Deus Ex Machina


Roland Stahl
December, 2022


     Over the last fifty years or so I have been in an increasing state of shock.  As the collapse of all systems accelerates, I keep expecting something to happen to reverse this slide unto death.  I feel my own body increasingly susceptible to the infirmities of age, and it finally comes to me that my relatively minor ailments are not going to reverse course any time soon.  I am going to go on, not knowing the day or the hour of my death, until finally my aging shell can no longer support the life trying to survive inside.  I keep hearing the words of Bob Dylan, “When you gonna wake up, and strengthen the things that remain?”

     The earth will go on, and some remnant of life will probably survive until I am long forgotten, but it will be a very different world from what I have known.  And a hundred years from now, some people may look back nostalgically to the happy days of 2022, and wish those happy days could come again, when there was still some semblance of a world going on.  But the grim realities of 2122 will never recede, restoring the bright sunshine of these happy days we are now enjoying.  [irony alert]

     There is no point in wallowing in all of the incredible devastation of our planet.  We don’t need to be reminded of all that chaos.  I am tempted to mention a few of the most egregious crimes against nature, such as Russia’s attempted annihilation of Ukraine, in frustration at being unable to restore the people of Ukraine to the loving bosom of Mother Russia, or the King Midas problem of fat cats who think that their gold will save them from destruction as they merrily sack the planet for its riches.  (cue Barry McGuire, Eve of Destruction, 1965)

     It is no wonder that young people are turning to drugs for surcease of pain – and we are not talking about the stimulating, mind opening, and God manifesting LSD – no, we are talking about the opioids which bring only darkness.  (cue the Youngbloods, Darkness, Darkness, 1969)

     For a long time I kept thinking that there would be a gradual renaissance of hope and faith and love, but the horizon is bleak, with no relief in sight.  It just keeps getting worse and worse and worse.  And it is happening world-wide.  There was a time when we all thought the Great Satan was to blame for the plunge into darkness that we were seeing all around us.  But that was a mis-reading of the signals.  Just because the bull makes more damage in the China shop than the mouse, as it hurls its weight around, some of those mice would do just as much damage if they had a bull’s weight.  Today there are political upheavals all over the world.  Everywhere we look we see events that would have been totally unimaginable fifty years ago.  And over it all, the big concentrations of Money and Power continue their ongoing rape of the planet for their own perceived gain.  

     It is possible to imagine some ways of changing all of this around, but nothing seems to have any chance of making much progress.  “It is easier to imagine the end of the world than it is to imagine the end of Capitalism.”  All Western governments try to pretend that their goal is to encourage the spread of democracy, when nothing could be further from their true intentions.  “Democracy” is merely a euphemism and a smokescreen for Capitalism.  I’m not making this up – democracy has nothing to do with it.  Uncle Sam will support any regime, no matter how corrupt and totalitarian, as long as they maintain an environment friendly to Capitalism.  You want some for-instances?  Give me a break.  

     No, I’m not going anywhere with this.  I don’t drink or do drugs, beyond the limits of moderation, so there is nothing for me to do anymore except to rant and rave.  As many people have been observing for the last hundred years, we are way past the tipping point.  It is not only a physical tipping point of the biosphere; it is a tipping point of consciousness.  Even if someone were to come along proposing solutions which might yet be tried to reverse this progressive collapse of our world, everyone is just too jaded to pay much attention.  And what chance of that is there, anyway?

     No one hopes for Santa Claus anymore – all they hope for now is the Sandman.  If there’s a Messiah waiting in the wings for his entry cue to perform his deus ex machina routine, He had better show up pretty quickly.  

     Here’s hoping that there will be a New Year at all, happy and prosperous or not.  At least I am still alive, for now.  




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