line -->
  • Monday, August 28, 2006


    Another Blind Empire Falling

    While traveling down to NOLA, I started reading Derrick Jensen's new book Endgame on the plane. It was a birthday present from a writer friend who knows Mr Jensen. A two volume set, I decided to skip the first volume, The Problem of Civilization, and go right to Vol II: Resistance. I was in a resistance state of mind rather than wanting to read another litany of the non-sustainable failures of our industrial civilization, no matter how well written. And Mr Jensen is a good writer, evocative and poetic, but I couldn't help thinking he needs an editor who will focus him a little more. 100 pages in and he was still speaking to the necessity of destroying dams to revitalize river ecologies. I agree. Can we move on, please?

    Of course, the reason it takes so long for him to move through a subject is because he entwines other threads along with his main points. It is often skillful and beautiful writing and, as a writer, I admire it on that level. On another level, I keep wanting him to be more concise, hone the text a little more. That's my editor voice talking. I suspect (and this is not a final judgment since I've only read a small percentage of the whole) these two volumes could have been distilled into one but it's difficult to say for sure and I don't see a lot of obvious flab to the text.

    A more satisfying read (for me at least) is Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire by Morris Berman. After catching the last half of a segment on BookTV/C-SPAN, I thought it would be worth reading and it is. He does not offer solutions but describes why he thinks America is on the declining side of empire. I could quibble with the relative importance of some of the symptoms he notes but not with the general overall picture he paints. Seek it out. Don't expect happy talk though. I think it's better to face grim truths than pretend they don't exist. Paradoxically, I feel much better when someone articulates truths I observe but never hear anyone talking about, particularly not in the media. When no one talks about events and trends that seem obvious to me, it can make me feel a little crazy, a little outside of consensus reality. This is a danger of our mass media: so focused on the immediate and finite events that a broader analysis is never even attempted.

    << Home

    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?