Tweeting at Windmills in the Drunken Forest

Photograph Source: Jon Ranson, NASA Science Blog – Public Domain

The “drunken forests” of Northern Alaska are an apt symbol for the peak Anthropocene age. Liquefying permafrost beneath the forest floor causes trees to lose their upright alignment and tilt haphazardly. The turmoil beneath the surface is finally emerging as a visible upheaval. The phenomena isn’t just limited to remote Arctic areas, but can be seen, metaphorically, at least, wherever global financiers have created the conditions for those about to lose their already slippery foothold on survival, or even reality. It’s not just trees buckling under the influence of capitalism.

Most people are similarly becoming untethered to the ground beneath them, whether it’s the loss of security, income or just sanity. Some will fall, while others will take on a new shape to maintain balance amid an ever-shifting and hostile environment, contorting painfully to remain standing among petrified ghosts in a rising swamp. They will rationalize any atrocity committed against them, seeing their own willingness to agree to its terms as a hedge against volatility in the soylent green market. That sucking sound in Boreal hinterlands is our own futures being liquidated at bottom barrel prices on the trading floor.

Even in warmer, urban climates, an irreversible catastrophe is roiling underfoot, and poised to upend the vertical, steel-supported edifices built by the Overlords of Planetary Destruction. It won’t take melting permafrost to weaken gravity’s hold on their permanence and power, but a financial crash that will unleash another extreme extinction event.

Anyone who has noticed that technology remains firmly in the service of those hoping to horn in on a financial transaction with a confounding, data-mining app won’t be holding out hope for a “tech-based solution” to End Times. At best it will provide an exit strategy for billionaires looking for ways to add a divinity pool/nuclear launch pad to their bunkers beneath a recently purchased volcano in New Zealand.

It seems only fitting that the president is tweeting at windmills, and free-associating cancer-causing bird killing machines with the albatross powered television sets he remembers from watching the Flintstones. Donald Trump is arguably driving himself insane, having become deliberately pried loose from the constraints once placed upon power. “In case of fire, break Glass-Steagall Act”. Mission, you might say, finally accomplished with the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” that reward the super-wealthy with further tax breaks, while taking an axe to everyone else with repeated blows to the skull.

DOTUS suffers the same derangement that propels his liberal detractors’ hallucinations of an orange blubber monster hiding under their beds. For Trump, it’s the unbearable greatness of being Trump that has reduced him to a gibbering zombie impersonating a windmill as he rhetorically lurches from one non sequitur to the next. The pressure of a ten ton ego bearing down on a diminishing, dotard brain has reached its breaking point, and ours.

For those suffering Trump Derangement Syndrome, there’s hope ahead in the form of a Big Oil, neoliberal lackey waiting in the wings to further de-stabilize Venezuela, and not care at all that your elderly neighbor is living on your doorstep and stealing the cat food you put out there. Luckily for those holding the tranquilizer darts and Diet Coke, American power is a death machine on autopilot. It’s Commander-in-Chief can either snooze in the cockpit or press the bright red ‘eject’ button repeatedly. Whether a dead marmoset or a Nobel laureate is at the controls, the stealth flyer will still find its Bedouin targets and vaporize the innocent.,

Syphilitic Mogulitis, a brain-wasting disease of late-stage capitalism is a host-devouring, incremental killer. Its Tourettes like symptoms reflect and mimic a media landscape of chattering heads within a sealed echo chamber delivering a single message over the last 40 years: Die Planet! We can’t have nice things like all-you-can-eat lobster tails for $9.95, or insulin at $400 a dose unless we declare Armageddon on all tree toads and orangutans. Normally, we hear it as “Commodities lead 2019’s market rebound . . .” but we are finally getting the unfiltered version, thanks to an ailing DOTUS with the vocabulary of a Myna bird caged in a basement rumpus room where FOX & FReiNDz” is on blast throughout the day. At least now we know what Americans are fighting in its endless wars across the planet: The right to go into insulin shock while bearing arms at Red Lobster. The symptoms of late capitalism are no longer masked behind a seemingly benign carrier, but openly raging in symphony with the howling storms of impending collapse.

“Griff Jenkins is live at our border now, gearing up for a showdown there between the president and hundreds of menstruating Mexican cartel members throwing tampons over the wall. But first, let’s listen to a five-second clip of country music for no reason at all . . . “

By now we should recognize the connections between the uprooted trees in the disenchanted forest, the sunken migrant ships off the coast of Italy, the permanently maimed protesters in Gaza, and the deliberately starved and drowned populations of Yemen and Mozambique. We still can’t see the forest despite sinking trees providing a nearly unobstructed view of the abyss underfoot and ahead.

“Now back to you, Griff . . . “

Jennifer Matsui is a writer living in Tokyo and a columnist for the print edition of CounterPunch magazine.