Subject: Unanticipated complications
I thought that going to a rural area was a good idea (I still think it's better than staying in a city), but yesterday I had a somewhat rude awakening. I was talking with the local community leaders about long-term carrying capacity when I was brought up short. I had totally forgotten that southern Kansas is deep in the Bible Belt, and these folks have had a strong dose of sermons about the "rapture". The chaos, still developing largely in other areas, is not a surprise -- they have been expecting Armageddon any time now. They are good folks and take care of each other pretty well, and maybe they're right, for the wrong reasons. There will be huge disappointment when, despite their righteousness, they are not taken up to Heaven.
Maybe it's a good thing that TV has just gone off the air, at least in our region. We've lost our easy access to the outside world. I think it may be because the folks who run the broadcasting system, and the studios, are all in big cities which are rapidly closing down because of inability to be supplied with even necessities, as a result of the diesel fuel crisis that has begun this week. We can probably rely on cell phones for a while yet to get word of what's going on elsewhere, if we have contacts, and at least some radio stations are still working because they are located in smaller communities. But smaller communities are really also disconnected from the larger scene. Some of us still have the internet, but most folks down here haven't the resources to own a computer, and have very few computer skills even if they do. As the information system shuts down, we will be left more and more to our own devices.
I'm beginning to wonder about what information from our education system is really relevant to our current problems. The social cohesion is more and more dependent on the churches. It's really hard for those of us who have been "enlightened" by education to stomach primitive theology, but the focus of churches on social concerns (caring for our neighbors, etc) is one of the bright spots in the current dark times. Once the dust settles, which it will do, however messily, we will need to devote serious thought to the development of a world-view that will incorporate our "enlightened" knowledge in constructive ways as the survivors regroup. Right now there are more immediate concerns.
If communications systems continue to break down, this may be my last opportunity to make contact from the depths of Kansas.