Birthday Eve Thoughts

The war on nature, which is of course also a war on that familiar component of nature—ourselves—is never ending. Most battles are local, often small-scale and unknown to outsiders: this sliver of green, that corner of wetlands, the lakeside trail, the “empty lot,” but they’re all quilted into the larger fabric. 

Friends of B & B have alerted me to various fights over the years within NYC and beyond, when a handful of people battle money and money’s representatives in city hall, the planning commission, etc., in short, the whole legal and financial system we’ve allowed to devour land/landscape/nature for private profit.

Here now is news of the effort to stop land-wreckers at Summit Lake in Philmont, NY. Karen Schoemer has written a three-part explanation of the issue she and others are fighting for here, here, and here. (The individual pieces are not long.) 

The segue here is inevitable, in my mind, at least.

The toxic train derailment in Ohio is being described as an “accident.” This is pernicious nonsense, dutifully parroted by the media even as they otherwise note the intentionally degraded state of the nation’s rail system and the bought-and-paid-for deregulation of the industry. As Jessie Singer so pointedly titles her book, There Are No Accidents.

The poisoned themselves may well have voted for the corrupt, fascist, pro-pollution, pro-death Republicans who control Ohio. They may well have helped give the presidency to fascist chaos monkey Trump. The shit that nasty bastard smeared all over the walls—in this case, the order to guarantee such disasters as a favor to the rail industry—is dutifully lapped up by his suicidal fans. It’s profits before people über alles, an old story, but why the very victims themselves should so eagerly eat the shit of their masters is beyond me.  (Is it just their precious whiteness?)

Also the word “coincidence” is poorly chosen when noting that extras for the movie version of White Noise, who pretend to flee an “airborne toxic event” initiated by a train wreck, had to evacuate from this Ohio situation in “real life.”  

Don DeLillo’s White Noise was published in 1985. When I read it then, I was blown away and said to myself this is one of the texts that will explain the 1980s to the future. (The future is now: I have the new Library of America volume and plan on re-reading it soon.) Written in the wake of Union Carbide’s killing of 4,000 in Bopal, India, the book turns out to be quite prescient of the Third World-ization of the United States, but above all it is about the strangulation of language by capitalism—not that academia doesn’t come in for some licks, but then, academia is an ivied subdivision of capitalism. 

(The more typical daily posts here may be taken as an optimistic coda….)

3 Responses to “Birthday Eve Thoughts”

  1. 1 kschoeaolcom February 19, 2023 at 8:36 am

    Thank you!! Happiest birthday wishes to you on eve and day.  Four bald eagles at our lake yesterday, two mature and two immature.  xx Karen 

  2. 2 Chuck McAlexander February 19, 2023 at 12:26 pm

    Our end is with a whimper, not a bang. The only silver lining is that once we are gone the remainder of life on the planet can rebuild and continue the glorious experiment, life.

  3. 3 ellenbrys February 19, 2023 at 2:33 pm

    I read the 3 pieces about trying to stop a development being built. I am happy the law agreed to halt it, although the revised plans could end up approved. It reminded me of my group trying to advocate a smaller develpment planned next to my building which is next to a small park. The 29 unit building on a single family home plot is well under way. We never got a SEQR since they didn’t have to assess the environmental impact on as of right property. The city had way more legal dollars than we could ever raise. This is happening all over the city.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Bookmark and Share

Join 685 other subscribers
Nature Blog Network


%d bloggers like this: