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Apocalypse now?

Have you read The Road? — Cormac McCarthy’s unblinking view of a not-so-brave, post-apocalyptic United States? If you haven’t read it … or couldn’t read it (for reasons you’d know if you even tried to read it) … you can always see the film of the same name. Or maybe you’ve heard of The Book of Eli with Denzel Washington?

Even documentaries like Food Inc., are like big neon flashing posters of what our world is coming to and who’s going to come out on top and who’s going to be down in the gutter along with the pig entrails and chicken beaks … if we don’t change our ways about how we seed, grow, feed, and consume the stuff that keeps us alive.

And, have you seen those television shows — the ones like Jericho or even, to a lesser extent, Flash Forward and Lost, and even The Good Wife (with its entire raison d’etre based around the initial story of a political figure going down for the count because he was caught nearly in flagrante with a hooker … um, and the “good wife” who, so far, at least, is standing by her man) … doesn’t the world seem awfully pessimistic about the future of our collective, and individual, humanity?

And then, last night, trying to catch up on my New Yorkers (yes, woefully behind), I read “Diary of An Interesting Year” by Helen Simpson — a nearly apocalyptic view of a world after some kind of major environmental meltdown has occurred. Short, simple, stark. Silencing. That’s my review.

And on top of all that, a little kitty. A black and white, mostly white, cat, has taken up residence in a bond of trees that somehow quite generously grew a perfectly lovely little nook at its heart — just perfect for a stray cat to take up residence in — away from pouring rain and off the unusually cold Florida ground. In my back yard.

This little kitty — someone’s cast-off perhaps. A left-behind from yet another mortgage defaulted/evicted Sarasotan perhaps? Or perhaps just another example of someone’s appalling neglect toward an animal they might call their own but which surely they don’t treat as their own? Or maybe, even, in my kindest thoughts, just the offspring of another stray or even a housecat who was simply not spayed or neutered and created more life to live among the trees.

I’m really sad about the little kitty. I have three already. Can’t possibly afford the cost or space to adopt another. A local cat rescue, when called, offered little help if the cat is “feral” — so really, okay, what kind of cat do they help? The “adoptable” ones, I’m told. Ah, isn’t that just the way it goes.

So, how does the cat relate to The Road and the New Yorker short fiction, and the rest of all this? Isn’t it our apathy in living as sustainably as possible, our refusal to take responsibility for fidelity to those humans and animals in our care, our coughing up excuses about money and fame to reason out why we cheat on one another … our preference for “adoptable” over “maybe-not-adoptable-but-still-worthy-of-helping” — isn’t it all leading us down a path to an emotional and psychological, if not, actual or material, wasteland, where lives, and loves, and marriages, and plastic bags and endless styrofoam take-out containers, right along with mewling little feral kitties, are all just disposable and replaceable … until one day they aren’t.

Maybe that’s why so much is being written and produced about that day coming … we know it’s coming — whether only in our hearts or in the world around us as well. We believe it. We believe it’s happening already … the decline of our world — our intellect, our integrity, our economy, our ways and standards of living, the way we treat the animals we eat, as well as the ones we say we domesticate, the oceans and skies and earth — as we know it or maybe, better, as we knew it. We sometimes think we can see and smell and touch the evidence of what’s happening in the odd weather, in the traitorous behavior of our politicians and people we otherwise thought we could trust, in the plowing under of the American farmer by big ag, in the plastic bags we see caught on a tree limb as we drive down the road, or in the television coverage of those mega-dumps floating in the ocean … we might notice all that but we don’t do too much to prevent any of it.

But that doesn’t stop our willingness to be entertained by it.

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Posted on February 23rd, 2010Comments RSS Feed
7 Responses to Apocalypse now?
  1. You might also want to watch the low budget Brit Flik, “Children of Men”.. I think it was on the SyFy channel last night.

    I agree with you on so many of your points. There is a finite amount of resources and a growing need for them. But trying to put humanity in some sort of check on growth is impossible unless you accept similar draconian measures as employed by China. Enlightenment is impossible when even rational people are willing to murder for their religeous beliefs. There will be at some point in time when the bubble will burst and it will be every man for himself and God save the hindmost.

    I could go on with all of the realistic scenarios that we may or may not have to face. And, many are simply too horrible to contemplate. Look at the history of Man and you will see the future. But, for in the meantime, lady get yourself a gun..

    Also, I would like to contribute to the kitty for the kitty to help with cat chow, shots, spay/neuter, and hope.

    Reply
  2. Thanks for writing John. I appreciate your thoughts. I saw Children of Men a year or so ago, I think. Rented it one Saturday night on DVD … not the most uplifting film for a single woman solo on “date night” …;)

    I am mostly a proponent of gun control, but do believe (though I struggle with many aspects of) the right to have a gun in one’s house to protect oneself.

    You are ultra sweet to want to help kitty. Especially wanting to help Kitty (and me, and humanity, all by extension) with “hope” — that last word in your post comment really got me. Thanks. I’m researching solutions for the little kitty who is at this moment nestled in that tree outside. I’m trying to find a no-kill place that might take her.

    Really appreciate you reading, and commenting, John.

    Reply
  3. What have u done with the MC
    who used to write this blog????

    Reply
  4. Ah, grasshopper … some readers, mostly of the male variety, dislike it intensely when i’m not writing about singing bluebirds and cotton-candy skies. what can i say? i’m a contrarian.

    Reply
  5. Nothing wrong with singing blue birds nor cotton candy once in a while,
    But like the complexity of the petals on a single rose,it is obvious to this reader that
    u are much more than a humorous writer.
    That said
    Bring MC back!!!!

    Reply
  6. Many of the assisted living/nursing homes are pet friendly MC.Perhaps one of the residents would like a cat .Just an idea as I have volunteered for many years in this type of setting. You may want to call or if you need help let me know..PS Write whatever you want and if the readers don’t like it they don’t have to read it.Go with your heart and gut!

    Reply
  7. […] — MC Coolidge on why Americans are loving apocalyptic-themed movies and books these days. […]

    Reply

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