Our Complaints Desk is Closed

                                                A long rant followed by a short poem.

I find it harder and harder to cope with big ideas. They loom above me like giant unstable airships, making me want to let go and run. Instead I hang on like grim death, risking imminent immolation or a sudden short flight ending in a very long drop.

Even worse is that big ideas force me into using metaphors which lumber out of control like maddened elephants into crowds of innocent and slightly bemused bloggers who … well, you get the picture.

This, in case you hadn’t noticed, is one of my pour-myself-a-drink-and-see-what-comes-out posts. (I just poured it and noticed it was Guinness … )

Believe it or not, this post has a subject and it may be that all this frantic jocularity is a way of ducking it. It’s a big idea, you see, and there could be a touch of stage fright before launching into a heavy monologue. But if I don’t get going soon, I will soon be talking to an audience of three … me, myself and I.

Oh well, anything’s better than being in two minds about something. At least a three-way split offers a chance of adjudication …

OK, enough wisecracking, already! Big ideas need big build-ups … just hit play!

I’ve just poured another Guinness in the hope that I’ll hit my stride soon … ah, begorra*, I’m talking about the bloody mess we’ve left the next generations to clear up – more specifically, the ecosystem. It’s the elephant in the room, all right, and like the blind men in the old story we can’t even agree what it looks like. It doesn’t appear in economic models and it doesn’t get discussed at cocktail parties.

( * that was quick, maybe Guinness is good for you … )

We just don’t seem to have the language, do we? There is climate science, of course, but for too long governments have been playing divide-and-rule when it comes to results. Pure science is systematically underfunded and the self-interested opinions of corporate science – biased almost by definition – are taken far too seriously. Money, alas, talks louder than morality.

Image result for Shut Up and Take My Money

And don’t get me started on the creationist idea that we’re all part of a master-plan to improve the universe. In my bleaker moments I’m with Bill Hicks that we’re a virus in shoes.

The trouble is that the more miserable you make people about this stuff, the more they retreat into denial and comfort-eating … meant in the broadest sense (no pun intended!) as consumption, much of it conspicuous. In the absence of meaningful community, two killer syndromes loom like giant airships, etcetera … (a) our self-esteem comes from the way our lives look to others and (b) self-gratification takes centre stage.

It doesn’t help that we’re dragooned into nation-states. Countries who’ve had the cream aren’t about to set an example to countries who haven’t by switching to low-fat yoghurt … oh, these blasted metaphors! What I mean is, our bling and binge culture may be the death of us.

Says he, polishing up his post and swigging down stout … ah, but let me tell you, it’s an agonising business tackling big ideas!

Oh sausages, I’m going to cut to the chase! We need a blessed miracle to get out of this hole and I don’t mean the one in the blinking ozone layer – concerted action on that, by the way, shows what we can do when we have a mind to get together. As a non-believer I’m not holding my breath for any manna from heaven (or pie in the sky, for that matter) but I do admire the liturgy and litany of religion, so here is my attempt to graft it on to a more pagan life-focussed viewpoint in sonnet form … something of a hymn, as it turns out.

It’s worth remembering, I do believe, that the word ‘ecology’ has an ancient root. It comes from Okologie – Greek oikos “house, dwelling place, habitation” + -logia “study of”.

 

        Noah's new age prayer

o Gaia hold us rapt within your arms
that life be one with love and one with all
let sense be always open to your charms
and spirit never falter at your call
o Gaia keep our step upon the way
that leads to wild places sacred shrines
where pilgrims catch a glimpse of yesterday
and dream of leaving children cryptic signs
o Gaia turn our thoughts to simple joys
and tune our hearts to nature's steady beat
that we might hear the hush beneath our noise
and feel the dance begin to move our feet
for only celebration stirs the blood
enough to build an ark against this flood

 

 

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13 thoughts on “Our Complaints Desk is Closed

  1. I’ll drink to that! Let’s rediscover harmony with nature. (Though from the sound of what our early ancestors did in making short work of the megafauna I’m beginning to wonder if there ever was any harmony. We always were the fox in the henhouse.) Never-the-less – think positively!
    I think I’ll have another drink.

    1. No need for naughty language … oh, fracking, sorry! … thanks, Tanya, glad you liked it … just been reading Dr Seuss’s Lorax story to my grandchild. She’s only 2 and got the eco-point completely … hope springs eternal!

  2. That’s a beautiful prayer.
    And we are all guilty…we elected those people.
    And consumption…that’s a hard habit to break.
    Perhaps Mother Earth will give us enough of a hard knock to do something before it’s too late. I don’t have much faith in any action from the world’s leaders, unless it impacts their pocketbooks. (K)

    1. Thanks, if it works it’s because prayer is really directed back upon the one who prays … a ritual that only works if there’s a communion of like minds. And if, as you say, anything can work …

  3. You mentioned the Creationists in passing. Perhaps even more of a problem from the point of view of ecology are all those people who believe they’re going to be raptured up the Heaven any day now. It doesn’t give them much incentive to care about what happens to the planet they’ll soon be vacating.

    1. Indeed, you could say they’re voting with their feet … what I call the waiting room theory of earthly existence. Let us hereby dedicate ourselves to the glorification of being alive in the here and now! A song lyric comes to mind: If paradise were half as nice …

    1. I love mild cursing. My dad was brought up in a strict Methodist household and was taught to avoid bad words by using the phrase ‘jam and smash the muddy buffer’ … you couldn’t make it up, could you?

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