Not Adding Fodder

I am still brainstorming a project that may or may not pan out. There’s a concern though regarding the commissioned work: that the adaptation will inadvertently put a group of people already too often villainised in a bad light. And last night before falling asleep, I was having a difficult time conceiving of a way to avoid it.

I do worry about these things. Not because I am worried about being politically correct, or “woke”, but because I care. There are some fears so close to my heart they can stop me in my tracks. The thing is to stop just for a moment, and then find a “good” way forward. Good by my own standards.

I finished the Bryson book last night. His friend got lost in the woods and they each spent a night alone. The next day they called quits for that particular stretch of wilderness. Calling it quits is always a possible valid choice, too.

It is odd to read this light book so long after it was written. The climate concerns of 1998 seem quaint. But don’t misunderstand me, maybe the fact that they seem quaint is a major contributing factor to the problems we have now taking it all in: the dead seriousness of it all.

And the complexity of it. I am subscribed to a podcast that focuses on positive news regarding climate change. The hosts talk about the ambivalence people have discussing the gains for fear of complacency or even denial. On the other hand, silence is lying by omission and might feed into a kind of collected learned helplessness. We hold our breath and wait for the worse because a drop in the bucket is a drop that doesn’t seem particularly useful.

Bryson talks about the damage acid rain had done to the woods in the 90s. But there have been significant decreases in acid rain since his book was published.

Doug Burns, a scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Troy, New York, who directs the National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program, says the rain falling in the Northeast today is about half as acidic as it was in the early 1980s. Consequently, surface waters have become less acidic and fragile ecosystems are beginning to recover.” Smithsonian Magazine.

I remember the thick smears of yellow guts over the windshield driving from L.A. to Vegas. We’d always stop in Barstow and someone would squeegee it off the glass. I can still hear the sharp, rising pitch. A prolonged squeak. I can still feel the faint disgust.

But last time I made that trip was different. Far less disgusting. A lot less life.

This little thing about the world has changed. People have called it an insect apocalypse. As though that their world is not our own.

Diversity is something we need. Honesty. Respect. And fearlessness. Life can be some ugly shit. And the climate intolerable.

There went the timer.

One Reply to “Not Adding Fodder”

  1. When we recognize we’re just part of the “herd”, lots of questions get easy to answer. Me thinks, life likes us, but it’s also the way gravity does.


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