- *an updated audio reading for those who need greater accessibility, will be uploaded soon.
- *direct MP3 download will be available with update.
Some NECESSARY Context
I am just an ol’ West Texas boy, from Odessa, or “O-desolate”, although some people — and I will not drop any names from West Odessa — insist the name of our venerable town is actually, in point of fact, pronounced, “SLOOW-death-a” (and you should draw out the “slow” part, to really get a feel for the sentiment).
Now before you or any of your friends think, “Oh no, HERE we go”, I currently live in the Eastern part of the San Francisco Bay Area, have been around a bit having done my duty in the Corps, and I do “artsy” stuff, “philosophize” when I have an audience (usually trapped), and was about to get to work on my second issue of a webcomic called, “The Crux” based on Plato’s allegory of the Cave (Plato was an ancient Athenian). Got my letters from Texas Tech after my service, and I have also even been to that thing in the desert (T.T.I.T.D.) a few times if anyone can believe a West Texan would ever do such a thing.
Having any unconservative notions in my childhood home, such as the wearing of t-shirts with “satanic” looking geometric shapes, or listening to the likes of Boston, was tantamount to trying to get Ozzy Osborne to play at the Colosseum, on a Saturday night, or, worse yet, galivanting around town after 11:30 pm, then hanging with “ne’re do wells” at the local International House of Pancakes talkin’ ‘bout nothin’ important. By then, one stood in danger of being associated for life, as everyone knew, as a possible humanist, playing with the fire of liberalism, forever suspected of probably voting for “He-Who-Shall Not-Be-Named” (who, coincidentally, was also a big disappointment when he DIDN’T turn out to be, in fact, The Anti-Christ. That is not to imply that a misunderstanding of the chronological order or translation of Revelations didn’t come into play).
No sir, what you HAVE done, is join THE pantheon of anxiously hopeful folks who have been predicting either the diminishing returns of, or the impending end of, or peak and imminent decline of the oil and gas industry, all the way back to the 1880’s (the decade my ancestors helped to establish Odessa).
In 1952, M. King Hubbert even put out the first of many, many, *sigh*, many models that also heralded a long-standing tradition of “End of Oil” predictions, complex mathematical models, and declarations of certainty.
There are sources, ad nauseum, for the “fact checkers” of the bunch, and you can begin your journey:
Now, before I forget,
CONGRATULATIONS! All of you have joined a storied and well-educated club of people! That is cause to celebrate! And you seem to have done so organically, so you get the extra points!
Down to “brass tacks” then. I was raised in a single industry city in the rhythmic cycle of a “Boom & Bust” region, with the geared economics of a “typical” middle states financial dependence on the oil and gas field.
As a younger man, with a young family to support, my 3 to 4 job hustles in Austin wasn’t cutting it, while the necessary access to opportunity was calling from the flatlands.
Necessity and singular focus hones what are important when there are little ones depending on you. I knew there were “18-year-olds” pulling in 60k a year, without a degree, out “roughnecking”. It seemed foolish to stay out of the oil field when otherwise I could only pull 32k a year with a college degree, no matter how much I didn’t want to work for the “evil empire”.
I was hired within days in Odessa as a chemical dispatcher. I transferred to the “Four Corners” region of New Mexico in 2009 to take over as head of a facility, achieving safety records not seen in the company, before I transferred to a sister company in the San Francisco Bay Area after a 15 month interview, then was laid off unexpectedly, in September 2015.
This was a massive shift beneath my feet. I needed solid ground.
I can assure you that the generations worth of emplacement, maneuvering, and domination as the world’s economic core, the consolidation of power and purchase of governments, and a reading of Noam Chomsky’s work, especially illustrating the life-cycle of the “Petro Dollar”, should be enough context to say that that much manifestation will not easily allow the wealthiest class to be dislodged from its position.
Their ability to perform mental gymnastics may even defy all logic, yet they will not be dislodged until they have morphed into, or taken over all of the creations of those ahead of them in that innovation, by hook or crook. The challenge with having power is that one begins to strongly identify oneself as a power. What is power?
No matter what noun or verb it can become, at its core, it is an amount of potential. There may be various levels of power, some inherent, others acquired. Nature is inherent, whereas nurture is acquired. There are many ’expressions’ of power. The best known are the ‘dual-sided magnet’ of fear and love.
Fear is an expression of power that must assert its power. Love is an expression of power that never asserts its power. Fear will tear through a door because it believes it necessary to do so, while Love would wait patiently for the door to open. They are both expressions of the same power, and both have usefulness when recognized and applied appropriately. Fear of being harmed heightens senses with hyper awareness, it cannot delay, it is a subjective tool that has specific usefulness of benefit, for example, yet Love understands the necessity of patience, has empathy, while able to deploy reason and logic, it is an objective tool that can be deployed widely for broad penetration.
Once experienced — power, fame, adoration — those are a challenging illusion, a most seductive siren song to let go of.
The structures of clean energy will be methodically bent to their will. Once the ones pulling the “Levers of Power” are assured of the comfortable transition to what is next to the core interests of ultra-wealthy families, the structures of clean energy will be rebranded under their banner, and their accomplishments with it made paramount.
Yet, my new friends, anyone with eyes that can see, knows all of that, or even the knowledge that this occurs, or has been known for many centuries, is not the real point. No efforts, campaigns, revolutions, or legislation will change the basic dynamics of an ancient struggle to assert dominance over the masses, and the attempts of the masses to neutralize that tendency of ‘power addiction’.
This tug of war began before the with the first villages. ‘communal anarchists’, of which Ghandi was an adherent, believed that the ‘closer to the people’ power was, the easier it was to keep the abuses of power in check. If it got to far from the people, meaning after a poor decision, an official might find a large group of people they knew and saw daily, outside the front door. Not until enough people WAKE UP, at the same time, enough for a critical mass, will any tip in the scales be possible. For that, the people need Truth, but what is truth?
A Pilgrims Progress at Revealing Any Objective Truth
As far as this observer, this Pilgrim, can has found, when considering’ all that I can observe, test, quantify, or replicate for others, from evidence bound between birth and the ‘Final Experience’ before ol’, is that we live, and we die. Beyond that simple assertion, no one has any answers: no one at all. An argument could be made that the ‘simple assertion’ is the reason for birth. That the purpose of life is to accept, then be prepared for the death that could come at any moment.
Some theories have deep, well-reasoned, and logical supporting evidence. In the grand scheme of things, who has the breadth of view and awareness to see determine any universal truth? The only thing all humanity can agree on, birth and death, is the only truth we could ever hope to be certain of entirely?
All I do know for certain is that we are all going to stand before our metaphorical Death’s Door alone. I am the only one who will ultimately determine whether I can know that I always did what I thought was best, come what may, with the information and understanding at the time. No one else will be there. No preacher, leader, or parent. Just me.
Well, hell! Who can ask for more than my best, especially when no one alive knows what the dead know?
No one, and nothing, could ever do me better; I do me perfectly, in fact. Kind of covers my unique weirdness with a certain gravitas, rather than a vague embarrassment, I wonder what that does for yourself image?
Since we can’t take any luggage with us when we go, I reckon how we engage with ourselves and each other is what really matters at the end. I try to ask myself, “what would Love do there? Would Love do that? Is what I am doing Loving to myself, or others?”
I try to avoid getting wrapped up in messiahs, or afterlife, or pretend that Love does anything other than accept, hug, wait on me patiently with knowing looks, and bandage me up after I run off a cliff (an action that Love said would hurt, but I couldn’t or wouldn’t see it, and Love still doesn’t chastise or correct me). Love simply does what is needed and loves me.
When I took a step back to assess the larger picture, I saw the darnd-est thing.
Everyone is looking for a perfect man to “return in the clouds”, when what might actually be closer to the truth, is that our connection to Love within ourselves, begins when we accept our mortality, really accept, and prepare for it.
We need to own our own agency, to properly collaborate with Love and each other. This view makes how I engage others more relevant. I must drop expectations, and look for the context of the moments I find myself in.
Love was always inside me the entire time. My “sin” was that I had been ashamed of making mistakes, embarrassed really, and looked to others and outside of myself for validation, for love. I slowly convinced myself that I was still a foolish youth, and that I lacked a real understanding in the ways of the world.
Meanwhile Love has waited inside me, patiently “knocking”. Not from the other side of a door but knocking out a code in the Morse code inherent in the beat of our hearts, saying, …
Well, that is between Love and me. You could ask Love yourself. The process is easy. Begin to accept yourself right where you are, right now.
A Beleaguered Point?
You should be wondering why we seem off track.
“When is this going to address oil and that industry? What are we doing in this article?”
You would be right in that track of questioning. My personal operational mission is to question myself, others, and anything that does not make sense to me, then share my honest thoughts drawn from my experience. It’s how I do my best as I walk through life. I know the best thing me to do some heartfelt self-evaluation, before I really decide anything going forward. That just might be timely advice for you, my new friends, and everyone else who is interested. At least before we decide anything that affects us all collectively.
It seems to me that there is an inherent opportunity here for us to witness, and be part of, potentially, one of the single most astonishing moments in our history. As most of the world has had the amazing opportunity, to not only see the incredibly astonishing resiliency of nature’s ability to rebound from a horribly sustained assault, there is more.
All of humanity has been in a dark corner metaphorically cutting itself in its ‘consumption’ of goods, but we have ‘unplugged’ from the system for a brief time.
There has not been a time, that I can find, when so many got to spend so much time with Loved ones. I used to joke, “If only Life would take a small break so I can breathe!”.
Well, life has given most everyone a break. This “break” comes at a terrible cost, which means that we must honor that cost going forward.
Before we dive back “into the suck”, a Marine saying referring to “onerous, yet absolutely necessary tasks”, imagine what our days might be like if we ask ourselves,
“What happens if I just, simply, accept who I am? What if I start to see what is REALLY going on? Have I not been seeing things for what they really are? What IF everyone woke from their slumber? Was our trust in our representatives to take care their duties as PUBLIC servants well placed, or did I give up my responsibility somehow?”
I hope my points are clear, my friends, not so new anymore. Let me know if you have any questions!
A. Yobi Blumberg
**Always hold everything up to the “Love Test”, which is asking simple questions like, “Would Love do that? Is what I am doing Loving to myself, or others?