12 December 2004
The plastic that this computer is built around is made from petroleum. The reliable-but-flexible plastics and energy sources that our postmodern civilization runs on come from the flesh and blood of dinosaur lizards, churned by the earth over the ages, hiding in a thin layer under depths of mud and rock. This layer was discovered, led to the 20th Century, and is now being depleted. It is becoming too difficult, too expensive, to find the deeper layers. Wars are being waged to secure the precious few petroleum supply lines. Civilizations, our own included, are being transformed. Everything is starting to… WARP a little.
Man cannot invent these petroleum molecules; he can only marvel at them and manipulate them. When a scientist tells you that completely synthetic plastics will be developed that don’t spring from the earth, they’re lying out of fear. These are the lies of a little child, who upon eating the last of the cookies, insists: “The cookie jar is full.”
The cookie jar is running on empty, and from now on every member of our petroleum-based civilization is going to start feeling the pinch.
I got two other e-mails within 5 minutes of each other yesterday. One was a forward from my friend Connie advocating an all-out communist revolution in the United States to stop the Christian fascists. The other was a forward from my cousin in which Andy Rooney advocated guerrilla tactics against telemarketers and junk mail. Somehow, the two seemed related. Everyone’s starting to realize that drastic changes are on the way.
The other day, a little girl who was no more than 7 accosted me on the sidewalk. She was flanked by her two little friends. “Cookie for a quarter?” she asked. (She had obviously stolen a package of Italian cookies from her mom’s kitchen.) "Allright, I'll bite," I replied.
I bought two. They were crumbly and melty from being manhandled by a little girl. Mmm, I thought as I ate one. Tasty democratic capitalism.