The Week Ahead
Time was when a week meant something.
You could plan for it, a week. You could go into Monday with some clue where you’d be by Friday. Sure, things happen, the usual muddle, but you could plan for that too, the expectation of a few twists and turns, nothing major, nothing out of the ordinary.
Weeks were ordinary. Months were ordinary, more or less. Even a year could go by, not much different than the last.
We don’t remember the last time anything felt ordinary.
See, right there, right there, we’ve lost all expectation of a world spinning the proper direction and the proper speed on its axis. The globe has spun loose on its stand, rolled down the table, and fallen to the floor.
But we’re used to that, you say. We’re used to the leader of the most powerful country on Earth, taking power without the consent of a majority of its citizens, saying something batshit crazy. He does that every week. Just ignore him.
Except we can’t.
Actually, we can, y’know, we can ignore him to a degree commensurate with our personal safety, we’re reasonably certain that this won’t be the week his goons go door-to-door demanding to review our birth certificate.
Being white, that is. If we’re brown, we’re probably giving serious thought to keeping our paperwork with us.
But Greenland, well, we can ignore that. Right?
Except for what follows. Except for other people taking the idea seriously, explaining it, defending it. Why wouldn’t we buy Greenland? We bought Alaska, after all. An American purchase of Greenland could represent an extraordinary deal in terms of America’s national security, economic interests, and environmental protection.
We should have put that last line in quotes, but why bother. Another week, and it’ll be conventional wisdom. Another week, and the batshit pronouncement of an illegitimate leader will have been absorbed into the cancerous part of America’s body politic. Not because it’s a good idea. Because he said it. And anything he says must be defended at all costs.
That’s the part we can’t ignore: The blind allegiance. The contagion of it. The utter denial that the globe has spun off its stand, much less fallen to the floor and shattered into a million pieces. It’s still spinning in place. Our Glorious Leader says so.
God knows what he’s gonna say this week.
Here’s something else that happened last week. The American Meteorological Society released its annual State of the Climate report. 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record — the others being 2017, 2016, and 2015. Sea levels continued their seven-year streak of shattering records. Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide reached new highs — not just since we started measuring, but compared to ice cores going back 800,000 years.
This keeps up — and there’s no reason it won’t, since we critters aren’t doing shit about it — “food will become scarcer, grocery prices will spike and crops will lose their nutritional value”.
Nothing unexpected about that, really. Nothing we haven’t known for years. Decades. Generations.
That much is ordinary. That much you can count on, the inevitability of our ultimate doom, not billions of years from now when the sun embiggens and fries our planet to a crisp, but decades from now, within the lifetimes of adults today.
Time was we could have done something about it. But, y’know, if it’s not Greenland, it’s always something else.