It is possible, I suppose that sometime we will learn everything there is to learn: what the world is, for example, and what it means. Mary Oliver from “Daises” Oliver wrote “It is possible, I suppose that sometime we will learn everything there is to learn: what the world is, for example, and what it means.” I am failing to connect my own life experience to that of Oliver’s. I don’t like what I am learning about the world. What I keep learning about the world is disconnected from Oliver’s intimate and sacred connection to nature. What it means to me right now is that I am living in a zone of awareness in which I am witnessing the decline of American society.
Hours after a CNN reporter was arrested while covering protests in Minneapolis, CBS News reported that an NBC affiliate crew faced its own violent interaction with police in Louisville, Kentucky. While providing live coverage of the protests in Louisville, the city where Breonna Taylor was shot and killed by police in her own home, a WAVE 3 news reporter and her crew were directly shot with pepper bullets by police outfitted in riot gear. The video of the Louisville police officer taking aim at a news camera tells a thousand words.
The charge of racism is partially right and partially wrong. The murder of George Forbes is a malevolent metaphor of life in the United States under the ruling class. Racism is a huge part of that larger class warfare being waged by those in power on those with less than. Less money, less education, less housing, less everything Except the power to protest inequity and inequality with people power.
Earth Day was different this year. Filmmaker Michael Moore released his bombshell climate change documentary, Planet of the Humans, on YouTube on April 21, the eve of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. The film argues that many of us having been living in the illusion that renewable energy can replace fossil fuels as our primary energy sources. The documentary claims that the climate movement has been bought and sold by billionaire capitalists. And that the only reason environmentalists don’t talk about population control is because “it would be bad for business.”
The worst-case coronavirus scenario is not the mass deaths it is causing. It is that people are being led to accept mass death - to accept that someone will die in the U.S. every 30 seconds as “just how it is.” That is the conservative rationale now being sold to us.
The lack of compassion for anyone is one of Trump’s defining characteristics. Another characteristic commonly used to define Donald Trump is narcissist. Trump’s tweets and comments have been, and continue to be self-aggrandizing, demeaning, racist and false. It should come as no surprise why so many people despise him. It is because of what he shows us about himself each and every day. It is not, as his defenders like to charge, because his critics suffer from the “Trump Derangement Syndrome.”
Like growing millions of Americans who are not sick from Covid 19, but from Trump’s setting new standards for derangement, I determined to discover what Trump Derangement Syndrome actually means. And where it came from. I began with the word “derangement.” One dictionary definition is “the state of being completely unable to think clearly or behave in a controlled way, especially because of mental illness.” Another dictionary definition is “(1) A disturbance of the regular order or arrangement and (2) A rarely used term for a mental disturbance or disorder.” Wikipedia tells us that “Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) is a term for criticism of negative reactions to United States President Donald Trump that are perceived to be irrational, and have little regard towards Trump's actual policy positions, or actions undertaken by his administration. The term has been used by Trump supporters to discredit criticism of his actions, as a way of reframing the discussion by suggesting that his opponents are incapable of accurately perceiving the world.”
William Shakespeare called our world a stage because just as actors make their entry and exits onto a stage, so we all enter into this world, move through different stages in life on this earth, and finally make an exit. Without a curtain call. On Earth Day 2020, I see the coronavirus drama as a dress rehearsal for another, much larger planetary threat.
Written with Earth Day in mind: Carl Sagan in his book, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human in Space, wrote Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. Therefore, we have to help ourselves meaning that every single country needs to act on climate change if human civilization itself can be sustained. The Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit reported that the entire world needs to go carbon zero by 2050 to stand a chance. There is simply no time to argue about which country is more responsible for carbon emissions - every single country has to step up to the plate.
“It was the Africa I dreamed of when I was 10 and fell in love with Tarzan,” said primatologist and anthropologist Jane Goodall in a recent interview with CNN’s Becky Anderson. “I left Gombe, my chimpanzee study, in 1986, having realized that chimpanzees and forests were vanishing across Africa, and realizing I needed to do something. And part of that was going around the planet, talking about those problems and learning more at the same time about what we've done to harm this planet. The crazy thing,” Goodall said, “is the biggest difference between us, chimps and other creatures is the explosive development of the intellect. So how come the most intellectual creature ever to walk the planet is destroying its only home?”
John lives in Greenfield MA and is a peer news author for Citizen Truth. He is a columnist for the West County Shelburne Falls Independent, a monthly op ed contributor for the Greenfield Recorder and a contributing writer for Green Energy Times in New England. His op eds have been published in the Springfield Republican, the Montague Reporter, the Worcester Telegram and the Daily Hampshire Gazette. He invites comments and dialogue at [email protected].
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