Re: [-empyre-] what is to be done?

This is the basic question of our time.

What is to be done?

A provocation:

I have pointed out this issue before, on this forum. I have also discussed what I see as the most significant problems facing humanity.

Over the past several years I have been doing a great deal of research into these issues. One of the first things to be shown the door is "Art", and in our present circumstance, this comes as no surprise, as Art is little more than the Intellectual Wing of the Entertainment Industry. It has very little credibility, and people only keep it around because it can be amusing. It has always been a plaything of the wealthier classes, and it continues to be so. The 20th century tried to make it a religion for a secular society, and failed. It was never designed to do that. The impulse toward the "sublime" is simply the latest manifestation of the same historical trend.

The Gallery/Museum Industrial Complex has its own star system and patronage patterns. Artists are urged to mythologise themselves, create a back-story, with all the other accoutrements of post Lucas Public Relations. It's a crummy racket, and everyone in the industry knows it. To borrow and distort from Hunter S Thompson: The Art business is uglier than most things. It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of contemporary culture - a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason.

And, yes, there is a down side. Because as it has decayed over the past several decades, beauty became the property of the bourgeoisie. "Art" became the badge of political balkanisation and the refuge of every third-rate hack imaginable. So, no - there is nowhere for Art to go. It has run its course, and is now in the realm of historical and commodity fetishists.

The only effective art is that which is done without hope.

This does not mean one should give in to hopelessness and despair. No - it is more a reflection of a deeper social and cultural insight. Think of such a state as an awareness of duty - something greater than happiness. Think of it as a maturity of composure, where that which is completely uncertain is allowed to manifest without fear - a dynamic openness to Being in Time. And if your actions conform to localised notions of beauty, all the more useful to extend the reach of your actions and notions.

What is needed to happen before we do what must be done is a sense of acceptance and a rejection of denial. Hope requires a desire for an outcome. The grass bends in the wind and requires no hope. At the same time it tenaciously holds its ground - it does so out of duty and self-actualisation, not out of stubborn pettiness an spite. We need to organise our communities - our neighbours, as much as we find them peculiar and stupid - we need to work with them and in so doing bring ourselves to them - we are someone else's weird neighbours.

To borrow and distort from Spinrad: we should ignore and give up on the art world. Don't participate. Look to your neighbours and friends for inspiration and Art.

The deepest problems facing humanity are, in order of immensity:

1. over-population
2. resource depletion
3. climate change

There are too many of us. We are destroying the earth to sustain our numbers. We are using up all the resources, and are condemning the tenth or hundredth generation (if there is one) to a neolithic existence. Our effect on the planet's various biospheres are dramatic and destructive, and the climate is changing rapidly, and in such a way that we won't be able to properly adjust given the resource depletion we are facing and the immensity of our numbers.

What is to be done?

1. reduce population
2. conserve resources, radically
3. move to higher ground...

What is to be done?

1. Wake up.
2. Get with the program.
3. Organise.


I was just a broken head
I stole the world that others plundered
Now I stumble through the garbage
Slide and tumble, slide and stumble.


Thieves and pimps running free.

I stole the world that others plundered.

Fine. Live in denial. And watch your world die.

Art? Who needs THAT?


In this age of grand delusion, Denial is the only rational choice for the many who insist on hope.

We have a choice: Die Down - at home, surrounded by friends and family at the end of a long and productive life or DIE OFF at a young age of starvation and pneumonia in some transit camp in Oregon.

Happy new year.

best and kindest regards to all on this esteemed list,

Henry Warwick

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