What It Is:
Thoughts on the Doomed Designs of Industrialized Society
The blur of farming landscapes, and wondering where it all goes. Still millions of people starving and malnourished, still tons of wasted food by wasteful people. Why so much lost potential? Many people live in ignorance of other perspectives, lost in the fabricated dream of mass media, controlled by the industrialists. The insanity of auto junk yards, countless boarded up industrial buildings lining the train tracks in every city. Community music-making silenced on the train lounge car by the rule-following assistant conductor. Dashboard hypnosis, gasoline psychosis. The young man from a small village said the cities are like a disease crawling across the skin of the earth. The natural healthy ecosystems are under stress from the massive overpopulation of humans and their extreme consumption. Pathological construction of homes, lawns, storage lockers, shopping malls, lumber yards, concrete factories, all suffocating the land with dead human 'dream' houses. The lack of sharing space and functions means massive redundancy and a preponderance of idle toys and tools. An elderly woman suggested more time-shares; to her it probably meant housing while traveling, but I imagine more shared transportation, and many other pieces of physical equipment and buildings. When will humans return to sharing the earth with the other creatures, plants, rivers and lakes, oceans and skies?
Saw a mottled brown and white hawk with an orangy-red tail flying. Saw a bald eagle flying over the Colorado River. Plants and animals don't use bank accounts or money, and until recently, neither did humans. Vultures, woodpeckers, big herons. Six egrets white in a pond. Acres of corn, millions of acres; is it genetically engineered? We know that genetically engineered corn will kill Monarch Butterfly caterpillars from the pollen that falls on the caterpillar's main food source, the milkweed plant. Redwing Blackbird over pond. The first place I saw corn field watering was after Burlington, Illinois, heading East.
Onward through New York, we end up being near sports fans on the train talking about schools, teams, games, jokes, coaches. It's kind of an automated conversation, friendly, but like the computer software Game of Life, where a small set of rules governs the flow of conversation. It ends up sounding like it goes in circles, naming all the names, nothing like conflict. Its all about niceness, except a racial epithet as an interpretation of a school's acronym. Of course, it echoes in my mind, the scene from Noam Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent, where he describes the use of sports as a mass-dumbing of society to the issues of social justice and other more important issues.
We see a lot of patterns in the towns and cities we pass on the train, the cement yard, the auto and washing machine junkyards, the closed railway stations, the miniature railroad museums, the auto dealerships, the lumber yards. Construction and entropy. Large, strangely unexpected big housing developments in farmland middle America. For these people I recommend Home Economics, Jenny Cool's study of the depressed families of urban sprawl Antelope Valley in Southern California. Railside grain silos and yards full of chemical tanks on trailers, perhaps farming pesticides or fertilizers.
Chicago: lightening and rain, dry lawns, brick buildings, lots of industrial buildings and towers in varying states of decay, Chicago train station a roaring diesel sound and smell chamber underground. Cell phones on the train, phones and laptop computers charging on all available power outlets. Many strange unknown plants for me, a novice plant student from California. Large housing developments with boring cookie-cutter backyards, green lawns powered by depleting fossil-fuels, all reflecting the brainwashed homogeneity and lack of creativity of the owners. The patterns before people as they grow up often are the only input, so there is little variance except in the well educated, the explorers and radicals. The patterns are primarily designed by the industrialists, the product manufacturers, and the physical spaces designed by urban planners determine much of what people think about, whether it is really important or not. I don't recall images of obese Native Americans from historical archives. Perhaps the Eskimos carried more fat as a survival strategy.
Massachusetts: lush green forests, swamps. Ten great blue herons across the trip. Cattails, Lily pads, arrowhead, birch, beech, white pine, mullein, poplar, maple, red or black oak, black-eyed susans, tiger lily, graffiti on freight trains, backyards, raised swimming pools, swing sets, barbeques, trampolines, rusting cars, plastic toys, lawn mowers, lawn sculptures, basketball hoops, queen anne's lace flowers, ferns, trash lumber piles near train switches, fat men gesticulated at the front of a line of pickup trucks.
Why did I stop driving 6 years ago? Ask this of people who still drive. I no longer breath the auto exhaust in gridlock city or highway driving. Who wrot the book, Gangs of America? Most corporate crimes against nature and people are not illegal in the government's laws because of the fascist collaboration between corporations and government.
Gone fishing for dreams, but the water's surface was disturbed by passing motorboats. Tanning salons. All-night car wash. Rent-a-Car. McDonalds. PPO-Nails. Firestone. CVS Pharmacy. Honeydew Donuts. Chicago Bar and Grill. Dominoes Pizza. Showcase Cinemas. Rally Total Fitness. Audi. Camry. Geo. Trucker North Shore. Chevrolet. ABC. Town Line Inn. BCA Copiers and Faxes. Lawn Pros. Miso Grill. Miniature Golf. Hess. Dunkin Donuts. Corners Framers. Gold's Gym. Hollywood Video. KMart. Cingular Wireless. Bickfords. Office Max. Hockey Town USA. Hilltop Steakhouse. City Schemes. Pearle Express. Eastern Bank. Kelly's Roast Beef. Express Oil Change. Papa Gino's. Kohl's. Cash Convertors. Salvation Army. IHOP Restaurant. Big & Tall. Ristorante Donatello. East/West Mortage. EZ Storage. Kelly Nissan. Kelly Jeep Chrysler. Avis. Shell. 7-Eleven. Marriot. Hilton. Wendys. Bennigans. Midas. Misono. Cabaret. Daddy's Junky Music. Gulf. Winona Plaza. Peabody. Six Flags. Four Star Towing. McDonalds. Costco. Motel 6. U-Haul. Kia. Carpet Liquidator. Buick. What are these creatures with two white glowing eyes? Eating people and spitting them out again, gliding in long stinking snakey caravans, dissembling and reassembling throughout the night. North 95. Road work. Big trucks. Yield. Reflectors. Bumps. Fans blowing. Engine-whirring, pulling. Waving from side to side, lane shifting. Incoming headlights. End 25 Limit. Weigh Station Closed. Sitting and waiting for something interesting to happen in my life. Hours on the road. Can't sleep, still driving, or being driven. Chattel. Puppets. Sardines. Slaves. Lemmings. Zombies. Prime Diesel. Priority Health. Capitol Storage. It all makes me sick. Staring at the backs of some heads. The backs of bus seats with the drink holder and the headphone jack, channel and volume buttons. This section was written continuously to show the psychic bombardment of corporate logos on the northbound highway coming out of Boston. What else were ABLE to think about or even do while driving or riding? Mobil. You read the words. C&J Trailways. What else can you read? Your life is on hold. The infrastructure of distance and transportation completely eats your time. 9:45pm. People getting off the bus, getting on. The sports page appears in the dim light of the reader in front of you. The moon, full, swings horizontally through the trees. Vets Moving Hall. Camping 56A. Cross Roads Plaza. Red signs against the black sky. ABF Freight System. Pretty close to the ocean here. My travel partner counted ten Dunkin Donut stores, 3 Honeydew store and 1 Krispy Kreme store. Best Western. "Isn't it bad when hospitals have to advertise?" State Liquor Store. Toll Plaza. Any Vehicle, Lane 1, $1.00. No Parking. The fascist's dream, sanity's nightmare. Asphalt prison. Dashed white lines shooting under each vehicle, hammering consciousness to the slaving of the steering wheel. Cutesy little songs to distract you from changing your enslavement to the transportation cartel. The cartel saleswoman offers skinny dipping as a closing for the transcontinental journey. Did she ever offer skinny dipping in our hometown? Lake Anza? Rows of parked cars, waiting for slaves to eat. Animated sign says "Kids Ride Free". Short-term parking.
Why do people do geneology? Enslavement to private property?
I do not rely on the murder and enslavement of vast quantities of people to increase my wealth. My wealth comes from my knowledge, wisdom and compassion.
Silence is required to understand the call of the loon. The criminal din of automobiles and consumerism will never let the light shine through to the inner core of being. Television sends it's propaganda and advertising all night to the sleeper, perhaps even when it is turned off. Criminal corporate-paid government politicians chatter their lame logic and conniving lies to the public on mass media, hoping their ideas will catch, puffed up with the illusion of leadership for being associated with the government. Dashboard hypnosis takes over the minds of those in search of the quick fix, pizza and soda. Whiffle ball is played under electric lights on a pollution-generating fossil fuel mowed lawn. Inane songs are used to fill up the consciousness while the air is further polluted for a meal. New Hampshire, like many other parts of the world, is crisscrossed with asphalt scars, the result of many dead people, dead wildlife habitats, criminal invasions and murderous massacres in oil-producing areas of the world, zombie-producing mass media brainwashing by all manner of corporations, automobile and entertainment industries. Tourism is as much about selling gasoline and other consumer products. Vast amounts of potential beauty and creativity destroyed by the mindless following of mass media templates for lifestyles. Biological cycles disrupted by corporate stimulation. Art books that reflect the limited world view and imperialist ideologies of their authors, regurgitating the limited world views of previous elitist 'scholars'. Kids that endlessly bounce around like little machines, whining and yelling, the product of so much insanity in the cultural environment. Few opportunities exist for real learning in the endless vacation world of time-wasting board games made for profit by corporations. Gift shops line the streets that are gridlocked with the air-poisoning and mind-deadening automobiles that carry the shoppers to their next shopping spree, filling time because their creative potential has been destroyed by a criminal anti-education system. 'Support Our Troops' stickers adorn the shiny new pickup trucks driven by the puppets of the construction industry, participating in the wholesale looting of the worlds resources, while criminals and low-income people are coerced by a criminal government to invade and loot the oil resources of foreign lands. The massive participation in this madness is made possible by the mindlessness, the ignorance and the greed, all carefully developed by corporate and government control, the essence of the globalization of Nazism, the most insidious subtext of World War II. Nazism was not defeated, but simply purchased by the highest bidder and the most evil of murderers, the industrialists, the multinational corporations, the gangs of metal and power. Mechanized death is the final state of being, zombies incapable of living within the natural beauty and in a sustainable way within the ecosystem. The highest rate of extinction since prehistoric times is the fault of the machine-addicted humans, driving ever faster and more insanely through self-annihilation. First the potential for real living is destroyed, and people become robots, following the designs of corporate advertising and the stereotypical patterns of quaint towns, big cities, driven behind the scenes from narrow-minded and ignorant corporate and government designers. The masses are lonely, isolated by the single family home design of the construction industry, and rely on the pseudo-social stimulation of the all night television drone.
* * *
Waiting in the train station, rusting frames of platform overhangs adorn the yard, air-conditioned air bitter in the throat. Why? How did it get like this? How many wasted lives to create this massive continental junkyard? Springfield, brick buildings like boxes, empty space on Saturdays, workers and owners out in some hot asphalt gridded suburbia. Hartford, empty, bridge wardens biking back and forth looking at us and our long hair, trying to hold on to their reality, too lazy to explore life beyond the mowed lawn, to busy eating food mass produced by mechanized farms. Glastonbury, post-colonial town of corn and tobacco farms, yuppie zombie drivers feeding off the the delusions of private property as wealth, on the polluted Connecticut River, too poisoned to swim in on a hot humid day. Yearning for the days of the Native Americans who lived so close to the land they didn't have to worry about water or air pollution, lives not encased in tombs metal, plastic and wood. Endless roar of ignorant puppets of the pickup truck and car industry rolls by on the old Main Street, with virtually empty 350-year-old homes sit on lawns mowed by fossil-fueled machinery, fueled by gasoline stolen from far-off lands with murderous, racist, ignorant, greedy and lower-income mercenary soldiers, hired by the United States Government to fatten the lives of the immense gasoline-addicted gangs of all-consuming Americans.
Time ticks away, with each second, thousands to millions of gallons of fuel, created millions of years ago by layers of vegetation compacting and rotting, the age of the dinosaurs. Our age is a blip in the vast rope of geologic time, and our cities and suburbias, shopping malls and headlights are lit like a moment's matchhead, a bright stinking flare, and a brief dwindling flame, in an ocean. Once the oil is gone, there will be nothing that matches the transportability and utility of oil. The wastefulness in urban design and the patterns of domestic, commercial and industrial energy use boggles the mind of anyone who has done some research. Where is the quality of life in all of this? Still looking for parking? Still driving to get to a nice quiet spot in the woods? Still trying to escape the madness of millions of construction workers who have no more vision than toddlers playing with toy trucks? Were is the design vision? Let's wipe the glaze from our eyes. The template produced by the last century of fossil-fuel industrialism is simply a cartel of pharoahs, supported by pyramids of asphalt and steel, tombstones for the living dead of millions of 9-to-5 workers, mesmerized by the dream of homes, cars, goodies, vacations, and photo albums. What does it get you?
* * *
America the criminal, monotonous oceans of corn, feed for cattle, mad cow battle, who's the fattest man? Air-conditioned, sand-blasted brains, planned ignorance of regional education systems, keeping capitalism's drones on call for the most insidious pyramid scheme of all. Bankers and computer programmers on vacation, their puppeteer's tentacles temporarily disconnected from the theater of money and mortgage dreams. Demographics of T-shirt politics reveals the ignorance of logos, branding the human sheep of society into categories. The hulking Marine T-Shirt man plows through the isle, and even the hippie nods slightly acknowledging his large monkey body's need to make it through the train car without any social problems. Who wants you to spend money? The old man who asks how you sleep in the coach car for 4 days? I told him I did yoga and he said he prays too, to Jesus that is. Countless full coal cars, where are they going? The massive amount of inevitable pollution and acid rain from that coal will be a great detriment to the environment's vast populations and ecosystems. The banker talks about the 'systems theory' of interconnectedness, but where are the priorities of person in the context of systems established long ago by finance and labor exploitation? The human mind, coupled with systems of technology, is capable of far greater destruction in the planetary scheme of things, essentially a complex system of regional and global ecosystems. The introduction of invasive plants from distant regions bodes badly for many species, being choked by rapid growth of the invasives. The train ride reveals common patterns of growth throughout the transcontinental trip, with pathological construction being the most prevalent activity. Countless gravel yards, cement trucks, pickup trucks, lumber yards, dump trucks, back hoes, building and rebuilding the faulty designs of suburbia, the isolated shacks of those continually deluded by the idea private property, lonely boxes surrounded by lawns in various degrees of slave-labor, from meticulous fetishism, droning lawnmowers, sprinklers and fertilizers, to the burnt and overgrown carpets of those with other things to do, perhaps maintaining the stock of lines to regurgitate from situation comedies and shallow conversations about 'Family' brand movies with plots as predictable as a government propagandist's day job. It doesn't take much to distract one from the yards full of rusting waste and plastic toys that will never rot. Future beings might find the sand dunes and rivers eroding away from vast parking lots full of cars, long abandoned by the ancient populace, the continued robotic consumption, the rust makers, the strip mine rapists, the poisoned gut trophy hunters, the mind manipulators, the piddling hobbyists hiding from the implications of complacency. The train lurches forward, slower and slower, rocking back and forth. The energy remaining to rebuild rails dwindles through the tanks of oversized private vehicles and their selfish or ignorant feeders. Ecologies slashed by asphalt and subsonic rumbles, invisibly poisoned by hundreds of thousands of untested chemicals, leaking from containers, sprayed by airplanes and ignorant people afraid of the smell of their own bodies. Conversations, quiet and loud, empty and full, patterns of jabbering robots recounting the meaningless interactions of people trapped on the city on wheels. What are the reasons for verbal descriptions of checker pieces made from hand-colored paper towels? Is it to destroy the personal thought patterns of those involved in a deeper analysis of the entire system.
Twenty beavers killed by homeowners protecting their fabricated plastic lives, destroying the carefully evolved water systems of pristine new hampshire glacial lakes, invasive tapioca algae transferred from lake to lake by unwitting motorboat owners, swimmers, non-biodegradable inflatable water toys, plastic kayaks, plastic canoes, plastic touring boats, motorboats styled like 1950's convertible cruisers of a generation obsessed with large single-family homes and barbecue grills and flags. Squirrels trapped and drowned in the lake by a self-described lake protector. Ducks warily paddle the edge of the lake, scouting the human developments for remaining nooks of the original marshlands where they might find something to eat.
It's all so boring, the traveling to be there, the drone of yellow lines and dashed white lines, the asphalt prison, the speedy chatter of space and resource addiction. Where is the silence, the distant call of the hawk, the rustle of antelope through brush?
Words express the complexity of travel to other places, but it could also be fiction. So what is the point of the polluting traversal of reality? A child's card game is an example of a fabricated zoology, created to profit from the human mind's obsession with diversity. A child's years are lost to the fiction, while the real world yearns for bodhisattvas to heal the centuries deep wounds of greed. What is the use? The earth needs all creatures to be involved in it's protection, but humans are so overwhelmingly obsessed with their essentially criminal exploitation and pollution of other inhabitants and their habitats.
All religious people pick and choose their commandments and quotes from their respective bibles to create the sense of rightness in their lives. If only the countless species of creatures now extinct from human causes could now haunt the humans who continue the destructive lifestyles. Humans live under the illusions created by prepackaged food, distant from the terrible implications of their industrialization. Chicago, surrounded by massive rusting industrial artifacts and continuing industry, never seems to include these aspects in their tourism brochures. The patterns of industrialized domestic life are like a defective computer program, endlessly replicating wrong answers in the quality of life survey. The questions are so limited in scope, it's like crossing a four-way intersection after only looking one way. You may not get hit this time, but you're still stuck with the choices predetermined by urban planners with asphalt and automobile sales figures on the brain. Cellular automata is the study of simple rule-based systems where the next state of a cell is determined by the state of it's surroundings. The problem with our obsession with manufacturing capabilities and 'home improvement' is that we are still essentially doing the child-like mimicry of monkey-see-monkey-do. How many of people make choices based on what is really possible? If what you see before you at a given moment is what you base your next decision on, then you are programmed by the visible. Similarly, people are programmed by the high visibility of patterns inculcated by our consumer culture, the big-ticket, high profit-margin items, such as the cute house or spacious mansion, the car, the toys, the vacation trips, many models to choose from, endlessly consuming. Any potential for poetic inner reflection careens off the windshield like some hapless bug, destined for extinction in the desertification of the soul.
Human women trained like cows, wearing the identifying numbers and letters of their brand on their sweatpant asses, destined for smelly submissive sex and doing the laundry for fat beer-drinking sports television addicts. Listening to the prepackaged news created for consumers by consumers, a bit of fear and lots of products to distract one from the impending crisis of a life enslaved to the money-centered system.
Speed-addled 'explorers' chatter on the train to hapless elderly, selling the varieties of vacation travel, different regions described in generalizations, candy-coating the real with human-interest stories about puppies and living like a hermit. It becomes ever more clear the involvement of the military in the methamphetamine (speed) drug industry, underground in the impoverish fringe towns, preparing the ignorant for world travel in the service of the rich, oppressing and murdering the poor to loot their land and resources. Join the military and enjoy global lawlessness, criminal adventure, unaccountability and immunity from prosecution. The exploitative deeds will haunt one accordingly, never to let the veteran live onward in inner peace. Night sweats, broken socialization, twisted reality.
There have been plenty of fun-seekers who's activities involved indirect murders, so fun could never be justified as a primary goal without understanding the totality of implications.
[Asphalt Strawberry] [ ]