Doomers, the Fucked Generation
They were the “Babies on Board”. They were doted on and fussed over like no other generation before them and, all their lives, from their first poop forward, they have been told they would be great.
With Game Boy in one hand and Sippy-cup in the other, they spent their early years being chauffeured from preschool, to soccer, to gymnastics in Escalades and Navigators; and they slept snugly at night, their tiny tousled heads tucked into fashionable J. Crew jammies.
Reared in amorphous sub-divisions, in identical houses, they were shielded from reality. When their teams lost, the players all got trophies anyway. And, when it came to school, well, showing up was all that was required to be rewarded for scholastic achievement.
Given too many options, these little tykes were tragically stricken by early-on-set ennui and crushing boredom. To which I am sure they would respond with a pithy but pitiful, “Whatever.”
That was then, this is now and boy how things have changed. Options? Fuhgedaboudit! Most Doomers will spend their lives trying to dig out of an impossible hole. There are no jobs, they will inherit a mammoth national debt, and most will lead lives of “quiet desperation” lacking the tools and emotional resources to cope with the “New World Order.”
They are a generation that grew up too confident to deal with harsh realities like doom and failure. And, there will be plenty of that going around as the sins of the bankstas inflict their savage wrath.
These truly are historic times. A 250 year old experiment in self-government is drawing to a close. We let it slip away. Everything our founding fathers warned us against we have ignored.
History doesn’t feel historic while it is happening. If often feels pretty much like yesterday, just a little bit worse. History is comprised of slow moving events that ultimately play-out in great upheaval, struggle, deprivation, desperation, courage, achievement. It is about change and adaptation. Change is inevitable, cooperation is optional. Some will thrive, others will not survive.
What makes the difference at first seems intangible.
In Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl recalls his experience in a Nazi concentration camp.
Frankl observed that a prisoner’s psychological reactions are not solely the result of the conditions of his life, but also the freedom of choice he always has no matter how desperate ones circumstances.
The inner hold a prisoner has on his spiritual self relies on having a faith in the future, and that once a prisoner loses that faith, he is doomed.
To a certain extent, I believe spiritual strength is cultivated. After all, skeletal muscle is the by-product of overcoming resistance, of pushing back and pulling forward. In the same way, I believe we can develop spiritual strength through seizing upon challenges, by being more curious and less judgmental, by overcoming the resistance to embracing life for what it is; not what we wish it were.
Our spirit emanates from our view of things around us. But, the view is filtered by pre-conceived notions, apprehensions, bias, fear and loathing.
The human spirit has the power to steady the course, calm anxiety, and generate optimistic energy. Yes, it’s all in the mind. Ohmmmmm.
I mention this because we are about to face some problems that are entirely new to the human experience.
Among the challenges, Doomers will face are things we aren’t even talking about. For example, the alarming increases in the levels of prescription medication, toxins, and disease turning up in our water supply. That can’t be good. It isn’t like we can go and get new water. It is all the same water that has been part of our atmosphere since the formation.
But the more meds that get flushed into that water, the more chemical run-off from farming and urbanization, the higher the concentrations become everywhere, even the rain that falls down upon the meadow. And, they wonder why all of the bees are dying.
Rain water is indiscriminate and those acid vapors that drift away from chemical plants wind up killing fish and other wildlife in remote places hundreds of miles away. Acid rain.
Those water bottles that display refreshing images of cascading mountain waters or deep crystal springs, thankfully, bear no resemblance to the actual point of the origin of the water. There are very few places left on the planet where it is safe to drink untreated water.
You will be relieved to know that, in most cases, that fancy bottled water is coming from a city water tap at a bottling plant in Compton. Aquafina, my ass.
Oh where do I begin? It is hard to get, and getting more expensive, dangerous to your health, and a lot of what goes into the average American diet isn’t even food.
The number of Americans receiving federal aid through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps, soared to a record 40.8 million in May, according to government data released shortly before the Senate voted to cut billions from the food stamps budget. More and more for the one percent, less and less for the rest.
I point that out simply to remind us that starving women and children don’t mean shit to them.
Food is dangerous. Reports of deaths and hospitalizations caused by food borne illnesses have become so common that we hardly notice. More and more of our food is imported. Inspections are completely inadequate and like most industries the regulatos are in bed with the companies, literally and figuratively.
But, it gets worse. Pigs have a way better diet. Processed food contains ingredients I cannot pronounce. So what? The effects of many of these substances over time is only now coming to light.
It isn’t very nutritious. The constant craving experienced by many people who consume large amounts of processed food is a form of deprivation that ultimately contributes to our high obesity rates. The lower the nutritional value, the more the body craves it. It is a human survival system in perfect tune with health and longevity until it is tweaked by symptoms of starvation.
The best citizen is docile, dependent, and physically unable to resist. Our diets have done that to us.
Food production practices are dramatically reducing our ability to grow food in the future.
The chemical fertilizers used by big agra have made the soil in our bread baskets too toxic to grow for food production. It has leached into the major underground aquifers. Everything from the hybridization, to growing methods is designed to produce the highest possible yields, on the smallest amount of land, in the shortest period of time, without regard to the nutritional value of the food, the safety from food borne illness, the long-term effects of high-yield/chemical farming, genetic modification or even the taste.
At a biotech industry conference in January 1999, a representative from Arthur Anderson, LLP, (now out of business after ENRON), explained how they had helped Monsanto design their strategic plan. First, his team asked Monsanto executives what their ideal future looked like in 15 to 20 years. The executives described a world with 100 percent of all commercial seeds genetically modified and patented.
Anderson consultants then worked backwards from that goal, and developed the strategy and tactics to achieve it. They presented Monsanto with the steps and procedures needed to obtain a place of industry dominance in a world in which natural seeds were virtually extinct. And, we are almost there.
Producing “food” is far less important than controlling all of the world’s production. Agribusiness doesn’t really produce food anymore. They produce GMO, Genetically Modified Organisms. What we are feeding the world right now is largely an experiment. But, boy is it profitable.
The potential doomsday scenarios are too numerous to list, but the unintended consequences include unexpected gene mutations in the organisms which consume the GMOs, poultry, livestock, and our children. And possibly, a complete loss of our ability to produce food. I’m betting that the tragedy of this hubris will be an explosion in birth defects. We are playing with fire. Look up Thalidomide for a glimpse back to the future.
As an organic grower for thirty years, I have watched a number of different challenges play out in my garden. You come to respect the natural process as the most effective and efficient manner for pest and disease management. I expect to “share” about a third of what I grow and, because I’m not in it for profit, there is no pressure for me to maximize my harvest. I just plant enough for all of us. It’s called the balance of nature.
It all works fine until something new enters the environment. Local growers have seen many crops decimated by a foreign bug, disease or plant.
This year, it was cool and damp. I and many of the growers in Vista lost our beans very early to a disease. It is easy to see the potential for world-wide crop failure due to genetic modification which could unknowingly breed out a resistance or breed in a new weakness.
With Monsanto’s terminator technology, they will sell seeds to farmers to plant crops. But, these seeds have been genetically-engineered so that when the crops are harvested, all new seeds from these crops are sterile.
What is even more frightening is that traits from genetically-engineered crops can get passed on to other crops. Once the terminator seeds are released into a region, the trait of seed sterility could be passed to other non-genetically-engineered crops making most or all of the seeds in the region sterile.
Hundreds of millions of people rely heavily on small farms which produce foods for the region. If these farms begin to use Monsanto’s terminator technology, and cannot afford to buy new genetically engineered seeds from Monsanto the following year, many of the people in the region may starve. Under normal circumstances, food could be brought in from other regions. However, many of those other regions will likely have the same problems with famine due to Monsanto’s terminator technology.
I know a few people who are so terrified of bees that they would happily see them all wiped out. They will be relieved to know that the process is well underway. The bad news is that their demise will take us with them.
This is a fairly recent event, but one with devastating implications. A few years ago, bees began abandoning their hives, dramatically reducing the bee population.
My friend, Mr. Chun makes the best honey on the planet. He is a beekeeper from Tehachapi, CA and he derives his Honey from Orange Blossoms and spring wild flowers.
He is very familiar with the problem and deeply concerned about what it might mean for his livelihood. He told me that scientists refer to the problem as colony collapse disorder, but they aren’t exactly sure what is causing it. So many things come into play that it is difficult to identify a place to attack the problem.
The research has determined that the colonies experiencing collapse have been attacked by several entities, any of which could be fatal to a colony of bees. Viruses, parasites, pesticides, climate change, and genetic modification to plant species are all factors in the demise of bees.
Bees are essential for pollination, without which many plant species, including numerous edible varieties will be lost forever. Bees are now being trucked from region to region and released to pollinate crops. This is a temporary solution with limited effect beyond agricultural crops, so other species would be lost, the effect of which probably won’t be good.
Had we known back in the days of DDT and the following generations of agrichemicals and bio-controls that it might soon lead to global starvation, would we have done it anyway? The answer is clear, yes, and we continue to do so.
This is inevitable. First the good news; life expectancy has never been longer. Now the bad, a whole bunch of baby boomers, (77 million), are going to come to the end of it at roughly the same time.
Death will be routine to Doomers as baby boomers start dropping like flies and, Doomers’ disenchanted friends commit suicide…or worse.
It will become commonplace to be sitting in a restaurant and watch someone just slide under the table.
Geez, sometimes I even scare myself. With a lot of hard miles on the odometer, I’m likely to be among them.
I am not a negative person; I just gather information and react to it. My disposition is generally to be upbeat and positive. I am possessed of rock solid faith. I am grateful for the amazing life I have had. And, I feel extraordinarily blessed for the gifts that God has given me, including the sense of humor to deal with the dark side.
Still, I have good reason to be concerned.
My readership excluded of course, I have come to the conclusion, based on my contacts with a large number of people, that the average American mind is little more than a collection of pre-planted propaganda intended to render the possessor of that mind ignorant and oddly aggressive in defending that ignorance.
There is now an entire generation of men who do not know that their hats are on backwards.
Guys, the bill on a ball cap was actually designed to be on the front of the hat. You can look it up. It was designed to keep the sun out of your eyes. The only way you could look dumber is if you had a propeller on top.
Ladies, help your men out here. Gently remove the hat, turn it around, and position it properly. Cradle his head in your hands, look him right in the eyes and say as lovingly as you possibly can, “There, now you look like an adult.”
Oh, and ladies, if your man is rocking the trifecta with the shoelaces un-tied, baggy-pants waist-band below the butt, and the ball cap on backwards, you got yourself a loser. Run, do not walk!
It seems that our educational institutions do little to teach our children how to think but rather to get them to accept a false reality about life in the country we live in. No wonder they have started to kill each other at school.
I don’t want to come across as one of those old fogies who gripes on about “young people today.”
Indeed, I am one of those old fogies; I just don’t want to sound like one.
However, back in the day, our schools didn’t have a lock-down procedure or any policy about bringing guns to school and they weren’t surrounded by concertina wire and black-hooded armed guards with Uzis and AKs. Just sayin’.
Something has changed. How did it get this way? Is it violent video games or a predictable response to rampant hypocrisy?
Kids see it. They get that something is seriously messed up, but they don’t know that it hasn’t always been like this. They figure if we couldn’t fix it, what can they do this late in the game. They know they don’t know enough to turn it around.
You would think that with all of the information so readily available to young people that we would be producing the best crops of college graduates ever. And, while many fine institutions and various disciplines are doing just that, most apparently are not.
A by-product of this system asked me to review his final paper on the road to his MBA. I had been his boss for a couple of years and I found it difficult to believe he had even gotten accepted to a business program, let alone completed the course work required to get this far; but here was his piece de resistance, the culmination of years of work and rigorous study under the guidance and tutelage of a prestigious institution of higher learning.
I got a cup of coffee, got comfortable in my chair, and prepared myself for a pleasant experience discovering the, until now, hidden business genius of my employee.
What a mess! It wasn’t so much reading as deciphering. It was immediately apparent that through six years of academic pursuit he had managed to preserve a near functional-illiteracy. I’m not even worried about him reading this.
There was no apparent structure, no outline, no bullet points, no table of contents, and no executive summary; nothing to guide the reader on the journey through the writers mind. It was riddled with typos, run-on sentences, illegible interlineations, and a general lack of punctuation. I assumed it was a rough draft and I set about giving him some ideas for improvement. When I returned the paper to him he asked why I had written on it.
When I told him, he shrugged, “I turned it in last week, got a B plus.”
For those nearing graduation or those who graduated within the last five years, you are entering a world in great upheaval. It’s a double whammy; the careers for which you trained no longer exist, and other employers don’t need you because you have no experience of value. Oh, and you owe on average $22,900 in student loans.
Even if you wanted to work for MacDonald’s, they recently advertised 60,000 jobs and there were over one million applicants. So, you don’t even have a 6% chance of landing a minimum wage job flippin’ burgers at Mickey-Ds.
You’d have better odds of getting into Harvard Law School which accepts 7.2% of applicants.
I’ll wager that at least some of the one million applicants for the fast food jobs had law degrees.
And, because you weren’t taught to think for yourselves, you will have great difficulty adapting.
Too bad you don’t know anything of value. If you knew any Greek or Roman literature, you would know that life is a challenge. If it isn’t, you probably aren’t doing it right.
Life is The Myth of Sisyphus. There are times in most lives where it will feel like you are pushing a rock uphill, and it is comforting to know that the experience is so common that literature provides us with a metaphor.
The Odyssey, Prometheus Bound, from these ancient works we learn about common human experience such as purpose, persistence, loss, grief, personal reinvention and the perils of hubris.
These were staples in the education of our founding fathers. There is ancient wisdom being passed down from generation to generation. The ideas are sustaining and uplifting and provide us with an emotional resistance.
But, Doomers are a generation largely unfamiliar with literature or why it matters.
In the world of “instant messaging” there is little time for reflection. This is a generation that rarely spent a quiet reflective moment, and if there were ever an urgent need for more reflection, that time has come.
America needs a new paradigm. But, first we must be honest about our situation. Denial will not make it all go away. There are 7 billion people on the planet. Three billion of them live on less than $2.00 a day. Already, one in four children in the US lives in poverty. We are spiraling downward and, unless we are willing to stand for each other against the global financial elite, we are doomed to a third world existence.
“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” — Mahatma Gandhi