Sunday, July 18, 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

We Don't Own It.

So... my brother, I do have one of those, likes to bait me with accusations of extreme liberal bias. So in the first conversation I had with him in years he brings up global warming and environmentalism. Of course he knew I was going to bite on this one given my pat associations with such radical organizations as Greenpeace, The Sierra Club, and the U.S. Navy.

So I pretty much went off. I wish environmentalist would just be honest about the planet. Mass extinctions are a long part of our planets history and will until the Sun expands into our orbit and engulfs our small world. The good news is before that happens everything on the surface is going to be fried.

I want environmentalists to just be straight up and say we want to preserve the ecology so we don’t die prematurely by our own hand. If they were truly earnest in protecting the creatures of the air and land and sea then they would be pushing for a massive effort to migrate humans off of the planet and turning the Earth into a zoo.

So my brother is now accusing me of a conservative bias now. The thing is, yes, we are going to be extinct one day. One day the planet will be gone. So why does any of this matter? Because what matters is the way we live right now. Even on a individualistic level and not something as grandiose as world-saving, the important thing is how we live our lives in the moment. Yes, I loved drinking, smoking, and wanton sex, but in the long run it will pretty much destroy me. I choose to opt for the fading away scenario than the burning out.

Here is something else that I have been thinking about. I read something in passing some where that stuck in my head. I wish I could remember where, but it boiled down to human kind does not own space. So when you get right down to it we don’t own the land or the seas or the skies either. I mean I pay some guy a lot of money every month for my house, and pay taxes on the land it sits on, but I will never truly own my chunk of dirt and neither does he-who-has-me-bent-over-a-barrel.

The land will be here long after I am gone. I am just taking space upon it for the time being.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

My Love Affair with the Old West

My daughter asked me the other day why I have been watching a lot of westerns lately.

I told because they rock! And with that ended the longest conversation I had with her in a month.

I got to thinking about it though, and the easy answer is because there is a dedicated Encore Westerns channel on Comcast.

It’s more than that though.

Before the discovery of Dungeons and Dragons there were westerns. In my day that was as escapist as you could get. I watched these films with the same rapt attention I would later turn to space operas. For me these were the landscapes I wanted to be in.

I grew up on farm and camping beneath the stars was a weekend activity in the summer. I would lay there on my bed roll and cowboy hat dreaming of riding into that frontier. This was all at a time of humanities greatest journeys into the night.

I come from a long line of gunfighters. I have ancestors on both sides of Mason-Dixon, and for the kin out west both Native and European. I couldn’t watch a John Wayne flick without some relative waxing poetic about what my line was doing back then. I miss those days of rich oral histories.

Then I discovered girls, beer and Dungeon and Dragons! Me and my geeky running mates lapsed into our own styles and I was of course the Cowboy. They were the punker, the ninja, the soldier, the princess, and a whole host of other one-named tags. Westerns were shown less and less, wither that or I was watching less and less TV and spending less and less time alone. Well all of those things to be honest.

Now that I am older, with descendents making their own way into the world, I have a little bit of time to fall back into my altered dreamland. I’ve even started writing a novel. It’s a sci-fi western.

You can’t take the cowboy out of me as long as I can still see the stars.