They say the forest always grows back after a fire…. however, it is never the same forest. Perhaps it only grows back in Sim City. Perhaps that is the way of the world, and the only thing constant is change, the constant upgrades one must now make in order to keep current. Things grow back. However, a stand of sumac and thorn bushes is not exactly a replacement for oak and ash. Last year was a very good year for poison ivy. One could almost hear it grow in the night. I haven’t seen a bat in a long time. In places where the spring peepers were deafening, there is hardly a sound. Ponds where tadpoles were plentiful, we may as well be searching for a unicorn with our jars. Same with the fireflies. The cold spring is at least wet, rather than last one that was bone dry. The world is changing, and not over geological time, but in the span of half a lifetime. I have to think back to when I was a child for the last time that the river froze over… before the Chinese Chestnuts invaded the waters… before seagulls were everywhere… and I’m not that old…. It is strange how complacent both young and elder seem in the face of all this. A little green paint, a Volt or Prius, a membership to a CSA, and we’re fine. There are several young an old with open eyes, but apart from a few electronic signatures on change.org, a donation to United for Peace and Justice, and a kickstarter here and there, it is hard to marshal the forces in our daily lives to stop what seems to be coming. We are kept busy, tied to the system, and that system does not want us growing our own food, gathering eggs, or reusing old items.
Old wars are also thawing out. The ghosts have come back to life, resuscitating old conflicts just in time as we finish another and the war industry looks about to sell its wares. Hello, Korea we need to start up this old conflict, we’d rather not have drones in our sky yet, rather not give the police military equipment. Korea, can you take this off our hands? Come to think of it, are there other wars we can rekindle? Did we sign a peace treaty with Vietnam? Stalin? We’re good with Germany after Hitler died right, they’re not going to pull a Ribbentrop-Molotov on us, eh? What about Iraq III? Iran is ripe for bombing, we seem to be saving the best conflict for last. Meanwhile, our home front civil liberties erode even as the marriage thing is being discussed. We’re advancing as a society, making discussions…. meanwhile Frankencrops are now a protected class, corporations are people, and those people are minorities. They enjoy benefits. They collect welfare. They are illegal immigrants, stateless persons. They rob and cheat. However, as we talk about human marriage, the government/corporate state slip in provisions that will rob us all, gay, straight, bisexual, transgendered, questioning, fisting, rimming, planking, memeing, Titus Andronicusing, with equality, and as the Nazis were fond of saying, proving an elegant solution to so many questions. We speak of marriage because that seems something minor we can control, something we can understand. We have a harder time fighting transfer pricing and the lack of revinue sources for port inspectors to stave off invasive species or that not all corn is created equally or the mayhem with what is left of our food supply since in meat factories there are no windows. So, we worry about those little social things in our faces. We can swap out our portrait on the Book of Face for what looks like a Mark Rothko, we can like things, we can even share and comment. We can hide in our gardens, use Moo Poo(tm) and fair-trade organic soap to kill off the swarms of stink bugs and such, but can we really hide.
The forests around me appear to be dying. They’ve been doing that for a while. The storms haven’t helped. The woods look like a forest fire waiting to happen. Tangled mess of sticks and stumps, heaps of fallen trees and branches snapped by unusual snow, strange wind, storm and superstorm. Now, with the fungus having taken this species, the growth taking that, we have now seen a new blight, the emerald ash borrower. The little bastards are new. The trees, huge spans that just a few months ago were lubricious and resplendent are now shedding their bark. Not yet born into spring and already barren and seeping life. The silent spring is starting with those that have never made noise. And who will speak for the trees?
We need not worry, after all, we’re sorting out our brave new world. We have found that our social norms have changed. We have found that the kids are very, very bisexual, but that’s ok, the air comes from China only ever slow. The radiation from Japan is not that bad, since we are all taking supplements. Perhaps we’re all needing to Robotrip a little more, I mean, we need it, what with all the long hours and the right to work extending out time and our being able to multi-task, to extend our work-life boundary and blur everything until we can no longer see that the dreck we’re working on is just a Scheißevideo and we’re the star. Mirrors do such a trick, perhaps we’ll get 1,000,000 views on Youtube and displace that fucking cat with the mad face. Fuck him, huh? Distractions and the emerald borer just goes munch, munch, munch, making way for the wooly adelgid or a new species born of NAFTA and Free Trade, un-inspected containers and wallboard infested with mold. Walking fish, huge fuckers that fly out of the river and knock people in the head, infestations of walking clams with horse-sized dicks, and too many versions of socks in Walmart, each brand not quite covering our kankles.
But, erosion aside, invasive species notwithstanding, corporate Frankenfood as it may, we are moving into a bright new future. A new war is brewing. Something to keep the kids, already bored with marriage and guns at home, occupied.
While not a trained weather-person-thing, considering that of the past six forecasts of snow of which exactly zero came true and the hype of impending inch or three of snow used to sell hemorrhoid cream and tickets of the new Wizard of Oz film (both very much the same sort of product), there can be no harm in forecasting some hazards of spring, to look ahead to the year just because this seems to be the spirit of the age.
The weather will be more normal than in years past. I mean, “typical.” Typical enough so that people will forget to worry about climate change. Like the gun debate, this worry will be swept away, we may yet forget those who are taking part in daily pipeline protests and acts of civil disobedience. We may have a slight recovery, at least for a few. The war of Asia will be postponed for a time, extending the old 1950s conflict for another decade or so (or a few years) – which this blogger hopes will soon pass since h/sh/e/it wanted to go to the old North to satisfy a childhood fascination with all things SOVIET. Corporations are still on the assenting track, we can expect more of the same tricks. We are more equal not because there has been a change in the human spirit, but because there has been a change in the conditions of our captivity. Slavery as death is the great leveler.
Out there. In the forest. The sound we hear is not the wanderings of the little hedgehog or such. There is a munching and a festering of our flora and a withering of our fauna and this will creep along too. We may have at least one great storm this year to knock down a few more of those old trees, but this year may yet be a break in nature’s wrath. The silent spring is not yet here, but Rome wasn’t un-built in a day either.