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When chaos calls

Posted by on Apr. 19, 2009 at 2:53 AM
  • 22 Replies

When chaos calls

Bedlam abounds. Is now a good time to unplug and move to the woods?

By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

Friday, March 27, 2009


Here is the good news: We are completely doomed.

Isn't that great? Isn't that reassuring? It damn well should be, because, in some form or another and since we were knee-high to a cave painting, the apocalypse has always, always been nigh



It is perhaps the single most wonderful and reliable aspect about being a tiny troubled biped on this tiny troubled speck of spinning space dust; depending on whom you listen to, depending on how dialed in you are to the various nefarious signs and conspiracy theories and reruns of "The Omen" on late-night cable, we are always on the verge of imminent and unstoppable doom. It's just a matter of which supremely peeved deity -- God? Nukes? Bees? Trees? Peanut butter? -- you believe is about to bring the hammer down.

If nothing else, this unfailing belief in our imminent demise makes us terribly consistent. And consistency, aside from being a nasty hobgoblin, also provides terrific comfort. And comfort, in times of chaos and imminent apocalypse, is always sort of nice. See how that works?


In the Bush Dark Times, the apocalypse took the form of various charming little munchkins, like the gay agenda, Buddha tattoos, nu-metal, female nipples, Bill O'Reilly's adorable "culture wars," gangsta rap, condoms, bad art, Muslim fanatics who want to confiscate your porn collection, stem cell research, Hillary Clinton and teenagers having lots of anal sex and calling it chastity. So cute!

But now, in the Obama Enlightenment, a very strange thing has occurred. It's as though Armageddon finally got a glimpse of itself in the mirror, saw what the GOP and Christian right had done to it and went, "Holy hell, who put these f--king clown shoes on me and cut my hair in a mullet and stamped this idiotic 'Left Behind' logo on my forehead?"


And then it went on a rampage.


Result: The apocalypse is no longer the illegible stick-figure cartoon Dubya liked to scribble on the bathtub wall while high on whippets and too many Ding-Dongs. Armageddon has taken on new shape and identity, ripped off its Disney costume to reveal a much darker and more sinister persona: global economic collapse, violent climate change, oceans in crisis, food shortages and water shortages and ice caps melting so quickly scientists are hauling life rafts to the research centers. Doom is now stripped down, battle scarred, global and mean.


Accordingly, many people are looking around in increasing panic, wondering, "Now? Is it now? Should I just chuck it all and unplug the iMac and quit updating my damnable Facebook status and move off the grid, somewhere with plenty of fresh water and lots of paranoia and free guns and no one will dare mess with my potato crops, what with all the barbed wire and trained attack dogs -- like, say northern Idaho or Canada or Afghanistan?"

Verily, every urban dweller I know has at least had the conversation, with varying degrees of seriousness. Given the massive layoffs and surging unemployment rates, what with all those fundamental, root-chakra domains -- food, water, shelter -- now kneeling before the gods of chaos, the general consensus seems to be that it might just be an ideal time to take the burned-out husk of your 401K and get the hell out before the water riots begin.


But really, how do you know? After all, it's just terribly easy to get lost in the maelstrom, to have little or no idea exactly how bad it really is out there in Bedlamville, simply because the various sources that are supposed to tell us just how awful it is -- that is, this very major media -- are themselves undergoing such a massive upheaval that it's all they (that is, we) can do to stay upright and spell their own names correctly in the obituaries, much less accurately report on Japan's breakdown or just how terrifying Eastern Europe is right now and what, exactly, that might mean for the price of your 50-pound bag of Mexican avocados from Costco.

It's easy to give in and let The Fear swallow you whole. After all, if the bitchy president of the EU says President Obama's wildly audacious master plan is a "road to hell," who are you to argue? If the experts say places like LA and Nevada are about to run out of water and start feeding on their young, what can you possibly do about it? If the punditry points out just how silly it is to be focusing on kittenish issues like the AIG scandal while "the tiger sinks its teeth into the world's neck," well, who are you not to take heed?

Here is your big picture, as wonderful and terrifying as ever: countless are the gleaming, once-thriving empires in world history, from Rome to Easter Island to innumerable Chinese dynasties to Circuit City, who've all managed to snuff themselves out via some untenable combination of greed and power and resource abuse and not giving a damn about consequences. There are few exceptions. But there are a thousand cautionary tales.


Which raises the biggest question of all, perhaps never to be truly answered until it's too late: Are we really on the cusp? Are we truly teetering on the edge of the Void? If we chant, "The sky is falling," frequently enough, isn't it bound to come true, eventually?

To which I say, why stop at paranoia? Why not reach a bit further, thicker, more sticky and radical, and really go for the gold ring of delicious evolutionary bliss?


Because it's certainly possible that even the masterfully calm and assured President Obama might be too late to stem the global hemorrhaging, and will instead serve as the steady, reassuring voice that guides us back not to stability and perspective and electric cars for all, but rather into the boats of light that will carry us to a new psychic dimension in about, say, three (2012) years (2012) from (2012) now.


What, too outlandish? Too ridiculous? Are you sure? Meet me at my secret cabin in the woods, and let's talk about it. Bring wine.


Thoughts about this column? E-mail Mark.

Mark Morford

Mark Morford's Notes & Errata column appears every Wednesday and Friday on SFGate.com. To get on the e-mail list for this column, please click here and remove one article of clothing. To get on Mark's personal (i.e.; non-Chronicle) mailing list (appearances, books, readings, blogs, yoga and more), please click here and remove two more.

by on Apr. 19, 2009 at 2:53 AM
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Replies (1-10):
blondekosmic15
by on Apr. 19, 2009 at 4:20 AM

hsteele....I believe I will surrender my judgment to the Holy Scriptures & the God I sincerely trust my life to as opposed to some left leaning opinonated San Francisco Journalist! Thank you for the humor...it's been an enlightenment!

Mark Morford

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Mark Morford is a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. His deeply satiric liberal commentary column is called Notes & Errata and is published every Wednesday and Friday in both the print edition, and on the Chronicle's website, SFGate.com. His writing is sometimes controversial and almost always non-journalistic in style, attitude and tone. His topics vary widely, from sex and deviance to popular culture, technology, music and politics, often featuring some of the most direct, pointed and, arguably, one-sided anti-conservative language found in any major newspaper in the country.

In 2001 he was suspended for his comments on a sexual relationship between a teenage male student and an older female teacher. In 2003 he was suspended again, this time without acknowledgement from management, for violating Chronicle guidelines by including a curse word in his email newsletter, The Morning Fix (see below), without express permission.[1]

Besides his column, he has in the past created, written and edited a hit "underground" newsletter for SFGate.com, The Morning Fix, which featured raw, barely edited, "mini" riffs on news and current events, along with reader feedback email, "Word of the Day," "Mullet Haiku" and other elements that might now be considered very blog-like. This newsletter was once daily, but when more-stringent review policies were enforced by corporate management, the newsletter shifted to being published no more than three times per week and is no longer published at all, and to its former fans, has now achieved a cult-like status. A simple Notes & Errata publication notification mailing list stands in its place.

Morford has twice won first place in the online segment of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists' annual contest.[2][3][4]

Since 2000, along with his writing career, Morford has taught Vinyasa yoga classes in San Francisco, most recently at the Yoga Tree network of schools.[5]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Morford

hsteele
by on Apr. 19, 2009 at 4:57 AM

Wow, it was supposed to be a thought provoking article. I guess I should have expected you would find some kind of fault in it though.

Heather
Proud Pagan Mama


"...now you're in the minority. Its supposed to taste
like a $h&t taco."
~John Stewart~
Check out my Group especially for Pagan Families
http://www.cafemom.com/group/paganfamilies
athenax3
by on Apr. 19, 2009 at 8:53 AM


Quoting hsteele:

Wow, it was supposed to be a thought provoking article. I guess I should have expected you would find some kind of fault in it though.


It doesn't fit with her gloom and doom, and there's not scripture quoting in it, so far out of her potential to grasp.

I thought it was thought provoking and humorous, and very much in the vein of how many often feel lately-

And he's right doomsdayers have been around FOREVER & EVER, the end of the world is ALWAYS just around the corner and "they're going to survive because they're ready"- lol......it must suck to die one day and realize you wasted your whole life worrying about something that never happened and if it did, you had no damn control over it anyway- seems a huge waste- but I suspect those who live that way relish the drama and fear they can spread more than anything, it's a certain personality type that NEED the attention and tension of eminent disaster to keep them feeling *alive*- a poisonous and useless bunch in general terms.

 


Junebug926
by Bronze Member on Apr. 19, 2009 at 10:04 AM

I've always thought this too. All the people that died right before the change of any century just know the world would end at that time or even those who were in that cult that killed themselves thinking they'd ride on Haley's comment and many more.

As long as you are living your life right, it really shouldn't matter to you when the end will come. You life on earth will be full and right as well as you moving on to heaven or whatever you believe in for the after life.

Quoting athenax3:


Quoting hsteele:

Wow, it was supposed to be a thought provoking article. I guess I should have expected you would find some kind of fault in it though.


It doesn't fit with her gloom and doom, and there's not scripture quoting in it, so far out of her potential to grasp.

I thought it was thought provoking and humorous, and very much in the vein of how many often feel lately-

And he's right doomsdayers have been around FOREVER & EVER, the end of the world is ALWAYS just around the corner and "they're going to survive because they're ready"- lol......it must suck to die one day and realize you wasted your whole life worrying about something that never happened and if it did, you had no damn control over it anyway- seems a huge waste- but I suspect those who live that way relish the drama and fear they can spread more than anything, it's a certain personality type that NEED the attention and tension of eminent disaster to keep them feeling *alive*- a poisonous and useless bunch in general terms.



sweetie00
by on Apr. 19, 2009 at 10:08 AM

lots of paranoia and free guns and no one will dare mess with my potato crops, what with all the barbed wire and trained attack dogs -- like, say northern Idaho or Canada or Afghanistan?"

 

ROTFLMAO-Holy hell, that whole thing was brilliant! Thank you, Heather!!!!

tericared
by on Apr. 19, 2009 at 8:31 PM

I thought it was a great article...

Palestinian People are defending themselves and their Land and their Homes against Israeli war crimes and Israeli war criminals, both military and civilian.

Goodwoman614
by Satan on Apr. 20, 2009 at 12:43 AM

Lol, remember the Y2K panic?  Ppl selling their homes, stocking up on canned goods and moving to the wilds of Alaska? 




                                                                                                       

ddbz
by Silver Member on Apr. 20, 2009 at 1:15 AM


Quoting hsteele:

Wow, it was supposed to be a thought provoking article. I guess I should have expected you would find some kind of fault in it though.

Screw the provocation of any thought around here.
The blogger looks like an Adonis to me. Do you think he's gay?

hsteele
by on Apr. 20, 2009 at 2:00 AM

To throw out a pretty stereotyping comment....it is San Francisco so...maybe...lol. He is awfully pretty though isn't he.

Quoting ddbz:


Quoting hsteele:

Wow, it was supposed to be a thought provoking article. I guess I should have expected you would find some kind of fault in it though.

Screw the provocation of any thought around here.
The blogger looks like an Adonis to me. Do you think he's gay?


Heather
Proud Pagan Mama


"...now you're in the minority. Its supposed to taste
like a $h&t taco."
~John Stewart~
Check out my Group especially for Pagan Families
http://www.cafemom.com/group/paganfamilies
hsteele
by on Apr. 20, 2009 at 2:02 AM

While he pokes fun a little bit, he is saying that the end of the world might not be a joke pointing out the human factor that could bring it about rather than the religious factor. I found it by accident on a completely unrelated website, thought it was funny. Glad some enjoy it. lol

Heather
Proud Pagan Mama


"...now you're in the minority. Its supposed to taste
like a $h&t taco."
~John Stewart~
Check out my Group especially for Pagan Families
http://www.cafemom.com/group/paganfamilies
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