What a Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire

123 min


The picture you are about to see deals

with the problem of self-destruction.

Its purpose was to enable people to better

understand the nature of this strange, tragic act.

We shall not be able to diminish

this great human affliction

until more people do understand it

and appreciate its seriousness.

Voices in the Dark

A lot of things about the world

these days are very scary.

My generation may be one of the first

generations where a lot of us die...

...not of old age.

Because a lot of us may not make it there.

Global warming... it's gonna do this

and our climate's gonna go weird and...

...like another ice age or something.

I think the scariest things aren't for me.

The scariest things are thinking that I

might leave a world to my children

that would be really difficult and painful for them.

I think we're all f***ed. All of us.

I think most of us in this room are

gonna die before we reach...

I don't believe that we would

wipe ourselves out entirely.

I believe that... I believe that

we can probably fall down to...

There's gotta be a way. There's

gotta be a way to live through it...

Once we're able to look at the world

without blinders and see the

really horrific mess we're making of it...

We have got to change our whole idea

of the way that the world works...

I generally just feel like

everything is out of balance.

Nothing that I can do will make

any impact on the planet.

We're living a way that doesn't work.

We have to live a way that does work.

So it's gonna change.

You can't change what's happening in

Washington. You can't change what's

happening over in Iraq.

"We've met the enemy and he is us. "

I guess I just tell myself that it's all gonna

be OK. You kinda have to to keep going.

It's not a happy thing to think about.

There was a time in my life when I

was having this recurring daydream.

I'd be sitting in my car, radio blaring,

slowly making my way forward

through a fast food drive thru.

I'd get to the window and they'd hand

me my drink and my burger and fries.

And as i waited for me change. . .

off in the distance. . .

a bright flash... and a rising cloud.

And as the full force of the

nuclear blast washed over me...

...as the icy cold of my overturned

Coke seeped into my jeans...

I'd think to myself...

... what a way to go.

Yeah I think that we might

wipe ourselves off the Earth.

Definitely. I feel like that's where we're headed.

There's an emptiness that other needs...

the real needs...

the real desires aren't being met.

And we're just scrambling

with what our culture offers us.

And our culture tells us... you know

our culture tells us we will find lyve

if we buy this lipstick and that

make-up and these clothes and this car.

I think it would be OK if we gave the Earth back

to everybody else why is not as destructive.

All the rest of the life on Earth.

I was born in the American Midwest, central

Mlchlgan, the "water winter wonderland".

I was raised in the arms of an extended

rural family.:
mostly farming folk...

...solid, hard working, quiet, giving.

I was bom into warmth and plenty to eat, a

sense of place, and a surety of security.

And I was born into stories.

Stories about the value of work

and the right way to live.

Stories about God and country, about

community, loyalty, steadfastness, and resolve.

Stories about the role and place

of humans on this planet.

Stories about our relationship

to something we called "nature".

I was born into stories.

Nobody told me these stories.

They didn't have to.

The stories were the air I breathed, the water in

which I swam, the ground upon which I walked.

They were all around me.

We didn't even know they were stories.

We just thought they were the way things are.

My world was a playground.

There were fish to catch, boats to row,

parades to watch, trails to hike,

lakes to swim, snowmobiles to rlde,

games to play, presents to open,

and family to share it all with.

The days would end with sunsets and fireworks

and sometimes I would dance

until I collapsed with joy.

It was a magical land...

cherry Popsicles and warm milk,

birthday cakes and store-bought costumes

and brand-new chairs under the tree.

A land of giant geese, well-dressed poodles,

talented birds and even more talented people.

The Earth was our merry-go-round,

our monkey bars, our swing set.

As long as we didn't look down,

everything would be just fine.

I was born halfway up the population explosion.

I was born on the slope of rising CO2 levels.

I was born in the foothills of a mass extinction.

I was born on the rocky rise of oil production.

I was bom facing forward, looking ever

upward, my first step a step upslope,

a step into progress, a step into a

vast and glorious human future.

We were moving on up.

There was no looking back.

There was a mountain to conquer,

and conquer it we would.

All we had to do was climb a bit further.

But the mountain we were climbing

was not what we thought it was.

Rather than rising from natural forces, the

slopes up which we were headed were the

results of imbalance and shortsightedness.

In our efforts to progress, to succeed, to

improve, to strive, to overcome,

to manage, to shape, to solve, and to grow,

we wielded huge new forces across the globe.

We walked as giants upon the Earth,:

unaware of the footprints we left behind.

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    "What a Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 22 May 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/what_a_way_to_go:_life_at_the_end_of_empire_23260>.

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