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The Greening of Authors' Den
I get good reviews for my serious poetry from a few authors who are thick skinned and are not thrown off by my wacky reviews of their most intimate, deadly serious, personal viewpoints. However, I occasionally like to throw in something funny to get off my serious side. If I write satire, as with Going Green, it is often taken seriously or even totally misunderstood.
As everyone already knows, if you have some sort of malady and write about it in your poetry or even just write about it you get a lot of sympathy from AD authors. Every AD author has one malady or another and can sympathize with the other... so there's a lot of sympathy going around. And, like a lot of popular music, repetition seems to garner respect, so there's a lot of repetition of the same subject over and over again with sympathy abundantly flowing from Internet author friends.
Going Green was satire. The ideas presented, while some are very popular, like the latest fad, whitening teeth, were often the direct opposite of what is really needed. I am deadly serious about our future as a nation and the world's future in general. Overpopulation of humankind is threatening everyone in many ways. Some of these ways are obvious and some are not. Altruistic efforts to save the world with teaspoons full of food and throwing money at diseases like AIDS will not save us all. It will take much more than that. The United States, as the richest, most powerful nation in the world, must take the lead. We must get our heads out of the sand, worrying about gas prices and mortgages we shouldn't have entered into because our heads were bigger than our stomachs, our retirement accounts, and our jobs, and start thinking, survival.
I've been in survival mode most my life. That meant saving and investing instead of spending every dollar I earned on the latest things and pastimes (just passing time). It meant eating the right foods, learning all I could, and leading an active, healthy lifestyle. I accounted for the entire $845 I spent on my freshman year in college in a little book that I kept. Today, a college freshman will spend that on one item with their credit card and they will throw that item away easily for another in a year. Occasionally, I eat in restaurants for enjoyment, I never eat in restaurants as a normal way of avoiding making my own inexpensive, more healthy food. I have never needed to drink bottled water. Rumors about water systems and bad water are just bunk. To my knowledge, I have never had intestinal problems from any water I've drunk, even foreign. The same is true for food I've eaten in some of the poorest countries in the world. While I occasionally enjoy a Coke or 7-Up, I would much rather have juice, tea or coffee. In fact, I drank little water at all for many years, never got dehydrated or had health problems associated with too little water, and never was overweight.
What if you had to get your food and there was no supermarket? Would you still know how to grow a garden and butcher your own meat? Forget about high gas prices, could you walk to get food and water if there was no gasoline? Could you stop watering your lawn so that you have water to drink? Could you go without air-conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter? I don't think you'd be worried too much about the starving in Africa if you were living under those conditions. Unfortunately, the path that we are on is like a speeding train that Robert Heilbroner described, with the tracks about to end and the whole kit and caboodle of humanity flying off the end, poor folks first, and, eventually the rich, after spending all their money. All one has to do is look back at the Great Depression and see that it can happen. All that it takes now is a natural disaster or series of disasters, and panic will set in to do the rest.
Yet I remain an optimist. I'm an optimistic that some of us will be flexible and resourceful enough to survive and carry on human intelligence beyond the wasteful, self-indulgent, largely ignorant society we have become as a result of our fierce belief in thousand year old morays designed to protect territory and faith in supernatural entities fueled by the power and wealth of coal and oil. When the panic comes, which way will you run? I will not join the crowd.
In the meantime, when I write satire, I would love to see some writers notice it and join in on the humor. Jonathan Swift wrote in jest about England's overpopulation problem resulting from the coal-fired Industrial Revolution, large families and unfettered immigration, that if the poor were without food that they should eat their babies. He was vilified by a shocked populace. Swift also wrote Gulliver's Travels. The king and queen would have hung him if they had known what he was writing about.
Copyright 2008 © Ronald W. Hull