Saturday, March 26, 2011
THE AGE OF OIL
It seems like my mind stays on about one subject over the last few days, the end of the Age of Oil and the transition to living without oil, which will probably take as long as it did to get this far into the Age of Oil. Oil is not forever. It is a limited resource. Oil has been beneficial in having something to do with the collective raising of human consciousness. It has taken us from a horseback army to fighter jet army, to space exploration, to electric razors, to everything electric. It takes coal and natural gas to make electricity. In hydroelectric dams, oil lubricates the machines. No more plastic. No more cars, even electric, as each tire is 7 gallons of oil. Lubrication? The age of the machine that came up with oil will fade as oil fades. The age of gadgets will go away as oil goes away.
In the 50s when machines and gadgets were getting going, "Better living electrically," it also meant better living with oil. Westinghouse washer and dryer. Kelvinator. Convenience the key word. The convenience of garbage disposals, shove it down the drain, flip the switch and into the sewer it goes. Never wash a dish again. Can openers. In the midst of it all, the voice of Ronald Reagan, Death Valley Days. There came a time when conveniences were taken care of. From then on, it became a matter of manufacturing gadgets and a cultural fascination with gadgets that is really odd when you pay attention to it, created entirely by advertising. Baseball is not our national pass-time. Shopping is. Again, made by advertising. Therein is the dumbing down of America, submitting to mind manipulation techniques all the time, told over and over it's right to want things you can't afford.
The cult of the New in this time of rapidly evolving hi-tech gadgets insists that the latest is necessary for a host of convincing reasons thought up by very well paid advertising gurus versed in manipulating the human mind. All before, obsolete, dinosaurs. Government has learned from business, and by now our government is corporate business using what has been learned from advertising for mind control by propaganda. As oil goes away and electricity goes away, government using the trickery of business on us will go away too. It will have to find a new kind of trickery. Economy is based in oil too. As oil goes, economy goes. As economy goes, big problems arise. Civil unrest. Crime. Political turmoil. Military called on to kill its own people, a la Libya. It will be a frightful time. Like up to recently has been living on more is best, and will next do the reverse of that, more is less.
I don't like to follow my thinking into what it might be like. It will be different from place to place, and like now, everyone will be in his/her own life dealing with what's most pressingly important. It means what the Bible calls the Harvest is coming up. As oil and everything else is priced out of range of all but the rich, there will likely be an ongoing die-off for a lot of decades. It looks like this "economic downturn" is the direction of the future. That is, economic. We will be gardening more. And we will be learning gardening after a renascence in science that can teach us to grow things without oil based fertilizer, and actually be able to live from what we grow more effeciently than ever. In that way, it could create among the people who gather into groups or communities, everyone working toward the good of all, which includes oneself, better physical health, better mental health, better emotional health.
That's idealistic seeming, but after this time of nearly everyone on some kind of relaxation drug, people frantic with worries, the collective anger that I believe has to do with there being no place for the individual any more, when there's no money to worry over, just enough to get by on, I'm seeing it a highly spiritual time where not having money is the real wealth. Undoubtedly, there will be much attention given to healing the earth from all the sickness and toxicity brought to us by oil. I look at the snowbirds at the bird feeder and reflect on how few birds we have. I've seen the bird population decrease quite a lot in my time in the mountains. Tom Pruitt told me there was a multitude of birds in the old days, big swarming flocks of them like clouds in the sky. Farmers everywhere grew oats and other grains. The birds had a feast and no doubt multiplied like crazy. Now they're being killed off by pesticides, oil based.
Much healing will be needed. The end of manufacturing, the end of a way of life we've evolved over the last 150 years, will be a shock. We'll learn how to deal with it. Again, I think it will be a highly spiritual time, not a fundamentalist time--now is fundamentalist time, the peak of the age of oil. This time of prosperity we're in has little place for the spirit. Art appears to me to be the place the spirit dwelled in the time when the spirit took not just back seat, but the trunk. A spiritual awakening for all humanity is forecast in the near future. We'll go back to horses and donkeys and wells, growing our own food, no more agri-business of one crop growing in straight lines to the horizon in all directions. Frankenfood I've heard it called. We'll hear roosters crow again. When the archaeologists of the future go through the mountains of trash that are our city's landfills, they will have a grand time recreating the Age of Oil in their minds. It will be read about as we read about the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, taught in universities, the story of every civilization, rise and fall.