Sobering thoughts – i just wanted a break, but 2009 begs me not

I wanted, initially, to be in a slightly lighter mood for the Christmas period, not because I am massively festive, but I do need more enjoyment, and Xmas demands this or the exact opposite, but Ive been having some very bleak thoughts, not about me but about our species, and they arrive when they want to, I cannot leave them in a box and forget about them for a week or so. I beg the readers of this blog (probably mostly people who are my friends in reality) not to switch off from what I am writing here, it’s not just another ‘worried day’, these thoughts are grounded in evidence – if I can at least get my friends to be aware of humanity’s situation in the 21st century, I feel that Ive least helped a bit (oh why do some of you seem to be happy under Capitalism??).

Stopping this destructive machine

The industrial machine and its multi national corporations – although created by human beings – behave in a very inhumane way; in fact they behave like a force above that of human reason – it becomes an almost cold, reptilian-like, parasite upon our planet that is creating a future Armageddon, and we humans seem powerless to stop this.
Governments and even Corporate representatives must see the coming doom that the industrial machine is causing, but they seem to suffer a mental paralysis when questioning anything that, although could save humanity, would stand in the way of industrial progress,’business as usual’ (it looks like the people will not get anything they need from the Copenhagen deal).
But what is progress if it ultimately leads to the complete demolition of all that it had constructed?. like a child who adds too many bricks, vertically, to his long slaved-over Lego construction, and ends up loosing all his hard work; when do we finally realise this system can take us no further? when do we say ‘Capitalism has got us to this advanced level of living, but it cannot take us any further without destroying all of this; we need a new system now we have arrived at this place!’.
Human needs have become second to the needs of the industrial machine, and with no moral guidance of its own, it is due to wipe most humans off this planet, Great efforts, by each of us, need to be taken to put all possible obstacles in the way of the ‘progress’ of Capitalism.

A new world, a new approach to information

There is so much that one is expected to learn about the world he/she lives in. This knowledge, the quest for more information – residing in the form of books (fiction and non-fiction) films, documentaries and actual real life – has become a competitiveness that inevitably falls into the wrong hands; the market, which views the thirst for knowledge as merely another commodity and so the power of knowledge starts to change into a competition to know more than ones’ piers.
Perhaps a Sea Change in the values place of knowledge is needed; a value based around one thing that all humans should know, and only that would truly matter: the importance of the survival of our species and the avoidance of collective/individual human suffering at all costs.
As long as each of us knew this, we could be assured that we know that vital bit of knowing, and this knowing could be what humanity stands for in a century which is almost certainly destined to be hit by climate change. No longer would the thirst for knowledge be competitive; it could be a thirst to understand more so one could be a better citizen in a future world, once again, centered around compassion rather than competition.
As for myself, I hope my inner motives are true and I’m writing this for a better world, because it is essentially climate change and disillusion with the consumer society which got me in this frame of mind. Whilst one is gathering knowledge in a consumer society, perhaps it is not possible for me to search for ‘understanding’ in a completely non-competitive manner, but it is a different world to this one which I sought after, and I essentially want to help that transition take place – it is certain we can’t live in this type of world for much longer.

On the train to Meadowhall shopping Centre

I am coming to terms, now, with a near certainty that my beliefs and rantings are only going to get more extreme and endemic. Without initially focusing on the reason as to why I am so; I have to explain what this depression I have is like, and why the only way to burst out of it seems to be through my ever more extreme political mindfulness,which I suppose one could describe as ‘Green Marxism’ – I personally don’t have a name for it.
But first I’ll start with my depression, because it is creeping up on me more and more as I am getting older, as my hopes for a safe world to live in crumble away. I’m only 25, but whilst in these increasingly common cycles of depression, I cannot comprehend living past my 20’s because the feelings I am getting are becoming very destructive and I actually find my hands turning towards my self with the compulsion to hurt my body. This state of mind cannot continue because it’ll will lead to self destruction.
My only helping hand out of this seems to be a more increasingly pounding aggression to the Industrial capitalist system I live under, in which we are reared to constantly consume; I blame it for the destruction of our planet, the destruction of an healthy society and – so far so true -the destruction of my own life – and I want justice.
WHY do I blame it?: My compulsive behavioral patterns which led to my eating disorder which have caused at least half the problems I have suffered in the early adult years, are disorders which are quite unique to human beings living in an industrialised consumer society. Secondly, I blame it for the destruction of the planet we need to live on: OK, consumer capitalism probably didn’t intend for this to happen, but now it is apparent that it won’t stop its voracious mechanics of, indirectly, forcing people to consume – something the planet can no longer afford us. The worry and dread over the realisation that nothing is being done to save us is probably also partly responsible my for mental state – the feeling of an holistic hell where everything is crushing one’s mind at once and there’s nothing one can do but attempt to pulp his brain.
I’d say that this leaves only a small percentage of the blame for my mental state with my genetic make up – I beg to differ with people who argue that I’d have been the same whatever. (I also blame consumerism, for the fact that I have no hobbies, no rest-bite from my ‘doomsday’ thoughts, so no way – but through my growing extreme political mindfulness – out of all this).
These factors have made my beliefs what they are, i.e views possibly seen by others as a Green/Marxism. However, my mental state – I believe – isnt that worse than most other peoples, I think we are all becoming ill in this world, and we need a cure.
My ever-more extreme political mind, I have acquired, seems to be my only escape, however, each time I fall into a depression spell they too seem be getting more severe in their outlook – I’m really scared that self destruction is inevitable, when All I’m wanting is a cure to this hell I see around me.

Right now my mind feels like it is filled with razor blades as I head off to – the only shopping place open at this time of day – Meadowhall, to buy clothes for a present my mother wants me to have for Christmas. Not to say that I don’t want some new clothes now and again – one cannot help but want to look as smart as at least some of the other monkeys in the consumer jungle, but I know there’ll be a point/a year when Christmas won’t come for us here in the west (well, the current ‘bloated’ version of Christmas) and maybe it’s best to adapt to that world sooner rather than later, but I am most certainly not doing this whilst I’m buying stuff from Meadowhall; a Consumer Palace.

I know Ive just switched my blog from my own physical destruction to preparing for a future Christmas without consumer goods, but my mind is flitting, because of the omnipresence of these concerns about our future.


…IN MEADOWHALL

My first thoughts whilst walking through this Consumer Palace and looking at the shoppers, especially the younger people, were this: At a time – especially now, during the Copenhagen summit – when people NEED to be more aware and more concerned about global issues, and a time when we need a more collective approach to society, people seem to be more dis-interested, more self absorbed and therefore even more reluctant to alter their life-style they have – it’s deeply upsetting to see, especially when one remembers that it will be this generation who will be running to country in years to come (in whatever state it is in then).
The majority of youth – say early teens to early 20’s – appear to be more self absorbed and materialist than even the ‘yuppies’ of the 1980’s were!; these new youth are complete Thatcherite children – raised with an horizon that encourages nothing but self-interest.
People who were young in the 1990’s must surely notice how much more manicured, styled and fashion-driven the youth of the 00’s have been; in a decade where we have been told more than ever that we are consuming too much for what our planet can afford us, market driven forces have been herding us off in the completely opposite direction. We have been herded into Consumer Palaces, like Meadowhall, where the clothes we are collectivley draping ourselves in, are making us look increasingly more like pompous kings and queens of past times – and it seems like their aura’s of self importance have been passed down too.
When I try clothes on these days I feel like I am part of one giant eugenics experiment; clothes are so tight and long, it is as if Topman was solely catering for the kind of supreme Aryan race which the Nazis so desired. I sometimes believe that my physical shape is being fashioned out of existence. However, it does seem that even body-shape has itself become a commodity – especially in places such as Meadowhall – so one can fit a certain music/fashion style which they so wish for; tall skinny Indie guys, big stocky trendies and the tight clothed, perfectly toned, seemingly endless troops of young woman who parade around, well, just above everywhere these days.

The thing is, all this wouldn’t be as awful if it wasn’t for all the negative social and CATASTROPHIC environmental costs that seem to have to run parallel to such a ‘complete Consumer society.
Inside such a pristine ‘hall of plenty’ how could one ever contemplate a future world of scarcity, crumbling buildings and hostility? but the more I see aisles of endless products on shelves, the more I find my brain projecting such images these days. Perhaps it is essential for me to visit Meadowhall from time to time for such a reality check: we are a long long way from sorting out this mess we have found ourselves in the 21st century, because people are being reared to care about nothing but their own immediate satisfaction.

About John Ledger

A visual Artist, eternal meanderer and obsessive self-reflector by nature, who can’t help but try to interpret everything from within the tide of society. His works predominantly take the form of large scale ballpoint pen landscape drawings and map-making as social/psychological note-making. They are slowly-accumulating responses to crises inflicted upon the self in the perplexing, fearful, empty, and often personality-erasing human world.

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