You are currently browsing the daily archive for December 31, 2017.

Folks, 2017 has been a rough year.  There is no getting around it.  If you ever need help in making sense of the amazing swirl of bs that baffles brains please go to Tom’s Dispatch for well written cogent essays on the issues that are of most concern to us.

This snippet is written by Mr.Engelhardt with almost a starwarsian commitment to fanning the few embers of hope left to us.  Let us work together to make 2018 a better place to be in for all of us.

“On the promotion of global warming in his first year in office, it’s reasonable to say, with a certain Trumpian pride, that the president has once again made the United States the planet’s truly “exceptional” nation. In November, only five months after President Trump announcedthat the U.S. would withdraw as soon as possible from the Paris climate agreement to fight global warming, Syria (of all countries) finally signed onto it, the last nation on Earth to do so.  That meant this country was truly… well, you can’t say left out in the “cold,” not on this planet anymore, but quite literally exceptional in its single-minded efforts to ensure the destruction of the very environment that had for so long ensured humanity’s well-being and made the creation of those illustrations of evolutionary progress possible.

Still, you can’t just blame President Trump for this either.  He’s not responsible for the ingenuity, that gift of evolution, that led us, wittingly in the case of nuclear weapons and (initially) unwittingly in the case of climate change, to take powers once relegated to the gods and place them in our own hands — as of January 20, 2017, in fact, in the hands of Donald J. Trump.  Don’t blame him alone for the fact that the most apocalyptic moment in our history might come not via an asteroid from outer space, but from Trump Tower.

So here we are, living with a man whose ultimate urge seems to be to bring the world to a boil around himself.  It’s possible that he might indeed be the first president since Harry Truman in 1945 to order the use of nuclear weapons.  As Nobel Prize winner Beatrice Fihn, director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, recently commented, the world might be only “a tiny tantrum” away from nuclear war in Asia.  At the very least, he may already be helping to launch a new global nuclear arms race in which countries from South Korea and Japan to Iran and Saudi Arabia could find themselves with world-ending arsenals, leaving nuclear winter in the hands of… well, don’t even think about it.

Now, imagine that amended evolutionary chart again or perhaps — in honor of The Donald’s recent announcement that the U.S. was recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital — call to mind poet William Butler Yeats’s words about a world in which “the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity,” while some “rough beast, its hour come round at last” is slouching “towards Bethlehem to be born.”  Think then of what a genuine horror it is that so much world-ending power is in the hands of any single human being, no less such a disturbed and disturbing one. 

Of course, while Donald Trump might represent the end of the line that began in some African valley so many millennia ago, nothing on this planet is graven in stone, not when it comes to us.  We still have the potential freedom to choose otherwise, to do otherwise.  We have the capacity for wonders as well as horrors.  We have the ability to create as well as to destroy.

In the phrase of Jonathan Schell, the fate of the Earth remains not just in his hands, but in ours.  If they, those nonexistent aliens, don’t care and the planet can’t care and the alien in the White House doesn’t give a damn, then it’s up to us to care.  It’s up to us to protest, resist, and change, to communicate and convince, to fight for life rather than its destruction. If you’re of a certain age, all you have to do is look at your children or grandchildren (or those of your friends and neighbors) and you know that no one, Donald Trump included, should have the right to consign them to the flames. What did they ever do to end up in a hell on Earth?

2018 is on the horizon.  Let’s make it a better time, not the end of time.”

 

Thank you dear readers and commentors for helping to make DWR a small, interesting niche on the internet.  May your new year be filled with peace, creativity, and hope.

 

Happy New Year from the Arbourist, Mystro, Intransigentia and Bleatmop.

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