FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Shut the Fuck Up, Missy

A couple of hours after reading the Trump administration’s devastating climate report, I was assaulted by Tangerine Nightmare’s ignorance, his tweet: “Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS – Whatever happened to Global Warming?”

Later, I lay in bed, angst-ing about the children, mine as well as yours. I’m visual, evoking a landscape not unlike images from The Walking Dead. Sometimes, when I can’t relax, I count backward from 10, focusing on each number. Yet numbers can bring additional anxiety. How many years? How many years before ecocide, omni-cide?

Seems the experts’ consensus is a bit conservative though, erring on the edge of hope. Hope? As if some genius will discover a medical therapy for Earth’s disease. Like using chemicals to block the sun.

Anyway, finally, finally, I slept. And then…… wham, waking from a dream with a cortisol jolt and pounding heart. In this dream, I was with my sister Laura and our mother in the house where my siblings and I grew up. I stood, looking out the living room window and saw a flash, what I imagined was an attack. Flames rose across the horizon, almost hovering as sheets of ice and snow exploded to the ground. I ran outside to search for my children. No more flames and the blizzard had ended. I trudged through snow, snowdrifts, and silence. Suddenly, the snow opened beneath my feet. I fell. And I fell. And I continued to fall. And I knew, knew no one had seen me, knew I couldn’t climb the soft snow, knew no one could hear my calls for help. Knew I would die there when my children needed me. Knew I would be unable to save them.

When I ran the following morning, Sunday, the dream ran with me. I thought of the flash of light and flames that I’d perceived as an attack. They were and are. These latest fires that have ravaged California. Hell came to Paradise. Paradise lost. Like being in a war zone, according to a rescue worker.

Just ask the Other. Just ask the Other about warzones. Warzones like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Gaza, and, oh, god, Yemen. The starving children of Yemen, their begging eyes, begging for food, begging for water, their ribs exposed, their faces haunting us, haunting my sleep. I want them both out of my dreams yet grasp the necessity that they remain, although I don’t need more reminders of what it means here and there, what Empire and this diabolical capitalist system exact, the suffering and barbarism.

As I ran, I obsessed on the burning of fossil fuels, conjuring acridity. Then this: the amount of energy required to kill men, women, and children in the countries where US troops stomp their blood-drenched boots. Powering titanic planes to carry servicemen and women thousands of miles away to lay waste to their own lives as well as the lives and the environment of mostly brown people. The enormity of transporting military personnel, contractors, and war weaponry.

Next: thoughts of my mother, my engaging, entertaining mother who became unbearably pessimistic when she was in her 80s. “I think the world should end,” she’d announce. Fine, I’d respond, but please avoid saying this in the presence of my children.

I’ve become my mother. It’s not because I think, as she did, that the world should end. I just believe that it is ending. That we are witness to its death, and for a reason she never acknowledged: global climate change.

My mother wouldn’t allow us to say “shut up.” She thought it was crude. I say it, not to defy her but because it’s expressive, tweaking it slightly. And I’ve told my children to say, when I’m annoyingly cynical, “Mom, I love you, but shut the fuck up.”

“Why would anyone bring children into this world?”

“Mom, I love you, but shut the fuck up.”

Shut the fuck up, Missy.

More articles by:

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

August 03, 2020
Linda Pentz Gunter
The Resistible Rise of Nuclear Gangsters…and Their Downfall
John G. Russell
The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters
Cal Winslow
Their Heroes and Ours: California’s Health Care Crisis
David Barber
Renouncing White Privilege: A Left Critique of Robin DiAngelo’s “White Fragility”
Linda G. Ford
Free Joy Powell! America’s Political Prisoner for Fighting Police Brutality
Prabir Purkayastha
Trump’s Withdrawal From WHO: a Cover-Up for His Abject Failure on COVID-19
Dean Baker
The Plunge in Consumption of Services Leads to a Record 32.9 Percent Drop in GDP
Ramzy Baroud
Human Rights Defenders: Palestinian Eyewitness Testimony of the Execution of Abdul Fattah al-Sharif by Israeli Soldier, Elor Azaria
Karen J. Greenberg
Accountability is Gone in America
Cesar Chelala
A Wrong Message for the Pandemic
Jonah Raskin
Chesa Boudin: Reformer in the San Francisco DA’s Office
George Wuerthner
Forest Plan Failure in the Montana Rockies
Ralph Nader
Speaker Nancy Pelosi Writes to Me!
Laura Flanders
Take on the Tech Mob Now or Perish
CounterPunch News Service
Conservationists Intervene to Oppose New Dam Project Near the Grand Canyon
Weekend Edition
July 31, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Bette Lee
Tear Gas and Thugs at the BLM Protests in Portland
Rob Urie
Russiagate, Nazis, and the CIA
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Demon Seed
T.J. Coles
The Space Wars Have Begun
Andrew Levine
Insurgents and Iconoclasts Needed (But for Now Lay Low)
Paul Street
“Time to Say the F-Word”: Why Now?
Matthew Scully
The Triple Antagonist of the Police, Policing, and Policy
Richard D. Wolff
The Consequences of Inequality Can Be Fatal
Richard C. Gross
Feds Give In, Maybe
Erik Molvar
Inside Trump’s Attack on America’s Environmental Charter
W. T. Whitney
“We Charge Genocide:” Forerunner at UN of Black Lives Matter
Brett Wilkins
The Bologna Massacre, the ‘Strategy of Tension’ and Operation Gladio
Nick Pemberton
Does The Left Stand With Uighurs?
Cesar Chelala
Donald Trump’s Misguided Attacks on WHO
Barbara G. Ellis
A Portland ‘Sit-Down’ Can Rock Trump’s Boat
Nancy J. Altman
On Medicare and Medicaid’s 55th Birthday, Let’s Expand Benefits—Not Cut Them
John O'Kane
Systemic Racism And Progressive Reconstruction
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange’s Political Indictment: Old Wine in Older Bottles
Ramzy Baroud
List of Targets Leaked: Israel Fears the Worst in ICC Investigation of War Crimes
Marshall Auerback
Every Step the EU Takes Toward Financial Unity Sows New Seeds of Its Potential Collapse
Bob Fitrakis - Harvey Wasserman
Fascist Ohio’s Bribed $60 Million Nuke Reactor Meltdown
Walden Bello
Could the Duterte Regime be COVID-19’s Next Victim?
Jonathan H. Martin
Bernie Groups Break Free of Dems: New Party Rising?
Ron Jacobs
Hunting with the Father
Michael Welton
What Does It Mean To Tolerate Others?
Eve Ottenberg
Climate Change is Genocide
Serge Halimi
The Twenty Years War
Kathy Kelly
Yemen: a Torrent of Suffering in a Time of Siege
Myles Hoenig
American Exceptionalism
Robert P. Alvarez
I Was Tear Gassed in Portland … and Not Only by the Feds
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail