The deeper we entangle the challenges of the 21st century with apocalyptic fantasy, the more likely we are to paralyze ourselves with inaction -- or with the wrong course of action. We react to the idea of the apocalypse -- rather than to the underlying issues activating the apocalyptic storyline to begin with -- by either denying its reality ("global warming isn't real") or by despairing at its inevitability ("why bother recycling when the whole world is burning up?"). We react to apocalyptic threats by either partying (assuaging our apocalyptic anxiety through increased consumerism, reasoning that if it all may be gone tomorrow, we might as well enjoy it today), praying (in hopes that divine intervention or mere time will allow us to avoid confronting the challenges before us), or preparing (packing "bugout" packs for a quick escape or stocking up on gold, guns, and canned food, as though the transformative moment we anticipate will be but a brief interlude, a bad winter storm that might trap us indoors for a few days or weeks but that will eventually melt away).
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
A Call to Inaction
Some perspective from Mathew Barrett: