Thursday, February 5, 2009


Soft-Green critics have called me an “extremist”, and I have always replied to that criticism with question. “Is an extremist someone who has relatively ‘extreme’ views, or someone who simply has a clearer comprehension of an extreme predicament?” Extremism is a function of time and place. In 1859, John Brown was regarded as an extremist, a dangerous and delusional man for suggesting that if the United States did not excavate and remove the cancer of slavery, it would become a bloodbath. By 1864 after the nation lost 4% of its population in doing just that, John Brown was a prophet and heroic martyr. Even during the Civil War, Union soldiers sang a song in his praise. Will our eulogy be sung by extra-terrestrial archaeologists? It must be remembered that Cassandra was an extremist too, and she was also right about her visions. Today’s heresy often becomes tomorrow’s truth.

Do you think in retrospect, that John Brown should have “toned down” and “softened” his message? Perhaps hired a New York publicity firm with polished hacks who could coach him what to say and how to say it? Perhaps he could have proposed to free just 50% of the slaves, rather than 100%, with a full compensation package for slave owners similar to the Golden Parachutes that Wall Street bankers are getting today. And Tony Robbins could have done a make-over of his negative personality traits, transforming him into a mellow meditator who felt at one with the universe, a universe that was unfolding as it should, without his interventions. If only the Self-Help Industry was thriving then, slaves and slaveowners alike could have felt good about themselves, and in the process re-define reality as consisting solely of their own perceptions of it. Don’t worry, be happy. At the very least, John Brown would have eschewed violent solutions, and changed his communication style. He would have not have come on so strong. Instead, he would say something like this,

“Like, maybe, perhaps, you kind of should maybe think of dumping this slavery thing America, I mean, it is toxic to your system don’t you think? I mean, no offence---I’m cool with your choices man, don’t get me wrong. I am not being judgmental here, I mean who I am I to judge, just because slavery is wrong to me, it may be OK to you and I have to appreciate where you are coming from. All morals are relative, right, do you know what I mean? So it’s just a suggestion. Think about it. Well, nice talking to you dudes, but I promised myself that I would veg-out on the beach for a while. You gotta take care of yourself first, right? Love yourself first, right? That’s what I do, and now I love all you guys, slaves and slaveowners, robber barrons, slave traders alike---all Americans, because we are all one with the universe. If we only loved one another, we wouldn’t have to change a darn thing because then our attitude would be one of acceptance and peace.”

I wonder how the course of history would have been different had the Self Help Industry been at the helm. No need for OPT, because if everyone loved one another, there would be enough to go around, like John Lennon thought. He could have kept his millions like Sir Paul and “Love” would have fed 6.8 billion people and more. Then again, the Self Help Industry has always been in charge, hasn’t it? Only we used to call it “The Help-Yourself Industry”. Motto, “Grab as much as you can and run, the devil take the hindmost.” And above all, stay positive. Article 51 of the Constitution says that it is mandatory to be positive, and radiate that positivity to others. The glass must always be seen as half-full, even though the aquifers soon won’t be able to refill it. Remember, we are not here to tell the truth, but deny it, for our mandate is boost morale. Feeling good is what counts. And making people happy makes you feel good. Ecological meltdown, what meltdown?

Now that is what I call an extreme view, don’t you?

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