the-screaming-manSCREAMING MAN: LOOKY HERE BAGEANT, YOU PICKLED OLD GAS BAG. HALF OF AMERICANS LIVE UNDER THE GOOFBALL HALLUCINATION THEY CAN SEAL THE BORDERS WITH SILLY PUTTY, DRONE AIRCRAFT AND MACHINE GUNS. THE OTHER HALF, LIBERALS OVERDOSED ON PROZAC AND WHITE WINE, IS LINED UP LIKE DOCKSIDE WHORES WAVING AT THE INCOMING FLEET. “LET’S WELCOME THEM ALL! AMERICA IS THE LAND OF IMMIGRANTS SO HELL FUCKING YES, LET’EM ALL IN!” YEA, RIGHT. LET EVERYBODY LIVE LIKE A FUCKING HAITIAN WHARF RAT IN THE NEW THIRD WORLD AMERICA. HELL, IT’S ALREADY STARTED. THEY’RE CROAKING 49 MILLION AMERICANS BECAUSE THEY CAN’T COME UP WITH THE BLACKMAIL DOUGH FOR HEALTH CARE. THEY’RE KICKIN HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OUT OF THEIR PLYWOOD NESTING BOXES BECAUSE THEY CAN’T MAKE THE MONTHLY NUT. AMERICA IS ALREADY A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY. WITH DRIVE THROUGH FEEDING BOXES.

. . . Meanwhile, both camps of a nation with no sense of history beyond its own state sponsored founding fathers mythology hasn’t the slightest notion of how population migrations from areas of scarcity to areas of plenty have shaped human history perhaps more than any other force, including war (war is just more dramatic when it happens and more entertaining to read about when it’s over.) The Vikings were a population shift from the limited arable land resources of the north around the British coast to Normandy (and then back to England by way of William the Conqueror, a Viking descendant.) The Huns, the Goths, the Vandals, the Irish in America, Chinese into Tibet.

SCREAMING MAN: WELL BUBBA, LET ME SPELL IT OUT FOR YOU IN CRAYONS. IT’S GETTING RIGHT BROWN OUT THERE IN HEARTLAND AMERICA. ALL THOSE SAWED-OFF LITTLE DARK HAIRED FUCKERS HAVEN’T COME UP HERE TO BE LAWN ORNAMENTS. AND SINCE THEY EAT AND SHIT ABOUT THE SAME AMOUNT AS YOU DO, THERE’S GONNA BE SOME REDISTRIBUTION OF THE GOODIES. YOU’RE GONNA SEE A LOT OF AMERICAN BLUBBER PARKED IN LINE ALONGSIDE SALVADORANS WITH THEIR WHEELBARROWS FULL OF WORTHLESS GREENBACKS WAITING TO BUY BLACK BEANS AND MASA HARINA IN BULK,  THEN HITCHING A RIDE HOME ON A FLATBED TRUCK LIKE THE REST OF THE WORLD SOUTH OF LOREDO DOES. OR MAYBE TAKING THE CHICKEN COOP FIREWOOD EXPRESS SURPLUS SCHOOL BUS BACK TO THE SAVAGE ARMED SUBURBS. A LITTLE TIP FROM THE OLE SCREAMING MAN: IF THERE IS A BILLY GOAT IN THE BACK OF THE BUS, RIDE UP FRONT. IF THE DAMNED GOAT IS UP FRONT, RIDE ON THE ROOF. THERE IS USUALLY SOMEBODY OR SOMETHING UP THERE TO HANG ONTO.

Hungry But Still Humpin’

Meanwhile, the truth stays buried in the crapola. According to the UN’s newest report on the planetary condition, crop production has improved but has not kept up with population. World cereal production per person peaked in the 1980s, and has since been decreasing. We have over six billion people now – there were far less than half that when I was born – and there will be roughly nine billion people by 2050. But the UN, being a world organization that has to please a couple hundred governments, each beating its own national drum to its people, pretends there is a long term solution other that to eliminate two thirds of the world population within the above mentioned kids’ lifetimes. Thus, the UN issues “millennium development goals.” This neatly sidesteps the fact that if the present six billion mouths and assholes running the world’s resources through their gullets like shit through a goose is unsustainable, then nine billion of the same are waaaaaay beyond sustainable in any way worth calling human life.

For starters it would take a doubling of world food production to (A) feed the current victims of hunger, and (B) to feed the additional three billion. Theoretically, we’re going to cut back. We’ll feed the nine billion by some unarguably admirable means, like cutting waste, not overeating, biofuels, and ending meat consumption. Small problem here, Jackson: We’re pretty much out of the phosphate fertilizer that is the foundation of world agriculture. The soil itself is collapsing in terms of human nutrition as we use up its finite reserves of vital elements:  iodine, chromium salts and other complex materials our six billion collective bodies need to function. And farming has already sucked down the world’s water supply to the danger level. Yet somehow, we are going to come up with TWICE the water we now use by 2050, global warming and drying be damned. The whole time we are fixing global warming the population climbs.

Old Tom Malthus said something like this was gonna happen, although he got some of the details wrong, which a person just might conceivably do in predicting the fate of human civilization a couple hundred years in advance. Call me a softie here, but I tend to give the guy a break for getting it 90% right.

But then I’m no scientist. Supposedly sophisticated American scientists have been pissing on the grave of poor Tom at least since I was a kid in school. All my life American capitalist economists have proclaimed they’ve licked the population problem by using the world up faster. “A failed prophet of doom,” I believe my high school teacher called Malthus. Even commies kicked Tom’s dog around. Engles called him a barbarian. Marx couldn’t handle Tom’s action, either. Nor practically anyone else, from John Stuart Mill to Allen Greenspan. And we still get the stale argument that “This planet isn’t crowded; it is just mismanaged.” Even the Greens seem to believe that we can manage our way out of this fatal mess, if we just recycle, wear hemp and vote for the candidate on the bicycle with the Celtic tattoo. The alternative geeks swear nanotech is gonna pull us through. But, last I heard, pandemic viruses were still smarter than carbon nanotubes. Something about rapid adaptability. Those little fuckers seem to be fast on their feet, so in a title match between nano tech (or any tech for that matter) managed in the ring by nerds, and natural evolutionary biology – which not only has mother nature holding the towels in its corner, but also calling the fight – I’m damned sure betting on the biology.

At any rate, when it comes to the planet, now under the new global corporate management, it looks to be managed to death – dirt, people and all. The new management, kings and feudal lords of corporate finance to a man, peer down happily from the forty-fourth floor at six billion potential slave wage employees and wonder if you can feed ’em on dirt and kudzu.

Malthus must be thrashing inside his lead lined English coffin right now, cackling, “Do the math, you fuckers!” But they won’t. With the world’s geet presently being loaded into their yachts bound for the Caymans, they don’t have to. Not just yet, anyway. As for the guy on the bike with the Celtic tattoo, if he peddles long enough he’s bound to run into some of those 49,671 human beings born while I was writing this.

SCREAMING MAN: AND WHILE HE’S SPEEDING HE CAN CLOSE HIS EYES AND MAKE A FUCKING WISH WITH TINKERBELL! THAT NINE BILLION WILL BE HUMPING AWAY TRYING TO CRACK THE TWELVE BILLION MARK. WHEN WE ARE ALL LIVING IN RENTAL STORAGE LOCKERS AND EATING PURINA PEOPLE CHOW, FUCKING WILL BE ONE OF THE LAST FREE PASTIMES LEFT, OTHER THAN LISTENING TO THE 24/7 ADVERTIZING PIPED IN THROUGH OUR NECK CHIPS SELLING TEENSY STRAP ON YOUR ASS RUBBER BAND POWERED CARS. SO WE’RE GONNA HAVE EITHER HOMELAND SECURITY FUCK POLICE, OR FORCED STERILIZATION BY ICE PICK.

Actually, THE SCREAMING MAN is not so far off the mark. Human sterilizing crops are being researched, and I’m not entirely sure I’m agin it, partner, so long as they make the white people eat the stuff first.

In the meantime, the air is getting rather balmy in places it shouldn’t. Such as the North Pole. So the corporate and financial lizards at the top of the world rock, in a last ditch effort to milk out a few bloody trillion dollars more, has come up with a plan: carbon emissions trading.

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About the Author

Joe Bageant, author of Deer Hunting With Jesus and the master of www.joebageant.com, is one of America's most piercing social critics. He has been kind enough to allow La Cuadra to republish several of his essays and is threatening to come down and visit us at some point in the coming months. We plan to slay the fatted keg upon his arrival. We'll keep you posted.
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