Madame Anne's Predictions for 2012
First, an editorial comment. Time magazine’s 2011 person of the year is not Steve Jobs, as we might have expected, but The Protestor. I count myself a member of this corporate person because I finally took a big and necessary risk. There are seven billion human ways to join ranks. Do it your way for a change. I’m not joking when I say that you house all the creativity of the universe, so use it. Just be you and try doing something new and interesting because it feels good.
Madame Anne’s predictions: The year 2012 will be a year of great transformation, the end of an era. This is my first prediction.
Although it may be the end of the Mayan calendar (are you surprised to know that scholars debate this?), I don’t think it will be the end of the world. 2012 will be a year in which sustained attention and effort will be necessary, but the effort to pay attention will be the greatest demand. This is my second prediction.
My third prediction is that, in 2012, effective changes will require group cooperation, not just individual effort. 2012 will begin an era of the greatest degree of human cooperation ever achieved; and also the greatest degree of refusal to cooperate. Of course, these predictions also apply to each day, and I think this underscores my credibility as a sage and psychic.
We can’t ignore weather changes and the effects of global warming any longer. And, directly related to this fact, the economy of “more, more, more” and “I want it all” is not coming back. Ever. It is sputtering unto death, as I have known, as most of us have known, our whole lives long, though some think they can compete to be on the top of millions of slaves, and that they will be protected in that position, and happy.
That’s patently crazy, isn’t it? Well then, with the biological and ecological and economic underpinnings shifting, the houses of social organization and politics are going to shift too, one way or another.
How about the Arab Spring? Really, as that year ends and another begins, it remains to be seen, doesn’t it? It could be a better thing, or it could be a much worse thing, and it is people who will make it so, and not just Arab people, but people who watch and wait and care, people who contribute their money, their time, their prayers. It’s a small planet. What happens anywhere matters everywhere. And what will happen in America? Are we finally ready to reign in the neo-con deregulation that has caused the near demise of American democracy? Have we already become entirely corporate slaves? When we thought we were borrowing our lives as indentured servants, were we really slaves all along? You know, “human resources"? Let’s find out by trying to go somewhere else. If we can go somewhere else, then deep reform is possible. But if we can’t go somewhere else, if all exits are blocked, then what? Revolution? More prozac and xanax? Maybe people in their homes and neighborhoods are going to find ways to take life back. Revolutions; revolution by revolution by revolution, one neighborhood at a time?
In my vision of the future, I see a service-based economy, directly related to human happiness and planetary sustainability. It would look like this: first, a fundamental change in activity patterns with less time spent on employment, or “working for the man” and, of course, less time shopping. And more time spent sleeping, listening to music, drinking coffee with friends, getting and giving massages, dancing, making and appreciating art, developing hobby interests, perhaps growing something to eat, or getting some hens, or devising gray water systems, or developing local service exchange economies, or installing mini solar devices, knitting, sewing. Everyone gets psychotherapy, too. Relax, it's only threatening if you’ve not done it!
The activity pattern I have suggested, it seems to me, would produce more direct happiness and, therefore, better health. (The research that supports this is overwhelming, don’t be a troglodyte! Or rather do be a troglodyte because they probably got this without a lot of explanation.) But you’d still need goods—clothes, and food, and tools, and musical instruments—after all, life can’t be just entertainment! Maybe you could sell the produce of your hobby to be someone else’s goods. You might still need money, but not as much. And if you don’t need as much money, you won’t produce interest for those who think they do need a ton of money. Therein lies the plot of a novel in the domain of saga of generations, the saga of our generations, our spot on the wheel of yurgas.
My thoughts turn to 2012 predictions for polar bears. I don’t think it looks good, furry friends. My BBC science page tells me that you have been mating with grizzly bears, eating your own babies, and that your mums have been abandoning babies at birth. This is the biological behavior of a species in trouble, a species on the brink. I think of the words of Martin Niemoller, first recorded in a 1955 book by Milton Mayer, interestingly titled They Thought They Were Free.
First they came for the communists
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
Do you notice there really is no mention of mentally retarded people, homosexuals, and the other “defectives,” those who were the real front line, as even in America we practiced eugenics? So it’s the communists and the trade unions that were the first visibly problematic groups—because the mentally retarded, the homosexuals and the other defectives were simply invisible. . . . But meanwhile, back to polar bears: well, they are not the first to go. We have been in the midst of the biggest extinction of species in 65 million years for some decades now. This news made page 29 or so of the New York Times in the early 1990s. So long, Baiji Dolphin, I wasn’t looking when they came for you; same thing Hawaiian Crow, you were invisible. But Polar Bears, you look more like me, and even so, I fear we, too, will soon part. And when it’s all over, we will look back and say, Oh My God, we were such dodos!
With real joy, I repeat that there is no need to despair, because creativity is infinite. The creative world will go on, and, as of today, there are seven billion human ways to join ranks with The Protester. It is the most exciting time to be living because there is a need to do it your way for a change. I’m not joking when I say that you house all the creativity of the universe, so use it. Just be you and try doing something new and interesting because it feels good. (Do I really need to spell it out that I don’t mean something like a new drug flavor, or the thrill of violence, but something a bit calming or soothing or uplifting perhaps?)
You want to know what I’m doing? I lost my job—actually I walked off my job of 24 years in overdue protest. Now I spend a lot of time playing kindergarten music (my level) on the piano, so I am finally doing something I have wanted to do all my life. And I meditate, and I cook, and I walk in the woods and swim. I write. I use less resources and less energy, definitely, and not just in my imagination. I have to learn over and over again that whether I tell myself I am a heroic protester or a simple failure, the world is still there, wanting to be seen, loving to be loved. As I try to orient towards and begin to build a different personal future, I am trying to feel myself, to feel in my body and soul what is good for me, what is good for us, what is good for the world. That’s what I want to do, and I don’t believe for a minute that I have to be willing to kill you to get what’s good for me. I don’t believe it based on a mountain of scientific evidence, as well as the deep pulse of my own mystical attunements. Actually, after months of being terrified by the feelings around losing my job long before I intended to retire, I find that this unexpected unemployment feels good.
Madame Anne’s predictions for herself: she is going to continue learning to feel better and it will be good for the world, too (as Aristotle suggested so long ago).
Madame Anne’s Advice to the Life-Lorne: do it your way for a change! Do something you want to do; especially if it is something you have long wanted to do, just because you really really want to do it.