The changes of the year make me nostalgic. It will be because I am a midweek, halftime and academic year woman. Or it will be due to my essential inability to vibrate with the great social events. So many purposes that are already known to be unfulfilled are still a metaphor for our stocks frustrated by default and by design. Instead of feeling renewed for the new year, I feel invaded by sad reflection. And this lack of enthusiasm makes me look more at the dystopian than at the utopia that a year that is just beginning always implies.
This summer, well, the summer that it was, I rented a van to, like Thelma and Louise with a friend but without a ravine, pick up a chest of drawers from my grandmother. Five hundred kilometers one way and another as many back because of a childhood memory with the consequent carbon footprint of her. On that trip I discovered, in addition to the fact that driving without a central rear-view mirror is dangerous, that the fields of Castilla in Machado had become an exterior-night shot of Blade Runner: hundreds of solar panels floating on land already in eternal shadow under its heavy leaden color. I don’t know if they were already there the year before and only the privileged height of being an amateur carrier had revealed them to me, or they were a consequence of the boom in renewable energy and the outrageous price of electricity. The truth is that I had a terrifying and prophetic vision, like any other Mary of France, of an overcast land lined with metal. Once again, the short-sighted human being who trusts in a saving technology to continue watching bullshit on the mobile at the cost of tiling to the ceiling an already suffocated nature. A trip to the Cadiz coast did not improve my mood. In Záhara de los Atunes you could choose between looking at the sea, at those blessed beaches, or turn your head a little and enjoy a cohort of giant head-cutter wind turbines. We colonized the land to have cold beer. We put those horrors out of our field of vision because we need them now, now, without delay, in a land belonging to another that we don’t care about because we have enough of our own problems to make ends meet. As bestas and Alcarrás are two magnificent films that reveal this tension between a rural world, more or less hopeless, and its colonization to meet the needs of people who don’t like the church bells ringing when they go away for the weekend. week in the field.
Despite the fact that we all know that the present is unsustainable, we dismiss the very possibility of that thought with the same gesture of looking away when a beggar reaches out to us at a traffic light. We trust that it will turn green as we trust that the feudal techno lords will come to our rescue with some extremely ingenious solution that does not make us change any of our habits or make us make uncomfortable decisions for the benefit of the common good. We are our biases and our archetypes, “the stories that we tell ourselves since the beginning of time to survive, especially when we face an existential crisis” as Marta Peirano points out in her essential essay against the future. “But, like all mechanisms born from trauma, they are maladaptive, strategies that do not benefit us from an evolutionary point of view,” Peirano says when referring to those technological solutions born from the will of a single male that are considered salvific in the face of to collapse. From Noah’s ark, as a solution to the universal flood, to Musk’s improbable colonies on Mars, as a solution to an uninhabitable earth. If we look at either of the two examples and read the fine print, it’s easy to conclude that neither Noah nor Elon count on us in their epic story of salvation.
I think that Peirano’s skepticism towards these techno-feudal lords and their testosteronic solutions is more than justified. A year ago around this time, antigen tests were a luxury product and the media was filled with brainy articles about the latest movie produced by the Netflix algorithm, Don’t look up. This same medium dedicated several informative, opinion and scientific articles to the phenomenon. In this work, which no one remembers anymore, a technology guru with socialization problems offers a solution that fails more than a fairground shotgun to stop the meteorite that hangs over Leonardo DiCaprio’s head. We all saw Elon Musk in the character of the millionaire misfit on the run. A year later, this newspaper has devoted countless pages and a lot of energy to broadcasting in real time its incompetence in managing a social network. His erratic Twitter address has filled us with disbelief and, why not say it, has given us great moments of joking around. It’s hard to imagine that Musk, having seen the seams, is the right person to ensure humanity’s survival when he’s unable to buy toilet paper to wipe his workers’ asses.
But the archetypes are here to stay. This year that has ended has also brought us the sad fate of the DART probe that “blew itself up” for us like Jesus Christ crucified. NASA’s Office of Planetary Protection has scored something that not even Bruce Willis was capable of: crashing DART into an asteroid to avoid its hypothetical collision with Earth. DART puts me in the uncomfortable position of having to accept the heroic, even knowing that there may be an idiot at the controls unable to foresee that the damage it prevents is much less than it causes. Perhaps I prefer to stay with the only certainty that I have before 2023: that I will not die devastated by an asteroid. Happy New Year.
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