I’ve been very very open with everyone in my life - even people I just meet - about my paralyzing fear of death, namely the total loss of consciousness that I have every reason to assume comes with it. I know I will live with this incurable fear for the rest of my life (trust me, I know I will.) And I know that while most people attempt to relate, I have, to this day met only 4 people who truly share in this indescribably morbid and horrendous fear. That said, in the hundreds of conversations I’ve had on the matter, I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing people explain what I will always find unexplainable - the lack of fear they themselves have of dying and not existing. As much as I know I’ll never be able to relate, I am truly happy for them and I find their perspective, no matter how perplexing, quite beautiful. I stayed up all night reading a decade-old book by the brilliant Rachel Corrie, and I want to share this gorgeous excerpt: “We are all born and someday we’ll all die. Most likely to some degree alone. What if our aloneness isn’t a tragedy? What if our aloneness is what allows us to speak the truth without being afraid? What if our aloneness is what allows us to adventure – to experience the world as a dynamic presence – as a changeable, interactive thing? If I lived in Bosnia or Rwanda or who knows where else, needless death wouldn’t be a distant symbol to me, it wouldn’t be a metaphor, it would be a reality. And I have no right to this metaphor. But I use it to console myself. To give a fraction of meaning to something enormous and needless. This realization. This realization that I will live my life in this world where I have privileges. I can’t cool boiling waters in Russia. I can’t be Picasso. I can’t be Jesus. I can’t save the planet single-handedly. I can wash dishes. I can wash dishes.” Watch Maya Angelou read that excerpt on YouTube, seriously. (continued in comment)
The carbon footprint of the average New Yorker is 17% of that of the average American. If the rest of the world lived like New Yorkers - reliant both mostly on public transit and on multi-unit buildings - climate change would not pose the enormous threat to our imminent future that it currently poses. This is an understatement. Consider how many resources are necessary to sustain a spacious, privileged, secluded suburban lifestyle and then consider this: You could fit the entire world’s population in the state of Texas if it were as densely populated as New York City. Resources are everything. No Americans outside of New York City live in mega cities by today’s international standards - as the rest of the world builds up, America builds out. As the rest of the world’s cities surpass New York City’s population, even two-fold for multiple cities in China & India, Americans, stubborn and obsessive about both their capitalist notions of property and self-important notions of individuality, continue to live large, with long drives and long driveways. As the rest of the world packs into cities to save itself, Americans continue to destroy the planet while pointing the figure at everything but themselves. The micro actions should, of course, not be blamed without macro analysis. And even America, its shithole government and its shithole corporations are far from alone in the long list of bad actors driving global warming’s rising seas and worsening natural disasters. But until America changes its ways, the fate of humanity rests in the hands of Donald J Trump and his fascist, big-oil, big-coal, big-business regime, stripping away at his public’s rights and more and more every day, his greatest victory achieved without the need for high approval or high esteem: an increasingly silent, defeated, demoralized, hopeless public, eventually no different than a complicit public. Remember that America has no history of overthrowing dictators to speak of. Dictators like Trump can “win” on fear, without the need for a “popular vote” aka the democracy the rest of the civilized world managed to grant its people long ago. America: we’re extinguishing the human race.