Kunstlercast is a must visit site regardless of my literary ambitions. Every week Duncan and James Howard Kunstler, of "The Long Emergency" fame, get together to talk about the topic du jour and interview guests about the ongoing collapse of the industrial world. The show is lighthearted despite its weighty topic and has more laughs than moments of pathos. Between Duncan's interesting asides coming from a different generation and Jim's often hilarious wit bombs, the show is over all too soon, making one itch for the next episode.
The banner ad on the site looks great as well. I'm not sure what all I need do to get this book in front of people, but I'm doing everything that seems reasonable. Everyone I've met, except one crotchety old judge, has loved it, even the literary types seem to not hate it. I hope you will too.
But, of course, the irony lies in the collapse of civilization making an ephemeral project such as a novel about the collapse of civilization a seeming race against time. If you believe the fast crash crowd, then this is a silly gesture, and the energy spent writing would be better spent building a farmstead. If you believe the slow, economic stair-step crash scenario, then anyone still in the business of writing (or any venture) would face a steadily deteriorating audience, both in number and in physical, spiritual, economic, and mental health.
I must imagine that all of the peak oil prognosticators, pundits, and commentators, not to mention authors, both non-fiction and fiction, have at some point thought of the deep and troubling irony of both working within the system to get their voices heard, to build up their brand identity, to sell themselves and their products, and working to get out of a system that they may see in a range of lights from evil but doomed to awesome but doomed. Obviously, I am facing that right now.
For those who are on the "industrial society is evil but doomed end" of the spectrum, such as myself, the mere thought of all the paper needed to publish books, the metal that goes into the printers, the electricity consumed, the entire knock-on chain of industrial cause and effect, makes me cringe and fret that my little book is the anti-christ, that no one needs to read anything that light! Everyone should immediately buy a copy of "One Straw Revolution," or "Endgame."(Does Derrick Jensen wrestle with the same demons? Ruh-roh, I introduced a meta-irony loop by mentioning his book, "Endgame!")
What about books made of electricity? Unfortunately, these involve computers and all their rare earth metals, the plastics, hell, the aluminum for the Mac, the energy and the misery of the labor force. The ebook hardly seems a lesser evil.
What to do? I could opt for the cynicism du jour, both lamenting the state of the world and making knowing snarky asides. I could weep, wail, and gnash. I could take up arms. I could even fill out petitions and spend time with protestors.
But, after much thought, I've decided I will write and paint. These two things are what I do best and most enjoy. If any of my work inspires or impels someone to action or to a better understanding of the crisis, then I consider myself as having a life well spent.
For the enjoyment of anyone who has not seen my paintings, here is one from my upcoming show.
Thanks, and enjoy the book.