Dudeman Nature on Planning for the New Year
So I, Dudeman Nature have a new years? confession to make. My thinking has been very un-dude lately. Letting too many strands get in the duders head and considering too many in and outs, interested parties, etc. Bottom line is: this dude’s been trying too hard to plan out the next year.
Field biologists work seasonally and always have to look ahead to the next project. In winter Dudeman Nature’s career tends to slow down a bit and he prefers it that way. I mean, as any dude animal knows, winter is hibernation time and Dudeman Nature abides by his dude animal totems (if this sounds mysterious to you please refer to my previous article, The Inherent Dudeism of Animals). However, in spring I do not just crawl out of my den to go scavenge winter kill carcasses (although that sounds like a good enough plan to me). I need a job so the repo man doesn’t take back my La-Z-Boy.
Of course, being human makes the whole hibernation plan more complicated, and pretty much everything else as well. Don’t worry, no need to send charity funds yet, I’ve got a good gig set up for spring, it just took more logistics and planning then this dude cares for and winter will be lean. But here I’ve been, fretting and planning and not being very dude at all.
Then, just like that, my mindset changed. Sometimes a dude needs to be shocked back into proper "dudethink." When you lose touch with your inner Dude, a voice can echo ever so remotely in the back of your mind "the bums always lose." But don’t listen, that’s just the stress talking, man. If you’re a fortunate dude, as I consider myself to be, you may be helped out of this dilemma by "dudevine" intervention. For the Nature-loving dude there is nothing more, spiritual, nothing more enlightening, than a good strong slap in the face from dear old Mother Nature (our Special Lady).
The fact is, my very un-dude fretting, planning mindset came to a screaming halt when a buddy of mine e mailed me to say there have been over 250 earth quakes between Christmas and New Years in Yellowstone Park. Some in the 3.0 to 3.9 scale, not exactly lightweights. So what? Who cares, you ask? Nobody lives there but a bunch of marmots. What are you, a fucking park ranger? Well, when considering Yellowstone National Park sits on top of a Caldera (that’s an old collapsed volcano) it does concern more then just the park ranger and may affect many within city limits of many, many cities.
Essentially, a bunch of earth quakes around a volcano that is over due to erupt is not a good thing unless you’re really into epic fireworks and breathing ash instead of air. If Yellowstone blows, the impact could make the 1980s Mt. St. Helen?s eruption look laughable, man. There is a potential for a good portion of Montana and Wyoming to end up on top of New England. Which sucks for a large part of the United States but what will suck for everyone else and every other living thing on the planet will be the sheer volume of carbon ash put into the atmosphere — potentially enough to obscure the sun for a long time. Darkness will warsh over the earth like a black steers tookus on a moonless prairie night. This would result in a year round winter. No sunlight means plants can not photosynthesize which means herbivores do not eat plants which means, yes, yes, everything is fucked here.
The sad news is the food chain would cease to work until the lights are turned back on. The only food left would be stored in cans and such and that will vanish right quick. This would leave a potential scenario like that described by a much wiser and better writer then myself, Cormac McCarthy. If you want some insight as to the potential outcome of this kind of post apocalyptic lifestyle, read McCarthy’s The Road. It’s a purty good read, good enough to win the Pulitzer, but I can’t say it will make you laugh to beat the band.
This leaves the nature dude with a genuine conundrum, a point to ponder. Nature with all it’s beauty and wonder and power — no doubt the ultimate Mother — is she, well, also the ultimate Motherfucker? Let’s just say nature is indifferent and works on a time scale that makes all your life plans look miniscule, pointless and puny. When she gets moody and she is most certainly that lately, Ma nature can take that life plan out of your hand, stick it up your ass and pull the trigger until it goes click.
So in light of all this new shit, Do we just say fuck it? Is that ultimately our answer to everything? Far from it. Make your plan, stick to ‘er best you can but just don’t take it all that seriously because it can change at any given moment for reasons beyond your control and possibilities you could never have even imagined. So, plan without fretting and spending too much time in future thought. The moment is now, it’s the only one you have because tomorrow you may wake up with a hundred feet of Montana dirt on top of your head, which means you probably won’t wake up at all.
And what the hell, if you are going to plan, plan big, go all out. In light of all this new shit my plan has changed completely. For instance, I am now strongly considering investing in the modestly-priced receptacle industry, which will be in high demand for transmitting all the ashes that will be lying everywhere after the big explosion. Until that happens, though, instead of fretting over my winter income and upcoming events, I’ll be riding my mountain bike, hiking the hills, strumming my guitar, downing some oat sodas and thinking up more of this shit to try and entertain you all with in the new year.
Happy 2009, however long she lasts!