you feel it, don't you?
the creeping dread that this is all there is — that we reached a peak and are simply falling down the gravel-lined hill into oblivion.
that bad is exponential and good is linear.
it feels like: i recycle 6 cans while exxon dumps a thousand tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.
it feels like: i cant save for a house while a hedge fund buys up the block.
it feels like: i vote and vote and vote while politicians do what they damn well please.
it feels like: fourteen people shot in front of a rita's.
it feels like helplessness. it feels like powerlessness. it feels like futurelessness.
and i'm tired of it.
it's meant to be overwhelming, isn't it? we are hit with a constant deluge of information that falls into two categories — upsetting or distracting. we're meant to be so worried about making rent that we can't effectively organize. we're meant to be more concerned with how our activism looks than what our activism does — and lord knows, i fight with that myself. to be an artist, who wants to make a living on that art, whose art is opposed to the systems of power and commerce needed to make that living, is to sit uncomfortably close to the problems. and i don't feel like i have a solution. not yet.
all i know is that the story of futurelessness isn't getting us there.
i've been managing my own depression my entire life. when i have an episode, one of the mechanisms that keeps me in it is learned helplessness:
Learned helplessness occurs when an animal is repeatedly subjected to an aversive stimulus that it cannot escape. Eventually, the animal will stop trying to avoid the stimulus and behave as if it is utterly helpless to change the situation. Even when opportunities to escape are presented, this learned helplessness will prevent any action.
and what is futurelessness if not learned helplessness on a mass level? when we begin to believe that none of our actions will stop the shocks?
as i've learned, the only way out is changing our story.
we need to create a new story, something to believe in, something to have faith in. a story that puts us back in the driver's seat of our own destinies.
i know from experience that in the pit of a depressive episode, any story that says "i have the power to end this" feels worse than impossible — it feels delusional. it feels like a fairy tale, like we're lying to ourselves. believing in something with no evidence we can see makes you a crazy person.
but i would rather be crazy and work to build a better future, than be "sane" and accept things the way they are.
so i'm building a new story of the future, in hopes that it can be a guide for the crazy. i can't wait to share it with you.
let's get crazy.