The Ultimate Practitioner

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Published on Pray for Calamity on February 27, 2017

Discuss this article at the Kitchen Sink inside the Diner

The road to my land is one lane. It is gravel coated and there are no street lights, so in the late evening when I am driving home from a day in town, I cruise slowly, casually avoiding the potholes that have opened up with this winter’s heavy rains. In the darkness the world before me is a vignette painted by the dull yellow glow of my headlights. Beyond the borders of this halo stands of trees surround me on either side until I come to pass a neighbor’s house. Though it is not illuminated, I know that her lawn is to my right and her pond is to my left, but before me is just the thin gray road of crumbled limestone, and standing in the center of it, is a raven.

I slow down to a crawl, giving the bird time to move. He hops a bit, not off of the road to either side, but merely a few paces away from my Jeep. Creeping forward a few feet more, the raven repeats this, hopping on one leg but not leaving the road. He is hurt, I guess, and I momentarily wonder if I shouldn’t get out and try to pick him up, to help him in some way, before I realize that I would have no idea how to do so in any meaningful capacity.

We repeat our dance, me lurching forward a few feet in my car, the raven bounding back. He has plenty of space to leave the road if he would just hop into the grass on one side or the other. He has options. But he only moves forward in his path, and in mine.

Why doesn’t he just get out of the way?

As one day of abnormally warm February weather turned into two, then into a week, then into several weeks, I found myself outside more and more. On a Sunday we mucked our chicken and duck coops. Midweek I was repairing a fence line and laying wood chips on the paths in our garden. Today I spread grass seed in our orchard and planted flowers and bulbs with my daughter. We are not wearing jackets. I sweat in a T-shirt as frogs croak down by the pond and songbirds sing in the branches all around us. Walking by a raspberry cane I looked down and noticed the green buds that are sprouting up its entire length.

Of course, weather has variance. Growing up outside of Chicago I remember that we would have an odd winter day here and there where the temperature would spike into the fifties or sixties. Snow would vanish before our eyes and all of the neighborhood kids would be out on their bicycles and playing basketball in their driveways. When two days later the temperature had plummeted to a seasonally rational twenty degrees, we would despair the fact that winter had months left with which to pummel us with gray skies, ice, and the boredom of being trapped in our houses.

I acknowledge that such variance is normal. Walking around my land, absorbing the signals of spring six weeks before their time, I know that this is not normal. These are signs of change. Where the change takes us, how it will unfold over the coming seasons, and years, and decades, I cannot know. So I take notes with silent eyes, filing away the date of the first daffodil flowers and fruit blossoms. I hope to adapt, and I hope that enough of our fellow Earthlings across the taxonomic kingdoms can do the same.

Paul Kingsnorth asks us, “What if it is not a war?” in his recent essay on the Dark Mountain blog, where he explores how social movements and our general response to the predicaments of our age adopt war metaphors and terminology. Kingsnorth writes:

“War metaphors and enemy narratives are the first thing we turn to when we identify a problem, because they eliminate complexity and nuance, they allow us to be heroes in our own story, and they frame our personal aggression and anger in noble terms. The alternative is much harder: to accept our own complicity.”

 Kingsnorth’s exploration is well worth the read and offers many good points for consideration. He culminates with the idea that perhaps, as poet Gary Snyder suggests, we are not in a war but a trial, a perhaps five-thousand year journey towards living well with ourselves and the planet. Such thought experiments can be helpful, as our language clearly shapes our perceptions and then guides our behavior. To be sure, consciously crafting our worldview allows for controlled and meaningful responses to the circumstances of our age. Kingsnorth proposes a worthwhile exercise when he invites us to think of the personal qualities that we would need to possess for an extended trial as opposed to a war.

But what if there is a war, and it is not one of our choosing? What if civilization itself is a war against the living planet, and no amount of ignoring it will make it stop? What if we were born into a war and it was so normalized by our culture, so entirely sewn into the fabric of our being that we could hardly see it, and when we did, everyone around us justified it and made it righteous?

Agriculture is destroying topsoil. The skin of the planet, home to a nearly unfathomable quantity of life, is being rendered sterile, sometimes toxic, before it is finally tilled into oblivion to blow away on the wind or drift off downstream. This is how civilization feeds itself a diet of an increasingly lower nutritive value. Forests, prairies, and wetlands are razed to continue this onslaught, species are wiped out, aquifers are drained, fossil fuels burned in massive quantities, and endocrine disrupting poisons are carelessly distributed into the ecosystem.

If I went to someone’s home and engaged in all of the above activities on their land, how would they describe it? If I abandon the language of assault, I am left with little else to lean on. There is killing upon killing upon killing. Nowhere in this activity that is central to civilization can we find a relationship that isn’t one-sided domination. It is not an eagerness to slander that which I do not agree with that drives me to describe civilization and its process as an assault on life, but rather a complete lack of any other accurate language with which to speak on it. If civilization is not at war with life, is it at peace with life? Is there a truce between civilized man and the forests, oceans, and waterways? When we look around do we see the wild on the rebound? Do we see civilized man reducing the amount of destruction he metes upon the ecology of the world? Is the general course of civilized decision making to prioritize the ecological system over the economic system? Of course not.

Zyklon B was invented as a pesticide. The Haber-Bosch process was developed to supply nitrogen for munitions. If it is not war that civilization is waging, then what is it? And if civilization is at war with the living planet, then why does it make sense to pretend that it isn’t?

“It makes no difference what men think of war, said the Judge. War endures. As well ask men what they think of a stone. War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner. That is the way it was and will be. That way and not some other way.”

– Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West

Kingsnorth says that we love war, though many of us pretend not to. Maybe he is right. For the westerner, it is so easy to avoid the overt wars of our culture, because they are fought far away by paid grunts, and their victims are demonized. We are happy that the media obliges the lies we tell ourselves by not running an endless stream of images showing the dead civilians in third world nations around the globe. Even better, they make it so easy for us to not see the less obvious war, to not know just how much killing and slave-making civilization engages in every day to keep the oil, and the food, and the consumer products flowing into the stores (and the trash flowing away from the neighborhoods.) Again, most people just call this “business” or “capitalism,” and they see in it nothing but the mundane transactions of commerce, but when it all can trace back to one group of people pointing guns, and tanks, and warplanes at another, are we not lying to ourselves if we say it is not war? What if it all traces back to dead primates, dead rivers, dead oceans, dead people?

Maybe we should embrace war, instead of hiding from it. Perhaps if we stop pretending that there is no war, we could finally fight back in some meaningful way. Honestly, the fact that it is so difficult to know just how we could go about such a daunting task is likely why we never speak of it. To fight back against civilization is to risk the livelihoods of everyone we know, and everyone we don’t. There is not one cabal of people who if brought before tribunal or lined up against a wall and shot would unmake the machinations and complex systems, hundreds if not thousands of years in the making, that comprise the belts and pistons of civilization. If we were to try to stop this system from destroying our planet and our future by rising up against it, we would first have to have some inkling as to how that could be accomplished, and all the while we would know that the odds of success were infinitesimally small. Also, we would be risking everything we have while simultaneously inviting the scorn of almost all of humanity upon ourselves.

Put in such a way, I can see why most people work so hard to unsee the war that is civilization.

Ultimately, Kingsnorth is right about the fact that the language of war is a tool for the destruction of nuance, of gray tones, and uncertainty.   This is a conundrum that has existed throughout human history, as people of good heart and conscience always question the righteousness of their motives and actions, a process that often slows their reaction and mutes their response to forces of nihilism and destruction. Albert Camus laments as much in his essays, “Letters to a German Friend,” when he writes about the confused French response to Nazi invasion. Alternatively, civilization is not in possession of a conscience, the systems that are its make up having been so atomized and bureaucratized, splintered into an untold number of moving parts that no one actor can be held accountable for the actions of the whole. This is the great and dark promise of civilization; it will provide a bounty of material access while diluting and thus absolving every recipient of their guilt.

The good and decent bind themselves and blunt their effectiveness with questions of conscience, while those bent on conquest and power never do. Resistance fails to get its shoes on while civilization fells another forest, removes another mountain top, extirpates another species.

It is not my aim here to reduce the complexity and nuance of our situation into a simplified binary. In fact, if anything I would suggest that our times call for an almost contradictory way of thinking, embracing that in any given context we are both complicit in and victim to the war that civilization makes upon our planet. At different times and in different places we must make both peace and war. Humbly, I offer that when we sit in thought about how we are to respond to the great challenge of our time, that we try not to be only one thing, neither solely a warrior nor a monk, but at various times we are each. Language of war falls short of describing the healing that we must engage in as individuals and communities, whereas language of trial and endurance falls short of describing the fight that we are called to make upon the systems, infrastructure, and yes, individuals whose daily work threatens to drastically shorten the time we may have available to trial and endure.

The heart of Kingsnorth’s point seems to be that when we convince ourselves that we are at war, we break our world into allies and enemies, demanding conformity of the former and diminishing the humanity of the latter.  Throughout history such reductionism has often had tragic results.  If the war of civilization against the living world has us each playing enemy and ally at different times and in different contexts, we would be wise to caution ourselves against lining up behind eager executioners. However, we would be foolish to continually forgive and appease the people who use their social, political, and economic power to not only blind the public to the horrors of civilization, but to actively increase the breadth and scale of those horrors.

Language of war can, if we allow it, claim nuance as its first casualty. So can the language of peace, or trial, as it were.   But let us ask ourselves, to whom do we do service when we refuse to speak of war? Are we doing service to our children and their chance of survival? Are we doing service to the ecosystems under threat of eradication? Or are we doing service to the bulldozer, the pipeline, the feedlot, the open-pit mine?

Accepting that civilization is a war and using the language of war to understand the gravity of its processes does not necessarily mean that we must assume a conventional posture of warfare in order to stand in opposition or to react in a meaningful way. This is to say, not all fights are won with open combat alone. To be always at war with the world is exhausting, especially when defeat looms. I understand the fear of losing everything, before we lose everything.  The first challenge to overcome is to understand the existential nature of this war, that it is not necessarily individuals or groups who we must oppose, but the space between us, the relations and duties and notions and systems to which we all find ourselves often unwillingly subservient.

If we honestly want to observe and honor the complexity of this time and our circumstances, maybe it is not one side of the road or the other to which we must hop to avoid being run over.  Maybe the clarity we seek will never come as the strands of all of our relations stretch and snap, context ever fluxing, all of us reacting, reacting, wounded and hobbled in the dark.

17 Responses to The Ultimate Practitioner

  • Pintada says:

    tdos (who I have read over at xraymike's place and highly respect) said, "If we were to try to stop this system from destroying our planet and our future by rising up against it, we would first have to have some inkling as to how that could be accomplished, and all the while we would know that the odds of success were infinitesimally small. Also, we would be risking everything we have while simultaneously inviting the scorn of almost all of humanity upon ourselves. …  civilization is not in possession of a conscience, the systems that are its make up having been so atomized and bureaucratized, splintered into an untold number of moving parts that no one actor can be held accountable for the actions of the whole. This is the great and dark promise of civilization; it will provide a bounty of material access while diluting and thus absolving every recipient of their guilt. … The first challenge to overcome is to understand the existential nature of this war, that it is not necessarily individuals or groups who we must oppose, but the space between us, the relations and duties and notions and systems to which we all find ourselves often unwillingly subservient."

    I caught a piece this morning (  here,   https://www.opednews.com/articles/America-last-The-case-for-by-Anis-Shivani-Fascism_Fascism-Cant-Happen-Here-170228-3.html   ), and comparing it to the one by tdos I get the feeling that the two are the same in a very fundamental sense.  We can either participate in the war against the natural world that has been waged for centuries, or we can stop participating.  We can either be part of the fascist government of the US, or we can simply stop participating.

    To protest or otherwise fight against the war on the environment causes one to expend resourses toward that end, thus making the protestor the cause of the need for protest (Did anyone walk to Standing Rock?).  To protest against the existing fascism while extolling the benifits of the neoliberal system that brought fascism to our doorstep is equally stupid.

    So, yes RE, I end up poking you because – guess what – Guy McPherson has been saying the same thing for years now. We should tune in, turn on, and drop out – because to do anything else simply makes the predicament worse.  If one wants to call that nihilism, or defeatism, that is reasonable perhaps (I've been accused of worse.).

    Its seems to me that the person advocating that I or you "do something" to stop the war on the natural world or join in and try to defeat fascism must provide a practical and effective strategy for doing so.  If you think that there are solutions that you can "fight for" – lets hear 'em – you have a very difficut task.

    There is only one way to have a clear conscience, and that one way is to stop participating and let things run their course – i hope that i can lead a life of excellence at the same time.  

    I have some excellent dope.  Is that a good start??

    • RE says:

      For years now, what Dr. Extinction has been saying is everybody’s gonna die, and soon!  We should all give up hope, because it’s delusional.  We should live lives of “excellence”, but what is excellent if you will be dead in 9 years?  We should believe him, because he’s an ex-Professor at a 2nd rate university who quit his job and regrets doing so.

      Somehow, this message does not resonate with me.

      RE

      • Pintada says:

        Dear RE;

        You say, "Somehow, this message does not resonate with me."

        I read a bunch of people and I have yet to find anyone with whom I agree completely about everything.  We've discussed Dr. McPherson before and so you know that the 2026 extinction number is too close for me too.  BUT …

        Nine years is a long time into the future for a 60 year old.  For a 70 or 80 year old, given what is coming, its an eternity.  If I die tomorrow (or seconds after this post is finished) will I know that the rest of humanity is still going on?  (Not being a christian, the answer for me is no.)  If I am the last person to die, how would I know that?  (The last person to die will probably think that there MUST be people somewhere.)  Either way, I will be dead.  Accept it.  Move beyond it.

        And if I can move past the fear of death, the worry about death, and the delusion that I have more than 9 years to live, what have I gained?  Peace and freedom.  I'll take it.   And I will do my best to be the best person that I can be. I know that my dog thinks that I am already excellent … perhaps that is enough.

         

         

        All My Love,

        Pintada

        • RE says:

          Oh good grief.

          You have been reading my material long enough that you should be aware by now that I have no problem with the concept of death or of extinction.  Both are inevitabilities.  The issue is one of TIMELINES, and GMs is ridiculously short.  He also doesn’t support building doomsteads or doing anything to TRY to extend out your time walking the earth.  It’s all HOPELESS, you see.  BUT, live a life of EXCELLENCE! Exellence at precisely what?  Playing chess?  I should spend the last years of my life becoming a better chess player than I already am?

          GM is a depressed, nihilistic misanthrope. His underlying message is one of complete hopelessness.  It resonates with other depressed and suicidal people, and that’s why he needs a message on the sidebar on NBL for people who are suicidal to call a help number.

          BTW, the older you get, the faster time goes by, not the slower.  10 years for me now goes by in the blink of an eye.  When I was 10 years old even 10 months seemed like forever.  I’ll be dead before you know it, regardless of whether there is extinction of Homo Sap or not.  For me though, I’m a Panentheist so I do believe I will see it all from the Other Side.

          RE

  • TDoS says:

    Your math doesnt quite line up.  If doing something, even expending resources to do so, results in the system ultimately using less, then it is worth it.  EG, if you burn one hundred gallons of gasoline while blockading a pipeline, but win, and then end up preventing the flow of hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil per day, or even possibly increase the cost of dirty oil by enough per barrel that future projects are scaled back, the hundred (or even hundred thousand) gallons of gasoline you burn to accomplish this can still result in a net win.

    • JJGrey says:

      EXACTLY so TDoS – spending a little of our limited natural resources now, in a manner that will allow us to spend even less in the future is the way to go. Super insulate that tiny house, and heat it with solar, both of which come from expensive industrial processes up front, but over the life span of the usability of that house it is a probable net gain for the enviroment. Same with setting up to organicly garden, even if it is in a greenhouse for climate reasons, as long as the net is a savings of what would be spent over the usable lifespan it should be thought of as a net positive (less food flown in from continents away and better nutrition for the end consumers.).

      We are too late for all of civilization to be able to make such a conversion on a global scale without massive suffering, but on a smaller local scale such changes can pay off over the long term with only minor local discomfort. Solar PV and electric conservation on every house in a small town may make that small town a net energy producer for the greater grid. Every yard growing at least a few local vegetables/fruits organicly will improve the health of the town and reduce the need for the town to import less nutrtious fruits and veggies from thousands of miles away. Turning the towns raw sewage into compost and fertilizer for the plants grown as animal feed, etc, etc. So much can be accomplished on a small scale to turn individuals and small communities into net positives for the long term enviromental situation. Unfortunately the larger governmental and economic institutions do their best to prevent just these sort of developments in numerous ways.   

    • Pintada says:

      Dear TDoS;

      Thanks for responding.  I got clarification from both you and RE today – an honor gentlemen.

      Math in a vacuum may add up, but just because the math is right does not mean that you have seen and understood the entire picture.

      Fighting or protesting the DAPL (or whatever) is useless unless you have determined how you with defeat the fascists/neocon/neoliberal threat.  After all, it is the fact that the US NEEDS that oil to continue growing that makes the construction inevitable.  So – "If doing something, even expending resources to do so, results in the system ultimately using less, then it is worth it." – True.  It is the giant "If" part that makes any sort of activism counter productive.

      The problem is that the protester does nothing but provide a target for propaganda.  He is busily making himself feal better while on Breitbart (and others) he is being used to consolidate the base for Trumps agenda.  Imagine that the DAPL protestors won.  When the price of gasoline at the pump goes up – regardless of the actual reason for the raise, the propaganda will read, "DAPL protesters made it impossible for decent hard working Americans to get to work!"    Inevitably, he has created a net win for the fascists.

      Sincerely,

      Pintada

      • Ken Barrows says:

        I think your statement demonstrates that, to take effective action, one has to have a faith in humans in general and a faith to change minds.  I don't think you have it and neither do I.

      • Pintada says:

        "to take effective action, one has to have a faith in humans in general and a faith to change minds"

        To take effective action, there has to be a miracle.  Either humans need to stop being human, or something non-human needs to take charge.

        To take action, one needs to keep from reaching Kubler-Ross acceptance.  The pathetic creature must either be purposefully delusional, or must consign himself to a permanent state of anger or, bargaining, or both.  A constant state of denial would be plesant for the person, but would prevent any action.  A constant state of depression would also prevent action.

        I feel most sorry for RobertScribbler (Fanney).  He really believes that if he lets his guard down, the brilliant campaign that he and some friends are waging will somehow come to naught, and conversely that if he can just keep putting out those (excellent) posts all will be well.  The bizarre thing about him is that he knows what is happening.  That's bargaining and anger folks and he must be a horrible person to be around.

      • TDoS says:

        I disagree.  The dominant culture does not need resistance to make claims, right or wrong.  If it has no real enemies, it will invent them.  And if resistance were totally ineffectual, they would not bother with the police state actions and the propaganda.  They would just ignore it.

        Further, if you refuse to participate in resistance because you think that will only make the powers that be angrier/meaner/more repressive, then you actually are engaging in the repression yourself, both in your own head as you hold yourself back from defending yourself and your community, and more broadly as you convince others to sit on their hands.

        You become so afraid of their gun that you wield it for them.

  • Pintada says:

    Dear TDoS;

    You went there, "You become so afraid of their gun that you wield it for them."  You do not know of what I am afraid (besides dangling participles).  And this, "… refuse to participate in resistance because you think that will only make the powers that be angrier/meaner/more repressive, …".  I fear all right, i fear that you missed the point.    😉

    I wanted to go on with this because I realized that I wasnt clear above, so good, i will try again.

    In the historical fight against the Nazis, for example, the resistance was fighting an ideology that was seperate from their lives and livelyhoods.  In fact, the resistance was from a different country.  The current fascist regeme is just a symptom of neoliberalism taken to its logical conclusion as it was then, but now the fascists rule not only in the US, but in Europe, and probably in Austrailia as well, and the only countries that we have invaded (so far) are those unable to fight back.

    Today, a wannabe insurgent would be in the position of fighting against his own way of life, against his own countrymen.  His goal?  The distruction of his own economy.  

    What do the "River Keepers" want?  Do they really want the price of gasoline to double, or triple?  If there was no fracking, what would the price of gas be?  So, they want the pipeline to be cancelled, but they also want cheap gas.  Ooookkay.

    You say, "And if resistance were totally ineffectual, they would not bother with the police state actions and the propaganda.  They would just ignore it."

    Well that is true.  And that is exactly what I see happening.  The womens march was totally ineffectual, and it was ignored.  There were people that stopped traffic in LA – that got some attention.  The result was police action.  The river keepers were keeping the pipeline from progressing by chaining themselves to equipment and generally getting in the way.  The result was draconian police action.  I think that they can get away with the police actions because they take action only when non-protesters are inconvienienced.  Stop traffic – unacceptible!

    Have you read Ted Kazinski's manifesto recently?  Poor Ted gets all the respect anyone would if they work to end their own civilization, which is exactly what you are advocating.  DGR and our buddy Derrick have a plan and they get as much respect as Ted.  I would be right there with them if I could think of some one thing to blow up that would really make a difference.   (I assume that I would only get one chance.)

    Impeach Trump!  What do you get?  Pence.  Roll back the clock and everyone votes for HRC – who enacts the exact same policies as Pence would.  And why?  Because the existing neoliberal/fascist civilization must continue or billions will die.  The fact is that it can't continue regardless, but any rational neoliberal will work to keep it going as long as possible.

    We are facing a predicament not a problem.  There are no solutions that one can protest for, therefore, there is no point in protesting.

     

    Time to reach acceptence,

    Pintada

     

    • TDoS says:

      When I said "you" it was the editorial you, not you specifically.  

      The NoDAPL campaigners dont give a shit about gas prices.  You suggest they want cheap gas and no pipeline and that this is a contradiction.  I disagree.  They care about the water more.  They made a choice and acted on their preference.  Further, your attempt to paint them as some type of hypocrites relies on the idea that said pipeline will actually have an effect in gasoline prices, which it likely will not.

      The rest of your comment revolves around the idea that there are no effective targets for protest.  In response, I suggest that protest is only one tool in a resistance toolbox, and its not even the tool that shoud be used the most frequently.  There is a whole range of tactics and an assortment of short and long term goals and strategies than can be pursued. 

      My BJJ coach is fond of saying, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time."  Each individual who would resist the project of civilization does not have to sit with oen and paper and figure out a way that they on their own can bring down the entire machine.  One person could theoretically spike a bunch of trees in the night, and save their local forest from logging.  Another person could buy up fifty acres of land in their locality and creat a permanent reserve out of it.  People can buy up wolf tags in states where there are wolf hunts, and then not fill them.  People can file lawsuits against infrstructure companies to delay them.  A lone individual, if they were so inclined, could find creative ways to sabotage various forms of equipment.  

      People can find the one thing they can do to save one piece of land in their locality and prevent it from being converted to civilizations use.  And all the while more and more people can be made to understand the ramifications of civilized existence, so more and more people become less and less willing to participate in it to the fullest extreme.  Meanwhile, it can sputter and collapse as we know it will due to running out of energy to maintain itself.

      it doesnt have to be waving signs and yelling at buildings.

      • RE says:

        A better tactic on the Pipeline would be to just have bought a bunch of used cars and rammed them into the pipeline at various points along with way it had already been completed.  Make them keep fixing it.

        RE

  • Pintada says:

    Sorry guys, I had a response … actually, I developed several overnight.  The problem is, that those arguements simply dont matter.

    Sure TDoS, you can do all sorts of things but it doesnt change the simple fact that in a world 8 to 12 degrees warmer than the current one the wolves (for example) that you save today will be gone tomorrow.  The operative word being "gone".  Meanwhile most of the stuff that you have mentioned is a great way to spend the last few years of your life in jail – away from your family where you belong.

    "Meanwhile, it can sputter and collapse as we know it will due to running out of energy to maintain itself."  Exactly, the plan that makes the most sence is to accept that this is the end, and that anything that you do will make no difference at all.  Spend your remaining time with your family, and be the most loving, attentive dad anyone has ever seen.  Anything else is a waste of time and resources.

    I'm gonna go try to be an excellent husband now.

     

     

     

    Thanks for your time,

    Pintada

  • Anti Troll says:

    Just gotta weigh in here, Pintada's support of McSerpent's gobbledegook is simply too offensive and laden with crap to ignore. Pintada at least admitted the "climate extinction by 2026" meme was too soon a timeline for him to believe, so perhaps he is not an extremely retarded fool in the fashion of EmptyPempty or Daniel Reich.

    The frustrating thing here is that an otherwise seemingly intelligent person fails to see the obvious self contradictory nature of the prolific platitudes spouted from the McSerpent mouth at different times. Throwaway lines spouted mainly for effect, with little or no value except to impress an audience. The only consistent theme from McSerpent is to give up hope and do nothing, while he pretends to be some kind of sage prophet who should be put on a pedestal, which people like Pintada are stupid enough to do. Get real: your emperor has no clothes.

    Example: McSerpent tells people to "Give up Hopium" and in his next breath he says "Resistance is Fertile" – so even though he says there is no hope, McSerpent mouths support for resistance efforts against the fossil fuel corporations / establishment. He made a show of aligning himself with deep green resistance and Derrick Jensen previously (perhaps in the hope that credit for their courageous personal sacrifices may rub off on him) but at the same time McSerpent has NEVER done ANYTHING to put himself at risk for a higher cause. McSerpent merely liked to associate with people of courage in the hope others may mistake him for a person of courage.

    Pintada insists that before any resistance takes place, other people owe him a detailed outline of effective strategy by which the entire system can be reformed and all our planetary problems solved. That is FUCKING BULLSHIT. We all know the long term planetary problems are unfixable, but just because I may die at the age of 80 does not mean I should allow a fascist fracker to punch me in the face at the age of 40. Those frackers and DAPL pose an immediate threat to the First Nations people and their environment and the plants and animals they are the historic custodians of. Resistance is therefore not only morally right but is imperative.

    Pintada: "The problem is that the protester does nothing but provide a target for propaganda. He is busily making himself feal better while on Breitbart (and others) he is being used to consolidate the base for Trumps agenda. Imagine that the DAPL protestors won. When the price of gasoline at the pump goes up – regardless of the actual reason for the raise, the propaganda will read, "DAPL protesters made it impossible for decent hard working Americans to get to work!" Inevitably, he has created a net win for the fascists."

    This is an argument from the point of view of Pintada's personal cringing cowardice and completely misses the fact that the Tribes and their allies are fighting the good fight DESPITE any adverse consequences they may face, be it attack dogs, arrest or bad publicity. This is what makes them courageous. It also misses the fact that a big part of this struggle is a propaganda fight and the Tribes are taking every opportunity to tell their story, done with the internet and social media, and resonates more truthfully with ordinary people who are now totally disillusioned with the fake news from the mainstream media.

    Pintada: "I feel most sorry for RobertScribbler (Fanney). He really believes that if he lets his guard down, the brilliant campaign that he and some friends are waging will somehow come to naught, and conversely that if he can just keep putting out those (excellent) posts all will be well. The bizarre thing about him is that he knows what is happening. That's bargaining and anger folks and he must be a horrible person to be around."

    Well fuck you Pintada, you are most certainly a horrible person to be around. On the one hand you feign pseudorespect ("brilliant campaign", "excellent posts") but your overall tone is one of superior sneering pitying condescension against someone who has spent a lot of time and effort summarizing important information for the public. Most of us here greatly appreciate the work by RobertScribbler. Pintada, why don't you tell us of any useful things you have done in your life for the wider public or do you just criticize your betters while you yourself are a useless lump?

    Bottom line: McSerpent is an over-the-hill self promoting blowhard who has tried to puff himself up while doing nothing of value for society. He has criticized others who have demonstrated courageous resistance against a morally bankrupt system (Bill McKibben, James Hansen etc) but at other times McSerpent loved to hobnob with anti-establishment activists so he himself may appear to be a person of courage even though he has never put himself at risk.

    Pintada, you are also clearly an over-the-hill old fart with no intention of doing anything courageous to stand up for what is morally right, but choose to follow McSerpent's example to criticize people who are better than you, while you yourself are a useless lump. We know you are too old and/or lazy to change your fossil fueled easy life, you want to ride along with this system for as long as possible and you may well choose suicide when the going gets tough, and there is nothing wrong with that. But just be honest about it, rather than sneering at people who are far more courageous than you and adopting second hand flawed arguments from a sanctimonious hypocritical two faced false prophet.

  • Anti Troll says:

    From: Peak Oil Review Feb 27, 2017 – Resilience.htm: Dakota pipeline: Billionaire Kelcy Warren, who faced months of protests over the Dakota Access oil pipeline, said his company—Energy Transfer Partners LP—followed every law and still fell into a “mess.” Warren “underestimated the power of social media” during the standoff with environmental and Native American-rights activists."

    To the heroes of Standing Rock: congratulations and well done! The fight against the rapacious environmental vandals is never over, but you must savor every small victory! You represent the last few remnants of what it means to be decent human beings.

    To Pintada: Up yours, you craven prick!

    PS: LTO from shale oil is virtually useless as a fuel, with fuckall energy density and is mainly used as feedstock for other purposes or diluent for that other foul blight: tar sands oil

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