I’m old enough now to have seen several cycles of large scale outrage, where a big group of people who were comfortable and well-adjusted were thrown out of work or similarly hurt, many got upset – and suddenly became, by their own definition, political.

To me – the question of what qualifies as a political idea is simple – are we thinking about what’s best for everyone, including people who disagree – or are we rationalizing to suit our own ideas, passions and preferences? Only the first mode qualifies – the other is called lying – to self, at minimum.

This is why I work so hard on things like kindness, acknowledgment of fine individual contributions to our lives (artistic, architectural, historical and even sentimental) and wisdom of the sort that helps us brace for the chaos, and bend instead of break.

But let’s be clear – all of that is conclusion stuff – psychological more than philosophical more than intellectual more than political (that is, effective more than heartfelt more than rigorous more than angry). ;o)

Before I got to this spot, which offends some of my more newly radicalized friends for being too calm, considering the circumstances, I burned my way through most of the forms of fury going (and invented a few new ones, too).

The sad fact is that I have understood that we were, as a culture specifically, and species more generally, committing mass-suicide for many decades – and I am simply not gifted with the ability to ignore it.

Am I mad about it? Very very. Is my anger a useful contribution? Maybe sometimes, if it is very carefully framed in the right sort of way to bring others along and then lead them to something more helpful, and less dangerous to their souls to wield.

I wrote this (originally much longer) song back in the early nineties – so the lyric about a billion more was originally before 2000 (great meter lost), and then, by the time I recorded this lush version (in the early uh-ohs), i had to update to “Before Fifteen” to clock yet another billion past the planet’s carrying capacity (understood to be under a billion, since the 1970s).

I cut the opening horrifying economics stuff (worse now, in any case) and left only the dire climax – but then also, my resolution past fury – nothing even remotely pollyanna about it – rather asking the “where does it get us?” question completely seriously – for the serious times in which we live.

I do apologize to my chums with sensitive ears – there is a bit of damnation sort of language in it – but absolutely no F-ing around, I promise. ;o)

Sol III Will

(Go full-screen, it’s hosted at 720p)

And since I had a tilt at the existentialists recently, this is also my second-best answer to Camus’ least satisfying contribution – that we must after all “Imagine Sisyphus happy.” (That happiness is just an illusion of belief)

Screw that – you make Sisyphus happy by being his friend, dummy!

It takes great strength and humour now just to work up the nerve to look, and more still to care and to keep on caring.

“Begin a corps of open-hearted” remains the most practical, cheering, revolutionarily effective and simply life-enhancing answer I’ve yet found.

If anyone has discovered means of still greater use – do please share!

I am always curious about what you are thinking

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