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It's only April and the photochemical smog is already hovering over the region like a vulture patiently waiting for its quarry to lose strength and collapse. Ah, the smell of success. The choking, asphyxiating, nauseating smell of success. Rather, suck cess. The first smog warnings are a month early than normal. Every year the smog gets worse and every year we continue to increase our greenhouse gas emissions on a national level. The surprising factor is not the smog, but the fact that we are even surprised at its morbid extent and concentration. Like a chemist gone mad, the status quo juggernaut of doom continues to titrate toxins into the atmosphere at unprecedented levels clearly unconcerned with the long term effects or consequences. Fuck the future, fuck our children, fuck the environment, we NEED to drive and consume in an unsustainable fury in order to succeed, in order to advance, in order to maintain our corrupt and self-absorbed lifestyles if only for a few more years. The apocalypse is right around the corner anyways, so why should we care? The fact remains that no matter what corrupted influence the industrial robber barons have exerted on our psychology, we must still take responsibility for our own actions, our own grievous insults towards life itself in order to exist in this Machiavellian nightmare we are languishing within. Cars are simply mobile coffins which give the illusion of freedom and dynamic motion. In reality, we are already dead and rotting in the earth like overripe vegetables that have fallen from the stalk. This illusion we co-exist within is only a measure of our limited scope and perceptual pathologies. The more we believe our senses and conform to the status quo, the more we contaminate the environment uncontrollably. This is the first generation in which our children will perish before we do. Not because of war or famine but because of avarice and imprudence. Our children will die of oxygen deprivation or they will die from gross intoxication due to all the contaminants in the food, water and air. Contaminants that modern science should have been able to prevent the generation of, or at the very least limit the production of. The problem has been that all the foresight spent on speculating about possible future eventualities has been spent from the perspective of finances and capital gain. Money will not be able to buy one oxygen when there is no longer sufficient amounts left in the atmosphere to sustain life as we know it. The atmosphere will become saturated with nitrogen oxide species, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and ozone as well as litany of other gases unable to support life. Much of this toxic stew will remain in the air longer than we will remain on the planet, preventing rehabilitation efforts for generations. Of course, this may very well be the last generation able to define itself as such, as we catapult towards the brink of the apocalypse at breakneck speed and without any concern for the consequences of our actions. Technology itself is like a Trojan horse, superficially attractive and alluring but concealing a deadly and certain finality. The moon appears yellow in the nicotine like haze blanketing the urban centers and you cannot even go outside and enjoy a breath of fresh air any longer. Too much time is spent choking for air to appreciate the great outdoors. The eyes water from the assault of chemical vapors and the larynx contracts attempting to protect itself from the poisonous fumes. It is becoming cruel and unusual punishment to send ones children outside to play. It is tantamount to locking them in the garage and starting the car. We've normalized the smog, however, and we don't even notice it to the extent we used to. It's just become part of the industrial landscape. Another necessary evil of progress. One we will not be able to survive or explain away as we lay on the ground gasping for air. We have long confused sufficiency with necessity and now begin to suffer the consequences of this impropriety. Of course, by the time we truly realize the deadly nature of our mistake, the birds will be falling from the sky and we will lay gasping for air on a moonscape scarred by industrial effluent and its catastrophic corruption of purpose and meaning. I have come to know the smog well, enduring a relationship with it that is far more intimate than any lover encountered in the past. I breath it in every day where it caresses my blood at the alveolar interface in the deep recesses of my lungs. The contaminants in the air then enter my bloodstream where they partition themselves according to their lipophilia and pharmacokinetic nature. These poisons then sequester themselves in my organs, fat and interstitial spaces; lurking in the corners of my body, preparing to strike when the time is right. The smog is my contemporary lover. Ephemeral and enigmatic. Seductive and salubrious. Destructive and deadly. She takes my breath away, like a good lover should. Yet she does not offer it's return, nor does she offer any reprieve. Like a thief in the night, she steals away in a curl of smoke, hoarding any air that might still be obtainable. I have seen the future of global health and the smognosis is grim.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 20, 2008 9:05 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Alien Nation.

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