Two Two Twenty
Updated: Feb 22
I planned to start the reports today because of the date - because it has a nice synchronicity in the numbers. I intend for this blog to be about Pearl's travels in various virtual worlds - but also about my own travels in this one. So, there will be a kind of digital mirroring. Two by two. I wanted to start with her history, to talk about when and how she was born. About the ways that her life intersects with mine and the resonance there. But all I can think about, in this moment, is how we are destroying our planet, about the suffering that humans cause. This morning, I woke up with my heart and mind full of sorrow. I did not want to write because all I have in my mind is this dark confusion. But I will just write it out anyway. Later, I will continue with those stories of my digital twin and her strange adventures in the matrix.
As I lay in bed this morning, trying to drag my real life body into an upright position, my mind was on military budgets. I was thinking about a podcast I heard about VR artists making a film about a family in Iraq. Their house had been booby trapped with landmines and their children were killed. The father was a proud man but he broke down and cried. How is it that we spend billions of dollars filling the world with weapons we don't need while so many humans around the world starve and suffer? There is no real reason. "Protection" is a moot point - we can blow the entire planet up many times over. How can we be so barbaric and yet consider our species intelligent? We have the potential to do so much good. Yet, it is somehow subsumed by the powerful, by greed, by systems of corporate capitalism and fundamentalist anthropocentrism. Every year, both political parties in the US government vote to approve military funding, to bring even more weapons into the world and into people's homes. Meanwhile, they cut funding to those who are hungry and sick. They ignore climate change and allow deniers and corporations to make policy decisions. These are meant to be our representatives. What are we thinking?
Upon finally pulling myself out of my folding bed, I learned from the Twitter feeds that hundreds of koalas were just slaughtered in a massive deforestation of thousands of acres of land in Australia - just THIS week - in the wake of wildfires that have killed more than a billion animals. They just mowed this forest down and crushed these peaceful animals - knowingly - for profit... to make wood pellets to sell to Japan. I also learned of a Mexican environmental activist who was murdered for trying to protect the trees and butterflies in his country. Humans hold a deep responsibility - because we have the power to manifest technology upon the world, we have to consider its consequences. We are doing life wrong. We are doing it badly. The intelligence of our species has been muted by greed and apathy. We are not evolving.
It is difficult, really, to think of anything else. Yes, I can and will write about mirror, virtual worlds where I play and create and manifest any kind of reality I want. I walk on rainbows and ride unicorns and build diamond bridges. Yet, it is a colorful shadow... a flickering dream, projected over a world in crisis. I talk myself into remaining there by saying that in the virtual world, I can create speculative futures - ways that we can better manifest our manifest destiny. I can try to show that other species and nature and humans are all connected, all tied with one entangled thread. I can illustrate how factory farms and massive pesticide use and oil and coal and over-fishing and sonic testing and on and on... the way we drench the natural world with poison and violence is overflowing onto us. We are eating our own poison, we are mining our own homes, we are destroying our own water supply, we are burning our own and only planet, we are obliterating the treasures and miracles of the earth. We are destroying entire species before we even know they exist and who they are really are and what they could teach us... before we can understand what they are saying. The trees and monarchs and koalas ARE the miracles of the earth. They were here before us. We are responsible for our actions and our technology. We have to wake up.