“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Cynical Reason Is Gonna Hate Me for This, But...

Hardly is the ink dry on these things when people feel this compulsive need, amplified by twitter speed, to have an opinion--a negative one.

This is what the climate deal at COP21 in Paris is gonna do. Will it solve everything? Will buying all my electricity from wind next year (which is now happening) gonna solve everything?

I feel like Obama and other spokespeople for the much more together (this time) USA got it right when they talked about working with time. As you'll see from the infographic, and as you know from thinking about hyperobjects, time is deeply involved in thinking about and acting on climate issues.

No sooner had the thing opened, and Obama given a pretty awesome speech, all things considered, than Naomi Klein had opined that “Of course, he doesn't really mean it.”

The trouble with this rhetoric is that it involves a law of diminishing returns. How many times can you say something sucks before people just switch off? And how many inventive ways can you come up with to barf your disgust in public?

And now pretty much everyone--except Mr. Dark Ecology, maybe--is that ironic?--is lining up to say something nasty about a deal that includes, shock horror, compromises that avoid the US Senate killing the whole thing, on behalf of all lifeforms and all nations on Earth, next week.

I still really, really like what Fredric Jameson's stance towards 9/11, just one week later: “It hasn't happened yet.” You have to have some guts to play with time to that extent.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well said a shows a meta understanding of possibility and policy as engaging temporal expectation.

We are with Obama on this. We are with Obama on healthcare as infrastructure. We are not with Obama on free trade. The "give it time" embodied affirmance/denial thing is a tacit admission of policy failure in present tense clock-economic-political time (a tridimensional concept of time?) which is essentially Jamesonian-Bergsonian time. It does not mean "it will work as policy in the future" what is does mean is "I dump this imperative upon the future construct of time and humans because those that exist now prefer their time and all that means frozen". we are subjects asked to become frozen objects on and wait in queue at the concession stand. Want sprinkles on top, or 'jimmies' as they say at Harvard?

I think there is a prognostication of this, or not this but sure looks as if it were this, in one of the books of Milton's Paradise Lost. A wormhole by any other name smells so sweet.

Brilliant arts pieces on this Blog lately.