Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Bring Out Your Bread

As if out of nowhere, suddenly tens of millions more Americans are finding it hard to make ends meet. In other parts of the world, hundreds of millions of people can barely find enough food and water to survive. This wide-ranging crisis stems partly from a double-whammy of higher energy prices and higher food prices. In the USA, people are scrambling to reorient their daily lifestyles in substantial ways. In places already on the margin, food riots erupt. Short term, "developed" nations will have to quickly send more foodstuffs and subsidize transportation costs, or else . . . Meanwhile, back in the USA . . .

All of this was envisioned by forward-looking activists, writers, movie makers, and artists in general -- especially in the late 1960s & early 1970s when many people first seemed to "get" what was happening. Consider Earth Day, started in 1970; Marvin Gay's What's Going On (1971); Silent Running (1972); Soylent Green (1973); and Idaho Transfer (1973). Apparently it's since been too bleak to think about too much in the USA, at least after Jimmy Carter was defeated in the 1980 presidential election. But here we are again, in 2008, in real time -- 28 years later.

Richard Flesischer's Soylent Green gives us a nightmarish view of how world civilization could deteriorate by the year 2022. Not likely to unfold in such a twisted way ("Soylent Green is people!"), developments on Earth are certainly moving in a scary direction. At this point it seems like anything could happen and who would be surprised?

Idaho Transfer, Peter Fonda's creepy low budget flick, involves frantic attempts to escape from pending ecological collapse into the future (2044 A.D.) When I saw this as a kid, it seemed bewildering but possible; the conclusion was harsh, too: it's a dog eat dog world among us humans -- then, now and forever. Good luck to us!

Today's Rune: Breakthrough.


lulu said...

According the article I read in the Economist this week, Bangladesh is ONE drought away from a huge food crisis. There is not enough food in storage in the world right now to take care of this part of the world in the event of a crisis.

Food prices have doubled since I arrived, which is annoying for me, but life-threatening for some.

the walking man said...

I actually have seen one of these movies. I knew you'd come on one that I had seen eventually, Erik.

I think there is really and truly only one way people will save people and that is to drive the stake through the heart of Government and Global corporations. These creatures are living entities that like all living entities have their own survival at the fore. These creatures no longer serve people as they were born to do but rather themselves, thereby insuring said survival above all else.

Get as far off the grid as you can to become as un-noticed by it as possible, strike where you can and run to await your next opportunity. The weapon of choice is withholding money (corporate)and using the underground (barter) economy as far as possible in acquiring services that should be provided by Government.

Learn about your environment and what is edible in it. Learn how to make water when there is none (condensation). Learn how to make fire without a match, learn, to make shelter with the things at hand.

This, to me, is not survivalist mentality but rather common sense, at least if you have ever viewed the pictures from the depression era of camps and survival skills of the displaced of that day.

Sadly and purposefully Americans have been taught to forget these skills.



Charles Gramlich said...

Unchecked population growth is the root of so many of these problems, as envisoned by forward thinkers early in the last century. We've got to find some way to control it.

Or, nature will likely control it for us with a plague, famines, etc.

Lana Gramlich said...

I didn't see "Soylent Green" until about a year or so ago. What an amazing movie!
Personally, I have no hope that things are going to turn around any time soon. When nature comes up against money, nature loses. Evidently it's human nature to be more preoccupied with personal insecurities than one's biological environment. I can hardly wait for the end of the Age of Mammals. <:(

Erik Donald France said...

Lulu -- good luck getting relief supplies -- Mark, thank you for all -- Charles & Lana, merci ;)