I will admit, I am a junkie. And I am far gone too, I will do pretty much anything to keep my shit flowing. And I will go major apeshit if anyone tries to stop or slow me down. Luckily, I'm hooked on oil, not smack, so very few people look down on me. It makes it way easier to go far off the deep end with one's habit. It helps too, that it is a common habit—we junkies all rationalize together. I feel bad for folk hooked on things where people think them weak or pathetic. I don’t have this problem.
I require 7 or 8 layers of oil 3 to 6 times a day just for the food I want. Seriously, from manufacturing farming equipment, to fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides, and then processing and packaging and then trucking, not to mention storage and cooking, and then waste removal, a huge chunk of my habit is just food. That’s just the oil that keeps me alive to enjoy more oil.
There are other things. Half my clothes, most of the crap I buy for my house, lots of the shit that allows me to have a job is made of oil. All of it is made by oil. Fuck, I rarely touch anything that doesn't exist only because of oil. I can’t even shave without it.
Like any other addiction, it’s insidious. it pretends to be a small part of life while taking over your whole life, and i mean everything. I have a little rubber chimpanzee that sits on my dresser and reminds me that I am a primate, just another insignificant, self-preoccupied biologic organism. He’s important to me and my thought process. But he’s not really made of rubber though, like not from a tree. He’s pure mass produced petroleum, shipped lickety-split from china or some other Asian place I know little about. So, he seems like a grounding lodestone to me, but he’s just another rock in my addiction.
Even my words are oil soaked. An unimaginable amount of oil goes into keeping me up to my eyeballs in computers, hard drives, fibre-optics, servers, electricity. It also paid for my schools and the freedom from fields to allow me to learn to read and write in the first place. It makes the books I read. it gave me access to information about oil addiction.
Much of the healthcare and medicine I have required(or desired) in my lifetime simply isn’t possible without oil.
My childhood lunchbox was made out of oil, just like my toddler diapers that sustained me until i made it to petroleum clothes. My first record collection I ever owned and loved as some statement of my identity was made out of oil. My entire 20’s ramblings back and forth across one of the very biggest countries in the world, only possible because oil was so cheap even a degenerate bum could traipse about in ways even royalty couldn’t imagine for most of the last 10000 years of “civilization”. My alarm clock that gets me to my job is made out of oil, my paycheck is all electronic, which is another word for oil, i spend it all on oil and oil soaked products.
I collect all my favourite movies(made possible by copious amounts of oil) and they are stored on hardened oil. I love burning candles, but my candle “wax” is pure oil. I import endless supplies of random shit from all over the globe only because oil feeds my habit. After i have earned my oil, i have to spend it on other forms of oil. That's how it works. If I don't do that, the risk is all the oil will stop, the best of it and the worst.
I’ve had sex thousands of times and only produced one child, all due to oil based freedom.
I don’t think of myself as evil, it’s just all so seductive, and once you have a taste, how can you say no, if it is in front of you, available everywhere, no stigma? Crist, sometimes it is practically free, and when you are down on your luck, there are places everywhere to get free oil benefits. Can I say no thank you, oil makes me and my world sick, and then risk ostracization? Can I say, no, I’ve broken free? Come to think of it, how far would I have to go to break free? Might I get locked up because I broke some junkie supporting law?
Seriously, I am so far gone, I can’t think of a single aspect of my life that isn’t funded by, propped up by, made available by, sustained by, oil. I'm so far gone, I cannot imagine life without all the glory of oil.
That’s the important part of being an oil junkie today. Desperation. Every system I have is hooked in full throttle. Because I cannot imagine anything else, I am a crazed lunatic, a psychopath. If I am to be frank, I will pay any price for the stuff and its wonders. I will make a nation worth of strangers suffer just to get it. I will kill off hundreds of species a year to get it. In a pinch, if things were hard, i might kill you for it. Do you get the picture, I can’t be reasoned with, I can’t think in long term survival strategies. I can’t think of my children’s needs. I just want more oil today, and the thought that I might not get that, makes me desperate and fearful, and aggressive and stupid.
When oil burns for years in Kuwait, my only lament is the loss(oh, I might pay lip service otherwise). When the Valdez spilled its guts, it was the oil loss that freaked me out. I don’t give a flying fuck about the environmental damage. It was far away from me, and the repercussions were going to be delayed and diffused among all us junkies.
When my pushers said it had come to the point that they could only keep supplying me if we were perpetually at war with the suppliers and some of the competition, do you think I suffered a single moral blink? Fuck no! Bring it on, I said.
For years, whiny cry babies have been saying we will soon run short in supply, and some junkies will go hungry, and that all of us will go hungry in my lifetime. I listened patiently(it’s not hard, I'm stoned on oil all the time after all). When they were done ranting with all their scientific talk, and economic and sociological predictions, I answered the only thing a self respecting junkie can. Get the fuck off my lawn! It’s not my problem. I'm sated in oil and I want to be sated in oil as long as I can be. I like being fat and wealthy and satisfying my every whim and urge instantly. And as long as I can keep doing it, that is my right.
This most recent supply disruption, the Mexican Gulf “catastrophe” is a real fucking headache. My pusher says he has to make some cutbacks, and put some temporary pseudo policies in place, or else the junkies who maintain delusions will get uppity. Fine. I get it, I have to pay a little more for my fix, just shut the fuck up and hook me up. Oh I understand that it is a huge biodiversity issue, not to mention a new economic meltdown, I just don’t really care. I want roads, I want fresh produce from Africa every day, I want movie theatres, I want bug spray. It’s summer now, I definitely want air conditioning. So do whatever you have to do, fewest concessions hopefully, and keep my shit flowing.
And climate change, seriously, I wish there was a way to suck back enough oil to drown that noise out. I mean, I'm not deluded, I know it is real, that is here, and that we ain’t seen nothing yet. In that respect, I am in the same camp with all the scientists, politicos and military guys. Not to mention the insurance pimps. Yeah, we all know, and we all get it, we are on a collision course with a major extinction event, all of our own making. And I know we could have done things to avert it, or slow it, or cope with it. it’s only the sappiest rubes who read and argue in the newspapers who don’t get it. It’s moot. We were never going to get clean, dump the oil monkey off our backs. We all knew it. We all pretended otherwise. We even light-heartedly talked about all these ways we could get off and still get some comforts, rather than going cold turkey. But we all looked in each others eyes, eyes glinting with oil addiction and we knew we meant none of it. Underneath, we actually just wished for even more oil and wanted everyone to shut up.
I'd like to say this piece is a bitter satire, but it isn’t. It’s reality stripped of all the false fronts. I'm not “part of the solution”, I'm the source of the problem. I mean, seriously, raise your hands, who isn’t in the same junkie boat that I am? And why in hell should I go into rehab, get stuck with life the way it was before the industrial age if nobody else is going to get with the program? No, I'm just like you, I'm riding this dragon right to the end. I look around me and everything that makes up my life is oil, and oil splendour.
And I can live with that, I can face my maker and say I was foolish, psychopathic, greedy, drunk on excess, a lemming in the pack, hooked, a junkie. And I can say give me my just deserts.
The only thing I would like(because I never have enough) is if we could all be honest. We don’t have to be good, or brave, or self-sacrificing. We don’t have to get clean, don’t have to work toward a solution. I'm just an old fashioned junkie that likes honest junkies. I don’t want to have to read about distraught outcries when gas costs too much, or a spill destroys a major ecosystem. I don’t want to hear academic ethical polemics about unjust wars or oppression. There really is nothing worse than a whiny junkie who can’t take responsibility for their addiction. “ohhh, it is someone else’s fault”, “oh, won’t someone help me”, “aww it is my whole parents generations fault”. Give me a break.
I figure, we got the life we asked for, in full, overflowing. And how many people in the history of human beings can say that? So let’s just be honest and stop fussing over the cost of addiction, we all know the lengths we are willing to go, deep in our festering hearts. Can’t we just take the ball and run for the end zone?