Scratch the Mayan Apocalypse. One less thing to worry about, eh?
Of course we still have all the political issues du jour—left vs right, conservatives/conservatives1/conservatives2 vs liberals/liberals1/liberals2, pro-gay marriage vs anti-gays, legalize ganja vs leave the trade to the mobsters, red vs yellow, orange vs chartreuse, etc., etc.
Beneath these lurk more fundamental issues, among them these:
- irresponsible and insufficiently restrained corporate éminences grises everywhere you look, though your average citizen isn’t supposed to look;
- a constellation of associated sub-issues, including the power of lobbyists in the US Congress; “free trade” and its careless policies justified in terms of cartoonish economic models of human individuals and their communities— models that have assumed the status of common sense even among the people in the street, its prime victims; the apparent lack of common purpose in the polity at large, with the fragmentation of peculiarly individualistic, “pluralistic” politics tending towards a massive number of interest groups each with a vigorously partisan membership of one;
- the politics of fear together with modern technologies (among these the ever-more sophisticated tools of big data and drone surveillance and attack aircraft for hire to whoever), promising totalitarianism of a quality undreamed of by earlier generations; and
- conveniently enough, from some POVs, at the same time we have the diffusion of individual focus and creativity and, with social media and other technology, the rise of faster, more effective means of constructing the realities we dwell within.
Other urgent issues prowl even deeper and darker depths of our collectively constituted realities. One of these, global climate change, has actually grabbed our attention, as we watch its huge black dorsal fin slice back and forth across the surface of public discourse, edging ever closer and interfering with our enjoyment of sports broadcasts and remote foreign wars—though many people still claim it’s really nothing more than a school of special interests wearing a big shark hat and scaring the shit out of us, not to mention a bunch of money.
And there’s more. Lots more. Bio-engineering and modern eugenics, Transhumanist moves toward long-lived people maximally free of pain (as reductionists understand such), unsustainable demands on the planet’s natural resources by ascendant Asian, S. American and African economies with First World countries unwilling to compensate them for moderating these demands, supercomputers about to take a quantum leap into qubital wizardry that could make our current digital revolution look like the invention of the doorknob. I could go on, but I think I’ve already established my street creds as a raving loony.
Wait. I forgot. We also have the failure of the Western metaphysic, and the concomitant pandemic malaise, the spiritual equivalent of HIV/AIDS, except for religious fundamentalists of all stripes who instead appear to suffer manic dementia. Hey, I’m just saying, eh?
Almost. Did I mention, speaking of pathological enthusiasms and their rewards, that I’m still tired and out of sorts from New Year’s Eve?
Happy 2013. Whatever. As least I’m in better shape than I was on New Year’s Day 2011, when Providence went all Rube Goldbergesque on me.
What the hell–here’s a final treat for those who just can’t get enough hysteria: Check out this post on cymbalalalalzophobia.
3 thoughts on “Never mind: Still plenty to worry about in 2013”
Something apropos posted by Jack Shackaway a couple of years ago: http://www.collinpiprell.com/apocalyptic-cosmophobia/.
“Apocalyptic cosmophobia” is a beautiful phrase.
2013 : WHAT *SHOULD* WE BE WORRIED ABOUT?
I thought I’d leaned on the hysteria button pretty hard with my own New Year’s post, but the EDGE has humbled me. Here are 152 “smart” people presenting their thoughts, in a book-length online compendium, about what the monsters under our collective bed really look like: http://www.edge.org/annual-question/q2013.
Yow. My advice to all of us: Sleep on tatamis.
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