MAP OF ILLINOIS CORNFIELD on DIAGRAM 16.5
DIAGRAM is wonderful, and this image seems timely. Finding ways to portray and generate empathy around America's heartland seems more necessary than ever.
It's a dark time to be an American. As much as it was foreseeable, I really didn't want to believe Trump would win. Quartz Summarizes the environmental implications briefly, noting that with Trump as the figurehead, America has lost its energy leadership position internationally, and has become addled domestically. It wasn't looking bright anyway, and now it's downright apocalyptic. Trump's Energy Policy reads like an 8th-grade short-response essay, and not even a good one at that.
Environmental, climate, and land-use issues seem like my battlefield of choice because it's here that my voice is needed. As a straight white atheistic man with an American passport, it's not my face that needs to represent America in the 21st century. While I need to do my part on-the-ground, I can leverage my technical background and demographic most in science and policy. I want to do all I can to counteract my violent filling of space.
There aren't excuses for anything less. Is my life and work oriented towards civic benefit? Am I critical not only of myself, but also at least a few layers of abstraction above and below me? Am I amplifying voices who need it, rather than my own? Don't forget, too, that ANY SURPLUS IS IMMORAL (thanks, Jenny). And, in one of the most striking reads of recent history, there's only so much self-care you can justify, too.
"Youth is wasted on the young," they say, and I've been trying to make that not true for myself. Youth, though, does bring a weight—our interests and habits at a young age reverberate long through life. As someone without burning desires, I've struggled to commit myself to things out of fear that I'll trap myself for too long. I've been pretty paralyzed for years. Time to commit.
How are you feeling? If you are in LA or on the internet and need a hug, a burrito, or a conversation, let me know. We're together in this revolt.
If you want a playlist for diving into what I'll call a "heavy headspace" (deep ambient?), I recommend: Selfless State by So Inagawa, Broken by Roberto Rodriguez, LOVE by James Booth, and then Nuit Sonores by Floating Points. Go for a long drive or walk.