Jarod Guillette

An Open (and final) Polemic to a World Not Listening

I’ve decided to stop writing at TOI blogs. I was never much of a blogger anyway and what’s the point? Preaching to the crowd never offered salvation and the larger congregation, humanity, has stopped listening. So this is my final polemic, a rant at the insanity that is the current world.

Maybe you’re wondering what triggered my psychological snap, this plunge into darkness. When I tweeted “I’m in dark place with flourescent lighting,” to which my mom promptly responded with alarm, I wasn’t just talking about being on the subway. Three pieces of news, yes news; the thing my therapist (wife) says I shouldn’t read anymore. The first two news articles were purely scientific. Beyond the Higgs, and Exxon was onto climate change way before it was hip. The other splash of sadness, Now even (some of ) the gays are anti-Israel. All these things together, along with a serious longing for New England clam-chowder, set me down into a rabbit hole of despair and the only remedy was a double order of pizza and cola.

So how does all this “intersectionality,” you ask? It reminded me that humans are more concerned with things they ought not be than with the things they are concerned with. Soon the climate change movement will get inter-twined with the latter and then we really will be screwed. So deaf ears please hear me out. This is final plea and a warning.

The cackling hens of parlor talk need to take a Valium. That is precisely what the “Israel-Palestinian/every other aggrieved party in the world” has become. A crowd of catty house-wives gossiping about some other, instead of dealing with their own inner demons. Why self-reflect when we can blame everything on our neighbor?  The Europeans and the other major economies too big but failing would rather fund the installation of satelite TV in a “refugee” camp, that has electricity and plumbing and a similar life-span than admit just how absurd everything is these days. Would the “pinkos” so self-righteous in their zealotry to not listen to a gay man, who happens to be Israeli, storm the stage if an Iranian LGBT more-than-human was the one speaking? The “Zionist Suck” sic Jewish person who was trying to get into  the Jewish/Israeli themed event who’s face was forcibly covered with the palestinian flag had it coming to him right? Their anger is that the Israeli Gay scene doesn’t include, according to Dara Silverman (what an interesting name) of SURJ,

For all of us at [SURJ], it’s really about supporting Palestinian, Arab and Muslim leadership and the need for indigenous struggles to be recognized in the queer and trans communities in the way we recognize them in all other social justice struggles. What A Wider Bridge aims to do is paint Israel as a good place for LGBT people. The reality is, that doesn’t include LGBT Palestinians. It doesn’t include anyone of Arab or Muslim or indigenous descent. So the need for all of us in social justice is for all of us to support that indigenous leadership.”

The Israeli gay scene doesn’t include indigenous, or Arab peoples? Well she/he/they doesn’t know who this gal/guy is nor do they care about the Mizrahi and Sephardi and other Jews from lands beyond The Pale. Nor do they care for archeology or anthropology, except maybe the kind that sells $100 rusty buckets. If they did care about archeology and those fields they would know that in the bastion of all that is good and just and polite and wonderful and maple syrup, Canada, indigenous peoples use archeology. The Innu and other peoples use archeology for the very purpose of

In claiming land rights, the protests had not succeeded. They were only further stirring the discontent amongst the population. So, necessitated by their need to produce claims of land tenure by the government, and, above all, dedicated to ensuring a more positive future for their youth, the Innu decided to collaborate with archaeologists to both document a facet of their cultural heritage and strengthen their “legal” claim to the land.

saying this land is our land, not your land. But this doesn’t matter to these people because in the end they just counter with this,

“She was trying to conjoin Black Lives Matter and Palestine. At a certain point she just stopped, and said politely, ‘I don’t want to talk to you anymore.'”

a “I am right you’re wrong ninnerninnerbooboo!” They should look at the layer of strata in the ground in Israel. Well the Waqf doesn’t want them to, but that is besides the point. Dig deep and it’s thousands of years of Jewish history. To which these people say they (Jews) have no right to claim. They bemone the double standards against the Palestinians but what of their own? It’s fine for an aboriginal person in Canada to dig up artifacts and say this place is mine, but Jews, well they should go back to ____________ (write your answer here). When someone says “I don’t want to talk to you anymore” it is an admission of logical defeat. I’d talk and talk and talk and talk until I had no breathe left in my lungs. Politely or not, she conceded the argument but her heart and mind are the same. Logic was a class they skipped, opting for something in a different “area.”

So it leaves me with nothing but a befuddled and infuriating sense of WTFarfanugen is wrong with the world? Iran quotes UN Watch in criticising Saudi Arabia and the Europeans salivate to sell some airbus parts. Kerry says some money will go to terrorism. It’s ok because it’s not all of it. In the meantime how many gays/bahai/___________ has the Iranian government supported the murder of? How many pregnant women have been stabbed before the world takes notice? I think the number is not even solvable by our greatest physicists today. If the Higgs field and dark energy are throwing a wrench into their string-theories, this might be another one of those unsolvable mysteries. Why is the world obsessed with Israel sic Jews and not issues more pressing?

With all this in mind I’ve decided to do the opposite of Tikkun Olam. I don’t know what that is in Hebrew but I’m going to call it Lo-Tikkun Olam. Since the real threat that everyone “greenwashes” away one Starbucks tumbler and Prius at a time is global warming. I promise to drive an SUV, leave the lights on and use as much fossil fuels as I can. I will take long, hot showers, use single use cups, buy a new cell-phone every year, cause there’s no blood on Apple’s coltan stained hands. I also promise to drive everywhere. I hate subways and buses. I promise in 2016 to increase my carbon footprint. I promise to only drink Fiji Water just like Sarah Silverman and maybe Dara too. I vow to turn the heat up when it’s a bit cold and keep my car, house, office, body at a refreshing 18 degree’s C in the summer. And above all, I will use as many plastic bags as I humanly can. Tap water, yuk! Buy local? No I only drink Asahi! I solemnly swear to be as unsustainable as possible.

And why you ask.

I’ve decided to just start living a life of no logic. I mean if nearly 90% of the world can do it why can’t I? If it is okay to pick and chose your morals, rules, logic, laws, why can’t I do the same? It pains me to live like this, as a parent, a landscape architect, a person who would rather watch birds than basketball. What choice do I have? We might as well speed things up. Goodbye polar bears, oh and all you indigenous peoples affected by global warming, sea level rise and climate change.

The rest of the world was too busy feeling so great about donating money to Oxfam and UNRWA and other such scams to stop and think that maybe their lust for a latte and Lexus was contributing to a bigger problem. I’ve always admired the villian over the hero. Dr. No, Khan (not the Benedick Cucumberlatch version), Magneto, Akira, Amanda Waller, The Smoking Man, all have so much more depth to their characters than the bland bonds of the hero world. Each one started as an idealist then went mad, unable to grapple with the disconnect between “the world as it is, and the world that ought to be.”

Still if you are wondering why I’m so committed to being a super-climate-change-villian, look no further than one of Japan’s greatest pornographer’s short stories, Silence from Murakami Haruki’s The Elephant Vanishes collection. It is the story about an unassuming kid who learns boxing but is blamed for the suicide of another student that was being bullied and ostracized from his entire school, just because the popular Aoki (the real bully) started a rumour. I mean the boxer must be the violent one. The story finishes with,

People like Aoki don’t scare me. They’re all over the place but I don’t trouble myself with them anymore. When I run into them, I don’t get involved. I see them coming and I head the other way. I can spot them in an instant. But at the same time, I’ve got to admire the Aoki’s of this world. Their ability to lay low until the right moment, their knacj for latching on to opportunities, their skill in fucking with people’s minds- that’s no puke, but a talent.

No, what really scares me is how easily, how uncritically, people will believe the crap that slime like Aoki deal out. How these Aoki types produce nothing themselves, don’t have an idea in the world, and talk to nice, how this slime can sway gullible types to any opinion and get them to perform on cue, asa group. And this group never entertains even a sliver of a doubt that they could be wrong. They think nothing of hurting someone, senselessly, permanently. They don’t take responsibility for their actions. Them. They’re the real monsters. They’re the one’s I have nightmares about.

I’m going to destroy the world one latte at a time not because of Palestinians. No, I actually can understand their motives. Not because of the Iranian government. I can understand their motives too. Putin, I respect. But we both do Judo. I’ve decided to make the problem bigger and worse because of the monsters out there that storm troop away on behalf of ___________(write your answer here) with out ever stopping to think about their actions, both the what and the why.

I’m also going to stop “occupying” my mind and time with something that is beyond my grasp to fully understand. How a gay Israeli man talking has anything to do with Palestinian suffering and Black-Lives Matter, I have no idea. I do know that when I go to a cafe and waste five bucks on a coffee and take it to go, I’m making it easier for ships to pass through the disputed Canadian-Russian-Danish-American-Chinese-Korean-Palestinian Artic maratime economic zone and bring me my Fiji water faster and cheaper. The polar bear would look better on my floor as a rug, next to the Persian carpet.

About the Author
Jarod Guillette is originally from a small town in Maine near Canada. He met his wife, who is Korean, in Canada and they wound up in Korea. There, he is a graduate student of landscape architecture, a husband and now a father. He runs a small design/media thingy that does environmental research and comedy all related to landscape architecture and the environment.
Related Topics
Related Posts