Roadkill

In Centuries and Seconds

rage_against_the_machine_1280x960gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of td0s

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on the Doomstead Diner on December 4, 2015

http://img.thesun.co.uk/aidemitlum/archive/00075/ed_imgSNF2405MRK_75630a.jpg

Discuss this article at the Kichen Sink inside the Diner

She was a yearling.  Not very large, maybe one hundred pounds I would guess, as I was able to easily hoist her body into the back of my Jeep.  Gauging by the blood leaking from her ears and mouth and lack of any other visible wounds, I assumed the car that killed her struck her in the head, possibly breaking her neck.  What I could not gauge was how long she had been lying dead on the side of the highway.  Her eyes were open and not yet eaten by birds, and her anus was also free of any infestation.  I chuckle to myself when I imagine the reaction more domesticated individuals might have if they knew that there are people like myself who assess the edibility of roadkill by the presence of uncorrupted eyes and assholes.  To be fair, I also took stock of the stiffness of her body and the lack of any immediately offensive odors emanating from it.  She was worth taking home for a greater look, anyway.

From a cross beam of the carport I anchored a carabiner, and I fastened another to the yearling’s hind legs so I could create a “z-rig” pulley system, effectively halving her weight so that I could hoist her body into the air and tie of the cordage without help from a second person.  My partner was going to come outside and watch the dressing so she could have a greater understanding of the process, and she bundled up our daughter too, who showed no fear or anxiety concerning the large animal hanging dead before her.  Gently, I explained that the deer had died, and I was going to harvest its meat for us to eat.  Not yet two, she stood looking at the yearling and said, “Deer, off.”

“Yes honey, the deer is off.”
“Deer, on?”
“She can’t be turned back on.  Once something dies, it cannot come back to life.  But her spirit and her flesh return to the Earth.”
“Deer, off.”
“Yes baby.”

The year is closing as we approach the winter solstice.  From the corners we inhabit, we watch the fallout from terrorist attacks in Paris and the downing of a Russian war plan by the Turkish military.  Those who tally the climate statistics are telling us that 2015 is set to be the warmest year on record, globally.  South Africa grapples with drought, the rainforests of the Amazon are burning, and world leaders sent to negotiate climate deals are converging on a Paris conveniently locked down by security forces preventing mass demonstrations under emergency restrictions imposed due to the aforementioned terrorist attacks.  Not that it matters.  Floats and puppets are fun to look at, but only a complete restructuring of society could address the challenge of climate change, and that restructuring begins with erasing existing borders and property lines, canceling existing debts, dismantling industrial infrastructure, and of course, toppling the standing systems of power.  The puppets and street theater capable of such feats, I would love to see.  As I have previously stated (and my blog name continually hints at) I do not believe humans capable of achieving such goals, at least, not without a little help from our friends calamity and chaos.  The gatekeepers are just too well equipped to stave off conscious revolution.  If you want to get into the citadel, you will just have to wait until a tornado throws a bulldozer through the wall, or a plague kills most of the guards.

Until then we watch, we wait, and we endure.  We keep repeating the conventional wisdom of collapse; that which cannot be sustained, will not sustain.  Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it didn’t collapse in a day, either.  The collapse of a civilization is not one event, but the consummation of many events that eventually birth a catastrophe that overwhelms the ability of that civilization’s people to rebuild what has been destroyed, whether material or social.

Fast collapse and slow collapse are really the same thing, looked at from different vantage points.  What is built over centuries can end in seconds.

November 16, 1532.  Francisco Pizarro has one hundred and sixty eight men laying an ambush in the Inca city of Cajamarca.  Atahualpa, the emperor of the Inca empire, arrives for a meeting with the Spanish backed by an unarmed cadre of six thousand.  A friar and barely competent translator tell Atahualpa they are there, in essence, to bring the Inca into the fold of the Catholic church and the Spanish empire, and they offer him a bible as a seal of their truth.  As was to be expected, and likely, the intention of the Spanish, Atahualpa rejects what he is being offered. This rejection of the bible and the truth of the Catholic church gave the Spaniards what they considered to be legal grounds to attack the Inca who had amassed there. A century of empire with its conquest, expansion, and grandeur, could be said, to have ended in the following seconds.

Those seconds, however, were the ripe culmination of years of internal strife concerning who the rightful heir to the imperial throne was, a waning ability of the empire to effectively control far flung principalities, and a plague of smallpox brought to Mesoamerica by Europeans that advanced faster than conquistadors on horseback.  Political turmoil and disease were eating away at the Inca empire, and the Spanish arrived just in time to add the critical pressure necessary to break it. And they had guns.

History, of course, is complex, and the fall of the Inca empire extended beyond the massacre at Cajamarca, as Pizarro played disaffected Inca regions against the center, installed puppet emperors, and fought rebellions.  As the colonization of the Inca proceeded, European diseases continued to decimate the indigenous population as well. The Inca actually learned how to effectively defeat the advantage of firearms, but the viruses ravaging their insides were too much.

Depending on where we stand, we can focus on the centuries or the seconds.

If tomorrow the Dow Jones Industrial plummeted by seventy percentage points or NATO declared war on Russia, we would likely see those seconds as the critical break between the past and the future, the old world and the new.  But of course, years of maneuvering by humans and the consequences of those movements all came together to generate just the specific combination of factors required to outflank the established firewalls civilization has established to protect itself, and to outpace the efforts at rebuilding that are guaranteed in the aftermath of catastrophe.  Resource scarcity primarily in the sphere of fossil fuel energy, the manipulation of capital to the point of diminishing returns by the global ultra-wealthy, the decimation of ecosystems around the world; all have played their part in dressing the set for those critical seconds that seem to hang over us like a sword.

How does an organism die?  If you magnify the death of any given being, presumably you can find one second, one still frame in time that separates living from dying.  When we die of old age in the most quintessential of circumstances – our heads atop a fluffed down pillow as we lie repose in a king-sized bed replete with Egyptian cotton sheets and a mahogany headboard, family and adorers walling in our bedside and wishing us fair travels as we draw a final breath, smile, and say something childishly simple yet agonizingly profound – a critical second passes when our heart ceases to beat, electrical impulses in our brain fade, and we’re gone.  The room exhales. 

But we were dying for so long.  How many years had it been since our body’s ability to repair cellular breakdown was outpaced by the aging process?  We had peaked decades before.  From that point forward, despite every adventure, every new idea, every material acquisition, we were hurtling ever forward toward our imminent demise.  Our vision blurred, so a doctor prescribed us glasses.  Our heart stuttered, so we began taking pills.  Our mobility waned so we got a Hov-R-Round from the Scooter Store thanks to the endless advertisements targeted towards we septuagenarians aired on day time TV. We pressed on.

Our bodies contain countless living beings and units; cells, tissues, and bacteria that all comprise the whole of what we perceive as our self.  A veritable civilization that is born and advances through stages of growth and maturation until the energy necessary to maintain integrity is outpaced by diminishing returns.  We insert techno-fixes of every imaginable stripe to stem the twin tides of time and entropy, buying what time we can until the inevitable enters stage left to take us by the hand and demurley return us to the soil.

Civilizations are no different.  Shaped in centuries, defined in seconds, feeding the fertile soils of time.  Billions of human hands and minds carving, digging, screaming, warring, building, repairing, maintaining until it just isn’t enough and the center can no longer hold.  Hydraulic fracturing, negative interest rates, solar arrays and soyburgers all applied to patch the holes and to bail the bilge water.  Industrial civilization passed its peak decades ago, sometime around the time when women in skirts freely attended University in Kabul and the United States didn’t need to stand guard over Wahhabist Monarchs in the House of Saud in order to keep the game of growth afloat.  Selfie sticks and social media stock options are your glasses and nitroglycerin.  The internet is your Hov-R-Round.  Do not kid yourself into thinking this is a civilization still in the wild throws of maturation and bloom.  The billions of organisms that make this civilization possible are under threat, from phytoplankton to pollinating insects and carbon sequestering trees, all of whom feed the the billions of humans who swing hammers and pour concrete and fit pipes and string lines and who somehow, by some curse of the lottery of birth, drag themselves to the factories and cubicle farms day in and day out, all to keep this storm born Galleon afloat.  Shaped in so many of our precious seconds, defined in the roil of faceless centuries, feeding the fertile soils of time.

The car struck her head, I had guessed.  Her life probably ended quickly in a split second of sound and light.  Without any abrasions on the body, I assumed the meat would be well preserved by the cold evening air.  With only a beam of light to guide my hands under the dark of night, I gently separated her hide from her flesh, using light strokes of my knife to cut away at the membrane that held her skin to her flesh.  Something was wrong.  Her skin had a green tone in places around her ribs.  I cut away more, examining the muscle as I worked.   The green hue, almost an electric blue really, blotted here and there on her leg muscles, like watercolor oceans on an aging map.  Hoping the backstrap was untainted I continued to skin the deer, but it was hopeless.  On her left hind leg a subcutaneous tear in the protective membrane had likely allowed the passage of bacteria.  She must have been spun or thrown by the vehicle in some fashion that impacted her rear leg with a substantial force.

The meat was inedible.  I sighed in the night.  Fog from my mouth drifted upwards as I set my knife down, and lowered her body.  Walking beneath the stars I carried the yearling downhill, briars grabbing at my boots, twigs snapping underfoot.  I thanked her and apologized while burying her under a light blanket of leaves.  Coyotes, buzzards, someone would eat her.  Someone with an enviable array of gut flora.  I plodded and crunched my way home to wash the blood from my hands and wrists. The smell would last for days.

Knarf plays the Doomer Blues

https://image.freepik.com/free-icon/musical-notes-symbols_318-29778.jpg

Support the Diner

Search the Diner

Surveys & Podcasts

NEW SURVEY

Renewable Energy

VISIT AND FOLLOW US ON DINER SOUNDCLOUD

" As a daily reader of all of the doomsday blogs, e.g. the Diner, Nature Bats Last, Zerohedge, Scribbler, etc… I must say that I most look forward to your “off the microphone” rants. Your analysis, insights, and conclusions are always logical, well supported, and clearly articulated – a trifecta not frequently achieved."- Joe D

Archives

Global Diners

View Full Diner Stats

Global Population Stats

Enter a Country Name for full Population & Demographic Statistics

Lake Mead Watch

http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/NA-BX686_LakeMe_G_20130816175615.jpg

loading

Inside the Diner

 http://www.spiegel.de/international/interview-with-anthropologist-richard-wrangham-a-1259252.html

By Michael MaharreyA bill filed in the Oregon House would establish limited state-chartered banks to serve the cannabis industry. Final passage of this legislation would remove a major federal roadblock in front of the developing industry in the stat...

The month of March continues its madness with an unprecedented historical event—the formation of the first-ever world government—unfolding before our eyes.  What is happening is that the P2 Freemason lodge, the people who created monotheism, are makin...

Saudi-based Almarai owns 15,000 acres of an irrigated valley – but what business does a foreign food production company have drawing resources from a US desert?Four hours east of Los Angeles, in a drought-stricken area of a drought-afflicted st...

The Venezuelan Army has deployed S-300 air defense missiles to a key airbase south of Caracas the Capital of Venezuela , the Image Sat International reported on Sun...

Recent Facebook Posts

Shrinking Newspapers and the Costs of Environmental Reporting in Coal Country

Shrinking Newspapers and the Costs of Environmental Reporting in Coal Country

18 minutes ago

A far-right Australian political party was caught on camera trying to secure funding from the NRA

A far-right Australian political party was caught on camera trying to secure funding from the NRA

21 minutes ago

Pentagon authorises $1bn for border wall

US-Mexico border wall: Pentagon authorises $1bn transfer

30 minutes ago

Global Carbon Emissions Hit Record High In 2018: IEA

Global Carbon Emissions Hit Record High In 2018: IEA

34 minutes ago

Recession fears trigger sea of red in Asian stocks; US and Europe are are only slightly lower

Recession fears trigger sea of red in Asian stocks; US and Europe are are only slightly lower

38 minutes ago

Diner Twitter feed

Knarf’s Knewz

Saudi-based Almarai owns 15,000 acres of an irriga [...]

Mount Everest expedition operators are finding inc [...]

You can't copy the video because it is hosted [...]

CAIR has a long history of affiliation with the te [...]

Diner Newz Feeds

  • Surly
  • Agelbert
  • Knarf
  • Golden Oxen
  • Frostbite Falls

Quote from: Surly1 on March 21, 2019, 03:35:00 AMD [...]

Doomstead Diner Daily March 21The Diner Daily is a [...]

Doomstead Diner Daily March 20The Diner Daily is a [...]

Doomstead Diner Daily March 19The Diner Daily is a [...]

I'm a fan of your example if not always a fan [...]

Quote from: UnhingedBecauseLucid on March 18, 2019 [...]

CleanTechnicaSupport CleanTechnica’s work via dona [...]

QuoteThe FACT that the current incredibly STUPID e [...]

Saudi-based Almarai owns 15,000 acres of an irriga [...]

Mount Everest expedition operators are finding inc [...]

You can't copy the video because it is hosted [...]

CAIR has a long history of affiliation with the te [...]

The Syrian National News Agency headlined on Febru [...]

Good to know you're still alive. [...]

My Dear Diner Friends, Have received your messages [...]

Quote from: K-Dog on March 24, 2019, 08:52:39 AMI [...]

I got the video 400 hits on my place.  [...]

Alternate Perspectives

  • Two Ice Floes
  • Jumping Jack Flash
  • From Filmers to Farmers

The Apology: From baby boomers to the handicapped generations. by David Holmgren Re-posted from Holm [...]

Society Is Made Of Narrative. Realizing This Is Awakening From The Matrix. By Caitlin Johnstone Orig [...]

But We Need the Eggs Re-posted from Epsilon Theory   Ben Hunt of Epsilon Theory is one of those rare [...]

About That Liberal Media.... By Cognitive Dissonance   Charts and Info from Business Insider   I dis [...]

Perhaps It’s Time to Believe the Impossible By Cognitive Dissonance     "Alice laughed: "T [...]

Event Update For 2019-03-24http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2019-03-23http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2019-03-22http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2019-03-21http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2019-03-20http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

With fusion energy perpetually 20 years away we now also perpetually have [fill in the blank] years [...]

My mea culpa for having inadvertently neglected FF2F for so long, and an update on the upcoming post [...]

NYC plans to undertake the swindle of the civilisation by suing the companies that have enabled it t [...]

MbS, the personification of the age-old pre-revolutionary scenario in which an expiring regime attem [...]

Daily Doom Photo

man-watching-tv

Sustainability

  • Peak Surfer
  • SUN
  • Transition Voice

Black Hawk's 11 Percent Solution"They built a model whose proof of fitness for purpose is that it sustained not only the two-le [...]

A Home in the Sea"African female elephants dropping tusks may be an epigenetic adaptation similar to Surfers Ear [...]

Zombie-fiIled Death Ships"Each passenger’s carbon footprint while cruising is roughly three times what it would be on la [...]

Cheerleaders for Doom"Exaggerated is in the eye of the beholder." I just finished reading David Wallace-Wells’ [...]

Seizing Defeat"In our moment of ultimate defeat as a species, a spark has been kindled."Hans-Peter Schmi [...]

The folks at Windward have been doing great work at living sustainably for many years now.  Part of [...]

 The Daily SUN☼ Building a Better Tomorrow by Sustaining Universal Needs April 3, 2017 Powering Down [...]

Off the keyboard of Bob Montgomery Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666 Friend us on Facebook Publishe [...]

Visit SUN on Facebook Here [...]

To fight climate change, you need to get the world off of fossil fuels. And to do that, you need to [...]

Americans are good on the "thoughts and prayers" thing. Also not so bad about digging in f [...]

In the echo-sphere of political punditry consensus forms rapidly, gels, and then, in short order…cal [...]

Discussions with figures from Noam Chomsky and Peter Senge to Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama off [...]

Lefty Greenies have some laudable ideas. Why is it then that they don't bother to really build [...]

Top Commentariats

  • Our Finite World
  • Economic Undertow

You are so right Xabier and such a tragedy that a once proud and prosperous nation who offered sanct [...]

BTW Russia is four times larger in land area than USA I discovered the other day. Russia has almost [...]

go and live near Mr McGibbs on his island not much sun but nobody knows where Islay is and at least [...]

Not a bad idea IMO. We are planning to go to South Africa (my wife is South African) first at least, [...]

Peter Hitchens explains it quite logically, large (volume) and hastily done immigration is just by d [...]

Hi Steve. I recently found what I believe is a little gem, and I'm quite confident you'd a [...]

The Federal Reserve is thinking about capping yields? I don't know how long TPTB can keep this [...]

As some one who has spent years trying to figure out what the limits to growth are. let me say that [...]

Peak oil definitely happened for gods sake. Just because it isn't mad max right now is no indic [...]

@Volvo - KMO says he made some life choices he regrets. Not sure what they were. And I don't th [...]

RE Economics

Going Cashless

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Simplifying the Final Countdown

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Bond Market Collapse and the Banning of Cash

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Do Central Bankers Recognize there is NO GROWTH?

Discuss this article @ the ECONOMICS TABLE inside the...

Singularity of the Dollar

Off the Keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Kurrency Kollapse: To Print or Not To Print?

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

SWISSIE CAPITULATION!

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Of Heat Sinks & Debt Sinks: A Thermodynamic View of Money

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Merry Doomy Christmas

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Peak Customers: The Final Liquidation Sale

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Collapse Fiction

Useful Links

Technical Journals

City governments have a large role to play in climate change mitigation and adaptation policies, giv [...]

Growing global food demand and security concerns dictate the need for state-of-the-art food producti [...]

We show that oceanic cycle lengths persist across oceanic cyclic time-series by comparing cycles in [...]

Rising temperature, drought and more-frequent extreme climatic events have been predicted for the ne [...]

Most weather and climate models simulate circulations by numerically approximating a complex system [...]