Monday, August 28, 2017

DISCOVERING YOU CAN’T LIVE IN TWO WORLDS AT ONCE

Several million people from Corpus Christi, Texas to southwestern Louisiana are currently without power.  The flooding in the Houston area has reached “storm of the century” proportions.  People have lost their homes; and the remnants of Hurricane Harvey are still dumping up to five-inches of rain an hour along the northeastern Texas Gulf Coast.  Some people are complaining that Houston authorities didn’t issue a mandatory evacuation order prior to the storm.  The extreme levels of naiveté that generate those complaints are immeasurable.  The Houston area numbers about 6.5 million people.  Even if residents had been told to evacuate a week before the storm struck Rockport, Texas, the city of Houston could not have been entirely vacated in time.  I’ll take it a step farther and say that an evacuation would’ve been a flop.  It’s plausible to suggest that more people might have been injured in an evacuation.  Given the general anarchy surrounding human behavior these days, the overall chaos would’ve been horrific.  Even so, the meteoric increase in population has created a country crisscrossed with roads and highways and doted by cities and towns.  Yes I know there are still pockets of so-called “wilderness” but look at a satellite photo taken at night and you’ll see that most of the US is lit up like the glowing embers of a campfire.  The population is approaching 340 million people and it’s still sprouting like a weedy backyard.  Our prevailing American religion (even preachers, priests and rabbis worship at its alter) is the acquisition of money; and behind that religion is a doctrine that says we must have unbridled growth and development—something akin to a metastasizing malignant tumor.  So the night skies continue to flame while once silent and quiet places become the true endangered species in this country.

Along comes a few who don’t hanker to live in the crowded milieu and who have grown tired of a dysfunctional government and of Capitalism’s endless quest to cheapen quality from all corners.  They seek to maintain a low profile hoping not to be noticed.  Some go completely “off grid” while others connect to a nearby power line as a temporary convenience.  All the while, The System fights to thwart the independently minded.  Identity politics pervades all sides of the political spectrum and individualism is frowned upon.  Independence is viewed as odd and eccentric.  Singularity has become a pariah.  Look up synonyms for singularity: aberration, abnormality, anomaly, caprice, capriciousness, foible, freakishness.  Conformity rules now more than ever; and the majority (like lemmings scurrying off a cliff) blindly follow the mono-dimensional choices presented to us by The Establishment—the Corporatist Oligarchy.

A close friend told me the other night that he feared America is approaching some sort of point of no return (my words, not his) and that widespread violence and disorder are not far away.  I told him it’s been an insidious process and that Americans have, for the most part, become desensitized to what’s going on all around them.  Think of it as the prodromal stage of a dangerous infectious disease.  One feels poorly—tired, malaise, headachy, nauseous.  And then seemingly overnight the infection breaks out, overwhelms the immune system and the body collapses in illness.

I suggest that the schism in the country today is not so much between differing political factions as it is between the vast majority of urbanites and those few rural folks who prefer being left alone.  By the way, AM Talk Radio, infamous for creating hate-filled dissentions, is entirely manned by people who reflect urban lifestyles.


Lest you think I’m attempting to denigrate urban and suburban ideologies let me make it clear that I think people should be allowed to live as they want as long as they don’t destroy property, pollute water resources, foul the air or don’t attempt to tell one group of people how to live as a means of controlling them.  People are prone to over-interpret a statement like that so let me add that we don’t have the right to annihilate The People’s Land, and we don’t have the right to poison ground water or surface water.  We also don’t have the right to pump toxins into the air.  One more thing: No one has the right to decide that they’re going to build a road or fence across someone else’s property while claiming eminent domain.  I think many people have concluded that when private corporations or the government or an autocratic President decide to mess up people’s lives then the people have a right to retaliate.  In my opinion that’s a dangerous place to push people, but I hear that opinion from too many areas these days.  Just last night as I sat by a campfire in a thickly wooded area with a neighbor I was told that a group of urban politicians want to make a paved road right through private land.  My neighbor was livid.  “Who do these damn city *&%#*@%’s think they are?” my neighbor asked.  I could provide no clear answer….Which in a roundabout way brings me back to Houston, Texas.  Complete chaos at the moment.  Fortunately, there are other places willing to lend a helping hand.  But what if what we’re seeing in Houston was countrywide?  What if there was nobody to help?  No medicines, no rescuers, no FEMA, no aid of any kind.  Is that an outrageous and impossible thought?  Perhaps not.

4 comments:

  1. I agree with quite a bit of your post. Evacuating Houston in a matter of days would have been very difficult. The fuel needed for departing vehicles would have already have to have been in place. Even today, fuel is nearly impossible to find due to the refinery shutdown - gasoline is scheduled for price hike of at least $0.40 - 0.60 a gallon in the (hopefully) short term. That is assuming these people had friends / relatives or at least a hotel for them to stay in 1st place.

    Like New Orleans, I am guessing quite a few people who lost everything will leave Houston behind. Homes - businesses - retail to purchase items will have to be repaired / re-built SIMULTANEOUSLY in order to stay. A very tall order.

    The U.S. population in 1960 was approximately 180 million. So we are nearly doubled in population today in 57 years. Population density, resources to live on it (electricity, sewer, water) only grows. People become displaced due to floods, forest fires, land slides because we build on lands unsuitable for habitation. Why ? Because suitable land is already used up.

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    1. Yes, and along with increased population and diminished resources comes more and more human population pressure--the extent to which people start to interfere with each other as they become more crowded. We are already seeing that happen. Rage is directly related to population pressure. The picture does not look good. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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  2. It's good to hear someone else voice my frustrations. It's also good to know that you're not the only one saying these things. A number of folks from all generations are noticing the same problems of living in an artificial, engineered society that constantly pits itself against natural systems. I hope that we are simply on one side of a pendulum swing right now, that will eventually, in a couple generations, start to turn back and find a suitable middle ground that harnesses all the good of modernity while also living in harmony with the way the Creator designed this earth to function. I hope for that, but I'm not sure I really expect it. But I take solace in my belief that Resurrection is coming someday, and all creation will be lifted from the grip of death, and God's image bearers will fully and faithfully bear his image.

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    1. Thank you for such a nice and hopeful comment.

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