After writing my own piece awhile ago:
I’ve encountered a few other pieces along the same lines but this, forwarded to me by the fabulous Ozzy, is really powerful:
After writing my own piece awhile ago:
I’ve encountered a few other pieces along the same lines but this, forwarded to me by the fabulous Ozzy, is really powerful:
For those of you who have been to Burning Man this post will ring for you, for those of you who haven’t been, maybe it will provide some further insight into why we go. Below is a link to the primary site to get you some background if you want it:
To most people Burning Man is a freaky pagan bacchanal in the desert, ok there are elements, and a portion of the population maybe there for nothing more than the party, but for a lot of us there’s a lot more. Burners as we refer to ourselves come to the playa for a lot of reasons, the party, the art, an unmatched experiential week, to reconnect with distant friends, to find and/or be ourselves and for me more than anything else to get completely out of my “default world” life for a week. I’ve always liked the term “default world,” the world outside of Burning Man is the world you default to where you fall into the standard expectations of the world regardless of what your true nature tells you to be. That is the difference on the playa (the ancient lake bed where the event takes place), you have chosen to be in this particular world and chosen who you want to be while there from what you wear, to how you act, to even what your “playa name” will be. Many people at Burning Man take a new name, one that also is more reflective of who they are. Again, in the default world your name was assigned and like everything else on the playa your name is a choice.
However after spending a week on the playa, in this wonderful and wacky world you have to leave and return to your default life. For a lot of people this leads to a dip, a little depression as they return. Particularly after their first, or “virgin” year this dip can be fairly pronounced. There are a number of reasons why this occurs. First of all, the spectacle of the event. At the event you are surrounded by open and affectionate people who are truly nice to each other almost all of the time, people are happy. Shaking hands on the playa seems weird and impersonal, on the playa almost everyone hugs. The creativity and innovation all around you is mind shattering, from the amazing engineering that goes into creating camps, large art structures and art cars to the pure innovation and beauty of the art. Also on the playa you are fully engaged in life, there are few guard rails at Burning Man and one of the main principles of the event is radical self-reliance, in essence you are responsible to take care of yourself, you can see the other principles below:
Finally, on the playa you are not judged. As I am fond of saying, there is always a bigger freak ten feet away, even in the default world. The difference is that at Burning Man that freak is fully on display and easily identified and because everyone is letting their own freak flag fly you don’t feel ashamed of your own. Now think about that for a few minutes, everyday we are all concerned about what does my spouse, partner, family, friends or even strangers think about me, what I am wearing, how I dress, what I say, think about a week were no one cares and you can just be who you want to be, wear what you want to wear, act anyway you want, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else and no one will judge you for it, in fact some people might even love you for it.
The world I’ve just described is pretty special, some might say impossible, they haven’t been there, in my five years on the playa I’ve seen everything I’ve described above and more, from the impossible to the insane to the divine and I’m not even taking time to talk about playa magic, I’ll save that for a separate post. The world I describe above is also at direct odds with the default world that we come back to, and unfortunately even burners often turn into default world jerks the second they get back into cars to head home, cutting each other off in traffic and falling into default world driving patterns. Then as you stop at gas stations and restaurants on the way home, you get the questions, “coming from the Burning Man?” Sometimes the questions are from interest and sometimes they ring with judgement, either way the questions make you feel separate and different.
Returning back to your life, the world seems somewhat dull and colorless, the spectacle that was your life the week before is painfully absent. The freaks are once again all undercover and if people know you were at Burning Man they often ask questions meant to probe at how different you are, or are just plain stupid, “did the man burn early again this year, ha ha ha?” As if the only reason we go to the playa is to watch a single burn. All of these things conspire to isolate burners when they come back, it’s not all bad, some truly want to see your pictures and hear your stories, to live on the playa vicariously through you, but they are in the minority.
For someone like me this time can be especially hard, most of the people who I am closest to emotionally are distant geographically and so where many burners can turn to these people or local fellow burners for support and a hug, many of us are reliant on telephones and computers to feel connected because these people aren’t physically close. However, electronics do not substitute for the huge drop off in genuine physical human contact that the playa provides and you feel like a junkie going through withdraw and the dip or depression comes. Happily for me over the last five years changes in my life have helped me lesson these feelings and in fact I attribute my time on the playa for a lot of this growth.
I have some advice if you are in this funk and that is ride it out, don’t alter your relationships or make giant life changes at this time, it will be a temptation. Many people suddenly dedicate their existence to the playa and Burning Man when going through this, an admirable thing to do but wait before you pull that trigger. Just breathe and let it wash over you for a couple of weeks. The good news in all of this is that the dip will even out, it will, I promise and then after it does, the good things that you gained from the playa, the good feelings, the memories, the connections, the introspection and the growth will still be there. The good things you picked up on the playa last soooo much longer than the dip, so hang in there kid and we’ll see you in the dust next year, the man burns in 357 days!
Is the end near?
It must be, I saw a guy carrying a sign saying that very thing the other day, the end is near. Funny he looked a bit like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, which is a little inside joke to anyone who’s ever seen The Stand. I don’t believe the end is near in the sense of prophecy or the Book of Revelations End Time beliefs. As much as people on Fox News may be claiming that President Obama is bringing on the End Times, I think in reality they just need to readjust their tin foil hats. However you can access what was said at the link below:
In fact although there are plenty of ways in which the world might end quickly more than likely the end of society as we know it will come through a succession of events that domino together to bring down our economic systems which will lead to social anarchy and the dissolution of our society. Not an easy thing to occur and quite honestly the odds are a bit low but were the right set of events to domino together, well, quite literally all hell could break loose. The link below sets out a series of possible events that could lead to the end of the world:
One of the ways we don’t expect it to end has recently been dealt with here:
A nice discussion of the domino theory can be found on a new website, www.dystopiantimes.com there is a graphic and link on the upper left-hand corner of the site that shows how close we are to midnight, the Apocalypse. The clock postings track back through time so you need to go back to the first post to get the full description and a read about the domino theory but it is worth a look and can be found specifically at: http://www.dystopiantimes.com/apocalypse-clock
A disturbing trend is that the clock has been getting progressively closer to midnight and there is currently a lot of instability in the financial markets and politics of the world. Although we may be coming to the end of the Gulf of Mexico BP Oil spill we are still dealing with: significantly high tensions on the Korean Peninsula; tensions over the Iranian nuclear program; an ongoing two-front war in Afghanistan and Iraq; and finally the specter of a double-dip recession.
I’ll leave it to each of the readers of this post to determine how close we are to the edge and would recommend you check out the following and ask yourself the question, are you ready for dystopian times?
Things do not look good at this point for the US economy despite a rousing rally today on the Dow that brought us back above the 10,000 level. Right now we are facing a major problem in the United States and that is the dreaded, “jobless recovery.” Of course the statement is misleading because without jobs, without consumer spending the American economy does not move. Right now we are suffering from several problems, first and foremost is unemployment, second is lack of consumer confidence and third is the threat of deflation.
Unemployment in June showed no real improvement other than for women. In addition the census is ending and the majority of that workforce will not be unemployed, the tourist season around the Gulf of Mexico is destroyed with many location reporting drop offs of 40-70% over last year which is going to ripple through the region with even more layoffs. Without unemployment dropping and people finding work, there is less consumer confidence which leads to less consumer spending, the details on the numbers can be found through the link:
Consumer confidence took a major drop in the last reporting period, is that a surprise to anyone but economists and politicians? Unemployment is through the roof with an overall 9.5% rate and regional pockets of 20% rates. The states are all broke, states are billions of dollars in the red with California’s Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger trying to pay state workers minimum wage until the budget is passed. In California one in eight people are unemployed and many of those that are employed are taking pay cuts this year with city governments doing extreme service cutbacks to necessities like schools, fire and police services and services to the elderly in disabled. Might take a swipe at your confidence, you can get the details on the numbers from the link below:
Paul Krugman recently wrote about the threat of depression in a NY Times Op-ed piece. This guy is no hack, he’s the 2008 Nobel Prize winner in Economics and an expert in depression era economics. Krugman makes an excellent argument that in spite of rampant fears about inflation, the true risk to our economy right now is actually deflation. If you fear inflation and act accordingly to reduce it you create more potential for deflation. Initially that doesn’t sound so bad, hell prices will go down and you’ll have more buying power. For a small amount of deflation this is true, however it was massive deflation that caused the Great Depression. Neither Krugman or this writer think we’re in for another Great Depression, but what Krugman calls a long depression with a protracted period of severely slow economic growth. The good news friends, is that if you have paid down your debts, and if you haven’t, get going, then you will actually be in a pretty good spot, and as the Dow heads for a potential bottom of 8000, start buying. There is a lot of money to be made with things bottom out, assuming you are fortunate enough to be employed and low on debt. Check out Krugman’s article at the link below:
I wrote a post about two weeks ago after reading a story online that Anatoly Sagalevitch, a world renown Russian Oceanographer, had visited the Gulf of Mexico shortly after the Deepwater Horizon platform managed by BP had exploded and collapsed. According to the article Dr. Sagalevitch had reportedly said that upon his visit to the site in his submersibles, that he in fact saw over 20 cracks on the seafloor leaking. You can read my post at: http://zdeaconblue.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/if-this-is-true-bp-may-lead-the-united-states-into-depression/
As you may notice, the post title starts with, if this is true? That particular question weighed on me for some time and I waited to see if the mainstream media would address this question. They did not, so I decided to track down the answer myself. Anyone who tells you it’s easy to track down anyone’s e-mail address on the web hasn’t tried to track down anyone they didn’t already know. It took me three days of searching but finally I was able to get in contact with Dr. Sagalevitch and as him the very basic question, is this story true? Dr. Sagalevitch’s response was very prompt and he told me he had not been to the Gulf of Mexico, in fact he was on vacation when the accident occurred and that he couldn’t have possibly surveyed the seafloor of the gulf as his submersibles, the Mir1 and Mir2 are actually deployed in Lake Baikal. So the definitive answer to my post and the rumor flying around the internet is that no, Dr. Sagalevitch has not reported seeing dozens of cracks on the seafloor of the Gulf of Mexico leaking oil.
This information brings two points to bear for me. First, how fast disinformation can fly around the internet, Dr. Sagalevitch remarked upon this as well. Secondly, even without this information, we still don’t know what the actual conditions are at the seafloor or whether or not the relief wells will work. Today we have been given a couple of interesting pieces of information including that the relief well drilling is proceeding as planned and the first tropical storm of the season has formed and is on track for the Gulf of Mexico. We’ll talk in more detail in my next post about the potential consequences of a large tropical storm or hurricane in the gulf. Hurricane formation in the gulf is greatly related to the temperature of the gulf and right now the gulf is very, very warm approximately eighty-six degrees Farenheit. Look out friends the situation in the gulf may drastically change very soon and not for the better.
Hello friends, what I have for you tonight, if it is true, is nothing short of terrifying. The following link that I provide: http://beforeitsnews.com/story/76/057/Scientists_Warn_Gulf_Of_Mexico_Sea_Floor_Fractured_Beyond_Repair.htmldescribes reports Anatoly Sagalevitch from the Russian Academy of Sciences as saying that the Gulf of Mexico leak is much worse than we have been told. In fact the report suggests that the well is not able to be capped, leaving only two options. Option 1 let the well run dry, which could take as much as 30 years, or seal it with a nuclear bomb. During the Soviet era the Russians on five occasions used controlled underground nuclear explosions to cap wells. As a matter of fact, in May the Russian newspaper, Komsomoloskaya Pravda, made this very suggestion.
This is a calamity of amazing proportions if it is true! First off imagine the outcry of even suggesting detonating a nuclear weapon so close to the shore of the United States. The political fight over that alone should be an amazing show. If we do this detonation, what size wave will that throw against the gulf shore? What type of contamination will the blast inflict upon the ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico and how long will they take to recover? On the economic front, should the blast be called for we can call an end to oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, is that Saudi Arabia I hear cheering? Considering that the report says that oil is leaking from twenty-two separate sites along the sea floor I wonder how many barrels of oil per day are actually leaking out, the count has risen from the original 1000 barrels a day to the most current estimate of up to 40,000 barrels a day. This spill is already the third largest of all time and if this report is true, it will quickly become the largest oil spill in the history of mankind and the worst ecological disaster the Gulf of Mexico has ever seen.
The implications are far-reaching from the impact on shrimping, oyster and fishing industries including impacting the Blue Fin Tuna fleets of the northeastern US coast as the area impacted is the birthing and raising ground of these fish. As we enter hurricane season who on the gulf isn’t terrified that a major storm will come through and throw massive amounts of crude onto the shore and into the sensitive wetlands of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.
The economic implications of this report are beyond alarming. If we are forced to nuke this well shut, then drilling in the gulf stops and we become much more highly dependent upon foreign oil. Oil prices will rise quickly and we will see $4 a gallon gas soon, or will it be $5, or $6 a gallon gas? When oil prices raced past $100 a barrel and domestic gas prices above $4 a gallon our expanding economy suddenly stopped and reversed itself sending us and our financial system on a crash course with depression. We narrowly avoided that depression and somewhat stabilized our economy, but with the European financial issues we’ve seen serious volatility in our markets. Nuke this well in the gulf and I fear that the next great depression is a certainty.
So Greece has been very bad, they’ve done something nutty over the past few years, they spent and they spent and guess what, they didn’t have the money to cover the checks. Now you may be thinking hey, haven’t we been doing the exact same thing, the answer is yes. However, Greece went a little bit cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs and their debt is excessive in comparison to our own. So, the European Union has developed a bailout plan and Greece has moved into austerity measures. Austerity measures is a very nice way to say we’re cutting services, upping your taxes and you’re not getting squat for it. It also certainly insures that unemployment will start to rise a bit,of course there have been street protests in Greece over the last couple of weeks. The real interesting question is how will this crisis impact the rest of Europe? Assuming everything else stays steady in Europe things will work out just fine, however if anything else goes wonky things could unravel badly for them.
So what else could go badly? Well the European housing market is not the most stable market in the world and there has just been significant political change in the UK. Oil prices have climbed up and look to be heading to near $100 a barrel this summer. Should that rise continue and oil make that type of climb it could have a chilling effect on the economy. It was $145 a barrel oil that helped hammer the global economy during the recent global debt crisis. Commodity markets also seem to be artificially propped up with people using the extremely low-interest rates that exist to gamble on commodities. This puts investors in a precarious position that could prove untenable.
Finally there are currently two global political issues that are quite dangerous. First, the ongoing situation in Iran and the impending sanctions that the UN have approved with the support of Russia, China and the US. The Iranian government is sitting on the edge of stability with a strong dissident movement in their country. They may try mustering nationalism as a cure for their internal political ills by trying to impact oil prices or launching a missile at Israel, either of these could have a very destabilizing impact on oil prices. The last and perhaps most dangerous current issue is North Korea, the South Koreans have accused North Korea of torpedoing one of their warships. The US has backed this assertion and the tough language that the South Koreans have undertaken. North Korea, as usual, has threatened war if new sanctions are implemented and folks, one day the crazy bastards that run that country are going to cut loose.
So we sit on the edge of one of those potential apocalyptic moments, not Armageddon mind you, but the type of apocalyptic events that could lead to a collapse of the global economy – global depression. This isn’t the first time we’ve been here, it won’t be the last, and we’ve been lucky before, so we probably will be again, probably. Besides sooner a later things have to go to shit, Glenn Beck needs the ratings!