Why do things keep getting worse?

Vinny’s garlic in Pesano olive oil. Photo from Eric’s Kitchen.

Dear Friend and Reader:

IF NUCLEAR WAR BREAKS OUT, at least I’ll have enough preserved garlic in olive oil to last for a while. And I probably have a three-year supply of fermented habañeros. That’s what I am thinking, here on the edge of a solar eclipse in Libra.

But I wonder why.

I wonder why every time something happens, as in some kind of “news event,” the world gets worse. I don’t mean in my personal life, or in yours. It’s possible to improve one’s own lot in life, to a real degree, if you’re determined and you remove obstacles and you stick to it and are somewhat lucky, and all that.

This does not work for everyone, however. Those of us with good lives, or pretty good ones, need to remember: there is a big “other half.” Many places, they burn plastic to cook food and stay warm.

I mean the world itself. Global and national problems that existed when I was a child are no better today, and most are far worse: a world constantly at war, people enslaved by and dying from narcotics, the pandemic of cancer and chronic illness, six billion prescriptions a year sold in the United States (up from 4 billion when I checked a few years ago, and nobody any healthier for it). Then there’s the trafficked, abused and neglected children, failing relationships, lonely people, hungry people, environmental degradation, greed as the motivation for most actions, the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer and everyone in between squeezed.

Where exactly is the progress? I thought that’s what our civilization was all about.

When I was his guest a few years ago, John B. Wells, host of Caravan to Midnight, told me that the name of his program is a reference to the Doomsday Clock.

The Doomsday Clock

I was worried about nuclear war when I was a young adult. Reading The Fate of the Earth by Jonathan Schell was life-changing for me. That’s the book with the first chapter titled “A Republic of Insects and Grass,” describing who would be most likely to survive a nuclear holocaust.

The Cold War is now behind us. But somehow the Doomsday Clock stands at 90 seconds to midnight — indicating a time of unprecedented danger. Due to recent events in West Asia — this latest outbreak of conflict between Israel, Hamas and allegedly Iran — I think this is reflective of reality.

In 2012, the Doomsday Clock stood at five minutes to midnight. In 2002, after the 9/11 incident, the clock stood at seven minutes to midnight. In 1991 at the end of the Cold War, it was 17 minutes to midnight — the furthest it’s ever been.

This essay is not intended as a complaint. I am here to ask a question. Why? Why does nothing get better? For all of us, collectively?

Please check me: what exactly is better today than it was 50 years ago — besides technology that is, itself, responsible for most of the new problems? This iMac I’m typing on is beyond amazing. I love that I can go into Loews and have the choice of 10 kinds of epoxy. Those things do not make the world a better place.

These will be good in three weeks and better in three years.

Rhetoric from the Top

The talk by public and corporate officials is all about improvement — the rhetoric from the top, especially at election time. Then there are the big nonprofits and NGOs running untold billions through their bank accounts, while poverty mounts and the oceans fill up with plastic. We’re all gonna do our part and the world will be fantastic. I am waiting for anything — literally, anything in the world — to improve and stay that way for a while.

Anything except technology. That is the hypnotic substance that keeps us in a trance, presenting the illusion that something at least is getting better. All the functionality of all the apps on my iPhone would have fit into a modest-sized building in 1980 (darkroom, movie editing, recording studio, post office, etc). That has made my life quite a bit better for me (as a media producer) but it has not made the world better.

Much technology has made the world worse, including the internet turning the planet into a psych ward having a collective hallucination.

The claimed mRNA “vaccine” advance that is said to have saved lives and won the Nobel Prize has also been associated with the most vaccine injuries and deaths in history — more than the past three decades combined (since when data collection began, in 1990). Why does anyone think that’s better, unless are told it is so, over and over?

Please, name some actual improvements. Are we happier? More relaxed? More social? Are there more forests? Do we have more free time? Are our communities friendlier? Are schools more conducive to learning? Why are many of them now armed fortresses, where kids must be run through active shooter drills? Have we surpassed the Beatles, The Rolling Stones or Talking Heads?

I think it’s strange that this “lack of improvement” issue is not a topic of discussion. But then not much is these days.

Photo by Eric Francis.

About Last Week’s Digital Drill

This past Wednesday, Oct. 4, Russia, Colombia and the United States tested their national digital alert systems. I was not kidding with my references to a false-flag alien invasion (look for some version of that around 2025; that will be a perfect match for the nascent United States of California).

Besides incoming nuclear missiles, that was the only reason I could think of to have a system that tells all Americans the same thing at the same time. All emergencies, including meltdowns of commercial nuclear reactors, are local or regional.

That leaves two possibilities: an alien invasion, and inbound nuclear missiles.

If you recall, I have been describing the problem of drills matching up with reality; how when a drill happens, it seems something related to the drill manifests in real life. Just 72 hours after the national alert drill, the world finds itself in yet another situation that could lead to nuclear war: the claim of a massive attack by Hammas on Israel.

Besides all of the immediate grief and agony, Iran is being implicated. And the Western powers have wanted to “Bomb Iran, bomb bomb Iran” (sung to the tune of the Beach Boys song) for a long time. We all know they “have it coming” (but I’m not sure why). A friend, older and in some ways wiser than I, wrote casually on my Facebook page, “Yes there will be a nuclear attack on Iran.”

Rear studio, rear window. Photo by Eric Francis.

Picking Sides Again

This is the second major military conflict to “break out” in two years; the Russia-Ukraine war is in day 596 as of Thursday. That conflict was ramped up in February 2022. That, too, is a proxy war between the United States and NATO with the potential to escalate into a nuclear conflict.

With that development, it only took about five minutes for Ukrainian flags to appear across the countryside (and I do mean on State Rt. 32 et al). That was it — poof, everyone was pro-Ukrainian. This week we woke up and everyone had to be pro-Israeli. We are greeted to visions of death and devastation on every news channel and social media feed.

As far as I am concerned, there is only one side to be on: that of the innocent people getting bombed on both seeming sides of this disaster.

Most people think that these things just happen. If there is planning, that’s said to be a conspiracy, and therefore, theoretical. We’ve all been alive long enough to figure out that just about everything is planned. Nothing just happens.

I have some ideas about some of that planning, which I will offer at the top of the new Planet Waves FM Friday night.

My final thoughts about the Libra solar eclipse are in the STARCAST above.

Thanks for tuning in — good to be with you.

With love,

Eric signature

4 thoughts on “Why do things keep getting worse?”

  1. Thank you EF
    Very good article indeed
    Yes pickle everything
    Just did beets and also jalapeños and 🧄
    Vinegar preserves so well our veggies
    One thing I thought of that is good
    This summer I hired my nephew on to work with me gardening
    He was out of work due to writers strike
    He is a cameraman in NY on HBO TV sets
    I was so happy to have him and he too could cash in and work up here in the Catskills and go back down river on weekends to check in at home in Brooklyn
    Soooo now the strike is over and things may pick up soon
    People are becoming more courageous and taking to the strike streets…”Takin it to the streets…”Doobie Bros…..
    More people are seeing the greed and hoarding of money… This will empower more people to organize I believe
    So that’s what I see as a good… Power to the People shift again

  2. I can’t find it within me to take anything “lightly,” that you write Eric. Thinking I am relating to Leonard Cohen these days, his song, “Waiting for a Miracle to Come.” Not that it will. Have a lot of food preservation in store for me these days. Grateful, but overwhelmed.
    I don’t hide my light under a rock. But the best thing I can offer tonight is this from the Babylon Bee:

  3. what is getting better? well if you’ve ever hiked in a forest you’ve seen a giant tree fallen to earth, decomposing with new shoots sprouting up – a nurse log its called. its fall opened up light, is a slow release of nutrients and the start of new life. if you garden, you take manure (horse, cow, chicken, human), food waste, dead leaves any other rotting material you have access to and heap them together to ferment into worm rich new soil. that’s the stage we are at.

  4. Here in Oz the nation just voted a resounding No in a referendum for constitution change for an aboriginal & Torres Strait islander Voice to Parliament.
    Whoever picked the date for the vote needs an astrologer!
    Its been an awful divisive & deceitful campaign, long on hot air & short on substance, but I thought the result would be close, its not.
    So even though I voted no for all the right & good reasons I feel very sad because in an honest & innocent world I wish we still lived in I’d have been a yes, and for all those black folks who were persuaded it would make a difference a big disappointment.
    Thank you Eric for your words.

Leave a Comment