Posted by: Annabel Ascher | July 28, 2011

Extinction Rant

American Junkyard

A little poetic interlude:

I don’t want to talk about sustainability

I want to talk about survival

because in a state of nature

nothing unsustainable survives.


Yes, we do still live in a state of nature

that is impossible to escape

500 years of western political thought to the contrary notwithstanding.

We can’t trickfuck nature

I don’t even know what that means

to say we live outside

a state of nature.

Does it mean we no longer

eat, shit, fuck, give birth, get addicted, get old, die, or

State of Nature

compete compete compete

for resources shared with every other animal?

We have our habitat, our niche

which is everywhere and everything.

Lacking big teeth and claws

We have our big brains and our culture


our intelligence has not been great enough

nor our culture strong enough

to outrun our own arrogance.

No, I don’t believe we

will destroy the earth

unless we accidentally blow it up

of course.

However, we could easily cause our own extinction.

We are well on the way.

Did we make a terrible mistake

by the slow accident of agriculture

as we came to see ourselves

as animals no more

but imagined ourselves angels

in the great chain of being.

We created a world based entirely

on fantasies of our own identity

and lived as if our fantasies were real

and are still living as if our fantasies are real.

And in our dream we built the

great energy intensive cities

and stratified stratified stratified.

Now, awakening 10,000 years later

to the nightmare

high order multiple feedback nonlinear systems

that no one can understand much less control


we keep building and growing, building and growing

with no regard for the consequences.

No-not even a knowledge

of either the magnitude of the error

or our close proximity

to the oblivion of extinction.


thrown on the junk pile of evolutionary history,


the tree outside the window is still photosynthesizing

and the bacteria are still busy decomposing

the remains of last night’s supper.

It all still works.

We have a civilization

built on death

but with pockets of life

and shot through with pure human creativity and magic.

Can any of this be saved?

I don’t know the answer

But I do know this.

Bees are more important

than Beethoven.



  1. this is right on. i have concept that i call monkey island. only we are the monkeys, and we cannot see this because we cannot get outside of ourselves. we have a lot to learn, but it is hard to move forward as a species when a large percentage of the population is locked to the moral and cultural teachings of 3,500 year old belief systems. cant go forward when you spend all your time looking back.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: