Dancing to Dirges

Depressing and happy things Tim says, sometimes while drunk

Thursday, April 24, 2008

So don't think about it, then.

Have you guys ever been to Phoenix? My family used to vacation there every summer. Every year between junior high and high school, right up until I went to college, we spent about a week in Phoenix. This is because the "season" for Phoenix is, you know, winter. So it was cheap to go in the Summer. Natch.

It wasn't all bad. The heat's not too bad, and like I said, it was fairly cheap so we got to stay at some pretty posh digs. Where I grew up had pretty shitty television coverage, so I only got to watch cool shows while on vacation. When in Seattle, I watched Star Raiders, and in Phoenix it was Voltron. I guess that's kind of sad, but it's what I remember.

The thing that I could never get over about Phoenix was how tenuous the whole place was. It was just so...artificial. You live in a desert! You don't need a lawn, for god's sake. Look around...it's all dust and rocks and glaring sun. Stop pretending this is hospitable terrain and start hoarding water like a sensible adult.

I sometimes think about stuff like the collapse of civilization. Well, infrastructure, specifically. If the trucks stop bringing food to the Dominick's, how many of us would survive. And I've become more and more aware that, honestly, I wouldn't do too well. I haven't gutted a fish since junior high. I've never tried to skin and dress a rabbit. These are things you'd need to know. You aren't going to get a growing season to prepare for the apocalypse, man. You're going to need to produce next week's meal. Now. The point is, I pretty much depend on civilization.

I got started thinking about this because a friend of mine was in town last week. He lives near Raleigh, and he was talking about the drought. It's kind of bad, I understand. I have trouble processing that, because there was a lot of rain in my childhood. We even had floods. In the mountains. You understand, don't you, that that takes a lot of rain.

So think about Phoenix. Think about what happens if you disrupt the water supply, even for a week. Seriously. It's such an artificial space, with its streets and its suburban homes, but there's no water. It freaks me out, just thinking about it.


At 6:22 PM , Blogger Splitcoil said...

You need to read Alan Weisman's THE WORLD WITHOUT US, if you haven't already. You won't be able to get Omega Man scenarios out of your head after that.

It's a little shallower than I wish it was, but it's one of those topics that could be plumbed forever, so... it's really fine.

At 7:46 PM , Blogger Marshdrifter said...

I started a thread about this on WGB. In a nutshell, I basically argued that we're doomed.

It was not well received.

It's alarming how little awareness people have towards the interdependence of infrastructure in our ways of life. Hopefully, people will start to realize it when they notice how the higher gas prices affect everything.

At 9:02 AM , Anonymous Scott Janssens said...

Skin a rabbit? The skin is the best part!

At 8:16 PM , Anonymous Aetius said...

I read once that any modern civilzation is three weeks away from barbarism. No power, no water, no food, no transport. When I get in moods like this I read "Alas, Babylon" and think that it could be worse. :)

At 10:13 PM , Blogger The Brillig Blogger said...

I went to Phoenix once. I treated myself to Michigan-Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl as a college graduation present. My eldest brother wasn't happy because he felt his graduation gift was being used frivolously, and I don't think fully realized that money is fungible. I hated it. The long distance to get from one place to another, all the little fountains evaporating water that was being imported from a gazillion miles away all over the entire area. The sprawl, the sprawl, the sprawl that has only gotten worse now than it was on New Year's Day 1986. We may have water riots in my lifetime when the unsustainability of Phoenix and Vegas catches up with us. Of course, I live on an island that can get cut off from the rest of the country easily enough and can then battle with 2,000,000 of my closest friends in Queens for hte right right to eat the feral cats of Sunnyside in order to stay alive.


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