Naked and spectacular

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There is no need to be informed. I am no longer curious. I do not consume The News on TV, radio, newspaper, nor my Facebook newsfeed. I have well-informed, intelligent, politically-aware friends on Facebook who post what would be some interesting perspectives on world events if I had any interest in exposing myself to that anymore. I am happy to learn if my friends have had a baby or a moment of inspiration, but I simply need not follow the link of posts about radiation pouring into the ocean, war here, there and everywhere, political corruption or violence on small or mass scales. More of this type of information would add nothing to my life.

I used to smoke a lot of marijuana and it used to be inspiring and exciting and social. Now I do not smoke marijuana, because when I do it simply provokes paranoia and is depressing and anti-social. I figure that I smoked too much, hit my threshold and now it will no longer work. I do not regret my time with marijuana, it changed me forever, opened my mind to new modes of perception and was ultimately a positive experience, albeit one that I no longer need to repeat, neither enjoying it nor getting anything out of it.

Similarly, I am glad that I have pursued the knowledge of current events to the extent that I have in my life, critically out of any form of mainstream media. The internet, independent documentaries, word-of-mouth, travelling, and especially hitchhiking and therefore speaking to a wide and diverse section of the population, have exposed me to many new perspectives on the world, undermining the belief systems I was taught to not consider alternatives to, taught by television, schooling and an ambient cultural haze. My exposure to critical current events stories have repeatedly transformed me, shocked and inspired me. The perverse facade of culture has been torn off and I would certainly feel exposed and vulnerable if it did not leave me with an entire multi-dimensional universe populated by loving and beautiful entities who I encounter daily. It is certainly habitual to continue to pursue this culturally-critical media, like it can become habitual to suck on a pipe of marijuana every day. It will eventually fail to serve a purpose.

How much more informed can a person be about current events? While people quibble over details, whether global warming is worse than the acidification of the ocean, whether we should not vote at all or at least vote for the least worst party, the trend is rather clear. Industrial Civilisation must come down. There is no other alternative and if you do not agree then perhaps you have not exposed yourself to enough hours of diverse independent current events. The Global Economy must collapse if any positive change is going to occur on any large scale. National governments must fall or be brought down if any type of community organisation is going to occur on any reasonable scale. Simply, when the impediments to making positive changes are removed, we can begin to rebuild a healthy and stable human world.

This is the bad news and the big news. Now, I suppose, it is time for me to focus on the good news, the positive, what is going to rebuild and strengthen what is valuable in this world. This is not an act of denial for me. The spread of what we now call Western Civilisation around the world over the last few thousand years via war and genocide has resulted in the destruction of countless human cultures, extinction of countless species and degradation of so much of our planet. Put simply, nothing justifies that, not even stupormarkets. This will always be in the back of my mind, until I find something larger and more significant, a wider perspective, that will render my person even more equipped to contribute to a positively changing world. I cannot forget. It is, for some reason, not a choice for me. It is not an aspect of my character. So I choose now to place that necessary negativity aside, in my past as it is so undeniably in the past of my culture, leading us inevitably to the present.

The best thing about the present leading into the future is that it is yet undetermined. It will be the decisions of all of us that will determine the future. To create a positive change it is necessary to focus on the creative, not simply the destructive. So now, having reached the reasonable conclusion that massive cultural rebirthing needs to occur before humans can live in healthy relationship with our environment, there is the next step of exploring the beautifully exciting and inspiring possible futures that we each contribute to creating around us.

It might still be necessary for my hitchhiking experiences to focus on the negative, because so many of the people I meet in this way are so relieved to be able to talk to somebody honestly about the global cultural crisis manifest as Industrial Economy. They hesitate to mention to the people in their life that they hope the Global Economy collapses, cos they think they are the only one who feels this way. They don't often get the opportunity to really discuss these things, to air their opinions, to even hear their own voice speaking what they have been thinking for years, to be able to judge their own thoughts in the presence of another intelligent critically-thinking human being. Of course these people have deliberately embedded themselves in the media machine, the same media machine that so many of the people in their lives are also embedded in, so they all repeat the same garbage fed to them by their own decisions. So they think that they are the only one who questions it, they think all their friends and family are stupid and love all that consumerism and hierarchy, never daring to bring the subject up; except with a random hitchhiker.

Having taken these steps over and over again, it is now necessary for me to take the next steps, to re-imagine the world I would like to live in and then make decisions in life that reflect that. I can no longer expose myself to marijuana. Taking gluten and dairy out of my diet have unambiguously alerted me to the extremely detrimental effect they have on my body. Corporate media is equally indigestible by the human body. I cannot look back now. There is no room in my life for toxic exposure to television, and now it is also necessary to cut back progressively and perhaps permanently, on media that makes me feel angry, powerless, hopeless, apathetic and paranoid. In light of my loss of cultural innocence, a bright and inspiring New is necessary to search for amongst the soil and plastic I find myself amongst.

It is widely acknowledged that positivity is often completely inane. It is so widespread for great art to be extremely negative and destructive that some people claim that an artist must suffer great pain and produce work only from this place for it to be worthwhile. I guess this assumes the alternative is denial. It has certainly been necessary to develop this rich and complex language for talking about our cultural problems, to express them through cathartic art and to understand them through scathing analysis. It is surely necessary now to develop a language to express, understand and manifest a great future without inanity and denial. A language to talk about the positive and creative developments in the world. To create art and debate around a positive future, of hope, love and life, without the dichotomy of cynicism or denial that we have accepted in the past.



To the Babylonian 'bab-il' meant 'Gate of God'.  To the Hebrews the same word meant 'confusion', perhaps 'cacophanous confusion'.  The ziggurats of Mesopotamia were 'Gates of God', painted the seven colours of the rainbow and dedicated to Anu and Enlil, divinities representing Order and Compulsion.

It was surely a marvellous intuition on the part of the ancient Jews - sandwiched between bullying empires - to have conceived the State as Behemouth or Leviathan, as a monster which threatened human life.  They were, perhaps, the first people to understand that the Tower was chaos, that order was chaos, and that language - the gift of tongues which Jahweh breathed into the mouth of Adam - has a rebellious and wayward vitality compared to which the foundations of the Pyramid are as dust.

from The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin, 1987