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33

An Account of My Hut

I don't want to live in a spaceship

(missing author)

0
terms
5
notes

by Christina Nichol. pretty good one about wildfires in California

? (2018). An Account of My Hut. n+1, 31, pp. 33-56

39

“It sounds like you’re not enjoying this process,” my Red Cross friend said. “Looking for a house together should be a journey of joy.”

For a moment I believed her and felt a slow sinking feeling. Then I remembered that she’s always insisting that I need to be more open-minded about the tech world, because Silicon Valley offers many opportunities for storytellers.

“Like what?” I asked once.

“Like Fitbit. You track the Fitbit family users. After they exercise, some guys go to the sports bar; their girlfriends go to the frozen yogurt shop. Which user consumes more calories?”

“That’s a story?”

—p.39 missing author 11 months ago

“It sounds like you’re not enjoying this process,” my Red Cross friend said. “Looking for a house together should be a journey of joy.”

For a moment I believed her and felt a slow sinking feeling. Then I remembered that she’s always insisting that I need to be more open-minded about the tech world, because Silicon Valley offers many opportunities for storytellers.

“Like what?” I asked once.

“Like Fitbit. You track the Fitbit family users. After they exercise, some guys go to the sports bar; their girlfriends go to the frozen yogurt shop. Which user consumes more calories?”

“That’s a story?”

—p.39 missing author 11 months ago
41

Oh, no, I thought. I’m turning into my dad. He often told stories about how the heartbeat of the ocean might stop, which would affect the wind and freeze parts of the Midwest and Europe. For this reason I think of discussing climate change as a relaxing family activity. My father’s second wife, on the other hand, got so tired of hearing about global warming that she considered getting a STOP GLOBAL DOOMING bumper sticker for her car. When my brother announced that his wife was pregnant, my dad told him he wouldn’t need a college fund since there wouldn’t be any college in the future. My brother, who was tenderly grilling ribs, threw down his barbecue fork and said, “For once I want to talk about life, and not always be focused on the end!” After that, climate change became a forbidden topic on holidays. Now I was rediscovering what I’d understood as a kid: people don’t respond well to threats, to cajoling, to end-of-the-world scenarios, to dystopian futures, to hopelessness.

—p.41 missing author 11 months ago

Oh, no, I thought. I’m turning into my dad. He often told stories about how the heartbeat of the ocean might stop, which would affect the wind and freeze parts of the Midwest and Europe. For this reason I think of discussing climate change as a relaxing family activity. My father’s second wife, on the other hand, got so tired of hearing about global warming that she considered getting a STOP GLOBAL DOOMING bumper sticker for her car. When my brother announced that his wife was pregnant, my dad told him he wouldn’t need a college fund since there wouldn’t be any college in the future. My brother, who was tenderly grilling ribs, threw down his barbecue fork and said, “For once I want to talk about life, and not always be focused on the end!” After that, climate change became a forbidden topic on holidays. Now I was rediscovering what I’d understood as a kid: people don’t respond well to threats, to cajoling, to end-of-the-world scenarios, to dystopian futures, to hopelessness.

—p.41 missing author 11 months ago
46

[...] Our psyches were never prepared to deal with the isolation of American culture, nor the sadness of the tragedies we see every day, nor the reality of our dying ecosystems. For hundreds of thousands of years grief rituals recalibrated the fields of trauma. These days there is no communal cup of sorrow; there is only psychotherapy, which colludes with the privatization of property, the privatization of consciousness, and the privatization of grief — with “own your sorrow.” These days, the great fear we have about grief is that we have to face it alone. And so people avoid it and it settles like sediment over our psyches. There is personal grief, but since we are all connected, there is also the sorrow we feel for the world right now. And that cannot be processed alone. We cannot think our way through this mess. Nor can we moralize our way through it. Our workshop leader suggested that the thing that will save us may be our own broken hearts, for true action can only come through these deeper feelings.

—p.46 missing author 11 months ago

[...] Our psyches were never prepared to deal with the isolation of American culture, nor the sadness of the tragedies we see every day, nor the reality of our dying ecosystems. For hundreds of thousands of years grief rituals recalibrated the fields of trauma. These days there is no communal cup of sorrow; there is only psychotherapy, which colludes with the privatization of property, the privatization of consciousness, and the privatization of grief — with “own your sorrow.” These days, the great fear we have about grief is that we have to face it alone. And so people avoid it and it settles like sediment over our psyches. There is personal grief, but since we are all connected, there is also the sorrow we feel for the world right now. And that cannot be processed alone. We cannot think our way through this mess. Nor can we moralize our way through it. Our workshop leader suggested that the thing that will save us may be our own broken hearts, for true action can only come through these deeper feelings.

—p.46 missing author 11 months ago
47

“You should get out of the Silicon Valley rat race and dedicate yourself to transitioning to a green economy,” I heard myself saying. “You’re a scientist. You can help develop technologies. This article says we have to treat climate change like we are fighting World War II. For example, we have to start movements where everyone paints their roofs white to try to dissipate the heat before it reaches a 2 degree Celsius rise. We have to cut carbon emissions now,” I said. “Here’s an article about what we can do to stay below a 2 degree rise. There are solutions. If you were to really internalize that we are the first generation to see the effects of climate change and the last generation to be able to do anything about it, would you change your life?” Even while I spoke I could hear myself sounding like a maniac. I kept reminding myself that people don’t respond well to threats, to cajoling, to end-of-the-world scenarios. But I couldn’t help it. I was in a bad mood because it was so hot outside.

[...]

“Yes, it’s the right thing to do,” Bongjun finally said calmly, in response to my grief workshop–induced rage. “But if it were really that bad, as bad as you say, don’t you think Google would be doing something about it?”

—p.47 missing author 11 months ago

“You should get out of the Silicon Valley rat race and dedicate yourself to transitioning to a green economy,” I heard myself saying. “You’re a scientist. You can help develop technologies. This article says we have to treat climate change like we are fighting World War II. For example, we have to start movements where everyone paints their roofs white to try to dissipate the heat before it reaches a 2 degree Celsius rise. We have to cut carbon emissions now,” I said. “Here’s an article about what we can do to stay below a 2 degree rise. There are solutions. If you were to really internalize that we are the first generation to see the effects of climate change and the last generation to be able to do anything about it, would you change your life?” Even while I spoke I could hear myself sounding like a maniac. I kept reminding myself that people don’t respond well to threats, to cajoling, to end-of-the-world scenarios. But I couldn’t help it. I was in a bad mood because it was so hot outside.

[...]

“Yes, it’s the right thing to do,” Bongjun finally said calmly, in response to my grief workshop–induced rage. “But if it were really that bad, as bad as you say, don’t you think Google would be doing something about it?”

—p.47 missing author 11 months ago
48

THE NEXT DAY, having survived the night and craving fresh air, I drove to the ocean. I was searching for clean air, but smoke covered the soot-colored sea all the way to the horizon. I could have felt guilty for driving a car with an internal combustion engine, but guilt goes on hold during fires. I sped on my way home, because the rule of law no longer applies during fires. This is the wildness that descends. This is the triggered reptilian brain. During the fires we craved sugar and fat and ordered take-out pizza and didn’t mention that we usually never order pizza. During the fires my neighbor, the goddess, forgot she was gluten intolerant. During the fires all I could think of was the word holdfast.

—p.48 missing author 11 months ago

THE NEXT DAY, having survived the night and craving fresh air, I drove to the ocean. I was searching for clean air, but smoke covered the soot-colored sea all the way to the horizon. I could have felt guilty for driving a car with an internal combustion engine, but guilt goes on hold during fires. I sped on my way home, because the rule of law no longer applies during fires. This is the wildness that descends. This is the triggered reptilian brain. During the fires we craved sugar and fat and ordered take-out pizza and didn’t mention that we usually never order pizza. During the fires my neighbor, the goddess, forgot she was gluten intolerant. During the fires all I could think of was the word holdfast.

—p.48 missing author 11 months ago