The Exsanguination of Elpis

I know it’s been a little quiet on the music front but I really wanted to share this. I have several really exciting projects in the works for 2022 including a new extropy record (which is almost finished) and a string of EPs as well as a full length HEXONYX. Enjoy and please share if you do enjoy it. Best of luck to all of you as we enter this next phase of collapse….

Themes for Imaginary Films (part 1)

I’ve been collecting an assortment of oddities, things that started in one project and then spun out of orbit or evolved into something entirely different during the process. The one unifying theme seems to be that they all have a certain cinematic vibe, so I’ve been going back through the archives and polishing off the best bits for release here under “Themes for Imaginary Films”. This is the first of a likely album’s worth (or more). Close your eyes, and imagine yourself drowning in dark waters, fighting for breath as you swim frantically towards the surface, only to find when you emerge that the world you remember has become something very strange… (headphones and darkness recommended but enjoy as you will.) cheers – D

The Climate Crisis – Can We Stop Total Collapse?

Tackling The Climate Crisis Requires Systemic Change, Not Just Individual  Action

It’s a big problem that mainstream discourse about the climate crisis fails to point to the huge gap between renewables & fossil fuel energy, or that the aerosol masking effect from pollution will go away as we transition, warming the planet more. Degrowth is the only way out.


And yet, even knowing what I know, there is a massive cognitive dissonance around taking the necessary action. It’s just so much more massive than our individual effort, and it can’t work unless we unite the majority of the people on earth behind it. Is that even possible?

Think about what degrowth actually means. Whole industries need to be shut down, and not just fossil fuel extraction. All of us, everyone on the planet, needs to re-direct their time and energy away from consumption and consumerism and into repairing the damage, and soon.

We need to retrain and redirect our attention to reforestation, adaptive farming, and ecosystem triage. And yes – even with all that we probably need some form of “carbon removal” tech to stave off the worst impacts of 1.5º and even 2º which is already baked in.

How do we do that? Even jobs that aren’t overtly destructive generate CO2. My company creates products from plastics made from fossil fuels and other materials mined from the earth. Do I shut down my company? How do I survive and provide for my family?

What about my employees and their families? What about all the businesses who purchase my products and their families and employees?

Ok, then what about mitigation? It’s imperfect, it’s not a solution, but what can I do working from the inside to transition my company into a more sustainable direction? Can I fix some of the problem and hope others will follow?

We’ve tried. Many of the technologies that exist are at a fraction of the scale needed, and most don’t exist at all. How do you make a guitar cable that has no ecological impact? You can’t. And even if you could the business still relies on consumerist capitalism to thrive. I only make money if I keep producing more and more stuff. And I am just a subset of the larger music industry. My business relies on the continued production of musical instruments that make my products necessary. All of these businesses need to shut down. And this is just one, tiny, insignificant “niche” industry.

What about all the others? We need a fundamental reimagining of human civilization. We need to rethink how we engage with the planet and each other, one that puts our fragile ecosystems at the center. Can we even have the will to entertain that discussion?

Seriously, can we? We can barely agree with each other on objective facts anymore. Elites are concentrating power and fueling disinformation. People are refusing vaccines in the midst of a deadly pandemic that has killed more than a million people.

No, unfortunately, it appears that this system of mutual self-annihilation is entrenched. It rewards greed and self-interest above all, it pays us when we exacerbate the problem. It punishes us for opting out, and choosing collective commons over individual gain.

Even those of us who see what’s coming are generally powerless to stop it. Think about the overwhelming majority who either don’t understand the scale of the problem or from their position of privilege don’t think it will impact them. And let’s not forget those who simply don’t care, and those actively trying to profit from destruction.

It’s hard to imagine that scale of cooperation when so many are still in denial that there is a climate crisis.

This isn’t a problem that we can solve without aggressive, concerted, global effort. And the pre-requisite to aggressive, concerted effort, is to tell the truth. To accept the harsh reality of our predicament. Because despite what many think, we aren’t going to just “tech”our way out of this. Our leadership has failed us, and they need to stop building their own lifeboats and be honest. It is the only way we can start to undo any of the damage.

Yes – we have to willingly give up much of who we think we are. We have to step forward and decide that humanity is more important, that saving our species (and others) from extinction is worth giving up the widgets, the entertainments, the leisure travel, all of it.

We have to decide that living things and living systems are more important. Because that is what we have to do if we want to survive.

The alternative, of course is that we just continue to let the car drive us off the cliff. A few of us might survive, maybe. Regardless of our choice, earth will enact its own version of “degrowth” whether we like it or not.

We need to have these hard conversations about the seriousness of the climate crisis, if we are to save some of what remains. The only alternative is human extinction.

Crisis Fatigue

Lack of any updates is not for a lack of words… it is merely the effect of being unable to choose exactly where to start with everything that is fucking wrong in the world right now.

I’ll come back to this later, I promise.

But for now, this:

The End of the World (as we know it)

Way back in good ol’ 1999, before Extropy was formed from the ashes of Dreamscape Unlimited, we used to have a sample recording of the William Yeats poem “The Second Coming” which we used in our live set. Sure, it was an illegally acquired sample but  we didn’t care… Come and get us Sony! I always loved the poem and it captures the fragility of modernity in a way that few words ever have:  “Things fall apart, the center does not hold.”  

As someone who has been labeled a modern age “Cassandra” and a purveyor of dystopian musics for two decades, it would be easy for me to say ” I told ya so.” 

The current COVID-19 crisis was predictable, but not necessarily preventable. However, the scale and scope of the crisis is being exacerbated by numerous conditions that are a byproduct of the way we have structured our societies.

First – over the last two decades (and even much longer than that), inequality has skyrocketed as an unfettered capitalist system allowed those at the top suck up more and more of the world’s wealth while those at the bottom suffer. In a catastrophe, those at the top are more concerned about self-preservation than anything else, so the rest of us be damned. The elite who knew about the risk the virus presented and did nothing dumped their stocks and warned their friends in advance.

Second – the destruction of habitat around the world and the urbanization of areas previously inhabited by wild animals creates a crucible in which new pathogens and diseases can evolve and mutate and eventually cross over to infect humans. This is just one side effect of our climate crisis which, unchecked will continue to overwhelm our civilization with catastrophe after catastrophe. You already know this. You’ve been bombarded with it constantly. Fires, floods, famines, plagues.

Thirdly – we live in an era of instant communication, where the the proliferation of social “media” and the ease with which false information spreads (like a virus) has made our collective “REALITY” a questionable one. How do you make informed decisions if you can’t be sure what’s true? Those in power who called this a “Hoax” and tried to profit politically from mis-information are desperately trying to walk back what they said, gas lighting all of us in the process.

Fourth – a huge percentage of the human population still believe in religious myths. In America, specifically with regard to Christianity, it creates an environment where believers are easy targets for misinformation, and ripe for con-artists who can “drape themselves in Jesus’ robes” while serving a selfish agenda and doing the exact opposite. Many of these believers are crudely, and intentionally ignorant, while many others are simply the product of an American culture that upholds unquestioned religious freedom over skepticism and scientific accuracy. When ignorance is elevated to discourse, and science is equal to “belief”, stupidity rules. 

Lastly… this pandemic has struck during the most dysfunctional, inept, venal, self-interested and completely fucking ignorant administration in US History. 

So yeah. I fucking told you so. 

And for those of you who choose to disagree, or prefer to let your beliefs or politics or stubborn ignorance blind you to the reality of our collective situation, do me a favor. Take some time out of your quarantine lockdown to read a fucking book and educate yourself because your stupidity and selfishness is putting the entire human race at risk.

ANTAPEX ARC

http://extropy.bandcamp.com/album/antapex-arc

Dust settles on the ashes. Is that ironic? Perhaps. We certainly had our time in the sun, but compared to the lifespan of this mediocre star in a far flung arm of a nondescript galaxy that gave us life, we were only a flash of cognition. And we burned brightly, for awhile… harnessed the energy of millions of years of dead organisms, tamed the atom, created sprawling cities and incomprehensible technologies and fantastic ruins. We also invented great schools of thought and philosophy, works of literature and science, soul-stirring art, and the extinction of almost all life on earth. Our fall was magnificent… the end result of our worst impulses magnified: greed, cynicism, and ultimately, a failure to live in harmony with and in consideration of the planet from which we sprang.

But what is a few tens of thousands of years compared against 8 billion? If this message reaches you, in whatever future exists before Sol reaches it’s apex as a cooling but surly red queen, know that we WERE, once. That we conquered and bled and cried and loved against the background of so many stars. So much was gained that was ultimately lost. 

  • From the Journal of unknown earth human “S.C.”, transmitted digitally by high powered radio, November 2032. Picked up by relay at spiral B3.1 (Alpha/Proxima Centauri), re-broadcast to inner spiral via N3768900012-12 and flagged for further study. This document has been reviewed by Watcher 10073216D. Extinction level event confirmed (see also: file archive “lethe”). Related audio files attached for reference.

The Last Decade

It’s hard to shake the feeling of dread as we cross over from 2019 to 2020, and not just because our base-ten arithmetic conditions us to place emphasis on every decadal shift. It feels momentous, the crossing of a Rubicon of sorts… From the hopeful past to a hopeless future… a place where we once expected to find world-changing technological advancements, free energy, flying cars, and cities on mars. Instead we arrive in a world of social, political, and environmental collapse… a world where unprecedented anxiety and easy propaganda stems from systems of connection that monetize the darkest aspects of human nature…. where dogma and lies are elevated to national discourse… where reality itself is the subject of heated debate… where the shadow of catastrophic war and destruction and even the extinction of all life hangs over our heads and the doomsday clock ticks ever closer to midnight.

Those of us who wear the mantle of Cassandra are compelled to document this dark future that we see humanity careening recklessly towards, knowing that it will be unappreciated and ultimately lost to the wreckage of time.

Still… we bear witness…. the last prophets of the last decade.