Friday, September 19, 2008

Preparing and Pining for the Apocalypse

Looking for silver linings (figuratively speaking, though literally speaking silver and gold are good redoubts at the moment) and not finding any. The fascinating (and by fascinating I mean inducing the same kind of dread one gets when his doctor prefaces his diagnosis by enthusing on recent advances in treatment options) thing about the current economic crisis is its many aspects; I've spent the last hour trying to retrieve something I read yesterday about how Asian investors started migrating out of US securities a couple of months ahead of the present difficulties--but retracing my steps through the informational thicket I find it has grown unrecognizable and unmanageable, like some nightmare jungle growing by the second, vines coiling about my ankles and unwinding down from above. I had set out in search of the headwaters of our economic torrent, only to get lost and disoriented in the bush.

Seriously; gold, silver and maybe oil, which in my worst-case scenario stays around a hundred dollars a barrel due to demand abroad despite the US lapsing into recession/depression, leaving us with negative growth and rising commodity inflation. I fear this more than the "global depression" which is the consensus worst-case, the US coming apart while everybody else continues to grow, learning how to thrive without us. Of course I have no idea where all that prudently saved Asian money will go, either, once our financial system implodes.

Someone compared this all to an economic Vesuvius, bringing to mind an image of unsuspecting modern Americans captured forever in three dimensional snapshots, like those unfortunate Pompeians cast forever in ash as they cowered beneath the pyroclastic onslaught. As we remain mostly oblivious to our impending fate, many of us will be caught in various ignoble postures, sitting in traffic or in cubicles, laying in tanning beds, getting tattoos, en flagrante delicto solus before the computer screen, pouring potato chip crumbs directly from the bag into my maw watching financial chat on (er, um, financial, uh, excuse me I seem to have lost my train of thought...oh yeah--sorry, I was transfixed briefly by the graceful, cascading arc of Becky Quick's golden mane) television.

As for me, I'm going to spend the weekend with a tall stack of DVDs of the post-civilizational dystopia genre, re-reading all my catalogued and annotated back-issues of Modern Survivalist magazine, looking for tips the television personalities (uh, television, um, the uh, what was I saying? oh yeah, sorry, I was helpless in the vortex of those limpid, almond eyes for moment) cannot provide; in the meantime I'll be outfitting my Honda with a swiveling gun turret and a Kevlar reinforced twenty gallon auxiliary fuel tank.
Okay, maybe my long-cherished fantasy of marauding through the post-apocalyptic hellscape at the head of a band of cutthroat brigands isn't going to come about at long last. But I do think that things are going to change for us all, just a bit; and it needn't be all bad, in the long run at least, should it mean retiring finally our ironic empire of consumption and conquest.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"The reason Milton wrote in fetters when he wrote of Angels & God, and at liberty when of Devils & Hell, is because he was a true Poet, and of the Devil's party without knowing it." Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (c.1790-93)

Please keep writing about our various dystopias.