Mariner is a ‘why’ person. An intensely why person. He instinctively searches for the broadest explanation of why something is. Today’s world is an enigma. Why is democracy cracking around the world? Why are autocratic politics rampaging in the United States? Why do Africa and South America lag behind the northern hemisphere in social and economic sophistication? Why have more than 16,000 animals gone extinct? Why has the Earth begun to behave erratically?
One can speculate a credible ‘why’ for each question but the difficulty is finding a ‘why’ that encompasses all the inequities happening at the same time. Add in a smaller ‘why’ each for artificial intelligence, cryptocurrency, racial disruption and a myriad other societal disruptions. Why is all this happening at once?
One can seek large assumptions like the Earth is changing from one eon to the next, dragging everything along with it like tin cans dragging behind a marriage getaway car. One can blame humanity for destroying planetary ethics, therefore heading to some kind of Armageddon.
An assumption that is likely to be true is that the temperature and climate of the Earth have been unusually stable for the last 100,000 years – a time when the human species became intelligent and spread around the world. Scientists are finding evidence that global weather is changing not only because of human activity but in addition the planet itself is provoking change; it has something to do with the axial cycle of the planet as it circles the Sun. But why is all this other stuff happening at the same time?
Those with spiritual insight may lay a broad veil of immorality across contemporary history. Those with economic insight may suggest that global resources are dwindling, causing economic imbalance. Social critics may claim that humanity has trashed the planet. Perhaps, but why do the issues all come together at once?
It is easy to pass into fantastical theories about how all this relates. But is there a rational reason, perhaps subliminal to normal existential experiences that suggest a common theme for why everything is changing at once? In some unspoken manner all these issues are like the ingredients in a cake: they are linked in one reality. What confounds the issue is that it is not like dominoes falling in a line, it is all dominoes falling over at once. Why?
Mariner’s wife is the Blog’s Poetess Extraordinaire. She suggested a poem by Pattiann Rogers which suggests the ultimate ‘why’ is perpetual decay or as mariner’s son would say, entropy. This seemingly instantaneous collapse has been happening all along bit by bit and, like the game Jenga, it is time for all to fall down.
But why now?