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Climate Cthulhu: A Post-Modern Horror Story

It is October 2019, dearest motherfuckers, and we are living in a horror story. To say that these are apocalyptic times seems to be a gross understatement. The Biblical notion of Armageddon, what with the gnashing of teeth and pillars of salt, seems almost quaint in our age, like some new attraction at Disney World where the Dipping Dots are served up to the kiddos by friendly leather-clad catamites. The Thunderdome looks like a goddamn jungle gym when compared to the Lovecraftian horrors of climate change. Mankind itself is being stalked by a colossal beast of our own creation with tentacles reaching far and wide across the globe.

From the sinking islands of the South Pacific, which are being swallowed whole like pills by the sea, to the frontiers of Alaska, where the once long frozen tundras are being set ablaze in massive god-size funeral pyres. From the tropical jungles of Central Africa, being erased from the globe by a tidal wave of rapidly expanding Saharan dunes, to the urban jungles of South Asia, where the sun burns so hot that the pavement of the streets themselves melts like ice cream in an oven and the sadhus shrivel up like burnt jerky on the blistering sidewalks. This beast has killed millions. This beast has slaughtered whole civilizations, liquidated glaciers the size of continents and murdered entire seasons in cold blood. Spring and Fall have been burned from the fucking calendar and Winter is next. This beast is just getting started and soon the dog days will last forever, or at least until forever too falls victim to this environmental Cthulhu. Howard Philips shrieks as Mother Nature wails. Ladies and gentleman, we are fucked. The killer has us cornered in the attic and their will be no final girls in this slasher nightmare.

This beast of which I speak, call it climate change, call it global warming, call it whatever the hell you like, is the bastard creation of a Doctor Frankenstein which too goes by many names; globalism, capitalism, neoliberalism, consumerism, industrialism, imperialism. All just different genres of that fickle vice known as modernity, a fork in the road of human evolution where the brightest monkeys fooled themselves into believing that their self-serving technology made them superior to the rest of the living world. As usual, Marx was right and Marx was wrong. Marx was right to observe that capitalism, one of modernity’s more garish offspring, thrived on the nihilistic, almost vampiric thirst for constant expansion. He was wrong however to assume that capitalism’s insatiable hunger would inevitably lead to its own demise. There is another, far more unsavory, end game for the capitalist beast besides the karma of popular revolution, and that is a mass murder-suicide by expansion itself. Marx never imagined, even in his most fevered dreams, that humanity could be so ruthless as to destroy itself with toxic pleasure and use the old Kraut’s beloved industrialism to do it. It took mad men like Theodore Kaczynski to see that coming. Now Ted sits in his concrete tomb in Colorado, too sickened by his own vision to even snarl “I told you so!” to the once smug guards who’s homes are now on fire in the Rockies.

I avoided writing on this topic for years. Not simply because it is incredibly unpleasant. I’ve spent my life in the shadows of exceptable human behavior, cross-dressing and burning flags just for kicks. Unpleasant is a second language to me. I’ve avoided writing on the Climate Cthulhu largely because I felt I lacked the proper vocabulary to capture it truthfully. Like many Americans, I know little of science. I can grasp the importance and meaning behind the terminology but I lack the basic right-brain skill set to properly explain it. But as I find myself entering the thirty-first October of my short existence, I realize that climate change is not merely a scientific story, but a horror story for the post-modern era. That is the kind of story I can tell. And the most truly horrific detail of this grisly tale is the simple, almost unpalatable, fact that it is likely too little too late for a happy ending. We have taken our greed and our vanity and fucked the earth herself. Now the earth must correct us before we can rape her to death with our “progress.” Our best case scenario as a species is that billions will die, society as we know it will collapse and a few pockets of humanity will adapt and survive.

There are people who don’t want you to believe this. Powerful people offering us the opium of hope. But let there be no question that this is a poison gift delivered by the fathers of the beast themselves. That global virus of big business and big government created this nightmare. Trusting them to fix it, especially by awarding there institutions like the United Nations and the American Federal Government more power, more money, more expansion, is a tragic fool’s errand and we can’t afford to be the errand boys of the bourgeoisie anymore. The UN and the Davos set will not save us. They wouldn’t even if they could. They will take our money and our sovereignty and our dwindling resources and use them to save themselves. They will live out a Caligulaesque post-apocalyptic existence in fortified bunkers and space colonies while the rest of us suffer and toil and disintegrate in the fires of the hell their greed made possible.

So, is there any hope? Perhaps, but very little. The monster of climate change was birthed in the cesspool of imperial mass society. Our best hope, our only hope, is to unite beneath a drop-out culture of total retreat from this modern monstrosity we dare call civilization. We must look inwards, towards our own communities, embrace the communalism of our tribal heritage and reject the poison fruit of bigness. We must take care of each other by taking care of our own. Only radical localism can combat radical globalism. However, in order for this strategy to have any impact beyond that of a suicide mission, we will require mass grassroots mobilization. The children of the climate resistance movement have shown us that the possibilities of decentralized global revolt can still shake the towers of the elites.

Sadly, the learned helplessness driven into the subconscious of these kids by statist institutionalism has rendered their otherwise admirable actions impotent. It is a heart-wrenching lesson in the power of manufactured consent that now even our youth revolts have been rendered to the status of begging the adults of the global elite to save us from their own tyranny. I weep at the feet of Greta Thunberg. In any other era she would have been a pubescent warlord like Joan of Arc, bringing the big men of this world to their knees to beg her sword for mercy. In the sickness of our current age she has been reduced to the roll of a glorified dominatrix. The powerful wait in line to be scolded and humiliated by her razor tongue before posing for a fist-bumping selfie and returning to their private jets as they pat themselves on the back and quip “I deserved that.”

Well they deserve worse. We need to step it up and stop begging for scraps at the master’s table. We can no longer afford to be their dogs. If these are the last days of human existence then I say we go down biting the hand that feeds. These kids need to realize how dangerous they are. They should take their boycotts to the next level and stop engaging in the fascism of compulsory schooling altogether. They shouldn’t settle for flight shaming. They should lay their bodies across the tarmac and slash the tires of the private jets of glad-handing climate charlatans like Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio. And we the adults should do our part by doing more than just wallowing in our guilt. We should boycott the beast itself by refusing to pay the taxes that feed it. We should chase the multinationals from our neighborhoods, villages and cities with pitchforks and torches. We should use those torches to burn down our SUVs and suburbs, and we should use the insurance money to by dirt bikes and tepees in the woods. We should hurl toxic waste in the faces of the developers and bankers and lobbyists and oilmen so even they cant hide from the monstrosity of their deeds. These are the do-or-die times and we need to become fucking savages again.

But we also need to prepare ourselves for the worst, dearest motherfuckers. The rich are already in survival mode. They are using the specter of the beast they built to consolidate their power. We need to stop wasting our time on the circus of electoral pageantry and impeachment hearings erected to distract us from a burning world while the arsonists loot from the ashes. We need to direct our attention not just to crippling the beast but to protecting our families, our communities, our tribes, our people. We need to gather with those who mean the most to us and map out a strategy for survival and foster the sense of communal responsibility that progress robbed us of when they began this horror story many years ago. This may not be the happy ending we want but, if we’re lucky and we fight like hell for what really matters, it may be the bittersweet ending we deserve.

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Nicky Reid is an agoraphobic anarcho-genderqueer gonzo blogger from Central Pennsylvania and assistant editor for Attack the System. You can find him online at Exile in Happy Valley.

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