Cracking the Planet of the Humans

We can’t electric car and solar panel our way out of this.

That was the gist of the groundbreaking film by Jeff Gibbs that was executive produced and promoted by documentary legend Michael Moore.

This film also got a full front page of my hometown’s paper, the Times Colonist. The local icon news source is based in Victoria, British Columbia Canada so not even the film’s county of origin in the United States.

The movie sparked immediate discussion and even backlash as people took the film up on a few technical points such as the dates of certain clips, but on the whole the idea stands strong, raising other issues that just can’t be ignored.

The one that sticks out to me is the one that Gibbs has repeated on multiple occasions in interviews…

You cannot have infinite growth on a finite planet

The timing of film was accidentally in the middle of Covid 19 outbreak. From a rumor of this “thing going on in the Wuhan, China” it quickly grew exponentially in the next few months until countries and their people found themselves in lockdown. We’ve all been through it so what need be said, but now even the most powerful person on earth has been proven as unable to be protected from this change of events.

Despite conspiracy theories of secret labs in the province of Hubei there has been the talks about involvement of bats, specifically in a wet market where animals are traded and that somehow it was able to jump species.

Like climate change it seems one thing overrides most of our problems, which is the same infinite growth Gibbs speaks to.

As we push the earth harder and harder things start to give. Some of our largest glaciers are disappearing. Rainforests are being destroyed and the polar ice caps are all but gone.

Mother Nature is forgiving, but it seems only to a point.

Now the thing is, what drives this? We humans know this is terrible but we persist with the same direction. Are we just crazy or greedy or thoughtless or what?

If I may I’d like to divert away to say a little about one human, myself before age ten.

Ever since I was about 6 I’ve watched nature shows and documentaries. I remember my mom being enthusiastic about this because she was taking night classes in early childhood education in the 80s. The reason for this enthusiasm was that instructor told all her aspiring teachers to “watch more nature programs like Nova and Lorne Greene’s New Wilderness” and there was me blasting through them with a boozy gusto just for fun.

But in every one of them it was the same thing, everything was going along great and then invariably man steps into the picture. Our report card at that moment was never glowing. There might be some scientist by the end of the show who was trying to reverse the effects, but on the whole we always came off as the bad guys and for good reason. Our thing was always to take over, push nature aside and destroy.

This activity was just the kind of thing that could put what was meant to stay far from us into close proximity, such as a defensive virus.

“I’m sorry humans”, says Mother Nature like a preschool teacher, “but you need to have a time out.”

Which, of course, returns us to the quote by Jeff Gibbs again.

So the problem is infinite growth. But what is behind that? I like looking at things this way.

Total tangent, but I think it’s because of another show I watched as a kid religiously…Robotech.

It was a Japanese cartoon but the gist of the whole series was that we were invaded by the Zentradi who looked like us but were just much taller, who were pushed by the Robotech Masters, who were pushed but the Invid.

So essentially behind what you see, someone unseen is pushing.

So, who is our Invid right now? What is the unseen force that is pushing us?

What’s wierd is that, well, we are.

We have created a world of cheques and balances. We have created a world of capitalistic neoliberal meritocracy where you are either making money or you’re not, where you’re ahead or behind. We have made a religion of it and we are all affected.

Even for myself when a YouTube video on the future of capitalism said “There will not be any jobs in the near future” it felt like I had just been punched in the chest.

And I’m into ideas that defy the norm. That’s how deep seated our connection is to our work…and the idea of bigger and better.

Infinite growth. Our Invid.

So we have heard and seen how AI and automation is coming, and from what the film suggests we have to slam on the breaks. But how?

What we need is something that allows us to not worry about having to create larger growth. We need to know that no matter what we do this year, next year will be ok. Lions, tigers and bears feel like this. Dogs and cats and mice feel like this. Baby dolphins feel like this. The whole planet does, just not the humans.

It’s because we’re the only ones who feel we have to work to live here.

This brings me to the solution which you may have guessed…the idea of a basic income.

This is an idea that has been around since 1516 with Sir Thomas More, later picked up by United States founding father Thomas Paine when he addressed critics around the time of the French Revolution in his book “The Rights of Man”

Since then the idea has been championed by a number of famous and not famous names from across the political spectrum like Martin Luther king Jr, Milton Friedman, Richard Nixon, Hugh Segal, Brian Mulroney, Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, Andrew Yang and Robert Reich.

There are many different versions of it as well as different ideas as to how to fund it, but with the oncoming reality of our increased to cut labor, it seems more and more of us are awakening to the idea that this is the way of the future. John Maynard Keynes said as much years ago when he predicted that there would be so little work that boredom would be the biggest problem.

But here’s where I join the dots.

If we don’t have the fear of scarcity beneath us, if we know we will be ok, if we know we don’t have to push our earth to the limit, we can dial back the clock. Nothing helps with keeping local and not wondering what kind of car to use like not needing to use the car at all. Nothing helps a company made of people not worry that they have to beat the other guy like knowing that they don’t have to push for bigger and that they will be ok.

A basic income raising the floor beneath us has the power to create an absolute seismic shift in how our world operates for the better.

A basic income harkens racial equality as a basic income literally declares that all persons deserve the same ability to live as a guaranteed human right. It is not a hand out, it’s not a hand up, it is your inheritance.

A basic income reduces stress, proved by the smaller isolated cases in pilots such as the recent Ontario pilot, Finland two year project and ongoing South Korean experiment.

Income dictates health. Health dictates where money is diverted and the ability for everyone to calmly choose the best for themselves creates towns we would want to call home.

It’s time for this Planet of the Humans to be like the tigers, bears, cats and lions…

Let’s get a basic income.

Let’s sleep tonight.

Thank you for reading.

Tom Pogson

She Lives There

It’s been almost a year now since the recording of my first official single She Lives There and the rest of The Goldblacks album.

I’m presently working on two projects outside of my role as bassist for the Celtic band Cookeilidh

The first is The Quiet City book project which has a free chapter you can sample here.

I’m also working on developing my studio and new material towards the next album.

I’ll keep you updated as these two side projects grow.

Until then you can get “She Lives There” on iTunes here

Or find me on Spotify here

Thank you for supporting independent artists!

Cheers!!

Tom Pogson

The man who caused the 2016 election and potentially 2020.

Ever read a run on sentence? Like a really bad one? Like a really, really bad one.

Like imagine if you had a twelve year old tabby cat that is rather spry for its age and when you were not looking at about eleven after five the cat went outside and you couldn’t find it and you ran into your neighbors and they said they didn’t see it they did want to ask you if you had seen that really interesting show on television about how their cousin Brian Williams from Albany, New York was going to be part of the US Bobsled team but was actually or at least nearly dropped because he didn’t use the proper sanitary box for his November 5th urine sample and so you decided to go get a beer with them at that new place, you know the one with the red umbrellas that overlooks the Inner Harbour around the corner from where they are still cleaning up the harbour from what use to be a paint factory and everyone is up in arms about because the contractor involved in it which is called Big Beaver Construction that seriously makes everyone laugh anyway…

You get the idea. Hard to remember it was actually about a cat.

That is part of the plan set up by Steven Bannon when he met Donald Trump at a function long before what would be Trump’s second run for office. They were going to do the media equivalent of a run on sentence and now we are all living it.

It’s why when you talk about what “he did” a week ago or what “he tweeted” feels like a different era.

It was planned.

Taken directly from Bannon’s Wikipedia page…

Bannon told journalist Michael Lewis in February 2018, “We got elected on Drain the Swamp, Lock Her Up, Build a Wall. This was pure anger. Anger and fear is what gets people to the polls.” He added, “The Democrats don’t matter. The real opposition is the media. And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with shit

So essentially, for the base he created straight forward simple talking points that they could get behind. For the media he instructed Donald to keep the media hopping with one specific thing after another specific thing, causing everyone to run defense.

Remember the mallet game at any Chunk E Cheese? It’s like that.

On multiple occasions Bannon made reference to The Camp of the Saints which is a novel published in 1973 by author and explorer Jean Raspail. Not sure what you explore in 73 but that’s from Wiki.

Not only is this book more blatantly racist than Mein Kempf (and becoming frighteningly popular) but it also anti immigration to say the least as it speaks of the western world being swarmed by “Indians” who kill, rape and worse until the last white person is gone.

As such the idea that this former editor of Brietbart Magazine, which Bannon proudly calls alt-right, would be the source of ideas like “the wall” and “fake news” shouldn’t surprise anyone.

The constant stream of one thing after another is a perfect deflection game, on top of the anti Clinton deflection which they knew they would get supporters to then join in on, a strategy that still continues just as voraciously now despite Hillary Clinton being out of political life entirely since December of 2016.

The influence of Steven Bannon on the current administration, despite him being physically gone can not be overstated.

The character of Sir Humphrey Appleby from the BBC comedy series “Yes, Minister” explain it perfectly…

“No government will change the apparatus that put them in power”

As such the far more effective thing is counter intuitive. I mean, you’re reading from the guy who slammed social media and is now here after more pushed reactions.

Oh yeah, I was counter-tweeting and liking my side this morning too. I’ve had times when I’ve made a point to not engage as it sets me off and kills my own productivity.

Sound familiar? This is it…it’s hard to do anything like that.

We have to, myself included, get to the point when we know that it’s all about getting your reaction. It’s interesting when you read our news or BBC because you start finding about the other news out there in the world you never heard about because it isn’t the 1900 Pennsylvania Avenue Soap Opera.

So my advice is to make your own point, ignoring completely the Bannon-built apparatus. Make decisions about how you “can do for your country” and go straight there. If you are running (a) holy cow! Thank you for reading and (b) drop the anyone but Trump thing. Tell us what you are going to do. Say what your plan is in your manifesto. It comes down to that one hard as he’ll thing. Ignore Trump. As Stephen Fry said “he becomes bigger as we talk about him…he fades away as we don’t. ”

Just that. Leave Camp of the Saints, Bannon and Brietbart where they belong…

Forgotten.

Cheers,

Tom

Update….More than happy that he is now arrested and facing legal trouble for fraud. Interesting how this is happening within eighty days of the 2020 election. One can only hope this wrapping up of how it started is a precursor to how it ends.

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