Trending David Bowie: a cultural disaster

Julian Langer / Deep Green Resistance UK

I woke up this morning to find my social media feed awash with David Bowie mourners, with too many articles on the subject to count. His death also featured on TV stations and the airwaves. Bowie is an icon within the industry of 20th and 21st century capitalism, arguably unmatched in terms of following, creativity and cultural impact. He undeniably had great talent. But, how can this culture place such disproportionate emphasis on the death of one man, relative to far more pressing issues?

The spectacle of this culture covers up a greater state of loss, with not even a tiny fraction of the attention paid to Bowie’s death given to matters of planetary life and death. These are just a few of the environmental and technology articles I found today with repercussions far greater than those from the death of one celebrity, no matter how popular:

Our cultural focus is a complete and utter disaster. The cultural spectacle leaves us increasingly distracted, while our world falls apart and we trust our fate to those who profit from the disintegration.

Personally, I feel a lot like Lisa Simpson in The Simpsons Movie, when she says “This town is just one piece of trash away from a toxic nightmare! But I knew you wouldn’t listen. So I took the liberty of pouring water from the lake in all your drinking glasses!”, to which Moe responds with “See, this is why we should hate kids!” But this isn’t a cartoon. Neither Lisa Simpson, David Bowie, nor even Spider-Pig will stop this culture and the world it is creating. We need to take on the responsibility, and resist in whatever ways we can.

#EPICFAIL in Paris: COP21

Julian Langer / Deep Green Resistance UK

The President of the USA, Obama, is describing the Paris Climate Deal as a turning point for the world. The delegates stand up and applaud, in congratulations of this supposedly historic event in contemporary political history.

…… I’m sorry, but, what?!

James Hansen, among other experts, has already articulated criticism of this deal – “It’s a fraud really, a fake. It’s just bullshit …” and honestly, do we need more bullshit?

Al Gore and business leaders are claiming this deal might be the trigger for the end of the fossil fuel era, but emissions aren’t expected to peak until 2030. That’s more than 5000 days before peak emissions, 5000 days of everything getting even worse. Civilization is already driving 200 species extinct every day – to quote Lierre Keith “They were my kin. They were yours too”.

Even from a purely anthropocentric perspective, the situation is bad and getting worse. Low-lying coastal states are already at a critical point, facing the cost of rising sea levels in their daily lives. Even the UK, in a far better situation to respond to this worsening crisis, is facing the devastating consequences of this culture’s way of life. We’ve seen climate change trigger the current refugee crisis in Europe, and today’s business-as-usual will make the future crisis even worse.

I’ll rephrase my previous question – can we afford (in terms of lives, not money) more bullshit?

It is time for us to reclaim environmentalism from the clutches of those wishing to make the destruction of our planet “sustainable.” It is time to create a culture of resistance to protect the natural world from the demands of this culture.

We just lost two million hectares of forest and two years to prevent runaway climate change…

…but at least they released the trailer for the new Star Wars film.

Julian Langer / Deep Green Resistance UK

Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images

Children are choking to death and being prepared for evacuation as forest fires ravage Indonesia in what is probably the most severe environmental disaster of the 21st century. Endangered orangutans are losing their homes and food sources, which, obviously, has a severe knock on effect for their survival. Every day, the carbon emissions from these fires equals those from the USA, and we all know how much Americans love to be “green”.

“Apocalyptic hellish scene” said Ben Henschke of BBC Indonesia. This is a tragic event of unparalleled proportion, but what is this culture talking about? Star Wars!

What is the (extremely) probable cause of this devastation? Corruption and corporate greed! Already there is palm oil being grown illegally on the decimated remains of the forest homes of orangutans. Palm oil giants, sourcing from independent smallholders, are profiteering from what is choking children to death, but what trends on Twitter? Star Wars.

“It’s no wonder we don’t defend the land where we live. We don’t live here. We live in television programs and movies and books and with celebrities and in heaven and by rules and laws and abstractions created by people far away and we live anywhere and everywhere except in our particular bodies on this particular land at this particular moment in these particular circumstances.”

― Derrick Jensen, Endgame, Vol. 2: Resistance