My horoscope said I may be experiencing an ‘existential crisis’ this week. Nailed it. Luckily, it’s not a permanent condition, and according to the stars, should clear up by the weekend…
After a natural disaster we often see people who have just lost everything wandering around with a disbelieving look on their faces, searching for a fragment of their life. That’s how Americans seem right now as we sort through the rubble of our country: impeachment, war, the gutting of NEPA. Trump’s problem is that he’s not a thinker, but he is a narcissist, so he can be led to believe a tactic (any tactic) was his idea— until it fails, but by then he’s on to the next calamity. And he consistently betrays his base yet is never held accountable. On a daily basis I must stop my thought process, take a deep breath, and go so Big Picture that I’m philosophically looking at Earth from an extraterrestrial perspective.
I especially like the meme; What if those aren’t stars, but simply holes poked in the lid so that we can breathe?
I remember the first time I heard this theory. I was in fifth grade and my best friend, Allie, said our world was probably just a science experiment on a classroom shelf somewhere in space. Looking back, she could’ve read or overheard it somewhere, (she had an older sister which has its advantages) but at the time I thought it was an original thought and my ten-year-old mind was sufficiently blown. I have since fashioned my life around new ideas, people, and experiences, never fully investing in conventionality; not only because it bores me, but also because as far as I can tell, progress goes hand in hand with movement. The only things that flourish on stagnancy are blood suckers and pond scum.
Speaking of scum, I’m reminded of a Tom Robbins quote, “Life is like a stew, you have to stir it frequently, or all the scum rises to the top.”
I’d say we’re overdue for a stirring of the stew pot. War is the prevailing business model in this country: War on Drugs, War on Terror, War in Space (they chose green camouflage uniforms for Space Force. I am not kidding. One would think simple black would be the appropriate attire for space…) The Reagan administration provided cause for years of conflict in Central/South America with the war on crack cocaine in the 80s, and now we have a severe opioid addiction in this country. Poppy grows in Afghanistan. In fact, “Afghanistan has been the world's leading illicit opium producer since 2001.”* Right about the time we went to war, n’est pas? While our leaders would have us believe the mission in Afghanistan is to combat mortal enemies who live on next to nothing, the real objective is obviously feeding America’s myriad addictions: opiates, oil, bigotry.
As long as we, the people, are busy running on the wheel at work and hitting the reward button at the end of a shift, then the oligarchy remains a tidy, productive little cage. When I take a step back for my big picture view of life on Earth, I see humans in a giant hamster bubble, running around in different directions; bumping into each other internally and wreaking havoc on the furniture collectively. Only with a majority ruling to cooperate and agree on a strategic plan of action, will we ever actually gain new ground. Otherwise, the bubble just rolls one way, then the other, meaninglessly meandering across the classroom floor in space… And maybe that’s all we’re here to do. Maybe my existential crisis is for naught, and chaos does reign supreme. So be it. I can get on board with that, although I must confess, I was better at chaos in my younger days. The older I get, the more I want to see some progress— or awareness at least.
In the universal archives— yes, I’m sure there is posterity in space, I don’t want war to be our defining trait. Humans have such incredible potential for kindness, and camaraderie; what a waste if we’re just known as ‘those jungle-garb-wearing idiots, perpetually waging war over their drug, currency, and god preferences.’