The Apocalypse Pantry

A Survivor's Guide to Happiness in the Urban Armageddon

Grow Your Own Future Skin Pocket!

Six Mind Blowing Ways to Accelerate Your Evolution In Time For Bikini Season!

We can all agree that skin pockets (an extra flap of skin layered atop of one's abdomen for the holding of miniature stuffs) will be crucial in the apocalypse.  Apocalypse radiation protection lipstick? In the skinpocket. Apocalypse uranium powered miniature hand held fan? In the skinpocket!  Apocalypse lead lined ray bans? In the SKIN pocket!! Apocalypse feelings of uncertainty? STUFF EM IN THE SKIN POCKETTTT!!!!

Here is a list our intern compiled from various googlings of very possibly highly effective ways to get your skin pocket NOW without having to wait for the slow plodding of biological evolution to catch on to trending advances in personal pocketry:

1. Clothes pins extension exercises. Draw a line on your stomach of how big you want your skin pocket to be.  Along its sides and bottom edges, clothes pin the flesh every 1.5 cm's.  Continue this action, pinching more skin every time until you have three sizeable flaps that can then be folded over like epidermis origami and sewn together.

2. Stomach staple, just on the outside instead of the inside!  The same procedure as a stomach stapling but reversed, your abdominal flesh is squeezed off and stapled and the extra protruding flesh that would be removed in an internal stomach staple situation is scraped free of muscles and fat and stapled along three sides back on to the stomach from whence it came.  Your doctor may not have heard of this procedure and thus you may need to walk them through it a couple times before the anaesthetic sets in.

3. Slice a slit in your skin then stretch it out and very carefully, with a grapefruit spoon, separate the skin from the muscle wall until you have a sizeable pocket area. Shellac the inner linings of your new pocket with non-stick oven spray so that it doesn't go about trying to heal itself.  

Illustration by Kayaan Zhan and coloured in by the mystical Ghia Zierdien

Illustration by Kayaan Zhan and coloured in by the mystical Ghia Zierdien

4. Scalp someone (meaty cop heads work well) then, while its still fresh, expose a small area of your own flesh, lay scalp on demarcated area of your abdomen and leave it there until the two flesh's become one.  This version does require routine shaving of your skin pocket or can simply be a hairy skin pocket perfectly adapted for colder climates.

5. Intention is everything- Visualize! Visualize! Visualize! Start with a small vision, like a skin business card holder, then work your way up into a full blown skin pocket.  During visualization time (always before supper time but never during sexy time), stare intensely at the area you wish the pocket to manifest and squeeeeeze your skin cells into pocket shapes with your mind powers.

Illustration by Kayaan Zhan and coloured in by the magical Ghia Zierdien

Illustration by Kayaan Zhan and coloured in by the magical Ghia Zierdien

6. Grow a petri dish skin pocket in the comfort of your own tent-lab (we've already started making some, available through our online shop here) and graft it to yourself in your tent-hospital.  Its pretty simple, you can just figure it out.

Now get that fresh skin pocket on that bikini ready bod to the beach already gaaaaaaad!

Available now for a limited time, the AP Future Skin Pocket Acceleration Kit can be purchased from our online shop! Buy now and receive a mini skin purse, perfectly sized to fit all your seeping pustules! You'll like it because IT'S FREE!!!

A Recipe Ode to Grow Your Own Future Skin Pocket

Wow! Like press! Fucking GIF's is the best!!

Ingredients:

-informations

Method:

-allow informations to wash over you, landing where they may

-make a numerated list of the informations that get stuck in your facial hair (she-beards not excluded)

-make the list MIND BLOWING or INCREDIBLE or UNBELIEVABLE

-share that list with the masses via the internet and feel the absolute power of immortality as it pulses through you

-wait for your exposure cheque to arrive in the post

Nature/Natural

When I think about Victoria Walk Park (also known as Victoria Park) here on

Melbourne Road,

Woodstock,

Cape Town,

7925

I think about open space, a small respite from the constant noise that Woodstock buzzes.  Woodstock homes tend to be dark, mostly semi-detached, not too much open space.  Playing in the streets but only certain streets; living on the foot of a mountain means the ball will always roll away.  Each time it happens to me, still, I imagine the underground ball club, new ou's rolling in. 

So this park, we grew up close by, always, been coming here 30 years, and now I live just opposite.  It’s an open space that is fenced to keep children safe from running to the busy roads that surround it and to keep the dogs and balls safely within the parameter.  The fencing with its padlocks also aim to keep the parks empty at night, no one is allowed to be within the grounds yet the missing palisades tell a different story. 

The park has swing sets, a slide and benches dotted around the lawn, it meets a berm just over halfway which falls into a tarred basketball court in need of much repair.  The cracks in the tar make space for seeds to settle though and in winter green peeks out of the gray.  I enter the park from this side and see the sign that sits just after the public restrooms the park houses, a small building, almost unnoticeable.  The sign shows images of what is prohibited in the park, from ball games to motorbikes, cutting down trees and sleeping.  Below all the images reads “RIGHT OF ADMISSION RESERVED” and for the first time I stop and really think about "Reserved for whom?" and "Which Right?", the park is perfect to koppel a yung tie, where are people supposed to catch a break around here?  This sign annoys me and I make a mental note to cover it with art instead.

This park may be secure enough to keep the children, dogs and balls in, and through the spaces in the fence, allows others to find a place to be at night.  This fence is certainly big enough to let the frogs, snakes and birds move freely.

I'm here to look at this space through the lens of, "How Natural is our Nature?", a writing assignment set by our MPhil Environmental Humanities South course.  I think about this shit all the time, I am so drawn to this land, with the deepest love I have not moved from beneath this mountain and often imagine the herds and biodiverse communities that have lived here, that continue to live here, how to fit it into the word count?

I begin a journey around the park with a sketchbook and charcoal from a fire I made last week.  I rub the Eucalypt’s, of which there are many, and choose areas on the bark that look interesting to me, a little bit different.  I always consider these Eucalypt’s, how economically viable they are while also being so detrimental to our water table and allelopathic to other plant species competing to live where they live.  I stop at the Red Flowering Gum, so stunted where it stands but pushing out flowers and since they’re at my height (and not the normal grand Diplodocus size) I notice them for the first time.  Like really notice their glory, unadulterated and reminding me of ridiculously bright sea anemones wafting in the inter-tidal zone.  They are exquisite in colour and in their formation, as if they landed here from space yet they are obscene, a luminous coral red gaping sex, enticing pollinators and radiating lust.  These alien plants settled and assimilated in Woodstock, Cape Town, portal to the next dimension.

It’s funny because we actually do consider them aliens, one of the worst, "invasive" we say, these Australians that have taken over our pristine land.  In this Nature we still put effort to exclude within our own species but also outside.  And legit, right?  Water table, allelopathy, I mean part of me feels guilty, who am I to judge the rights of life and species, whose fault is it that they are here?  Global dominant trade routes?  Another colonial masterpiece?  They are up high on the local chain of commodity, paper (toilet paper), pulp, wood, honey, essential oil, Real Stuff.

After I rub the third Eucalypt, I feel as if this tree rubbing is senseless as they all look so different, there is nothing that puts them in an identifiable comparison.  I also get annoyed with myself because why should they?  I decide that rubbing the unnatural things, the very man-made things, the hard-not-breathing-or-interacting-with-its-immediate-environment things, would be a better option.  The benches are next to the trees and of the same colour green as the palisade fencing which begs the question about greening up a space.  Choosing green for the benches could possibly be because it is an unobtrusive colour, or it simply could be the cheapest option or, most likely, is a nudge towards nature, bringing the green into the city centre, so close to the highway and peak hour traffic. 

I rub the benches in three places and what comes up remind me of different rock faces, lichen against sandstone, the colours and textures of a granite boulder and even the smoothness of Malmesbury shale.

These days this park is mostly used for soccer games and dog-walkers, as many as twenty dogs at a time with owners and sometimes partners, a social moment for dogs and their people, some of whom work from home so the park offers a welcome moment of sunshine.  “All ball games strictly forbidden” reads a faded and rusted old sign at the opposite Melbourne Rd entrance from where I first entered, but everyday at least once, there is a group of young people who come and play soccer.  It is in these moments where the social anxiety that neighbours who know each other purely because they run their dogs at the same park at roughly the same times, is overshadowed by the forced coming together of young people eager to kick a ball around the imagined but definite soccer field boundary.  Children from the orphanage, from the schools, neighbours, neighbours from other areas, all come together in the match of the moment.  Some get excluded and come throw balls for dogs while they wait for someone to be called out so they can fill their proverbial soccer boots.

Ball games and dog games, ficus trees and wind. Oh this wind, the south-easter bliksems round Devil’s Peak and moulds the trees to sit below its blow line, forcing them down like it wishes it could do with the buildings. Trees are obliging which makes them great to climb and easy for us to see the birds who rest between flights.  Today I saw the fiscal shrike that has taken up residence in a pepper tree in our home.  I watched him fly from the Red Flowering Gum in the park to the Acacia in our garden.  These leaning trees remind me that this stretch of land was no place for trees, Protea’s and pincushions only reaching so high on these Devil’s Peak feet.  How natural is this Nature?  This question always reminds me of Jadav Payeng who planted a forest on a barren sandbar to create a wild refuge over a few decades.  This forest has seen its true biodiversity potential and sees larger animals like elephants, tigers and rhinoceros.  Life is persistent; it is the true nature of life, to live. Sometimes it takes someone who’s never lost the ability to see how that is true, that all things that live have the right to be alive and have basic needs, like accommodation, food and other members in its own species.  This is as natural as it gets, and here in this city, the kind of life that has endured makes sense.  Here where thousands upon thousands of animals roamed, lions with their paws wet in the ocean shore, buffalo and buck stampeded into the ocean, no where else to go but to where sharks and orca’s could feast.  Imagining all the many other species, their freedom to journey with no limiting walls and ha-ha's and guns and boundaries, the ultimate ideal of a natural Nature.  Yet still so much survives and this place; this park finds itself in the biodiversity hotspot of the world.  I’m pulled back to the current reality, where local animals gather at the watering hole.

Now I’m standing here where Leliebloem farm used to be, a huge farmland whose upper reaches tickled the knees of Devil’s Peak.  I only know about Leliebloem because my parents told us how the highway was a fairly recent construction, before us sisters were born, but the Garden Court hotel that looms over us (where my father grew up and the house where we spent most of our childhoods) used to be an orphanage, Leliebloem House, forced off to Athlone and named after the farmland it was a part of. This land I’m standing on has been leveled out, cut out of the earth so it may be steady and weighted evenly instead of being a rolling shin cascading down the knee of Devil’s Peak.

Below me and beyond I can imagine the old Fort Knokke standing in full regalia, here as the water lapped up just below.  Just over two hundred years ago where Sceptre, a British warship, had been anchored and then destroyed by the North-Westerly wind, it lay there at Fort Knokke, just below this park.  It feels like this park has seen so many things, all the things that happen above its ground, never mind below.  The mere fact that it exists as open land, engaging with its environment for always, means there is a remnant and a truth in its naturalness, its nature remains natural even if the original biodiversity it held is greatly diminished.

30 years of coming to this park, only 30 when it has been around for so many more 30’s.  The last 10 years has been concentrated journeys with my dog, us knowing the route blindfolded.  This park has helped me believe that biodiversity is relentless, that it is not just about the rats and pigeons, or the cockroaches, cats and dogs.  In winter the park fills with water as the rains collect in the clay base, it reminds me always that Cape Town - although brittle and dry in the Summer- is humid high and sodden in winter, a natural seasonal wetland.  This wetness brings frogs into the park, this safe haven surrounded by dry city and a lack of wild areas even though we sit beneath national monumental park that is the mountain range.  I know about the frogs because I hear them but only once had the privilege of seeing the Clicking Stream Frog in the water of the plastic irrigation main valve housing when it lost its lid.  The housing had filled up with rainwater and sat this way for the winter months so the frog settled in as a tadpole nicely.  Like where were its siblings?  How even?  I’ve seen shy snakes here but sure they would make an easy snack for a bird or target for a dog.  There’s a patch of pink Pelargoniums in this park that I forage flowers off of and I’ve disturbed the delicate pink flower crab a few times doing that, my bulky fingers getting in the way.  I’m wary to never forage more than roughly a quarter off of a bush because of this precise reason, crab spiders ambush their prey on flowers and thus need flowers to eat.  Pelargoniums have a short season and when you’re the same flash of pink as they, you have to take every opportunity you can to make the most of hunting season.

This park ends in a retainer wall that drops down to the next field.  The retainer wall has a series of seepage or drainage holes with graffiti loosely dotted between, the last one asking the very big question, “?FREE?”.  At the Melbourne Rd entrance, the drainage holes are closer together and a swarm of bees had settled in nicely.  Happily foraging pollens and nectars, drinking water in the various places water collects.  Of course this bothered the dog owners greatly and the bees became such hazard, stinging an inquisitive nose or two.  In a time where the plight of the bees is in full force, I was delighted that they’d decided to move in to my hood where I could see them and engage.  It broke my heart that they were removed and I choose to imagine that their removal was done officially and not at the mercy of insecticidal spray.

This lower field where the bees lived is mostly lawn with two small boulders and benches and trees lining the perimeter.  There is a hint of the limestone track that was laid a few years ago, this park is used much the same as Victoria Park but without the playground set.  Just below this field is Al-Noor Orphanage that sits on big open land that has been mostly laid with lawn.  So as I stand at the top park and overlook the two fields below, the first thing I see is the utter squareness of where I stand which of course is echoed throughout the city and throughout the landscapes of the world.  This idea of urban and rural, the natural and the artificial and how we compartmentalise our world into these binaries, this makes me see the value in the things I dislike.  Take this lawn for instance, the material that covers the vast majority of this big tract of land, I know that the lawn is a valid species, alive through the same trials of survival that my species has been put through in the same space and time.  Yet I despise it, this monoculture of our land, coating all the fancy lawns and golf courses, fields and estates.  It stands as a reminder of the Enclosure Act, of the perpetuation of the English Landscape ideal that has dominated landscaping been the outdoor carpet of choice for centuries.  Thirsty and using water resources where there are so many who go thirsty and rivers who dry up.  Of course I’m projecting, I realise this, for it’s not really the lawn’s fault that we’ve exploited it so.  When I take the time to look closer I notice that the lawn is made up of many species, what some people would even call weeds.  These are equally as valid and their persistence in the world is a moment for us to view them differently.  Focusing on the squareness, however, the neat rows of land and streets and fields become easy for us to navigate and ultimately to control.  It is as if we have put a frame around the land to designate space for our pleasure and ideals, lawn taking us from the lush rolling hills of Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens through to the manicured estates that dot the country, framed regions of demarcated colonial chic.  As Theodore Steinberg says of the city of Manhattan’s gridlines which commenced in 1811 “Through the plotting of its streets and blocks, it announces that the subjugation, if not obliteration, of nature is its ambition.”

Sinking thoughts into the land lets the life of the soil rise up into being, not invisible under ground.  So many insects, earthworms and pillbugs, sometimes even moles are evident on this land, you see their castings or molehills and even see them once in while.  There is life teeming here, perhaps not abundant in its biodiversity but certainly not modest.

The sea is not so far away.  We know that centuries ago the sea was quite close with Sceptre being wrecked just below where I stand.  My father used to walk down the hill to Woodstock Beach (which is in a straight line from where we live), here close to this park.  It has now been reclaimed by industry and now there is the local waste drop-off and factories where the waves used to lap the shore.  They called the road "Beach Rd".

Still, as I stand here and close my eyes, breathing deeply and slowly, I fill my lungs with sea.  I hear and see the seagulls and it reminds me of my childhood and going to school in the early morning when the sea haze was much further inland to where we lived and I would wake up to that smell.  The sea, the sea, right here in my room.  At night the foghorn and the bellows from the ships would call out long and low, like huge water elephants or whales breaching and bringing with them a sense of belonging or nostalgia, a memory of feeling safe and secure.  What of nature in that?  The sensitivity we have as children and the vulnerability we feel that can be soothed by the deep bass sounds coming from the sea, reaching up to us in our beds.  The gentle rhythm of the train track at night when it’s quiet enough to hear.  A steadiness it brings, a dependability I guess, and I think about everyone who hears that noise in the still of the night - not just me and not just other people but the dassies, lizards and birds hiding in the auditorium of the mountain - at least in my imagination, I am not sure that the sound reverberates that high.

Out there in the harbour, those tall metal giraffes have come in recently, they could be tall cranes, or flamingoes except they lack the certain roundness and fancy that flamingoes have.  Standing here watching them, it feels as if we’re getting further away, this view that I have seen since I was a child that either my sense of sight is tricking me, that my perception is so different and influenced by memory or that steadily the shallow land is being reclaimed in the sea. 

Birds, it’s the sound of nature you hear the most.  There are all kinds of cries, some more prominent than others because they live here too.  The crows on top of the clinic next to the park, the hadeda’s who are always looking for their partners, the starlings chittering in the palm trees with palm dates hanging heavy and ready.  These birds remind me of the popular kids in the playground, the ones the games would revolve around, the confident ones, the ones whose voices were heard.  The nature of this nature has stayed the same, mostly, in as much as you can stay the same when your inherited self is the same but your entire natural habitat is changed.

Finding nature in this park… Yesterday as I left my home to run my dog at Victoria Park, I could smell chicken being cooked in someone’s kitchen, a smell I know so well, roasting gharam masala wafting round the park.  Smell is one of those senses that have evaded the greatest of scientists and designers; smell-o-vision has a long way to go to be captured technologically as the other senses have been.  For now the words on this paper will have to carry the scent of roasting spices.  The story of food as nature is an obvious yet convoluted one.  That actualchicken I smelt most likely came from a factory and not a farm, how much nature in that food?  Yet the nature in my nature is harked back and titillated, putting me in the kitchen with my mother, us talking about our day or maybe about the food we will eat in an hour.

For this nature to be in its full Naturalia, I have to remember the Erica’s and Protea’s that once blew in the wind, scattering pollen invisible to the eye, the Kukumakranka’s making the air heady with their scent, the waters that ran down this mountain and still flood the garages and cellars of some of the older Victorian houses.  I have to actively envisage these plants and all the insects and bacteria and mycelia that lived here so they may breathe for a moment in this reality.  I think about the water that still flows all the time, where it is, where exactly it may go as it runs beneath our feet and roads.  I dream of gauging a hole in the road to let the water bubble up as in a spring, coughing and sputtering out into the light, fresh water for everyone who uses Woodstock, for your garden, for your thirst, to wash your clothes, to clean your wounds.  So many people live in Woodstock without homes, the park is sanctuary for many acting as respite from the sun as you walk through your days, it is security at night when you have nowhere else to go and can slip unseen through the broken palisade to hide between the Tecoma’s if someone else hasn’t gotten there first.

Victoria Walk Park has a newly installed water fountain, a faux rock spring that allows the overspill of the tap to collect in a low groove in the ‘rock’ for dogs to drink.  It stands as a fiberglass moulded monument to the mountain that overshadows it.  It is set in a tarred base which makes no sense but which harks back to when parks were strictly tarred ground, like the primary school I attended and the many parks dotted around our city.  Perhaps this was low maintenance, before the days we realised that water needs to sink into the ground and not always be quickly drained away into the sewers like as the colonial legacy taught us to do.  I make a rubbing of this faux rock and I am reminded of what animals who are kept in zoo’s must feel like, faux rock faces and faux sea beds, faux plants and faux hills.  A fiberglass façade of Real but when you touch it, its vapid, shallow, real in that it exists but very much unreal, nothing like home, the home an animal in a zoo may remember, in its inherited memory.  I stop because here I realize there is no natural in this nature.

A recipe ode to Nature/Natural

Spices in the Apocalypse are a weak spot and require voyaging to attain.  But when you have them, here's my Mamma's, Hajiera Rossier, gharam masala recipe - perfect for roasting chicken.  Reproduced with permission from my mother, Gadija Khan.   

Ingredients

  • 1 handful whole jeera
  • 1 handful whole koljana
  • 1 handful saajiera
  • 2-3 whole star aniseed
  • 2 full sticks of cinnamon 
  • 5 cardamom seeds
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 all spice

Method

In a hot pan, gently roast seeds.  Immediately crush with mortar and pestle or bicycle-powered spice blitzer.

Make as you need.

Oh So Noisy On My Eyeballs

Lets get it over with, the ubiquitous etymology of a word thing that begins so many a poorly written self published internet article… ahem- The word “symbol” is an amalgam of the Greek words syn- "together" + bole "a throwing, a casting or“that which is thrown or cast together”.   The mythology behind the etymology references the Greek myth wherein Hermes, Greek God of transitions and boundaries, had just learned to walk. He was toddling along on the seashore and began speaking with the animals but they spoke back in a different language. He came across a turtle who did not speak at all and from the turtle Hermes made a lyre so that he could speak the same language as the animals.  This “casting together” of meaning across the divide of language lends man the concept of symbolism with music as its most powerful messenger.  

The myth aptly follows human cerebral development in neuro-typical children- first a mastering of gross motor skills with the benefit of cerebral development that provides, then taking on the far more complex task of language development.  Ultimately opening the human up to the realm of meaning, the capacity to connect and communicate with other humans beyond physiological emotional attachment.  

Before Greek civilisation we just sat around staring at each other until we spontaneously combusted with the intensity of our unexpressed meanings, hence the short lifespans (insert sarcastic face emoji).  The use of pictorial symbolism long predates man’s ability to capture their myths with language and writing.  Oral traditions across the globe have used symbols in the same way since the dawn of man.  So basically shit is deep. Deeeeeeep inside our DNA.  Our brains have evolved alongside and intertwined with our creation of symbols to express ourselves.  Go ahead and marinate on that… then add a dash of Heinrich Zimmer:

"Concepts and words are symbols, just as visions, rituals, and images are; so too are the manners and customs of daily life. Through all of these a transcendent reality is mirrored. They are so many metaphors reflecting and implying something which, though thus variously expressed, is ineffable, though thus rendered multiform, remains inscrutable. Symbols hold the mind to truth but are not themselves the truth, hence it is delusory to borrow them. Each civilisation, every age, must bring forth its own.

Aside from the Abrahamic monotheistic symbolism being carried forward from Agrarian cultures that set about desertifying the fertile crescent some few thousand years ago, we too are “bringing forth” our own symbols we just call them brands.  And before brands became a massive industry unto itself, they were called Logo’s.  In the days of hot metal typeset a logotype was when a single piece of type would be made for words that always came together, as in the name of a company/ country/ organisation, etc… so to save the typesetter from having to spell them out every time, a logotype was cast.  There’s that casting again…hmmmm…. brings to mind Joseph Campbell who said “A symbol is an energy evoking, and directing, agent”.  So like…casting a spell.

The much misunderstood world of witchcraft (hard to learn something from someone when they’re on fire) relies heavily on the casting of spells which are groups of symbols created specifically to express the caster’s meaning.  Think of it as really technical wish making.  And the belief there (as it would have been inherited from pre-historic cultures that practiced naturalistic shamanism) is that reality is a materialisation of spirit.  This idea persisted all the way through to aforementioned Abrahamic religions in that the Torah begins with God’s creative process; first the word then the heavens and the earth were formed.  

Now imagine this very powerful tool, this ancient creation mechanism in the wrong hands.  Like picture how things would have turned out if Gollum got the ring orrrrr if say a multinational conglomerate got it written into international law that their logo shall be-ith protected by justice systems throughout the land… and that the logo shalleth be granted to bedazzle the masses and used as a distraction from what actually goes on in the dungeons and boardrooms of said corporation.   This little tricksy move plays our own neuro-processes against us and its not by accident.  

In his book Exodus to the Virtual World, Edward Castronova writes:

“In the mid-1990’s Byron Reeves and Clifford Nass conducted a series of experiments establishing that the core structures of the brain interpret media and reality in the same way.  the brain’s basic structures evolved when there were no media. The earliest part of the brain, the “old brain”, regulates basic processing and drives, including split-second decisions about what information is relevant and what can be ignored. Your higher thinking, your consciousness, is handled by later structures, the “new brain”, the frontal lobes.  The new brain understands the difference between a symbol and the thing it represents; the old brain does not.  Because of this old brain/ new brain structure, media processing follows a specific path. The old brain treats what it sees as absolutely real, unless and until the new brain steps in and says ‘No, that’s just a picture on TV.” The acknowledgement of difference between media and reality does not come from instinct. It rather is something we see, recognise, take note of and process. [This] distinguishing reality from symbol is not free. In fact, no act of cognitive processing is free. Processing is thinking, thinking requires mental resources…”

This stealthy manoeuvre of grabbing the old brain’s attention and using those nano-seconds of cognitive processing time to implant information was deduced long before the Reeves/Nass study by the propaganda industry and its mutant spawn, the advertising industry. WATCH THIS BBC DOCUMENTARY to find out just how that whole mess happened.  

So here we are, our landscape littered with logo’s all fighting for our cognitive processing nano-seconds- no wonder we are so damn tired! Its connnstaannnttttt. And because it works so well, the logo’s of our landscapes find their way into our homes and our hearts.  Brand loyalty where I come from was the instigation of many a playground brawl between farm boys fighting over who makes better trucks- Ford or Chevy.  Take into consideration how the Cola war’s played out in post-apartheid South Africa and how that resulted in a transition from a tea culture to a cool drink culture.  The resulting rise in obesity causes the death of one South African's passing every hour.  Casualties of brand brawls become far more life threatening than the occasional black eye when corporations are absolved of accountability in their quest to create culture with impunity.  

What’s an urbanised human to do when our global leaders simply allow these predatory profit mongers to inhabit our very brain functions?  You clean house that’s what.  

The logolessness of my kitchen and bathroom came as an unforeseen bonus to making my food and cosmetics from scratch, a decision prompted more by the chemicals in said commodities than the cerebral content of their packages.  One day I was in my bathroom and noticed somehow (was prolly high lets be honest) that I don’t look at my stuff.  Such a subtle thing, the not looking at stuff, the not processing visual information. I caught a glimpse of it and realised that ya, logo’s pull at my attention and so not having them around means I can get down to the more important tasks of noticing stray eyebrow hairs.  Then I looked at my fridge, same story.  Not a lot going on in there other than the chilling of food.  Food that doesn’t wave its hand in my face but is content to hang back until my body is asking for it.  

Small things guys, small things that make big fucking differences.  

A Small Collection of Recipe Odes to Oh So Noisy

eyeball cleanliness is next to Godliness

1) Toothpaste

-get a little bowl, toss some bicarb and fine ground salt, a couple drops of peppermint and a couple drops of teatree oil, mix em up, then smoosh in some coconut oil and blend it all together into a paste.  Dip toothbrush in there and brush.  Keep your tongue out of the way because this is irony free toothpaste (the irony included in store bought toothpaste is that it can contain sweeteners to make it palatable that ultimately fuck with your teeth)

2) Hair Care

-mix a tsp of bicarb with a litre of spring water or rain water, stick some whole spices and/ or herbs in there (rosemary brings blood to areas it contacts so stimulates follicular growth if that's your thing).  

-when bicarb is fully dissolved, soak your scalp with it and work it in with your fingers then comb through your hair (get a comb that suits your hair- fine teeth for fine hair, wide teeth for thick) and rinse. 

-blend apple cider vinegar with spring/rain water in a 1:5 part ratio.  Store in a spray bottle and once the baking soda mix is out, spray your head with this, comb through and go about other shower business for about 5 mins then rinse until the smell is gone (doesn't take long).  

-I'm not gonna lie, my hair on the first day is not as sexy sleek as it was when i used commercial shampoo and conditioner but come talk to my hair tossing self on day two? Different story.  I also don't need to wash my hair as often as i did- less water wasting apocappropriate bonus points ping ping ping!

*ammendment - too much of this routine can make some hair types thick with buildup (from the bicarb) and/or can dry some hair types out (from the apple cider vinegar). So mix it up with a 50/50 lemon juice/spring water rinse which is gentler.  Also it deserves mention that washing hair need only happen every few days to a week, for water conservation reasons and for giving your own scalp oils the chance to regulate themselves.  

3) Exfoliation Nation

-same fine salt that goes into the toothpaste so buy bulk, put in a glass jar, fill jar with oil of choice (something liquid at room temp) and imbibe with essential oils (just a few drops).  Use post-soap down or sub for soap down altogether, leaves skin oh so silky smooth and moisturized, just ask Charlotte Rhys who charges a fuck lot of money for this exact fucking thing

4) Moisturise It Don't Criticize It

-same oil that goes into salt scrub just omit the salt.  when you come out of the shower, just dab yourself with towel so you leave a layer of water on your skin then anoint yourself like the Queen of the Nile you are.  The oil traps the water in your skin for further moisturising (a trick cosmetic companies know about hence water being one of the main ingredients in moisturiser, tho they also add a dash of irony by adding alcohol which dries the skin)

5) Yoni Tea To Go

-make an herbal tea custom for your lady bits (see Vaginablez article for combo ideas), keep in a glass jar in the shower and if need be give yourself a rinse with insertion tool of choice (turkey baster, syringe, etc. It will flow out of you whilst you do other showery things. 

Disclaimer: douche is for addressing specific concerns and shouldn't be overdone ESPECIALLY if you've gotten it into your head by some logo-packing profit perv that your vagina should smell like air freshener.  It can help in warding off yeast infections but too much can fuck with the oil/ ph balance of your vaginal canal and never ever never use commercial douche ESPECIALLY ESPECIALLY if they are claiming "natural" because fuck them.   

 

The Beauty Myth

“The last thing the consumer index wants men and women to do is to figure out how to love one another: The $1.5 trillion retail-sales industry depends on sexual estrangement between men and women, and is fueled by sexual dissatisfaction. “-Naomi Wolf “The Beauty Myth”

With so many items in our pantry lending themselves to topical use, and what with the cosmetic industry not set up to endure an Apocalypse, it only makes sense to seed a new understanding of beauty that does not require a $1.5 TRILLION(!) translation.

Our consumerist culture’s malformed understanding of beauty is most definitely in the eye of the beholder; true beauty however, is not. True beauty is a feeling and it exists not in the observer but in the space between the observer and the observed as an engaged exchange via the senses.  To be beautiful, that is full of beauty, is to have submitted wholly to this experience. It is nowhere close to being the perfect fitting of a physical person into an ever-shifting societal standard.  And yet…  $1.5 TRILLION(!)

Along with my slow plodding yet conscious and intended weening of myself from a consumerist lifestyle, the last place I’d considered re-evaluating was cosmetics.  And not because of being an addict in denial but because I was/am a Tomboy ( a species fast depopulating as baby girls are sold into Princessdom) and really didn’t feel like it was a big point of focus for me. I was a funny looking kid shaped like a potato and so the pressure and the programming to be pretty was placed elsewhere and I was free to be (fill in blank). To this exact point; during career day at school in the third grade all the kids had to choose from a box of index cards with different careers on them. This was done in the library so I was obviously hiding under the study cubicles reading Wizard of Oz books while I was supposed to be choosing and researching my future career.  Somehow, in the midst of my Oz induced reverie, I noticed the mad dash of kids putting things away and sprang into action- straight for the career box. Picked a card blindly then went to the teacher and said “ I got one too!” Her and I both looked at it for the first time, it said “Model” and she said “better pick another one”…pahaaaaa!

So even as a grown woman with no remaining potato-like features, I have been decidedly low-key with cosmetics, until recently when I began to observe when and how I did use them.  Basically it boiled down to being in the male gaze, ie. Public.  And how, albeit subtle, it was a form of protection- a mask from behind which I could observe but safely remain unobserved, my real face unseen behind a veil of intention to cover it.  So I did what I do, which is start a social experiment using myself because I can’t afford to offer University students $20 and a bus token to do it. 

I went out to places I would normally wear makeup to and observed myself and the interactions I had with others.  What became most abundantly clear is that “exposing” myself in this way had the opposite effect one would assume from vulnerability- I felt safe, maybe even free.  The social anxiety and awkwardness I often have dissolved in the tonic of this decision to stop attempting to be what my culture demanded of me which is to emulate a 2 dimensional beauty “ideal” while feeling estranged and insecure in the world.  And no it did not mean that everyone appreciated my natural beauty,  there are many men and women that are so beholden to the beauty myth that they only resonate with others who show signs of that endorsement and feel my blatant disregard for cheekbone accentuation is an abomination… or more accurately just plain didn’t notice me.  And so the gaze which unnerves me, the one I feel I have to protect myself from as it sweeps over the population with its single (it helps me to picture it as the Eye of Sauron) judging, critical, objectifying perception, went right passed me! Didn’t even stop to look which meant I was free to connect as myself with others who would see me as a human being with actual thoughts- how novel! 

The Cosmetic industry manufactures then monopolizes on insecurity on every level; visual, touch, smell, taste ( I mean how can flavored condoms possibly be an improvement on things?!) and in every sense the modus operandi is to mask what is inherently unique to that person; their themness.   Then (and this is the evil genius part) they sell it back to you as if the shade of lipstick you choose sets you apart, makes you special, when in actual fact it creates a badge that you wear announcing your conformity to a cultural beauty standard that was written long before your birth by people who couldn’t even conceive of you let alone give a shit about your health and well being…  $1.5 TRILLION(!) later…

Imagine if we were taught from small that beauty was that overflowing feeling in your heart that you get when in wonder of nature and that humans, as nature, are conduits of that experience… and that to feel it meant you were it…that no amount of potions and lotions could achieve it for you and all you had to do to access it was be alive? Sounds beautiful… now how we gonna spend our next 1.5 TRILLION(!) peoples?!!! 

 

bioluminescence.jpg

Taken from the Plos ONE published study: Imaging of Ultraweak Spontaneous Photon Emission from Human Body Displaying Diurnal Rhythm

"The human body literally glimmers. The intensity of the light emitted by the body is 1000 times lower than the sensitivity of our naked eyes. Ultraweak photon emission is known as the energy released as light through the changes in energy metabolism. We successfully imaged the diurnal change of this ultraweak photon emission with an improved highly sensitive imaging system using cryogenic charge-coupled device (CCD) camera. We found that the human body directly and rhythmically emits light. The diurnal changes in photon emission might be linked to changes in energy metabolism."

Predator & Prey

Despite our desperate attempts to fashion ourselves as Gods, humans remain as body bound animals.  The evidence is everywhere; we invented a communication matrix that defied sci-fi expectations and we use it moooostly to watch other humans fuck or even just make the suggestion of impending fucking.  We've created vast and intricate systems of social organization that boil down to cock-fights for alpha status and we've magicked up entire industries dedicated to the multiverse of ways to cook a carcass and consume it. As omnivores with WMD's we seem to have the collective sense that we have transcended the food-chain and sit free of predation at the top of Mt.Olympus to which the Earth ascends its offerings of life sustaining resources.  Try if you will to imagine how our behaviour could be perceived by other life-forms, they would be forced to conclude that we are off our fucking nut.  

As predators we are guileless, we fight dirty. We don't just kill a couple motherfuckers, we wipe out entire species, entire cities, entire races.  Surplus killing in animals wastes the predator's energy making them vulnerable and is a strategy most often employed in extreme weather conditions where cacheing food for future meals is necessary for survival.  Though not the norm there are recorded instances of extreme surplus killings wherein the animal accused did not even eat their kill as was the case of a single cape leopard that killed 51 sheep in a single incident.  (Perhaps a bit of a Larney Jou Poes? "This is for encroaching on my habitat" kind of thing? Any leopard whisperers out there care to clarify?). Regardless it is not the norm except for humans of means, hoarding their next one hundred meals and the oil required to deliver them at the cost of the Earth's capacity to produce it.  Then, as if thats not fucking nuts enough, we level the forests to build giant storage bins (known colloquially as "houses") to stash it and we are willing for plants, animals and other humans to di so that these "needs" can be met.

Caged in this way, humans are unique in behaving as predator's while self-identifying as prey.  A convenient confusion of our identities that allows us to justify spending ALL THE MONEY on defending ourselves... from ourselves.   Closer to the truth is that we are divided species, polarized into predators and prey with access to capital acting as the captain who chooses the teams. Team Prey makes up about 99% of the world's entire population and yet the stories we here are "Once upon a time a Team Predator player decided they wanted something and so a bunch of Team Preyers died horrible deaths so they could have it. The end, good night children".   Different multi-national corporations, different governments, different marginalized populations but its the same neo-liberal plot wee are re-told ad nauseum. And yet there is 99% of the world population (7.326 BILLION people) that would probably tell the story a different way if anyone bothered to listen.

The prey survivorship story of the San of Molapo is one of particular poignancy for South Africans already feeling the burn of the climate crisis.  Without worldmedia attention this tiny community has been resisting forced removal by the government of Botswana for decades. They live in an intricate web of hunting and harvesting in the Kalahari, taking what they need to live and not more. They have refused the post-colonial trappings of the nearby settlement that has seen their community decimated and enslaved. They have resisted the mindless predation of their people by choosing as one community to mobilize by standing still.  As the last living vessels of the specific knowledge that would allow South Africans to survive off their own land if the rickety scaffolding of neo-liberal capitalism were to fall, they are a crucial link in the survival narrative of this place and yet they are being systematically erased.Their story tells of our collective future and it remains largely unheard; our civilized ears too full of white noise to hear:

These stories of human prey resisting neo-liberal predation may be few in comparison but they remain as sharp contradictions that undermine the false reality that pre-supposes human/animal and plant life as industrial machine fodder.  Anyone daring to lookwill find these stories and others like them, unfit for Hollywood scripts and deemed largely un-newsworthy by the media.  

Fight and flight, senses as spectral as the air we breathe that ultimately connect us to the intricate life system of Earth.  The way in which we connect may necessitate predation or prey strategies from one event to the next, but disconnected from the core of our animal natures convolutes the communication and we can not decide let alone act.  Suppressing our unexpressed instincts we slip into default; predation becomes an insatiable need to express personal power through domination that cannot be satisfied and prey stay rooted to the spot in fear, deer in headlights hypnotized into forgetting their almost supernatural capacity for grounded flight. 

To invert this cycle we would need to embody the nobility of lion that hunt when they hunger and rest languidly afterward while in the next omnivorous breath display the focused and fleet action of group consciousness that a herd of buck in threat express; the message shared instantaneously and the decision to move as one made in an instant and without debate. This is the narrow place where the polarities of predator and prey overlap with integrity, a place where a human can live in animistic honesty.  

End Notes

-The Take (prey survivorship story) documentary Naomi Klein/ Avi Lewis https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwwivk5LV1o

-The Haida Gwaii (prey triumph story) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnLVjKM1vN0

-I wanted to reference stories of women who have fought off their sexual predators because I have 2 women in my small circle of friends that have and so I assume there must be so many more out there and yet these stories are not to be found save for random smatterings of individual instances on the internet. THIS IS A DISTORTION OF REALITY THAT LEAVES WOMEN TO ASSUME THEY ARE PERPETUAL VICTIMS UNABLE TO FIGHT BACK- THESE STORIES EXIST WHY ARE THEY NOT BEING TOLD?!!!

A Recipe Ode to Predator & Prey

...I'll get on my knees and prey bwayyyyy

Ingredients:

-Exposition

-Rising Action

-Climax

-Falling Action

-Denouement

Method:

-Tell it like it is.

Vaginablez

If you were to scroll through the gallery of billboard/bus stop/public toilet/ social media feed/ back of eyelid advertisements you have filed away in your memory, you would find a plethora of visual data supporting the hypothesis that consumable commodities cause women to orgasm.  Mouth slightly open, body splayed in a myriad of subtle genuflections to said object of desire, vagina cropped out of the shot leaving the viewer to assume that the item in question is somehow going to work on her just outside the visible frame.  Anything from bottles of beer, hand bags and mascara tubes to the more logistically challenging big ticket items of refrigerators and cars, bringing beautiful women to climax.  Despite these convincing statistics, very few of these things should actually be put inside a vagina.   THAT SAID there are so many wonderful things that can be! Things that vagina's really do like, things that make vagina's smile if only metaphorically -though surely if there is a woman in Phnom Penh blowing smoke rings with hers, a smiling vagina is not physically impossible.

Obviously there are penises (peni?).  BUT NOT ALL PENI AND VAGI GO TOGETHER!!! Some vagi's prefer other vagi's and some peni's prefer other peni's.  Also, some peni's are attached to heaving sacks of emotional retardation and that shit cannot be barricaded with latex. Also, also, also, some vagi are soul vacuums.  So proceed with caution and self respect, a bad combo can be bad for all of mankind, not unlike a Ghostbuster stream cross.

 

Rather explore the realm of vaginal cuisine; foodstuffs that fit and are molecularly invested in the health and longevity of lady bits:

Herbal Tea

Referred to as 'yoni tea' by Tantra practitioners, this is the equivalent of a eucalyptus steam at the spa for a yayina.  Anything aromatically pleasing as far as herbs go can be used; jasmine flowers, chamomile, cardamom, basil, blahdy fucking blah google it.  Ifaddressing something specific like inflammation or candida, use herbs that correspond like sage and tea tree respectively. Bring tea to a boil on medium heat.  Allow to steep awhile then, while still steaming, pour into a large bowl and straddle over it.  Its fucking lovely and I have never not needed to masturbate afterward.  

Cucumber 

My absolutely favourite thing in the entire world.  Cucumber cool lingers and its no less true for a vaginal canal as it is for the tired eyes of wealthy poolside house wives.  Peel the cucumber and carve it down for the right fit then use it like a dildo.  The big win is to carve it so it exactly fits the length and breadth of the canal in question so it can be inserted then any additional attention to a labia/clitoris combo will be masterblast material- its like a strap on with no straps and it cleans while you cum! 

Disclaimer for our male readers- when i say cucumber i'm not speaking of the massive ones, the small to mediums will do very fine for the average woman's pleasure requirements, despite what your porn viewing has led you to believe woman's vaginas aren't normally big enough to host a horse cock. ALSO the girl in your high school whose cousin's friend had sex with a frozen hot dog and it broke and she had to go to the hospital to have it removed does not exist.  Things don't get stuck in vaginas, they are not black holes. Even an octogenarian nun with the PVC muscles of a bowl of soup could squat low and push out a hotdog. That said, strong PVC muscles will contract in orgasm so removal may have to wait until decrescendo happens.  For many of these things, that's a bonus because all the blood in the area will improve absorption.  

Yogurt

Antibiotics are the Robitussen of the candida world. Itchy? Put some biotics on it!  Scratchy? Mo' biotics!! If women keep taking antibiotics they build resistance to them, invariably creating mutant Toxic Avenger yeast infections.  Avoid a life sentence of itchy vigilantism by treating yeast infections preventatively.  One such a way is spooning yogurt into the female intercrural foramen (which is what thesaurus.com provides as a synonym for "cunt"). Spooning it in doesn't really work , I just like the idea of a yogurt commercial with a skinny suburban housewife feeding her vagina from a single serving yogurt cup.   Rather turkey baster/20ml-syringe-without-a-needle it in.  If the owner of recently basted vagina needs to go in public soon after and doesn't want to leave a snail trail of yogurt behind them, squeeze it out with PVC muscles, take a shower and wear a pad.  This practice works at the very onset of a yeast infection as well as preventatively because your vaginal flora (mental note: Vaginal Flora good band name) is mainly Lactobacillus which keeps the PH nice and acidic so bacteria can't grow. Lactobacillus is also in which food? Class?… yogurt.  

*Kefir can also be basted/syringed in, it will run out faster than yoghurt so a nice solution for those on the go.

Probiotic Supplements

The same reasoning as douching with yoghurt, probiotics are responsible for keeping gut flora in balance and the vaginal canal has its own microbial garden of the same good bacteria (namely the Lactobacillucus strains) growing to keep the body in balance because the body doesn't treat its own genitals like a dangerous neighbourhood to be avoided.  If its good for the body, its good for the whole thing tummy and cum tube alike.  So pop a veggie capsule of store-bought probiotics in your vagina, they will dissolve over a few hours and help support the good bacteria that come under threat by our candida promoting western diets, stressful lifestyles, toxic urban environments and psychological waste of sexually repressed colonial cultures.

Garlic

Also amazing for yeast infections because its anti-fungal and though one may not want to think of a vagina as a home for wayward mushrooms, its wonderfully moist dark and wet conditions are perfectly suited for fungal infections like candida to thrive. Peel and insert a large clove whole at the onset of an infection, you can pop it in and keep it overnight.  If it is an adventurous garlic it may go a spelunkin'  in which case you may have to dig for it in the morning.   It will likely cause a watery discharge as it continues to clean insides out the following day so protect those panties.  

Ginger

This little treat started out as a punishment for women in Ancient Greece. It was so effective in reforming them into silent cum buckets of reproductive glory that the practice was picked up by the Romans and even found a resurgence in Victorian England.  This practice of "Figging" has been reclaimed by the BDSM community as the burning sensation, if not pushed past the point of a person's tolerance as it would have been done in its punitive context, can be a nice hit of pleasure pain. Ginger's anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-parastic properties benefit vagina's in the same way it would a sore throat.

Kombucha Scoby

Another effective yeast eater/ anti-inflamer/ PH balancer/ pleasure giverer.  Roll it up like some kind of wonderful cunt crepe, insert overnight.  Or, if there is an appropriate peni at the ready, wrap cock like a pig in a blanket and give him a good old fashioned teenage hand-job because why the fuck not but also because penises carry yeast infections too and unless he gets treated you will keep giving them to each other like an itchy game of ping pong.  

Coconut/ Olive/ Almond/ Macademia…basically any oil pre-tested for allergies.

Fuck a K-Y! Personal lubricant products and the corporations that make them are not trying to cure Dry Pussy Syndrome.  They make their money by keeping kitties dry and coming to them for instant relief, its like chapstick for conchas; rather use natural oils that support the body's own oil production.  Also listen to what the vagina is saying! If its not wet its not ready for penetration.  Unless said vagina belongs to a fuck machine with a punch card clock or its the post-apocalypse and it is fucking for the future of mankind then pause, switch it up, enjoy a crotch massage with any of these oils to entice the squishy mitten to contribute her own oil to the mix.   If that doesn't work, fucking relax and go watch Netflix, neither party involved has their Fuckability Index Rating on global display.  Our genitals have a mind of their own and if we don't bother to get to know them, ignoring their subtle communications, they remain wholly unpredictable and increasingly less subtle in their protests.  

*natural oils destroy latex so only recommended for raw times with pre-tested partners

Fruit

The taste and sensation of fruit eaten from a vagina for both the eater and the human plate is a dessert experience like no other; where is the restaurant that's figured this out?! Japan, its in Japan. Fruit a vahaaa; any and all and always.  BUT! Sugar left to ferment in the vaginal canal can result in a yeast infection so strong it could make a loaf of sourdough.  So if going for the obvious banana insertion then an herbal tea douche afterward is recommended. Use cleansing herbs like rosemary, make into a tea, cool to body temp then squirt inside vagina with a turkey baster. The less fuss option would be to keep it on the surface ie. shmearing those passion fruit innards over the whole zone then washing afterward with mild soap.  While on the topic of clean-up, avoid stringy things like mango pulp unless the vagina in question (Who are you vagina? What does it all mean vagina? Answer meeeeeeeee!!!) has a meticulously trimmed hedge because picking them shits out of pubes will be the take away from the experience regardless of how good the mango flavoured cunnilungous climax was.  

Sweet potato - (Follow with an herbal squirt (see fruit) to clear out the starchy/sugar because  candida) a great source of Vitamin A which strengthens vaginal walls. Also, due to the absorbency of the walls themselves, the Vitamin A will get delivered to the little factory in a woman's reproductive system that makes progesterone so it can balance out the estrogen levels, helping regulate menstrual cycles and even calming a lady's moustache the fuck down.  Sweet potatoes that grow from stumps of old sweet potatoes are perfectly cock shaped and can be scrubbed down to thin the peel so the veg innards connect with the vag innards.

Carrot- same logic as sweet potato; carrots are high in beta-carotene which turns into Vitamin A inside the body, again thanks to the teeny factory tucked away deep inside the mysterious abyss of the reproductive system. Peel, poke, repeat!

Different cultures offer different vaginal cuisine based on historical practices and available produce so don't let this guide limit future experiment but rather be an information base to explore from. If we were to collectively pause and consider how neglected Pink Ladies are (not to mention all the wiping and the hair pulling and the hiding away in public)  its no wonder they occasionally revolt.  The least we could do is let them out of their cotton cages every once in a while and treat them to a nice meal, it's really just common human decency.  Incorporating a little vagina meal plan into your life is simple, one can also write to their local parliamentary representative and advocate for communal vagina veg garden funding for their neighbourhood. Everything is possible in a world full of nourished vagina's!  Boner appetite! 

Recipe Ode to Vaginablez

Ingredients:

-All of the above

Method:

-Do I have to do everything around here? Follow your good feels and call me in the morning.

 

Sick My Duck Elon Musk: Apocalypse Optimism vs. Anthropocene Optimism

For most of us the Apocalypse is set in our mind to commence at a future date, one conveniently scheduled for a time just past the threshold of our personal experience on Earth.  We at AP are of the belief that the Apocalypse is happening now and that the attempt to date and name the Anthropocene is a confirmation of those beliefs albeit a deeply disturbing one.  

The hypothesis advanced by Nobel Prize-winning atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen and ecologist Eugene Stoermer in 2000, proposed that the Anthropocene eclipsed the Holocene at the onset of the Industrial Revolution.  That the man-made changes to the Earth's geophysical and biophysical systems from that point forward did not share the same geological epoch as anything that came before it.  Recently an even more specific start date was offered by Lewis and Maslin (Climatology and Global Change Science in the Geography Department at University College of London), proposing that the onset of the Anthropocene began in 1610.  In that year carbon dioxide in the atmosphere hit its lowest point after 50million indigenous North and South Americans had been massacred by European colonization.  The carbon levels reflected this erasure of human activity from the planet by plummeting along with the population.  The course of the planet's future was irreversibly altered by European colonialism in its transfer of plants, animals, diseases and technologies to the ethnically curated landscape of the Americas; the Industrial Revolution and the "Great Acceleration" mere logical conclusions to those horrific initiations.

 

The official naming of human impact on the geological record sits like that deep sick feeling you got as a kid when you did something bad. Not the kind of bad that got you a smack you could brag to your friends about later but the kind of bad that disappointed the people who loved you.  Its the kind of feeling that disturbs your sense of security as the apple of somebody's eye and eats away at your sense of perpetual occupancy within a dynamic you took for granted to be unconditional, eternal.  Discovering that you were responsible for it sustaining or not was a heavy weight to hold with those little arms and there is much relevance in that experience for all of us grappling with the guilt of our complicity in Earth's suffering.  Unless of course, you are one of a handful of celebrated sociopaths that stand to gain short term personal benefit from the destruction of the planet. They don't seem to feel too poorly about it. These cowboys of capitalism approach the Anthropocene like Kubrick's Major Kong bull riding an atom bomb to its target, ecstatically charged by the nuclear crotch rocket ride. 

Dubbed "Anthropocene Optimists", this band of wealthy white men and the deluded science writers that love them are not Apocalypse Optimists as we define it, these guys are not advocating for change but rather the perpetuation of the western imperialist culture of conquest.  Look! The shiny plaque says "ANTHROpocene and Anthro means human so its OUR age! We won! We beat nature!!" Champagne raining down on bikini ladies, percussive chorus of high fives audible across the universe… Frat Boys like geographer Erle Ellis who sees the Anthropocene "as the beginning of a new geological epoch ripe with human directed opportunity" (yeeehaawwww) or the super sonic drop TED sexy Elon Musk aka. Captain Fuck The Planet.

ADHD-overachiever-single-sex-school-educated-victim-of-violent-bullying-in-his- youth-abandoned-at-10-by-his-mother-free-market-superpreneur-billionaire Elon Musk wants to save us all by taking some of us to Mars with him because "An asteroid or a super volcano could destroy us, and we face risks the dinosaurs never saw: an engineered virus, inadvertent creation of a micro black hole, catastrophic global warming or some as-yet-unknown technology could spell the end of us. Humankind evolved over millions of years, but in the last sixty years atomic weaponry created the potential to extinguish ourselves. Sooner or later, we must expand life beyond this green and blue ball—or go extinct."  

This green and blue ball Elon? Really?  

So basically the evolution of our species depends on the Delta Kappa Roofies coming up with a plan to save us all using the same approach to existence that drove us to the Anthropocene in the first place.  Somehow i don't think it will be to my benefit. 

DKR: "We weren't going to invite you anyways"

Me: "Ya, I figured as much, well hope you guys have a nice time up there, hope there's nice uh… shops and…jobs"

A Mars colony is inter-planetary colonization and we are going forward with this model as a species because…. Its worked such wonders for us since 1610? This latter day sci-fi expression of neo-colonialism is not bound by any accountability or civic responsibility other than to make money.  Any(deeplypsychologically traumatized) individual that can steer the gears of the free market system successfully enough can fly their own spaceship to Mars, populate it and rule it as their Capitalist value systems dictate.  We are a globalized nationhood of consumers; multi-national patriots, will we be claiming Mars in the name of Space-X corporate funders? Gazing out at the night sky one can almost make out Elon in his space suit planting the flag for universal neo-colonialism, a smattering of corporate logos on a white nylon rectangle, as it waves back in a blast of air conditioning.

While Anthropocene Optimists view the dawn of a new epoch with a prospector's gleam in their eye, looking ahead with eyes blind to the pattern linking the past to the now, Apocalypse Optimism demands a moment of silence for the passing Holocene.  From our first tentative steps away from hunting and gathering to gardening and domesticating other life forms, the rise and fall of our earliest known civilizations, the discovery of buried reptilian giants that brought the mythology of monotheism to bare, the time we figured out how to makebows and arrows and alllll the way up to that time we figured out Major Kong's bomb.  As the scientific community deliberates the start date of the Anthropocene, I am feeling the pangs of the loss of the Holocene, an emotional process that holds within its promise opportunities for grace and discovery.

Beyond the fear that the contemplation of death evokes, there is the tenderest sadness. The sadness of realizing that I am partially separate from this place, that my time here is limited and how deeply I will miss it when I am no longer living in intimate connectedness with it.  This place of absolute wonder; of rocks that get squeezed into color, of everybody's unique way of looking at a thing, of the delicate tracing of a cockroach's antennae, of humans and animals and plants and insects devouring one another and simultaneously desperately needing one another, of creatures on the ocean floor lighting their surroundings from within, of all the orgiastic fucking of all the creatures at all times in all spaces, of festering wounds and tender words, of ecstatic birth, the intricate weave of growth and ultimately the relief of death…To leave this planet is a devastating loss and whose to say that this feeling we seem to have as a species, this drive to keep on living even in the face of overwhelming threats to our survival, aren't so deeply engrained in us because we live in this place, this green and blue ball?  

Could Mars inspire such curiosity?Such awe? A space colony would be the equivalent to living in a mall in the middle of a desert. How long could you live in a mall without needing to kill yourself? Imagine even having to spend a week stuck inside a fucking mall.  I realize that some people do this on purpose and its called a Cruise vacation but at least they can breathe sea air and look out on a dynamic natural landscape.  After a week of living inside a completely manufactured space would you be creating pieces of art? Contemplating the universe and why it works the way it does? Coming up with creative solutions to plaguing problems? No, you will be a hollow husk of your former humanity, lobotomized by the mundane inanities of a life without wonder. 

There is no saving the planet.  The planet will endure our existence as a human would a staff infection and when the infection is gone it will continue turning, churning out life forms fit for its current conditions.  This will happen in the blink of an eye from Earth's sense of time and in that same sense the Anthropocene will be a short and final climax of human dominion of the planet.  While we are still here there is much to be done in the way of easing Earth's current bout of human infection so that the endurance of our impact is made easier. There is peace in that for us to rest in.  

I stuck a stick in a vase of water once for lack of knowing what to do with the inopportune gift from my toddling son. A week later I discovered the stick was a branch from an apple tree because there it was, in full bloom next to the stove where I'd left it; a disembodied appendage of apple blossoms.  With it's final breaths, it chose as only a tree can choose, to bloom.   This caused a deep pause in me, one in which I decided that was the kind of death I wanted.  To die in the throws of offering something beautiful to the world, even if that world is a small kitchen in an old apartment block, population:2.  I can only hope that I will be able to muster the integrity it takes to spend my last moments honouring the things that made living on this planet unique in all the known universe. To leave something beautiful behind even if it's only the perfume of my love for this Earthly life left to linger on one long exhale of breath… 

(light blunt with burning ticket to Mars, fade to black) 

 

...

"If we get through this bloody business we can thank all the Gods there are plus the Supreme Being and Mother Kali mother of all.  What are we hear for if not to enjoy life eternal, solve what problems we can, give light peace and joy to our fellow man and leave this dear fucked up planet a little healthier than when we were born... We certainly live more than once, do we ever die is the question.  In any case, thank God we are alive and of the stars unto all eternity" - Henry Miller, personal memo 1969

End notes:

The Anthropocene: Promises and Pitfalls of an Epochal Idea by Rob Nixon http://edgeeffects.net/anthropocene-promise-and-pitfalls/ 

Comedian Duncan Trussell Interviews his dying mother for his Podcast "The Duncan Trussell Family Hour" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KP8iVVg7i1I

Elon Musk interviewed by the king of all wankers, TED curator Chris Anderson (never forgiving you for that shit you pulled on Sarah Silverman Chris) http://www.ted.com/talks/elon_musk_the_mind_behind_tesla_spacex_solarcity 

Author Henry Miller reading from his journal after a time of personal struggle in the film "The Henry Miller Odyssey" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXTKk0qivbA

A Recipe Ode to Sick My Duck Elon Musk

Awww mannnn, dehyrdated ice cream again?!

Ingredients

The entire food-stuff content of the SpaceX Centre Food Court

Method

-Place your tray of "food" down on a table in the centre of the seating area at lunch time.

-Slowly and deliberately remove all of your clothing including shoes and socks.

-Climb up on the table and stand in your food, pause to feel the pleasure of re-heated petridish meat squish between your toes.

-Scream "I AM ANIMAL" while emptying the contents of two squeeze bottles of ketchup over your head

-When security comes to remove you, run toward them with arms open wide crying "Mama,you came back" and embrace them in a tearful, ketchupy bear hug.