Nov 18, 2007

overwhelmed by the oil

There's a weak and fucked up piece of me that wants to give up, sell out, and buy in. The urgency of ecological crises is always apparent to me, but disasters like this oil spill in diverse and biologically beautiful SF Bay really dampen my resolve. This spill added a slick coating to bruises and soreness I acquired in another setting. And it seems that when I try to step out of this gloomy, angry mindset, I slip and re-injure myself.
Generally I'd ride the hell out of my bike to get out of a funk. But my legs are sore and I always end up at the water when I ride. I've spent the week trying to heal and be productive, but fear keeps me from the bay and ocean. I can't think about anything w/o getting angry.

I'm so close to selling out. A few months ago I took a steep pay cut to do work that I value more than dollars (restoration). Sustaining this pace is difficult, especially knowing that I could be a stellar capitalist. I've had a successful dog care business for many years. If I focused on that, I'd be an economic "success" by most standards. I'd be doing the "smart thing". I'd make loads of cash and then go shopping.
It must be positive feedback ya know. Person works hard, makes money, buys shit to make him/herself feel good. I could get so wrapped up in things and scenes - like cars and games - that I'd forget the realities of overconsumption. Maybe I could forget that it's impossible for everyone on earth to attain the "success" that is possible for me.
Maybe I could forget that loads of people work harder than I do every day and still don't have enough to eat. I'd have to trick myself into believing that equal work provides equal wealth.
Maybe I could achieve such contentment as to forget that I can afford luxuries because companies like Sony and Kenworth site their exploitive factories in border towns like Mexicali. Not seeing the workers, their neighborhoods, or lifestyles, maybe I could forget that my cheap goods are subsidized by cheap labor.
And if I could convince myself to forget all of this, then surely I could forget that a capitalistic obsession with stuff is threatening our ability to inhabit earth.

That weak and fucked up part of me wants to join the consumerist clusterfuck, wants to usher in rising sea levels and mass extinctions with a grin of ignorance and a bounty of useless information on the lives of rich celebrities. I could abdicate any responsibility for the future of my species and others. Tell myself it's not my problem. Stop trying to engage with zombies and just let them bit me so I, too, can walk unflinchingly toward our future.


jc said...

long time lurker, first time commenter here. it's posts about the lives, courage and determination of people like you, colin beavan, the 100 mile dieters and others that give the rest of us inspiration to try and change to make a difference with our own lives. i, for one, won't judge you for choosing a different path when the one you're currently on becomes too difficult. just know that what you do inspires the rest of us to do a little something in our lives, which inspires people who know us to do a little in theirs...
every new gadget not purchased, every squash bought from the local farmer instead of the grocery store, every errand done on foot or bike instead of car, every little bit helps.
this week i'm thankful for inspiration.

阿貓 said...

Hello Rachael, I also feel disheartened when I know that with all (the small) things that I have done trying to stop further destruction, 1 short trip is enough to zero them out. But let's not just give up like that. As JC said, thanks for the inspiration.

Anonymous said...

be strong, girl! you've done good. and can keep doing it. don't give up, and don't let the bastards grind you down.