. I’ll say no more.

3. I plan to visit Europe when I’ve saved enough money and can take a vacation. I’ve never been. Although, my point of destination isn’t where I thought I’d first be introduced to the continent but when Jesus Lord Commando fires apricots at you from his holy bazooka, you really can’t dodge the collateral splatter of even an indirect hit. That’s what makes it an indirect hit, you dopes. Anyway, I’d like to become more . . . familiar with the area before the world ends in 2012. Folks, don’t try too hard to understand my amazing bazooka adage. You’ll only shit your pants in boggled frustration.

4. My California muscles have been appropriately swollen by the 3-4 day workouts I suffer every week in the Castro. It feels good to not be such a slug. My only complaint is that there aren’t many women in that particular gym to make me add an extra plate or two to my heaving chest presses. They’re good motivation. On the contrary, I’ve never made more accidental eye contact with so many men in my life. Intimidatingly large men with thin moustaches and blonde highlights and arms as thick as my legs. I hope my deliciously swooshing butt cheeks don’t become too overwhelming for anyone as I Jane Fonda the place up.

5. I still want to learn to sail and as soon as I can lay some money down, I’m going to shop around for classes. The ocean will be a good place to be when this earthly paradise turns to hell. San Francisco is pretty much the worst of all possible worlds when the dead begin to rise and tirelessly pursue the living. I’ll pick you up in Amsterdam. Have mamoчka packed and ready and we’ll sail to some uninhabited island in the Pacific. Okay? Okay.

6. With no television or radio, I’ve fallen into a patchy following of current events. Podcasts, streaming, and major online newspapers have become inconsistent sources of information but I’m much less pissed about the world. I feel a little shitty about that because moving to San Francisco was a deliberate means of distracting myself enough to not care about the world around me. It’s worked. You’ve got to pick your battles or just embrace the apeshit and start pipebombing mailboxes as a petty subversive. They hang you for destroying mailboxes in Texas, by your goddamned hippie ponytail.

7. I’m almost a vegetarian now. Almost. My teeth still rip and tear into dead animal flesh but it’s even more infrequent than it was before, which was already pretty occasional. During a phone call with a foxy lady yesterday, I realized a sad, sad . . . sad hypocrisy in my pious selflessness: fish oil. After painstakingly shopping for the most conscientiously bovine-free gelatin capsules, I was promptly reminded that my cow-less pills were still filled with fresh squeezed sardine tears. What an asshole. Me, not you, J-Pie.

That’s it for now. Email me your thoughts and emotions if I didn’t satisfy your insatiable Carlos curiosities.


San Francisco neighborhoods. I'm between Lower Haight and Alamo Square. The place with the boobies is in Cow Hollow. Click for a close-up.
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