Oh, The Camus Of It All

Jean-Paul loved Simone as he could never love anyone else; gave her his heart and, with some great effort, won hers. Simone, she wasn’t one to be particular. Both he and she were Existentialists. Albert, an Absurdist, and Jean-Paul were friends. Simone fell for Albert on first sight. Absurd or not; big minds attract. Absurd or not; he demurred. Unrequited or not; seems Simone’s hots for Albert ruined one of philosophy’s great friendships. Lo, the Absurdism of it all. Whether humans and the world, are, or are not, absurd, they do tend to take things there.

When a nation has more guns than capita, more guns per capita than any other nation by two, and more than ten times the gun deaths per capita than the average of developed nations. As night follows day: The solution is not to reduce the number of guns in the possession of so many. The solution is: to harden schools and arm teachers, talk some more about testing for mental illness, …, and send our thoughts and prayers to the victims. Most importantly, the solution is to make sure that no restrictions are imposed on gun owners, on gun ownership. As night follows day; the problem is not guns.

When, due to Climate Change, forests in the American West and Southwest, Australia, parts of Italy and Spain, …, forests all around the world are burned and burning; when the marginal lands of the world are no longer even marginal; when the sword of Climate Change hangs by a single hair over the head of humanity; the solution is to pipe water from New England to the American West and Southwest. The solution is to reduce methane emissions from cows. The solution is to deny that these catastrophic things are happening. To, as night follows day, insist that even if all these things are occurring, it is not because of the burning of fossil fuels. To insist that even if all these things are true, even if it is killing us all, the economy can’t afford to stop burning fossil fuels. It isn’t that it would cost too much to get off fossil fuels; it is that we can not afford to not.

In early 2020, when the nation, the world, was seeing the explosive spread of a highly infectious, deadly, novel virus; the Republican solution was to try to find someone to blame, to wait for China to send N-95 masks, to deny its existence, to pretend that even if it was real, to not take it seriously. The solution was, even if it was perhaps real, to prescribe hydroxychloroquine, or sunlight and bleach.

When safe and effective vaccines became available and we had been informed by renowned leading scientists of the mechanisms of immunology and those of the virus itself, the solution for the Trump followers was to deny the science, to not get vaccinated, to not wear a mask, to insist on the right to endanger oneself and others; to insist that, in spite of all evidence, horse worming pills worked.

When it was obvious that the world economy was taking a $16Trillion hit (the US’s portion, $3Trillion), when the necessity of getting the ‘R’ for COVID below one was understood; the Senate minority’s solution was to quibble over a few $Billion for providing the nation, the world, vaccines, and masks. The Republican solution was to pander to ignorance. Don’t bother they’re here.

When it was obvious by 2008, confirmed again in 2012 and 2014, that Vladimir Putin was a deranged megalomaniac; the solution was to allow his invasion of Ukraine and the associated certain death and destruction. Do not look at the deranged megalomaniac autocrat in the room.

When it was long since obvious that the kingdom was an antiquated anachronism; the solution was to pretend that the kingdom wasn’t a backward, ignorant, brutal anachronism. The solution was to buy their oil and sell them weaponry. Even they in their anachronism understood the need to look beyond oil; understood that oil was a fast sinking sunken investment. They, in spite of their ignorance and backwardness, understood that there was no future in fossil fuels.

In a time when a deranged megalomaniac in Russia was looking for ways to finance his wars of acquisition and the world desperately needed to get off fossil fuels; the solution was to build Nord Stream I & II to supply Russian oil and gas to western Europe. To make Western Europe more and more dependent on this Russian oil and gas, on fossil fuels. The money for Nord Stream I & II, for Russian oil and gas would have been better spent developing alternative energy.

The deranged Russian megalomaniac was weaponizing economics, taking advantage of globalization. The deranged Chinese megalomaniac to his east also understands using economics as a weapon; is not above taking advantage of globalization. May have. If not, he will.

Albert, you may have been right; the world, the universe may well be irrational and meaningless. But, Albert, did you notice the species’ moth-like attraction to the absurd?