The Hottest of Takes
Every fucking second we waste fighting (and writing blogs) about race, politics, gender, religion, and sex is a second we will never get back.
I write from a place of privilege. I’m white, skinny, cis, hetero. I’ve had a great life. I’ve always had food to eat and a roof over my head. My experience with police officers is pretty firmly relegated to being chased out of nature preserves after curfew when I was 13.
I, of course, believe that my views are correct. That Black Lives Matter. That LGBTQIA+ folks are just like everyone else. That religion is fine until precisely the point you start harming others. That all sex is great as long as everything going on is consensual. I wish that everyone who is trying to uphold the white patriarchy and oppresion would just snap out of it and see it my way. And I’m pretty sure that everyone wishing the same thing is precisely the problem.
Life is so terminally short, so unbearably abbreviated. The fact that we as a world are so eager to tear into each other about things like the levels of pigmentation in our epidermis breaks my heart.
Of this I am certain: at some point in the future - if our children are fortunate enough to have a future - this entire saga of 2020 will be omitted from history. On a long enough timeline, it all dissolves into obscurity and irrelevance. It feels important now, but it doesn’t matter on a galactic scale.
The death and suffering in America right now with the virus can be completely attributed to a failure of leadership.
The death and suffering in America right now with race and class can be completely attributed to institutionalized systems of oppression that both the benefactors and oppressed inherited from our grandfathers.
None of us asked for either. But here they are.
What world are we going to pass on?
What world are you going to pass on?
Here’s the thing though. These are all symptoms of some underlying pathology.
Of this I am also certain: if we all woke up tomorrow and had the same views on race, politics, gender, religion, and sex we’d find something else to bicker about. Maybe eye color or maybe language or maybe if you eat your toast butter-side-up or butter-side-down.
Maybe it is how we are wired. Maybe it is an artifact of human language itself. Maybe it is some deep cluster of axons in the lizard brain that hasn’t yet been abolished.
I get really angry that we cannot collectively see the awe and beauty of outer space. That we cannot all look up at the stars and say, “Yeah, let’s go there together.”
Maybe there’s too much light pollution?
Or maybe we forgot how to dream beyond these capitalist reveries?
Our society and culture could be based around exploration and science and music and art and mathematics and outer space.
Instead we horde baubles and trinkets and fiat currencies and precious metals. Worse, it is all now abstracted to numbers on glowing screens.
When’s the last time you paid for something with cash?
For me, it was over-tipping a person who was also service economy worker. I already tipped them through whatever app, but when they appeared at my door, eyes harried and wrung with exhaustion, I gave them the last of my cash. They needed it more than me.
Money is energy is time is space is value is self-worth. If reality were a computer program and I were asked to perform an architectural analysis my key critique would be this:
“You seem to have tight coupling between money and just about everything else in your program.”
There are a lot of jargon for when this type of thing happens. We call them “anti-patterns” because they are not sustainable if you ever want to change your code sometime in the future. God object is perhaps the most apropos and/or tragic of these terms.
What is happening right now on earth is a massive refactoring of values, society, and how we organize.
Looming over us all is climate change.
Did you know it’s been over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the arctic circle this week?
Looming over all of us is complete environmental collapse and we’re fighting about tearing down fucking statues.
Yes. Tearing down statues matters. Yes. Tear them down. Then can we please get on with the more existential threats?
If the virus has taught us anything it is that nature does not care about your politics or gender or race or sex or religion.
You think COVID-19 is a cruel shroud? Just wait until all the permafrost melts.