Tuesday, February 9, 2016

We Are All of Us in the Gutter

Which would you choose, given the opportunity: A tank of gas (grade of your choice) at a buck a gallon or world peace? Don't snicker, I might not be kidding (actually I am)-there may be more of a relationship of one to the other than we realize. 

Do you recall less than a decade ago when ethanol fuel mandate was going to set us free and break the shackles chaining us to gas pumps from Middle Eastern sheiks and Venezuelan gauchos (no one ever talks about the Norwegian oil platforms in the North Sea. I've trying to imagine Sven and Uwe in a group photo with Faisal and Chavez)? 

I was thinking about that fairy tale a couple of weeks ago watching the election news coverage of all the fearless GOP candidates in Iowa kiss the ring of Pope Ethanol as no one wins in Iowa who doesn't take the pledge to uphold E-85 fuels. Look it up.

It's now another cautionary tale of 'be careful what you wish for' and we, here in the Land of the Round Doorknobs are relatively well off (in terms of gross numbers and percentages of the population with enough to eat). We complain a lot about food prices, but where we shop the grocers' shelves remain stocked. 

Isn't it amazing how all of us, everywhere, fit together in a process people like me rarely think about and of which we understand even less? When you look at the history and evolution of us as a species on the planet and think of all the stuff (events/incidents/what have you) that had to happen JUST SO, for us to be where we are and who we are, it can take your breath away. 

During the (European) Age of Enlightenmentdeism postulated God (I'm going with the capital "G", in deference to those who believe. If (S)/He exists, why annoy Her/Him by NOT capitalizing Her/His name. I'm crazy, not stupid) exists as a great clockmaker who created everything in the cosmos and who stands watching all the events that unfold within it.

Basically, it wedded some of the tenets of theism to the notion of personal free will. Helped us explain ourselves to ourselves.

None of that gets you a tank of gas or a loaf of bread except, in terms of what you choose to do in and with the world we have, and how those actions impact on those whose lives go on Within You and Without You

Assuming every moment is both unique and singular and that the same is true for actions and reactions, it stands to reason once you make a choice to follow a certain course or use a particular tool you cannot simultaneously use those same items and devices for something else. 

With apologies to SNL's Shimmer, it's either a dessert topping or a floor polish, not both. So if we make gasoline from the grain we've been milling into food, what do we eat and which fork do we use to eat it with? (yeah, we could ask Marie about the cake fork, but she's still crabby about how all that worked out) 

Living in a country that launches five new weight loss diets every day I still have trouble intellectually grasping the number of people in this world who don't get enough to eat and never have the luxury to ponder a question like food or fuel Struggling to survive tends to dull the notions of civility. 

How long do you suppose it will be before one or the other of us runs out of patience and takes what can no longer be shared? If you think the world is a dangerous place now, wait until half of us are cold while the other half are hungry--and ALL of us are angry and many have weaponry on a scale inconceivable to simple minds such as mine, underpinned by the willingness to use it. 

Such is life on a cold, dark and hungry planet and that reality draws closer every day. "Look Round the room/Life is unkind/We fall but we keep gettin' up/Over and over and over and over."

From your lips to God's ear, Chrissie.
-bill kenny

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