The Fisher King

The mercy of the world is you don’t know what’s going to happen.

Wendell Berry

We watched the BBC series on Greta Thunberg over the last couple of weeks. She was travelling the world – mainly during the pre-Covid era (remember that?) to further her activism and to meet with scientists, academics and what I like to call “thinkers” who are trying to offer perspectives and possible solutions to the ecological crisis. They all meant well and seemed sincere, but time and again the attempts to use modern technology to feebly address the very problems caused by modern technology brought to mind a Herbert Marcuse quote:

The strange myth according to which the unhealing wound can only be healed by the weapon that afflicted the wound has not yet been validated in history.

It became increasingly obvious during the series that there really is no fully cognizant appreciation of the true scale of the problem. No-one wants to dismantle the massive all-consuming machine, and yet it’s that very machine which will ultimately make the way we live now impossible, once the world is on fire. Heavy, I know, but true, so why not finish this with another quote, this time from George Carlin, who was less of a comedian than a philosopher with punch lines:

The planet is fine. The people are fucked.

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