I did realize then and there that this was the demarcation line between the past and the future. It wasn’t just the pandemic or the ecological collapse or technological hyper-oligopoly, but it was all those things and more: not the least of which has to do with Greta Thunberg and my estranged daughter outside New York City who I have only seen once when she was a newborn.
I had survived mine-infested beaches, total mental breakdown, cancer, homelessness, only to find myself in my mid-forties at the very precipice of world civilization where every breath began to count.
I think it was that month I spent downtown of my birthplace and home Montréal holed up in a polar vortex winter at a hotel working for Extinction Rebellion’s London home-base reading David Wallace-Wells’ The Uninhabitable Earth and Shoshana Zuboff’s Surveillance Capitalism that turned me on to the turn around, about a year before the outbreak of pandemic which perhaps proves them both right.
You see, for a very long time I thought I was the one with the problem, perhaps something like what happened to Greta Thunberg when she first started to struggle with the symptoms of Asperger’s, and it took perhaps until that freezing winter month of contemplating environmental calamity and potential extinction along with the increasing control of information wielded by tech monopolies that furthered an older line of thought I had since I wrote a play and novel in high school about unsettling issues I saw in society that it was not me, but the world that was the problem.
Seems like a more prescient line of thought everyday now.