Suppose I'm an alien in a graceful spaceship, racing through space at some outrageous pace, chasing weak traces of radio waves, seeking saving graces among different races in distant planets and places. One day on this chase I awake just as my space station shakes as it begins deceleration and braking in anticipation of the next destination. Ejected from my bunk, I arise to inspect the chunky object whose early electronic emanations I've detected. Erect, I press to select a setting letting the light pass through the window glass. Then I gasp, cuz past the glass is a scene that flabbergasts. Hangin' like a dream on my bright screen is the finest looking planet I ever have seen, light blue and bright green with a light sheen of atmosphere. With delight I scream at-last-I'm-here and a control I grasp to steer near to this dear chloroplast machine. I land, unseen, then step from my machine, unfazed and serene but blazingly keen to explore amazing new scene.
I fly high into the bright blue sky to spy on the flora and fauna, from dry deserts to the tropical sauna. I creep low like an iguana and slowly get to know the activities and proclivities of cities of insects, inspecting how delicate intersections effect this self-correcting natural neural network, intricate as fretwork, every connection elegantly meshed with the rest like artwork. But as I start work on a particularly smart, curt, and not-too-alert species of primate, I see that disaster hangs like an alabaster brickbat over the fate of this staggering place. This swaggering race of handsome hairless chimpanzees paces over the land like bands of fleas, cutting down trees, shutting down life in the seas, cluttering the air with debris. Still these chimps are pleased to be winning, grinning from behind the spinning wheels of squealing automobiles while peals of sick gaseous farts from these slick mechanical carts break the atmosphere apart and take temperatures off the charts.
To my greatest amazement I find that ill fated states in past centuries also so pretended at independence from natural mysteries until the trees their cities were built upon were spilt and gone, until the living soil and silt were gone and the expanding population ran out of land to stand on, their grand plans of expansion canned as their well planned aqueducts busted and their trucks rusted and all the stuff they'd trusted got stuffed into the dustbin of history. Must've been a mystery to them, wondering wistfully when their grateful expectations of greatness were displaced by fateful equations of deforestation, soil degradation, and the eventual existential devastation of their nation state. As earth's delayed and patient rebate cashed those states crashed into the excessive depression left by their aggressive suppression of the facts. But those last catastrophes, though disastrous for past societies, were mere statistical fidgets and insignificant digits in the master calculation of life on this hunk of rock. After the strife and shock, the leftover punks happily packed their leftover junk into their trunks and slunk out of their shacks making tracks for a society still in the black.
But with that knack for snapping back from the brink, while they're napping I think, they've stacked all their eggs in one massive international basket, tied up with clothes pegs and elastics and balanced like a keg on an empire of plastic like they're beggin' for one drastic and tragic transnational casket.
Among these blokes I met folks so short on dough they're the sort who can go for weeks eatin' leeks cuz they're cheap; they're working eighty-hour weeks, but the peeps who hire them seek to fire them if they politely say they'd like a slight hike in their pay one day; "I'd be completely happy," they snap, "if only I had a scrap of cash; it'd be elation at last."
But in the same nation I passed masses of fat black-suited cash bladders who look sadder than a mashed platter of pastry. Pasty and wasted faces and waistlines, the dotted lines they've signed assign all their time to the bottom line. Then, their efforts a success, they're blessed with nothing less than mental distress and emptiness; they head west wishing for rest and fishing, but at best something seems to be missing. Miffed and hissing they quip: "I wouldn't have missed all this if my psychoanalyst hadn't resisted my visit. What is it with him?"
And I ask: What nasty task master has tasked them to hold fast to their dumb desires even as their Pax Americana cracks like a plaster cast in the blast furnace of their expiring empires? And I ponder how yonder species breeds ceaselessly, increasing its needs and feces needlessly without seeing the seeds it's sowing of its greed growing into weeds and wobbling trees likely to topple and squash its gobbling cities like split peas and sand fleas.
I mean geez.
But despite these frightnin' realities, the benighted plight they're in (and the fighting they so delight in), it wouldn't be right or polite to invite dislike by painting too blighted a sight of them. Indeed there's something right in them, some light in them. It's not too bright, but even then, it is a relief at least, to me because, though an alien gracefully racing through space sounds like a tasty occupation, it seems to me I seem to be at least temporarily a member off the above mentioned race of temperamental mentally unstable and disreputable apes. And until an alternate plan takes shape I suppose I'll take hold of a metaphorical rake and try to clean up this mess. Yes, some may break into a laugh and say it's a crazy task and daft, but hey, if faced with such a ridiculous and difficult task, why waste time with a lazy gasping when instead you can get down to business, laughing?