Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Up Side of the Apocolypse

It's 2011, going fast on 2012, and the now-inescapable meme of End-Of-The-World (as we know it) is upon us all. Every other movie, too many books to count, computer games. Rise of Zombies, or of vampires, or vampires that fight zombies; asteroids that shatter the Earth, unstoppable infections of one kind or another. It's all about death and destruction and wiping humans from the face of the earth.

Not that we don't deserve it. It's just tiresome that we invoke it so slavishly and even longingly.

There is an up side to all the Apocoplyse-think. I think that more than anything else, it's a manifestation of humanty's weariness with our own poor showing. Our limitations. I think we collectively wish we could be a better species, more compassionate, more balanced, friendlier to ourselves and the planet: in short, more humane.

So maybe instead of using words like "end of the world" or even "apocalypse" or "Armageddon", what we're visualizing, for we're certainly visualizing something, some fix for our malaise, is a transition or transformation. I like to think of it as a spontaneous rise in global intelligence, the result of which is our ability, as a species, to understand the ways we're undermining ourselves, and initiate effective, practical changes to give ourselves a future. Not easy stuff, this, and I think even thinking about it, much less talking about it openly, requires considerable courage. But if there's any group of humans capable of displaying courage, it is the group we call BURNERS.

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