Rumination on Deadwood by George Drake

I’ve discovered an old HBO television series that many of you are probably familiar with. Its title is Deadwood. Most of you may very well have given up on Deadwood fairly early, since it is offensive to many of our traditional sensibilities. But, as insensitive as I am, it bothered me not at all. I find it to be one of the best television series I’ve seen in years.   Of course I haven’t watched television for years, so what do I know.

Last night in episode five or something of season three Joanie says “Does it trouble you keeping watch on a dark place?”  Mose respondents, “No mamm, it does not. Especially when I know there’s light coming to it.”

I have been remiss in doing much work of late. Probably because I’ve been unusually depressed. When I’m this way, television often fills my time. Not all is as appropriate as is Deadwood. For those of you who might not be familiar with it, Deadwood is largely about the struggles entailed in trying to form community from nothing but our humanity. I might not have made this connection except for one of the special features that the DVD series had involving an interview with David Milch, the creator. In that regard, it is most appropriate to what I am trying to do.

One of the struggles I am continually confronting is that I have a Message which is depressing at its very core. To cope with that, I have adopted a type of façade that really is incompatible with that depression. Like a Doctor discussing terminal cancer while wearing a clown suit, I feel ineffective in communicating both my warning and my call to action.

See what I mean?   I am, I think, afraid to approach people with the  core Message, since I know how its effect can erode a person’s life.

But it’s not reasonable for me to expect others who have never had my Vision to embrace the depression that It carries for me.  It may not even be reasonable to anticipate people will tolerate a Message whose core has such depression in it. It is much like keeping watch on a dark place.  So let’s not go there.

Perhaps people will be more receptive if I approach the Vision from the other end, anyway. Perhaps not everyone needs to “ wallow in it,” as my father used to say, in order to champion the action portion of the Vision.

For those of you who might be wondering, “What is this guy talking about?” Let me reiterate what most of you know: my Vision’s aural  component went like this, “We’re not going to make it.  We’ve got to get off.”

I’ve concluded, through considerable research, that the only feasible place off to which to get, is Mars. I am not unique in either this conclusion or in the desire to pursue that goal. Phraseologicality, however, is mine.  (Again, see my difficulty?)

But my insistence on the motivation being, essentially, an environmental one is unusual, to say the least. But, perhaps even buying into that is not required. There are plenty of people who are enthusiastic defenders of the environment who have concluded that there are no options other than saving the planet.  For them, the concept that we might not be able to save the environment is anathema, despite all the evidence that we are in fact not saving the environment.   Failure, for them, is not an option.

Perhaps, more than anything else, I need to be talking to those people, , For them, a primary reason that there is no alternative is that “getting off” is not a feasibility.

But it is entirely possible to get off this planet. The major requirement is time. That and political will. Without the latter however, no amount of time will do. The one thing most people do not know, is the amount of time that is required. And not knowing about the time required, they are totally unaware of how little time is left for us to get started.

The minimum requirement, time-wise, to get off this planet is 300, and perhaps as much as 900, years. The amount of political will that will be required to sustain an effort to get off this planet, in view of how long getting off will require, is immense. But it can be done. I wish I knew, for certain, that our “getting off” were going to happen, but, certain or not,  therein lies the light which promises to come.

So, my New Year’s resolve: next time I began a series emphasizing the brightness of the slight.


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