Every day I get up early in the morning and drive to work amongst the hoards of trucks migrating to the oil-fueled town where my non-oil-related job is located.
Every day I watch out my window as heavy equipment destined for some none-too-distant rig is shuttled around or between various industrial production yards.
Every day I sit in my office and I work to nudge the behemoth of the oil giant towards a slightly different course before it crushes my own industry in its steady trudge towards economic gluttony.
Every day I wait in lines, or on hold, or in traffic amongst the throngs of young men and women paid large sums of money to fuel the industrial engine that is big Alberta oil.
I am in the belly of the beast. I am inside it. I am Jack’s medulla oblongata.
But even I am not so far gone as to confuse the dutiful movement of a metaphorical moth towards a flame with some deeper, more nefarious conspiracy. For when we fall out of our critical thinking selves to begin the march towards something of a deeper fiction we lose more than can be imagined.
The Canadian National Newspaper, something of a socialist never-heard-of-til-now newsletter, lost all but shreds of any respectability last week when it published an argument for aliens-controlling the government: Canadians specifically and humanity in general who rejoice about the “prosperity” of the Alberta Tar Sands project, and other such similar schemes, have their mind caught in what is arguably a sophisticated video game, where they have confused a substantive reality of living in a toxic stew, with a manipulated alien fantasy.
The first rule of fight club is you do not talk about fight club. The reason for that, you see, is that when conspiracies are faced with evidence they are often revealed to have more in common with mental disorders.
Hey, I’m all for slowing down development in the tar sands. There is something to be said for ‘sipping’ rather than ‘gulping’ after all. But to wrap some elaborate fiction around a real issue only accomplishes two things: (1) it erodes credibility and (2) it diverts responsibility. And as someone once told me: don’t confuse lazy incompetence with willful and malicious conspiracy.