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Page added on December 30, 2007

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New Year’s Dissolution: Surrender vs. Giving Up


It’s almost 2008, and in the final hours of 2007, I’m reflecting on the past twelve months and what may lie ahead of us in the coming year. It’s been a dreary year for planet earth-scientists telling us that climate change has passed the point of no return; the almost-daily blasting away of civil liberties in the U.S. with nary a peep from its citizens; endless war that produces little but nauseating carnage in the Middle East and a steady stream of suiciding or physically and emotionally devastated veterans, and of course, a housing bubble burst that has left thousands of families suffocating in debt, bankruptcy, and foreclosure.


Some readers would like me to stop talking about collapse and re-frame the notion into “spiritually correct” terminology that isn’t as scary, daunting, and dismal. Many more of you are telling me that you do want to talk about collapse because even with all the opportunities for rebirth and transformation that it holds, the world we have known, demanded, and relied on to be there for us is crumbling. I too would love to focus only on opportunity, but opportunity offers no free lunch; it travels alongside this thing called collapse, and if you’re going to embrace one, you must be prepared to invite the other.


As you know, I’m traveling, and in the interest of conserving petroleum and not subjecting myself to Homeland Security “fraternity hazings”, as well as mind and body-numbing flight delays, I took the train. I dare you to do it and not talk about collapse. There it is-the rail industry, which once ruled this nation’s economy, now limited to a laughable loop of routes that never run on time and needed to be radically expanded yesterday in order to ameliorate the catastrophic consequences of energy depletion. So why would I prefer the train when it runs like a Spanish post office and experiences unpredictable delays? Because I’m a sucker for being able to stretch out and sleep, read, work on the computer, or even better, get up and walk around. All of this, of course, in the context of a system that shuffles around poor people, seniors on fixed incomes, and a few of us that just simply prefer to ride the rails as the empire circles the drain. Perhaps Amtrak is the consummate metaphor for collapse: You never know exactly when or how it will arrive, only that it will.


Speaking Truth To Power



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