Saturday, October 15, 2011
Fairfield University is featuring the film, HOME (click the link to watch) for the 2011-2012 academic year. I started to watch it a couple of night ago, and then simply got depressed. The way the film depicts it, there's little we can do before we completely ruin the planet and life will no longer be sustained. It seems things will begin to deteriorate rather quickly and by 2025, well, it might be rather unbearable.
Today, with my students, I told them I imagined a movie of me watching HOME while the camera panned above my house, over Connecticut, to the Eastern U.S. and Atlantic Ocean, then the nation, and eventually the globe. I said, "Man, the movie had me worried, but then if I imagined the big picture, the universe's grande finesse, my tiny Stratford concerns are rather silly. I channel Monty Python and envision a fish swimming through the galaxy simply swallowing the earth whole like it's food in an aquarium.
On Wall Street, protestors are speaking for the 99%. I am curious if they are speaking of the 99% in America or the 99% globally. I visited websites and read a lot about unemployed college graduates who are $120,000 in debt from loans. I started to think about how the money spent on their education could have helped feed the 99% who live elsewhere. I am trying to imagine having the comfort for spending that much money for school. I don't think I could ever justify investing that much cast into an unknown future. I think any family who struggles financially (which are many) would think a loan of that amount is simply insane. That's more than the mortgage I took out on my house (which, by the way, still hasn't sold).
I am not a millionaire (I laugh, because I'm barely breaking even at this point in my life), but I have a college degree. That makes me a part of the 1% of the world who has such a title. My roommate's friend from China said last week, "If you have toast in the morning and a cup of coffee, you are a part of the world's most privileged people." I'm not sure where she got that, but it reminded me I don't have a toaster. I have coffee, however.
And so I look at any image of a spinning globe and am amazed that our technologies have brought us the capacity to view Earth from great distances - we've come a long way from thinking it was rather flat. I marvel at the fact that I can write noise with my fingers to be read through the magic of cyber space, yet I worry that such advancements might really be the demise of the blue, green, and white marble that floats as it does. It would be a shame. The minerals used to make chips for my computer are mined in third world nations where rape, murder and torture are used as a means to control the land. With each word I type, I suppose I am responsible for other injustices in the world.
Perhaps text like this will one day be the bones of a brontosaurus. Maybe they will get buried in dust only to be discovered 25 million years from now as an artifact from an ancient time. As someone makes sense of my words, they can blame me for causing the ruin of our home.