Brooke and Margaret recap the passed year of horrifying events, from climate collapse, to inflation economics, to developments with Covid, mass shooting, why the police continue to suck, culture wars, bodily autonomy, why capitalism ruins everything, as well as a glimpse of what could be coming this next year both hopeful and dreadful in This Year in the Apocalypse.
Margaret can be found on twitter @magpiekilljoy or instagram at @margaretkilljoy. Brooke is just great and can be found at Strangers helping up keep our finances intact and on Twitter or Mastodon @ogemakweBrooke
This show is published by Strangers in A Tangled Wilderness. We can be found at www.tangledwilderness.org, or on Twitter @TangledWild and Instagram @Tangled_Wilderness. You can support the show on Patreon at www.patreon.com/strangersinatangledwilderness.
Hopefully will come out Friday, Jan. 31st.
This Year in the Apocalypse 2022
Hello and welcome to Live Like the World is Dying, your podcast for what feels like the end times. I’m Brooke Jackson, your co-host for this episode, along with the indomitable Margaret killjoy.
We have something extra special for you. Hi, Margaret. You might be familiar with the monthly segment we started in 2022: This Month in the Apocalypse, and today we will take that into a sub segment: This Year in the Apocalypse. But, first we have to shout out to another member of the Channel Zero network of anarchists podcasts, but playing a little jingle from one of our comrades, Boo doo doo doo, doo doo.
And we’re back. So, before I tell people about this extra special episode, I want to officially say “Hello,” to my co host, Margaret. Hi, Margaret.
Hello, how are you?
I’m doing okay. How are you doing?
I’m doing terrible, and I’m not going to talk about it.
Okay, that’s fair. That sounds like me most of the time. Okay, well, speaking of terrible, how did the last year treat you now that we’ve flipped the calendar? Is there anything you would like to say to the year 2022?
You know, it’s fine. It’s just the year 2020 part three. As far as the other parts of the year 2020, it’s been…it was chiller, then parts one and two. Not from a climate point of view, but from a fascism point of view.
Oh, okay. That’s a good point. Well, I feel like 2022 as with most years….Sorry. What, Margaret?
Everything’s fine. Nothing bad happened. That’s the end of the episode.
Okay, cool. Well, this has been a fun recording. Yeah. Well, as with most years, in the last decade, I say, “Fuck you to 2022,” and would like to burn it all down. So, we have that going for us.
Alright, fuck you, 2022. I do that when I leave a state.
You say, “Fuck you,” to the State behind you?
Even even Oregon, even when you came to visit us out here?
Why would I? Why would Oregon be any different?
Because some of the people you love are in Oregon.
Whatever, fuck you too….I mean, many of the people I love were also in the year 2022.
Okay, all right. You got me.
One point: Margaret , zero points: Brooke.
Yep, that’s what I was saying.
Yeah. So. So, I was thinking about how we do this extra fun, special episode of This Year in the Apocalypse. And being typical Brooke, I was like, let’s come up with a very orderly fashion in which to do this. I shall take all of the months and pick one thing per month, and we shall be organized. And spoiler alert for the audience. Margaret and I came up with separate lists. We haven’t seen each other’s lists. We don’t know what each other shittiest things are.
Wait, I didn’t pick the shittiest things. I just picked stuff.
Oh, damn, I pick the shitty stuff.
Okay, well, I tried to go with a little bit of, there’s not a lot of hope in here. There’s a little bit of hope in here.
It’s funny, because when I was thinking about this, I was like, oh, Margaret should do the happy stuff, because Margaret does Cool People. And I can be the the Roberts Evans, everything’s bastards side of the simulation.
Okay, well, it’s a good thing we’re figuring this out right now, on air.
Okay. So, we’ll start with your month by month and then I’ll interject?
Super fun. Yeah. And like a disclaimer on the month by month is that not all months were created equal. So, it’s like, whatever the shittiest thing in one month, maybe, you know, way shittier than next month. That’s annoying to like, try and compare them in that way. It was a silly way for me to do it, but.. here we are.
All right. flashing back 12 months to January, 2022: America hit a million COVID cases with Omicron surging, so Good job America. COVID ongoing and bad.
We’re number one.
Yeah. The other the other real shitty, horrible thing in January was inflation, which technically was pretty crappy in 2021, as well. But we started feeling it more in January like that’s when it started hitting and then was kind of ongoing throughout this year as businesses responded to the inflation, had to start raising prices and stuff. Well, had to…some had to, some chose to because they could get away with it.
Should I? I wrote down all the inflation numbers for the end of the year.
The OECD, which stands for something something something, it’s a group of 38 countries that sit around and talk about how great they are, or whatever economic something, something. You think I would have written it down. They do. They calculate inflation for their member countries, based on the Consumer Price index. It averaged. This is as of October, the report in December, talks about it as of October, it averaged about 10.7% overall inflation across these 38 countries in the last year. Food averaged at…I wrote down 6.1%. But, I actually think it was slightly higher than that. I think I typo-ed that.
In the US was closer to 8%.
Yeah, and then, okay. More developed nations saw this all a little bit lower the G7, which is the Group of Seven, it’s the seven countries who have the elite cool kids club, and try and tell everyone what to do. Their overall inflation was 7.8%, as compared to the 10.7%. Inflation in the US actually tapered off most than most other countries, probably because we fuck everyone else over, but I couldn’t specifically tell you. Inflation is a bit of a black box that even the people who know what inflation is don’t really understand. And, energy inflation in general was the most brutal. Italy saw 70% energy inflation in the last year. It was 58%. In the UK, it was 17% in the US. So energy, inflation is actually outpacing even food inflation. And most of the food inflation, as we’ve talked about, at different times on this is caused by rising costs of fertilizer and like diesel and things like that. Yeah, that’s what I got about inflation. There was a lot of it. It’s technically tapering off a little bit in the United States. Just this moment.
Yeah, I was actually listening to a economics report about that yesterday about how it’s tapering off a little bit. The extra shitty thing that happened in February, which added to the drastically increasing fuel prices and food prices, was that fucking Russia invaded Ukraine,and started bombing shit there.
And that that might win as…if we’re taking a poll here of all of the worst things that happened in the last year, I kind of feel like that, you know, that’s got to be one of the top three.
It’s, it’s up there. Yeah. Even in terms of its effects on the rest of the world, even like, if you’re like, on a, well, what do I care about what two European countries are doing? Because, but it affects the shit out of the global south. Ukraine in particular, and also Russia providing a very large percentage of the grain and wheat that goes to, especially Africa. So, yeah, a lot of the energy inflation in the rest of Europe is also a direct result of Russian imperialism.
Yeah, it’s pretty…it’s fucked up a lot of stuff. There was another shitty thing that happened before that happened in February, which is what the Olympics began. And you know, Boo the Olympics. Yeah. So then we then we moved into March and there was this thing called COVID. And then there was this bad inflation happening and then this war over in Ukraine, but then we also, in Florida decided to pass a bill, the nicknamed ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill.
Yeah. I can’t believe that was less than a year ago. That was like eight culture wars ago.
I know, because I got some of the other ones coming up here. And it was like, oh, fuck, that’s still a thing. And then moving into April, so, there was like this war going on, and inflation was bad, and people were dying of this pandemic that we were living in, and then also, the Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard trial began. And that might not seem like one of the shittiest things, but for like anyone who’s been a survivor of domestic violence, and the way that trial it seemed like you know, every social media platform like you were getting like ads for it. Right? I know, other people talked about this, like everyone was seeing all these ads for news reports on it. It was like way at the top of the list. And, you know, again, domestic abuse survivor, like, I don’t, I don’t need to be reminded about, you know, this awful ongoing domestic abuse trial.
Yeah, yeah, that was, um, I like try to avoid everything that has to do with celebrities, but realizing how much that that like, ties into, I don’t know, how we all talk about all of this shit. I have nothing really clever to say besides like, oh, my God, it’s so fucked up. And I don’t trust mainstream discourse around any of it. Yeah,
For sure. We also saw because of climate issues, Lake Mead was dropping to dangerously low levels, starting all the way in April. And I feel like we could have done this whole episode on climate catastrophes that happened in the last year, like This Year in the Apocalypse could have just been climate change. It was a lot.
Yes, well, fortunately that will start overriding everything else over the next couple of years. So, you know….One or the other just to Lake thing on my note, Lake Powell, which provides power to 4.5 million people could reach minimum power pool status by July . So that’s a that’s an upcoming thing to look forward to.
Yay, for the year ahead. Yeah, I don’t even know what the status of Lake Mead is right now. I’m sure it’s not doing great. And we’ll probably start hearing about it again in the spring as it’s at dangerously low levels, find more bodies and boats and whatever else.
And they’re both. Both are on the Colorado River. Yeah, they’re both on the Colorado River.
Yeah. And if you’re not familiar with why Lake Mead matters, John Oliver actually did a really good piece on it on his show that talks about the water rights and stuff. I think it was John Oliver. Maybe it was John Stewart.
And if you want to read a terrible…a very good, although misogynist dystopia about what’s coming in terms of water rights, there’s a book called “The Water Knife” by Paulo [Bacigalupi], whose name last name I don’t know how to pronounce. It’s an Italian name. I think yeah,
I actually have that on my to-read-shelf.
Yeah, it’s, um, that man should not be allowed to write sex worker characters ever again.
Thank you for the notice there on what to expect on that aspect.
But other than that, other than that, it’s very interesting book.
Okay. May brought us a couple of big bad shootings, which is, you know, not again, not to diminish any other school shootings or shootings that happened or the fact that they’re going on, you know, all the time in schools, but they were the ones that like, hit the news, really big. There was the Buffalo, New York supermarket shooting that happened. And then the towards the end of the month was that just God awful Robb Elementary School shooting in Texas, that I don’t know how everyone else experienced it. But I, as a parent, you know, whose child who’s only slightly older than that. It was absolutely horrifying for me and enraging, and I had a lot of feelings about it. And you know, school shootings are always hard to see, but that one in particular…
This is the coward cops one, where they kept parents out who were the parents who were trying to like save kids?
Yeah, for like 72 minutes or something like that, more than that they were outside the door where the guy was actively shooting on children.
This is…the character of American law enforcement was laid bare on that day, is how I feel. I mean, I have many feelings on all of it, but…
And that was in Uvalde, Texas, where they have two separate police systems. There is a police system just for the schools there in addition to the town’s police.
There was that, uh, there was that lawsuit 10,15,20 years ago, something, where a man who was like, I think it was someone who’s like stabbing people on the train, you know, just like, just just doing that thing. And, and a man stopped him, stopped the stabby guy while the cops cowered in behind, like they went into, like the driver’s compartment of the train, and they just hid from the stabby guy. And the the guy stopped the stabby guy sued…I might have the details of this wrong. Sued and was like, the police have a duty to protect people. And it came back, the judge is like, “Actually they don’t, it is literally not the jobs. The police’s job is not to protect you. That is not their job.” And, the sooner we all realize that the safer we’ll be, because the more people will realize that safety is something that we’re going to have to build without the infrastructure that pretends to offer a safety, but absolutely does not. And legally is not required to.
Yeah, I didn’t know all the backstory of that. But, I know that that one went to the Supreme Court. And that became, you know, the national standard, because I remember reading about that part of it that, yeah, they don’t, they don’t have they don’t have a duty to protect.
I think it was the stabby guy on the train. But I, you know, I’m not like a classic thing rememberer, it’s not like my skill set. I didn’t put my points in character creation in memory.
Well important thing there is was the the outcome of that. The other big bad shooting I remember making the news pretty loudly this year was also the Highland Park Parade shooting that actually happened in July. So that was a couple of months later. But yeah, good times. Guns.
All right. So, we moved into June. And a couple of things are going on, on the global stage. Flooding began in Pakistan. And that flooding continued for a couple of months. We talked about this on one of our This Month, episodes, and even to right now, there is still flooding. And that flooding that did occur, you know, has displaced 1000s, if not millions of people. And it’s really, really fucked things up and continues to fuck things up in Pakistan.
And I would say that flooding in general, is one of the things that we’re seeing more and more of all over the world. And it’s one of the things that like…I think a lot of people and maybe I’m just projecting, but you know, I grew up thinking of floods as sort of a distant thing. And then actually where I lived, most recently, we all had to leave because of constant flooding as climate changed. And I think that floods need to be something….It’s the opposite of quicksand. When you’re a kid you think about quicksand is like this thing to like, worry about, and then you grow up and realize that like quicksand is like not…don’t worry about quicksand. That’s not part of your threat modeling. And, so I think that flooding is something that whether or not it was on something that you were really worried about, wherever you live, it is something that you should pay attention to. It’s not like, a run out and worry, right. But, it’s a thing to be like more aware of, you know, there was recent…New Years in San Francisco and Oakland, there was really bad flooding. And then again, a couple of days later, might still be going on by the time people listen to this, but I’m not actually sure. And you know, there’s the footage of people running out with like boogie boards or surfboards or whatever into the streets and, and playing in the flood. And, I’m not actually going to sit here on my high horse and tell people to never go into floodwater, you shouldn’t, it is not a thing you should do, but it is a thing that people do. But I think people don’t recognize fast moving currents, how dangerous they are, just how dangerous floods are, no matter how they look. And, if there’s more than a foot of water, don’t drive through it.
Yeah, if you’re not experienced with floods, those are things you wouldn’t know. So I have, you know, you said, that wasn’t a big thing in your childhood, but because of where I live, it you know, I don’t know if this is true of all the Pacific Northwest, but certainly, in my town, flooding is a big concern, we”re right on a river, and when there was bad rainstorms back in 96′, like most of downtown got flooded. I mean, I was I was a kid then. I was I was a youth. And that experience, you know, kind of informed some of my youth, you know, we had a lot of lessons learned about how to manage flooding, what you do and don’t do inflooding. So that’s something that’s been in the forefront of my mind. And yeah, as I see other people dealing with flooding for the first time in the news, it’s like, oh, no, no, you don’t. No. That’s bad. Don’t do that. Don’t go in those waters. But it’s their first time. They wouldn’t know.
Yeah. Unless you were like, directly saving something or someone, especially someone, and then even then you have to know what you’re doing. You know, they’re a bigger deal, even smaller ones are a bigger deal than you realize, I guess is the thing to say about floods. Anyway, so Okay, so where are we at?
We’re still in June, because there was, you know, in addition to the inflation, and the flooding, and the heat waves, and the war going on, and people dying of a pandemic, this little thing happened in the US where the Supreme Court’s overturned a little a little old law called Roe v. Wade.
That was about two different ways of interacting with water? [joking]
Yes, exactly. Ties, ties, right and flooding there. Yeah. It was just a minor…
Yeah, that’s my joke about people losing their capacity to control their own bodies. Just a little light hearted joke. Very appropriate.
As a person with a uterus, I genuinely can’t…i can’t joke about that one. Like, it’s just too close to home.
Yeah, fair enough. I’m sorry.
No, it’s I’m glad that you are, because it is good to laugh about these things that are actually very upsetting. It’s how, it’s part of our, you know, grieving process, how we deal with it as being able to laugh a little bit.
Yeah. Yeah, although and then, you know, okay, so we’ve had this like, fight, you know, America’s polarizing really hard about a lot of very specific issues: people’s ability to control the reproductive systems being a very major, one people’s ability to control their hormonal systems and the way they present being another one, I’m sure I’ll talk about that more. And, you know, the, the weirdly positive thing that happened this week that I started writing notes about, but didn’t finish, is about how there’s now…they’re changing the laws about how the accessibility of abortion pills and so that they’re going to be available in more types of stores for more people in the near future. This will not affect people who are in abortion ban states. So it’s this polarization, it’s becoming easier to access reproductive health and control in some states, and it’s becoming harder and illegal to access it in other states. My other like, positive…It’s not even a positive spin. It’s the glint of light in the darkness is that abortion was illegal for a very long time in the United States, and people did it, and had access to it and not as well, and it is better when it is legal. Absolutely. But underground clinics existed. And people did a lot of work to maintain reproductive health. And now we have access to such better and safer tools for reproductive health, whether you know, it’s access to abortion pills, or just everything about reproductive health has…we know a lot more about it as a society than at least medical and Western, you know, methods of abortion. We know a lot more about than we did a couple decades ago. And then, the other big thing that I keep thinking about…so there was the Jane Collective, right, in the US is I’m just like moving into history mode. Is that annoying?
Go for it.
Teah. It’s my other fucking podcast, all history and so like there’s the Jane Collective in the US. And they were really fucking cool. And they provided all these abortions to people in Chicago, and they actually pioneered a lot of methods of abortion and pushed forward a lot of important shit, right? In the 1920s, in Germany, anarchists ran more than 200 abortion clinics. Basically, if you wanted an abortion in 1920s, Germany, you went to the syndicalists, you went to the anarcho syndicalists. And because they sat there, and they were like, “Oh, a large amount of crime needs to be done on an organized fashion. And what is anarcho syndicalism? But a way to organize crime?” In this case, usually it’s like class war against bosses and illegal strikes and stuff. But, “How do we organize that on a large scale?” And the anarchists were the ones who had the answer answers to, ‘How do you organize crime on a large scale,’ and I want to know more about that information. I haven’t found that much about it in English yet. But, that kind of thing gives me hope. It gives me hope that we can, it’s better when it is legal, I’m not being like, this is great, you know, it’s fucked up, but we can do this. And, you know, on this very podcast, if you listen to one of the Three Thieves, Four Thieves? Some Number of Thieves Vinegar Collective, Margaret, famous remember of details, they they talk about their work, developing reverse engineering or making accessible, different abortion drugs and how to basically like, create them, and get them to where they need to be, regardless of the legality of those things. But, you might have more to say about this, too. I just wanted to go into history mode.
No, I I liked that. And yeah, you did those episodes in a few different ways about it that are super important. I mean, I don’t think I need to rehash why Roe is so important. We we know that, you know, and it’s not just about reproductive rights for people with uteruses, either. It’s about the trends towards you know, bodily autonomy and regulation of bodies. And you know, what that signals as well, it’s an issue for everybody.
Yeah. And remember, like at the very beginning, some people were like, they might be coming for birth control next, and everyone’s like, Nah, they’re not coming for birth control. And now you can see the same, the same right wing people who are like, “We should probably just kill the gay people.” They like say it and city council meetings. They’re also being like, “And birth control on my right, like, fuck that thing?”
Yeah. Get it out of someone’s cold dead hands.
Yeah, this is one of those things where the months don’t necessarily compare. Yeah.
There’s that meme….Go ahead. I’m sorry. No, go.
We…you know there were historic heat waves going on. Continued flooding and droughts. And all kinds of climate nastiness. And then in, in Tariff Island, we saw a whole bunch of British officials resign, and then Boris Johnson resigning, which, you know, fuck the government and all of those kinds of things, and fuck that guy. But, it did also lead into this, what has been kind of a lot of turmoil in the UK as they’ve gone through now a couple of different prime ministers and just like, you know, just the the, the sign of the crumbles of how just overwhelmingly corrupt political leaders are, you know, at this point in so called, you know, democratic and stable democracies, that, you know, they’re falling apart too.
Now, that’s a good point. Um, what year did that lady I didn’t like die? What day? What month? Queen?
I didn’t put down the month because that’s a happy thing that happened, not a shitty thing.
I know. Remember positive things about 2022. And like, stadiums full of like, Irish folks being like, “Lizzie’s in a box. Lizzie’s in a box.” There’s like some positive things.
I might rewatch some of those after this, just for a little pick me up.
Yeah. The people dancing in front of the palace, anyway. Yeah. I don’t like colonialism or monarchy. I don’t know if anyone knew this about me.
Yeah. No, same. I’ve been trying to explain to my kid about why Queen Elizabeth was bad. And she’s having a hard time. Because, you know, children and fantasies and stories and kings and queens, and blah, blah, blah.
Yeah. Which is the fucking problem.
Yeah, a similar kind of thing happened in August in terms of like, you know, unstable, so supposedly stable governments, in that the the FBI had to raid Mar-a-Lago and Trump which, again, fuck Trump and the FBI and the federal government and all of that, but as a sign of, you know, our democracies actually not being very sound, and how just grossly corrupt politicians are and stuff, the only way they could get back a bunch of confidential documents and like, nuclear related stuff was to fucking invade a former president. Yeah. Also in August Yeah. monkeypox started hitting the news, which of course, speaking of culture was, right, that led into a whole bunch of stuff about, you know, a bunch of anti-gay stuff and reminders of what the AIDS epidemic was like, and just a whole bunch of fucking nonsense up in the news because of that.
God, I barely remember that.
Right, I think we did it on an episode, a This Month episode.
I mean, I remember it now. It’s just there’s so much. There’s so much. Yeah. Yeah.
So September brought us protests starting to erupt in Iran. Finally. There was a woman, Masha Amini, who was arrested, you know, they had been doing caravans, were doing these crackdowns and the morality police and stuff. And so that was the start of a bunch of turmoil there that went on for at least three months. It’s finally settled down some last month. But that was going on, and then also towards the end of the month hurricane Ian hit in Florida. So, not to make it all about the climate. But again, historic hurricanes and flooding and stuff.
Yeah. And these things are related to each other. I mean, like, as you have global insecurity caused by climate, it’s going to show all of the cracks in the systems and like, it’s hard, because it’s like, overall, you know, I see the the attempted revolution, the uprising in Iran is an incredibly positive thing and like reminder of the beauty of the human spirit. And also, like, what happened, the end result of that, that, I don’t even want to say, ‘end result,’ though, right? Because like, every social struggle is going to ebb and flow. And, our action is going to cause reaction. And you know, and whenever people have uprisings, they remember power. They also remember fear, right? And the system is hoping that people remember fear. And the people are hoping that they remember power, you know, and, and it seems impossible to predict which uprisings will lead to fear and which ones will lead to power in terms of even when they’re crushed, right? Whether that is the fertile soil for the next rising or whether it you know, has salted the earth to try and keep my metaphor consistent.
Nah, mixed metaphors the best. Okay, yeah, it’s not a bad thing that people were protesting against what was going on there. It’s it’s awful that they had to get to that point that the morality police were so bad that they had to start protesting and ongoing conflict and unrest in the Middle East, never ending.
And I want to know more. I haven’t done enough research on this yet, but another like hopeful thing about, you know, sort of global feminist, radical politics, there’s been a recent movement of men in Afghanistan, who are walking out of exams and walking out of different positions that only men are allowed to hold, you know, in schools and things like that, in protest of the fact that of women’s disinclusion.
Okay, I hadn’t heard anything about that. So that’s, yeah, We’ll have to add that to a This Month, because I want to know more about that too. That sounds really positive.
Yeah. Yeah. And I don’t know whether it’s, you know, happened three times, and it’s caught headlines each time or I don’t know enough about it to talk about it as a movement. But it matters. That kind of stuff matters. And yeah, it’s hopeful.
Well, we moved into October and the fall season, and y’all might remember this little one, some South African asshole named Elon Musk, Mosh, Mosk, whatever that guy’s name is,
He’s named after the rodent, the muskrat.
Okay, that’ll be easy to remember. That guy officially took over at the only social media platform that I don’t mostly hate, which is Twitter. A lot of his fucked-up-ness…Nah, he did some of that the first week, that was still in October. And then definitely more came after that. But, he’s destroying the microblogging site that we all love so much.
Yeah, I will say, my favorite meme that come out of that was basically like, you know what, I’ve decided that I am okay with Elon Musk being in charge of the exodus of all the rich people to Mars. [Laughs]
Yes, winning. Do that quickly.
Yeah. He’ll fuck it up. Like he fucks everything up. You’ve seen Glass Onion?
Yes, I did.
I don’t want to like spoil it for people. But, I’ll just say that movie did a really good job of pointing out that Elon Musk is just a fucking…is not an intelligent person, is not doing genius things. And it was pointed out really well.
Can I point out something embarrassing?
Absolutely, it’s just you and I here.
No one will ever know. I didn’t realize when I watched it that that guy was supposed to be a parody of like Elon Musk specifically. I thought it was just like generic, you know, rich people are terrible. And then it wasn’t till like after I watched it, and everyone else started watching it and commenting that it was Musk and I was like, “Oh, damn, obviously it is.”
Yeah, it’s the like, the car thing and the space thing are the main nods. I mean, it’s at the same time. It could be Bezos it could be any fucking, like tech billionaire asshole. But I think it was, I think it was intentionally Musk.
Yeah, I’ve got to rewatch it with that in mind. I was too busy going, “Oh, it’s that guy. It’s that actor or actress. Someone I know that person. Enjoy the characters. Yeah. That was a thing that happened in December, but we haven’t done November, so November, Powerball made some poor asshole into a billionaire. So I feel bad for that guy. Yeah. So the Powerball, nobody had won it for like three months, and the pot got up to like $2 billion. And a single a single person had the winning ticket when it was finally pulled. Which, if they take the cash payout, which I think most people do, it’s actually only $1 billion. And then, probably the government takes that. So you’re only half a billionaire, probably by the time all is said and done. But still, that’s, you know, what a way to fuck up the rest of your existence by suddenly having that much money.
I’m like, I’d take a shot.
I like to think, you know, I have this list of all these nice things that I would do and people I would support and love, but the evidence bears out that anyone who’s ever won something like that doesn’t make all the great choices.
No, no. Okay. Yeah, I think you need to have a council of people who direct…I think that any anarchist who’s like, possibly going to end up rich, like, whether through inheritance or becoming the next Stephen King or whatever needs to, like, seriously consider how the dealing with that money should be a collective effort and not an individual effort. Anyway.
I agree. Yeah.
I went through this when, at one point, I did not get…I did not become a millionaire. But, at one point, Hollywood was interested in one of my my books, and we had long conversations about it. I had conversations with the Hollywood director around it, about whether or not they would adapt a certain book of mine into a TV show. And it didn’t work out in the end. But, I like sat there and mathed it out and was like, oh, if they make it TV show out of my book, I will become a millionaire. And like, what would that mean? And, and so that’s when I started having these, like, which just totally the same as winning the Powerball and having a billion dollars, and also not just not my weird…I don’t know, whatever. Now everyone knows this.
I don’t think that’s a unique thing. Yeah, so that happened in November. And that sucks. And it didn’t make the news the way it should have. So I just wanted to highlight that horribleness. And then, also that orange clown douchebag potato that lives in Florida, said that he’s going to run for president again. So, we have that to look forward to. But, then the third thing that happened, which isn’t just isolated to November, but the World Cup started, and I have nothing against football, love football, the World Cup as a concept. Fine, but there are so many problems, much like the Olympics, with the way they do it. And what happens around all that.
Yeah, yeah, I love…I love that I should be able to like a lot of things. And then the way that they’re done by our society precludes me from really deeply enjoying them.
Why do you have to take such a nice thing and ruing it.
All things. All things. You could name anything, and we could talk about how capitalism and fucking imperialism ruined it.
Yeah, pretty much. Down with those systems. Alright, so now we’re finally getting into the end. You’ll remember this one, because it was only like a month ago that there were some targeted attacks in North Carolina on power stations. 40,000 people without power for several days, in fact, it wasn’t like a quick fix thing. They really fucked some shit up there. One that I didn’t hear about, but that has some pretty big implications is that the country of Indonesia banned sex outside of marriage, even for foreigners living in their country, and stuff.
Yeah. So, I don’t know if the ramifications for that are. I didn’t dig deeper into like, what is the consequence of you doing that. But you know, Indonesia’s massive. I mean, that populations huge.
I had no idea.
Yeah, Lousiana just banned, as of I think January 1, you’re not allowed to access porn on the internet from Louisiana without showing a government ID to the website. Which, means that now everyone, basically they passed a law saying you have to install a VPN in order to access porn in Louisiana.
Yeah, and it fucks up sex workers, right? Like any of this stuff, any of this bullshit, it always just fucks sex workers.
Yeah, they become the victims of the law, even though they’re not, they’re not the bad guys here. And in porn, they’re never the bad guys, Pro sex workers. My last horrible thing that happened in December was that China decided to just completely give up on all of its COVID protocols that it spent the whole year continuing to be super restrictive, and have lock downs and all of that. And then all of a sudden, it’s just like, “No, we’re not gonna do any of that anymore.” Oh, just a great way to change policy is just to stop completely all of a sudden. Yeah.
I just think it’s really funny, because it’s like, what? Sometimes people like really talk about how they want like a multipolar world where there’s like, it’s like what people use to defend the USSR, right, is that they’re like, well, at least, there was someone competing with the US or whatever. But, when I think about COVID response, there was always like the US response, which was absolute dogshit. And then there was the Chinese response, which was like, too authoritarian and caused a lot of suffering and all of these things, but, was not a non response. And now, that one has fallen as well. And there’s just like, I mean, there’s more countries than the US and China. I’m reasonably sure. I couldn’t promise. So, hurray, we’re in it. We’re just in it. That’s…this is just COVID world now. It’s COVID’s world. We just live in it.
Yeah, exactly. So I think you had some, like bigger overarching trends of things that happened in 2022.
A lot of the stuff I have is a little bit like what we have to look forward to.
Just some like nice, light stuff. The National Farmers Union in the UK says that the UK is on the verge of a food crisis.
Yields of tomatoes and other crops, especially energy intensive ones like cucumbers and pears are at record lows. And there’s already an egg shortage in the UK, and a lot of places where there were stores are rationing sales of eggs, you can only buy so many eggs at any given time. And, it’s not because there’s no chickens. It’s that rising costs of production have convinced more and more farmers…it’s a capitalism thing in this like really brutal way. It’s the markets logic, right? If it costs too much to produce a thing, don’t produce it. But, when the thing you do is produce food, there’s some problems here.
And I mean, I’m a vegan. And I got to admit, when I hear things like, they’re cutting back beef production, because it costs too much. I’m like, that’s good. That is good for animals. And that is good for the climate. However, that’s not being replaced with more of other types of foods. So it’s not necessarily good.
And if Casandra were here, and she has very restrictive things on what she can eat, because of her health, she would be jumping in to say, “But protein!” because she needs to be able to have access to that.
No, totally. And I’m not trying to, I’m not like specifically pushing for a vegan world. And I recognize that everyone’s bodies are different, and have different needs around a lot of things. But, I do think that data shows fairly clearly that the level of animal agriculture that we do, especially in centralized ways, across the world is a major driver of climate change. And, it is a major driving of a lot of really bad stuff. It’s just a very inefficient way to produce food for a large number of people. This is different at different scales. And I am not, I’m not specifically trying to advocate for…Yeah, I don’t think a vegan world is a good or just idea. I think it is perfectly natural for people to eat animals. However, I think that there’s both needless suffering that can be cut back and as well as like, just specifically from a climate change point of view. So…
I hear you.
That said, UK, dealing with egg shortage. Basically, farmers might stop selling milk because of production…that it cost so much to produce the milk. Not like, I’m sure there’s still farmers who are going to produce milk. But, more and more farmers are stopping. Beet farmers are considering the same. There’s also just literally about 7000 fewer registered food production companies in the UK than three years ago.
Because at least in the UK, fertilizer costs have tripled since 2019. And diesel costs are up at about…both feed and diesel costs are up about 75% from what they were before. Shortages. The infant formula shortage might last until Spring according to one major formula producer. We very narrowly avoided a major disruption as a result of a diesel shortage in the United States recently. Basically, they like brought more diesel plants…I don’t know the word here, refineries? Refineries, like online kind of at the last minute, like because there was going to be like really major disruptions in the way that we move food and other things around the United States because of diesel shortages. Let’s see what else…
Have…I’m super curious here, have food shortages in the UK ever caused problems of any kind? It seems like that’s not a big deal. Like they’re…they can deal with that. Right? That hasn’t killed anyone, right?
Ireland’s not part of the United Kingdom. [laughs] Yeah, yeah. No, it’s okay. I mean, it’s interesting, because like, modern farming has really changed the face of famine. Famine used to be a very common part of…I can actually only speak to this in a very limited context, it’s like something that came up in my history research, like Napoleon, the middle one, or whatever. I can’t remember. Probably the second, maybe the third I’m not sure. The Napoleon who like took over and like 1840…8? Someone is mad at me right now. In France, who modernized Paris and made it like, impossible to build barricades and shit.
We can FaceTime, Robert, real quick and find out.
Yeah, yeah, totally. And, but one of the things that he did, or rather, that happened under his reign as a part of 19th century development, is that famine had been a very major common regular part of French life. And it ceased to be, and famine is something that the modern world, developed parts of the modern world, have been better at minimizing as compared to like, some historical stuff. Obviously, a lot of this just gets pushed out into the developing world. And you know, famine is a very major part of a great number of other countries’ existence. But, I think that people get really used to the idea that famine doesn’t really happen. And it does, and it can again, and it’s similar what you’re talking about, like we have this like, kind of unshakable faith in our democracies. But, they are shakable they, they they shake.
They’ve been shooked.
Yeah, they’re They are not stirred. They’re shaken. Okay. Okay, so other stuff: Pfizer’s currently working on an RSV vaccine. I consider that positive news. My news here is about a month old. It’s been given the like, go ahead for further studies and shit and, and that’s very promising because we’re in the middle of a triple-demic or whatever. But there’s actually been as a weird positive thing. I mean, obviously, we’ve learned that society does not know how to cope with pandemics. But, one thing is we have learned a lot more about a lot of health stuff as a result of this, you know, and the types of new vaccines that people are able to come up with now are very, they’re very promising. And a fun news, as relates to the climate change thing that’s happening, more and more Americans are moving to climate at risk areas. Specifically, people are leaving the Midwest. And they’re moving to the Pacific Northwest and Florida. And these are two of the least climatically stable from a disaster point of view areas in the United States.
Specifically, specifically because of wildfire in the Pacific Northwest, and hurricanes in Florida. Also earthquakes on the West Coast and things like that, but specifically wildfire. And also within those areas, a thing that causes…humans have been encroaching into less developed areas at a greater rate. And this is part of what causes, obviously the fires are getting worse out west as a result of climate change, but it’s also the way in which new communities are developed out west that is causing some of the worst damages from fires. So yeah, everyone’s moving to those places. That’s not a good idea in mass. I’m not telling individuals who live in those places to leave. And there’s actually, you know, the Pacific Northwest has some like stuff going on about fairly stable temperature wise, and for most climate models, but this is part of why disasters are impacting more and more Americans as people are leaving the places to move to places where it’s greater risk. Yeah, there’s this map, just showing where people are leaving and where people are going to. And it’s actually, there are other places that people are going to that would have surprised me like, Georgia, North Carolina, parts of Tennessee, like kind of like Southern Appalachian kind of areas, like more and more people are moving towards, and more and more people are leaving upstate New York, which really surprised me. But, and more people are leaving North Texas and moving to Southeast Texas, or like the general eastern part of Texas is growing very rapidly. Okay, what else have I got? Taiwan has set up a set group called the Doomsday Preppers Association, which is just sick, because it’s called the Doomsday Preppers Association. And it’s like, not a wing nut thing. And they have a wing nut name which rules, I’m all for it. There’s about 10,000 people or so who are organizing together to prepare for natural disasters, and also to prepare for the potential invasion from China. Which, China’s back to threatening to, to do that. And it’s but, it’s like people just like getting together to like, build networks, learn radios, and just like, be preppers, but in a, like, normalized way, and it’s fucking cool. And, I’d love to see it here. Okay. What else? I don’t have too many notes left. Florida, is expected to have major wildfires starting in 2023 according to the National Interagency Fire Center report, as well as Georgia, New Mexico and Texas. I’m willing to bet that New Mexico and Texas in particular, and probably Georgia, that’s probably…those are very big states with very different bio regions within them. And, so I couldn’t point you, if you live in one of those places, you might want to look for the National Interagency Fire Center Report, and read more about it.
Speaking of moving, it’s a great time to get the fuck out of Florida. With like, I could have done almost every month something just atrocious happened in Florida.
Yeah. And one of the things that, you know, we talked a little bit about the culture war stuff. One of the things that’s happened in 2023, overall, is that we’ve started to see more political refugees from within the United States to the United States. We have seen a lot of trans families, or families of trans children, have had to leave states where their providing medical care for their children has become criminal. Obviously also with the end of Roe v. Wade, a lot of people have had to change which state they live in. Although, I don’t like doing this like comparison thing, because it’s just fucked for everyone, but you can you can vacation your way out of pregnancy. You know?
I don’t know that I’ve heard it described that way, but…
But if you want to be a 13 year old on hormone blockers, or whatever that you need in order to stay safe, a lot of people are moving, and a lot of people can’t move. And there’s really complicated questions that we all have to ask ourselves right now about like, stay and go. And like, like stay and fight, versus get the fuck out. And everyone’s gonna have to make those questions differently. Okay, another positive thing a weird, like positive tech thing…
So like I own, and I recommend it to people who spend a lot of time off grid or out outside the range of cell service. I own like a Garmin satellite communicator, it’s a little tiny device, it looks like a tiny walkie talkie. And it can talk to satellites. And I can like text from anywhere in the world, I can see the sky, whether or not I have cell service. And more importantly than that, I can send an SOS. And these are fairly expensive things, they cost a couple hundred dollars. And then you have to sign up for service. And they make sense for people who are like backpacking a lot or driving in areas where there’s no, you know, service or whatever, right? New new phones, specifically the iPhone 14, I hate to be like, I’m not telling everyone to run out get new phone, but as a trend is very positive, that some new phones have this already built in. So you won’t need to have a separate device. And I think that is a very positive thing from a prepper point of view, to have access to a way to communicate when cell service is not there. Yeah, that is really important. And I have one final thing and it’s very positive.
Okay, I’m ready.
It’s actually a double edged sword. On January 5, I’m cheating. This was in 2023. On January 5, 2023, this current year, like last week, yesterday, as we record this, two assholes in Bakersfield, California tried to set an Immigration Services Center on fire, like it was a center that like, um, I mean, ironically, it helped undocumented folks or like immigrant folks pay income taxes, and like helped people navigate the paperwork of being immigrants, you know, because there’s actually something that people don’t know, all these like, right wing pieces of shit, is that like, undocumented people, like, many of them pay taxes. I don’t know. Whereas a lot of the people who like to talk all kinds of shit about undocumented people, don’t pay taxes. Anyway, whatever. What were you gonna say? Sorry.
Oh, just this, that as an economist, as a group, undocumented people pay more into the system than they as a group take out of the system.
That makes a lot of sense. So, there’s an Immigration Services Center. Two assholes, tried to set it on fire. They set themselves on fire, fled the scene on fire and left their cell phone at the scene. The reason it’s double edged is, because one it sucks that people attack this and they actually did do damage to the center as well, mostly to some equipment used by someone who ran I believe a carwash out of that shared some space or whatever. But yeah, they like poured accelerant everywhere. And then a guy just like, knelt down over the pool of accelerant and like, lit it. And then just like, his, like, his leg was on fire. So, his friend ran over to help and like got caught on fire too. And then, they just both like, ran out of range of, because it’s all caught on camera, you know? And fuck them. And I hope that their fucking wounds are horrible. And by the time you listen to this, they were probably caught because they left their fucking phone there. And fuck them. That’s my light news.
I’ll take it.
Okay, what are you excited for, looking forward? Go ahead. Sorry.
Well, hopefully more fascists are gonna light themselves on fire and other types of right wing assholes. I mean, I would be very happy about that happening in 2023
Yeah. May this be the year of Nazis on fire.
Yes. Agreed. That would be lovely. I don’t know about…I don’t know if I have a lot of global stuff that I thought about being positive. I have. I have like personal stuff, like I am going to be doing…hosting more these podcast episodes. I’ve got one coming up. Maybe this month, we’re releasing it? But I did it all by myself. Yeah, more lined up to come out in the next couple of months and some really cool topics and people that I get to chat with. So I’m stoked about that.
That is also something I’m excited about for 2023 is that this podcast is increasingly regular and it is because of the hard work of me…No, everyone else. Is the hard work of everyone else who works on this show are like really kind of taking the reins more and more and it is no longer, it’s no longer the Margaret Killjoy Show and I’m very grateful and I believe you all will too. And if you’re not grateful yet, you will be, because there’ll be actual other voices, like ways of looking at things and and more of it because, you know, one person can only do so much. So I’m really grateful for that.
I’m excited about this book that’s coming out next month, that…
Some lady I know, wrote it. And, and I got to do some editing work on it. And, it’s hilarious and the cover is gorgeous.
Is it called “Escape from Incel Island”?
Yeah, that one.
Is this my plugs moment?
Did you know If you preorder it right now, you can get a poster of that gorgeous cover that comes comes with the preordered one?
And, did you know that if you preorder it, I get a cut of the royalties when the book is released for all the preorders, which means that I can eat food.
Oh, we like it when you get food.
And I like having food. Yeah. So, if you go to tangledwilderness.org, you can preorder “Escape from Incel Island” and get a poster. And it’s a fun adventure book. You can literally read it in a couple hours. It’s very short. It’s a novella. It’s, to be frank, it’s at the short end of novella. But that makes it good for short attention spans like mine.
Yeah, that’s dope. I’m looking forward to that. And there’ll be some other books coming out from that Strangers Collective one, one that I just started editing, that I don’t know how much we’re talking about it yet or not.
It’s really cool.
So, I won’t give too much away here, but just sucked me right in as I was editing, and it’s cool. I’m so excited to read the rest of it. And then for us to release it.
Yeah. All right. Well, that’s our Year in the Apocalypse, 2022 edition. And I know…wait, you’re doing the closing part.
I’m just the guest.
No, you’re my co host.
Oh, I’m just the co host. Okay.
Yeah. Yeah. So I’m curious what other people think the worst things are that happened in 2022, if it’s something that was on one of our lists, or something else that you know of, and reach out to us like on Twitter at tangledwild or Instagram, or you can reach out to me personally on Mastodon @ogemakwebrooke, if you can find me there. And the Collectiva Social, I think is my whatever, I don’t remember how it works. But I’m yeah, I’m curious what other people would have to say is the worst which thing they want to vote for, if they have their own. So hit us up? Let us know.
Yeah, do it.
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