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America Is Already There

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by PureX, Sep 28, 2020.

  1. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    I Lived Through Collapse.
    America Is Already There.

    How life goes on, surrounded by death - by Indi Samarajiva

    I lived through the end of a civil war. Do you know what it was like for me? Quite normal. I went to work, I went out, I dated. This is what Americans don’t understand. They’re waiting to get personally punched in the face while ash falls from the sky. That’s not how it happens.

    This is how it happens. Precisely what you’re feeling now. The numbing litany of bad news. The ever rising outrages. People suffering, dying, and protesting all around you, while you think about dinner.

    If you’re trying to carry on while people around you die, your society is not collapsing. It’s already fallen down.

    What Life Was Like For Me

    I was looking through some old photos for this article and the mix is shocking to me now. Almost offensive. There’s a burnt body in front of my office. Then I’m playing Scrabble with friends. There’s bomb smoke rising in front of the mall. Then I’m at a concert. There’s a long line for gas. Then I’m at a nightclub. This is all within two weeks.

    Today I’m like, ‘did we live like this?’ But we did. I mean, I did. Was I a rich Colombo ****boi while poorer people died? Well, yes. I wrote about it, but who cares.

    The real question is, who are you? I mean, you’re reading this. You have the leisure to ponder American collapse like it’s even a question. The people really experiencing it already know.

    So I’m telling you, as someone who’s been there, in similar shoes to yours; this is it. America has already collapsed. What you’re feeling is exactly how it feels. It’s Saturday and you’re thinking about food while the world is on fire. This is normal. This is life during collapse. Just read what it says on the tin:

    LIFE! Now with 20% MORE DEATH!

    Collapse does not mean you’re personally dying right now. It means y’all are dying right now. Death is sometimes close, sometimes far away, but always there. Usually for someone else, but someday, randomly, for you. I used to judge those herds of gazelle when the lion just eats one of them alive and everyone keeps going but, no, humans are just like that. That’s the real meaning of herd immunity. We’re fundamentally immune to giving a ****.

    It honestly becomes mundane (for the privileged). As Colombo kids we used to go out, worry about money, fall in love — it all went on. We’d pop the trunk for a bomb check. Turn off our lights for the air raids. I’m not saying that we were untouched. My friend’s dad was killed, just gone with a land mine. RIP Uncle Nihal. I know people who were beaten, arrested, went into exile. But that’s not what my photostream looks like. It was mostly food and parties and normal stuff for a dumb 20-something.

    If you’re waiting for a moment where you’re like ‘this is it’, I’m telling you, it never comes. Nobody comes on TV and says ‘things are officially bad’. There’s no launch party for decay. It’s just a pileup of outrages and atrocities in between friendships and weddings and perhaps an unusual amount of alcohol.

    Perhaps you’re waiting for some moment when the adrenaline kicks in and you’re fighting the virus or fascism all the time, but it’s not like that. Life is not a movie, and if it was, you’re certainly not the star. You’re just an extra. If something good or bad happens to you it’ll be random and no one will care. If you’re unlucky you’re a statistic. If you’re lucky, no one notices you at all.

    Collapse is just a series of ordinary days in between extraordinary bull****, most of it happening to someone else. That’s all it is.

    One Ordinary Day
    One day, I was at work when someone left a bomb at the bag check at NOLIMIT. It exploded, killing 17 people who were out shopping. I experienced this as the phone lines getting clogged for an hour. My wife experienced it as, well, a bomb, it was 500m from her house. 17 families experienced it as the end. And their grief goes on.

    As you can see, this is not a uniform experience of chaos. For some people it destroys their bodies, others their hearts, but for most people it’s just a low level hum at the back of their minds.

    What’s that buzzing sound you hear now?

    Today I assume you went to work. Bad news was everywhere, clogging up your social media, your conversations. Maybe it struck close to you. I’m sorry. Somewhere in your country, a thousand people died. I’m sorry for each of them. A thousand families are grieving tonight. A thousand more join them every day. The pain doesn’t go away, it just becomes a furniture of bones, in a thousand thousand homes.

    As a nation you don’t seem to mourn your dead, but their families do. Their communities do. Jesus, also, weeps. But for most people it’s just another day. You’ve run out of coffee. There’s a funny meme. This can’t be collapse, because nothing’s collapsing for me.

    But that’s exactly how collapse feels. This is how I felt. This is how millions of people have felt, including many immigrants in your midst. We’re trying to tell you as loud as we can. You can get out of it, but you have to understand where you are to even turn around. This, I fear, is one (of many) things Americans do not understand. You tell yourself American collapse is impossible. Meanwhile, look around.

    In the last three months America has lost more people than Sri Lanka lost in 30 years of civil war. If this isn’t collapse, then the word has no meaning. You probably still think of Sri Lanka as a ****hole, though the war ended over a decade ago and we’re (relatively) fine. Then what does that make you?

    America has fallen. You need to look up, at the people you’re used to looking down on. We’re trying to tell you something. I have lived through collapse and you’re already there. Until you understand this, you only have further to fall.
     
    #1 PureX, Sep 28, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2020
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  2. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    So much doom & gloom.
    I favor cultivating more positive attitudes to lift us from this mess.
     
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  3. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    A very good point.
     
  4. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Rival's Wife

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    I don't think there is any getting better until America hits rock bottom. On a level on par with Fuedalism in Europe hitting rock bottom after a massive shift in labor force due to a plague ravaged population.
     
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  5. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    One thing sending us to "rock bottom" is all the negativity,
    hostility, anger, & obsession with imagining how bad things
    are & will get. It's an unstable feedback loop.
     
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  6. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    And yet you'll vote for Trump, again. And you'll continue to ignore the death and suffering and injustice all around you because it's that "negative doom and gloom" stuff, and you don't want any of that!

    Did you even read the essay?
     
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  7. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    Goodness....you do presume too much.
    Read my signature.
    Dang, man....you're so hostile.
    Life is good....it just takes more effort to realize that in 2020.
    Yes.
    Why do you think I criticized it?
     
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  8. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Rival's Wife

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    More own real experience with a strong indication is how income here works. Many rideshare drivers could have a professional white collar job, but we don't get paid enough for the levels of stress and responsibility that come with the position. So we drive people around instead because it pays way more and provides significantly less stress.
    And because now I'm drawing out a plan to to turn playing a game into a full time income. Because the less you actually contribute here the more you make. Actors, athletes, musicians, fashion designers, these are the rank and file rich people. Followed by those who are rich because they come from wealth and made more because they already had a lot.
    Teachers get little. Social workers get little. Farmers get little. Construction workers get little. Those feeding us make the less.
     
  9. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Rival's Wife

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    He's already widely stated his voting position. And it's not for Trump.
    And you've missed where he hasn't ignored the suffering and death. But rather does try to do his part to try and educate deniers and anti-maskers.
    You are definitely barking up the wrong tree.
     
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  10. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    That is a very interesting view about compensation.
    Most actors, athletes, & musicians make far less than
    construction workers.
     
  11. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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  12. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Rival's Wife

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    True. But yet they also make up a significant chunk of rich people. Like NFL and NBA stars. They aren't very productive overall, they contribute little to society, and yet their gains are far greater than most others (and far greater than what they would get in other countries).
     
  13. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    The few who actually become wealthy do contribute.
    They entertain.
    You hate artists & entertainers!
     
  14. MNoBody

    MNoBody Well-Known Member

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    which is why it is called the school of hard knocks, since it kicks the living merde out of anyone fool enough to fall into that gutter.
     
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  15. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    They have skills the majority don't. Those that make a lot of money. I'm about average with the teacher and social worker pay. Yes, it is more stressful mainly because we work for other people IMO. Folks telling you how you got to go about your job.

    Someone has to be willing to pay these folks, I'd supposed the more skilled you are at a job, the more you can ask for. So they get paid more for their skills and don't have to work as hard to make as much. They still can work hard, make even more but they don't need to, to make a living wage. Low skills, you have to work harder. Average skills you get higher compensation for your work. Exceptional skills, well you get paid for those.

    If only we all had exceptional skills we could all live exceptional lives.
     
  16. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    Not to mention they don't prevent anyone else from becoming wealthy.
     
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  17. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Most of them make almost nothing, or nothing at all. We don't like seeing people getting paid for doing something they WANT to do. That's not proper exploitation! ... ah, I mean, ... it's just not "good business". ;)
     
    #17 PureX, Sep 28, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2020
  18. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    If I am mischaracterizing him, I apologize. But he hides his objections to the insanity quite well, I think.
     
  19. MNoBody

    MNoBody Well-Known Member

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    even exceptional skills do not get "rewarded" like that very often [personal observations]...
    great idealism, but in reality it doesn't really work that way.

    but sometimes it does as you point out, however who is like that....most are born 'normal' and struggle from there...most never put the obsessive efforts required to bust that curve
    [peer humiliation perhaps keeping people down to the lowest common denominator]

    allegedly the pinnacle of evolution and still not that impressive as a species...... planet full of pigling blands too scared to stand out, conformity brings security hmmmm
     
  20. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Keep in mind that poverty is not so much a lack of money as it is a lack hope and opportunity. There are people all over the world who are living very comfortable and happy lives with far less money than most others have. The difference is that they have what they need, and have access to what they want in life. They feel secure and empowered.

    While a great many others in this world who have more money live in constant fear and frustration, because they do not feel secure or empowered. Ultimately, wealth and poverty are not about the money. They are about those things the money represent to us: security, opportunity, and autonomy.
     
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