Fire, Feminism and Collapse: Part 2


Time to continue the bottle slingin’

Upon first glance at Gail’s blog Wit’s End, I connect with the sense of artistry that we seem to share.  She posts many images to her blog, all designed to help her share her thoughts both visually and textually.  I’ve always been one to visualize my thoughts and am most clearly a visual learner.  She also posts many images of (and in) nature…which I also connect to.  I feel the most spiritual when I am surrounded by nature.

I suppose it makes sense that I can connect to a female author’s blog much faster than a male blogger’s corner of the net.  However, upon inspection, there are a few less welcoming aspects to Club Orlov.  Orlov’s blog typically has one or two images per post. (The Age of Limits post being an exception)  His written word is shrunk by the banner of self promotion that careens down the right side of the screen. (Can’t blame the guy for trying to make some cash off of his readership, I guess).

Also…I don’t really understand the premise of naming your blog “club *insert author’s last name*.”  This can easily come across as a bit egotistical…but maybe I am just not seeing the entire picture here.  I mean…I DID just read the guy’s blog for the first time yesterday.

It should also be noted that I respect both authors for what they are attempting to do in the doomer community.  Spread the word, share their knowledge, give us some fair warning…all that.  I have just heard about Gail because of the debate I’m discussing in both this blog and the last (good thing there was a debate so that I could learn about her, right?), but I have been aware of the name “Dimitry Orlov” for a few years now.  My husband (author of Epiphany Now) has been following Orlov and his blog for years.  He owns most (if not all) of his books.  He respects the guy, and feels that he is an intelligent voice to listen to.

Anyhow, I’m writing not to belittle the knowledge and authorship of both Club Orlov and Wit’s End…but to instead give a “newbie’s” interpretation of both authors and their messages, while also chiming in about the bit of rivalry that has seemingly arisen between them.

Onward to my response of Gail’s written word and visual stimuli:

I’ve obviously been on a “Mothering” kick, as you can see in the past few blog posts.  Our second son is three weeks old today…so I suppose I have good reason to be bursting with nurture.

Gail seems to be focused on nurturing Mother Earth and protecting our throne (Nature/our shared planet) throughout her blog.  When first reading Orlov’s comment about Gail being a part of the 1% via an SUV escorted tour of dead leaves…I was intrigued to find out what the hell he was talking about. Gail is highly concerned about trees dying from pollution and climate collapse in general.  Valid concerns.  Any one who understands that our bodies need to breathe oxygen to survive should be concerned about the future of our trees, at least.  So…after reading both sides of the attack, I find Orlov’s jab and comment poke about “dead leaves” to be a bit callused.

“To be able to criticize, one must first rise above that which you wish to criticize.”- Orlov

I will state, however, that I’m not sure that all of the photos of trees and leaves that Gail posted on her blog are proof of her theory.  I’m no expert in horticulture, but I’d guess that poor soil conditions might cause some of the fallen leaves, maybe even some of the disfigured, withered leaves to appear.  Now, are poor soil conditions a part of the Earth’s dangerous CO2 levels that she speaks of?  I’m not sure…but I’m skeptical.  Maybe the trees she photographed were affected by all of the vehicles pulling up into their habitat to attend the conference?  Perhaps they didn’t care for the burnt petroleum coming from their tail pipes?  Just sayin’…I’m curious.

My curiosity led me to this article about Maple Tree Decline, in particular.  Looks like I’ve got a point?  (any correction or input is appreciated).  Although I assume Gail was photographing leaves surrounding the Age of Limits Conference and not an Urban area, there is still an argument to be made about the affect of vehicles invading the habitat of these photographed trees?  I’m still unsure…she did mention that all different species of trees were affected.  Hmm…

Overall, I applaud Gail’s concern for nature and the dying trees and plants who are a part of it (I’m a plant lover, myself).  I seem to notice that Males (especially male doomers) are more focused on the political spectrum of collapse study and debate.  So there’s some basic male vs. female generalization for ya.

I admire both Orlov and Gail in their ability to share their belief systems openly.  I’m just saddened to see the battle of words slung around like the wet mop used to clean up the alcoholic spillage off the bar floor after the roadhouse romp has been played out.

The beauty of free thinking and free speech, as especially pertaining to the written word, is that we can all focus on the things that concern us most.  We can be passionate about these topics…but we cannot belittle those who are focused on a topic that we don’t care to pay as much attention to.  That is, we can’t make fun of someone for being hellbent on saving the bees when our own belief system says that we are facing a much larger problem, say…human extinction. (Which I haven’t really researched into and at the moment, don’t really believe is a possibility within my lifetime or the lifetime of my children).

In short, don’t poke at someone’s belief system as related to the big picture of what we should be concerned about in this world.  Just be glad that they are showing concern about important issues that surround us.  They could just be concerned about making sure their football team beats their rivals, and nothing else.  Football being a topic that I could give…maybe a pinched off shit about.  Football= the little picture.

Once Gail began describing her visit to the Age of Limits conference, I instantly connected with her reasoning for attending such an event.  Aaron and I wished that we could have attended the conference, wholeheartedly, however unrealistic and ambitious that wish may have been (I had just given birth at the time of the conference).

Being a 30-something child of the 80’s…I don’t find may people my age with whom I can connect with when it comes to my belief system of how I think the access to infinite resources will end.  I’m still in the early stages of acceptance when it comes to understanding that collapse is coming.  I’m not sure if I’d be able to give an educated opinion about how fast I believe said collapse will arrive…but I sure as Hell believe it is coming.


The infancy of acceptance.

I am at the stage of understanding, as of late, in which I’m beginning to expand my reading coverage of the topic of collapse.  Before, I was just prepper hoarding useful materials that could be helpful to us when collapse hit: seeds, mason jars, needle and thread, gardening and cooking know-how.  But still, no matter how deep I am into my collapse infancy beliefs, when I read Gail’s words, “No matter how peacefully collapse is internalized, it’s really lonely if you know hardly anybody else who shares that perspective.”  I understood.  I had felt the emotion of those words before.

I also felt hope for acceptance after reading this paragraph:  “I approached the weekend as a watershed event in my own personal journey towards reconciling with the irreversible and unavoidable morass that characterizes our foolish predicament.  After five years since learning about the converging catastrophes that loom in our future (indeed have already begun), I am ready to move past grief, past attempts to persuade, and on to calm acceptance…and finding something worthwhile to do with the time that remains other than track the path of decline.  It was refreshing to find it’s possible to share bemused laughter at our intractable conundrum.”

Hopefully, with the support of my partner and online community, I will be able to get to the stage of true acceptance much quicker than 5 years from now… 😉  I’m thankful for those who have lived this process of awakening before me!  It helps me move along through the process much more fluidly than it was for the early doomers before me.  I’d imagine there is much more information out there for the new batch of Neos than there may have been before the “green” movement.

Further into reading, I saw that Dimitri Orlov’s speech was not the only one criticized by gender issues from the members of the crowd.  Apparently Carolyn Baker was also approached by issues.  She told a fable of a wife who practiced getting close to a tiger to help her husband overcome his PTSD rage after returning from war.

There were a few women who looked at the story from the perspective of the tiger…who they felt was abandoned and neglected of trust after the wife had achieved her goal of attaining a whisker.  A strange perspective on the overall message of the story…  I feel that the tiger in the story, if it felt any form of loss…was probably more upset that it wasn’t getting fed every day vs. depressed about being abandoned.  I doubt that it felt betrayed.  I think it might probably be more on the HUNGRY side 🙂  I also feel as if the women who made this comment MIGHT possibly be animal rights activists…who are a little on the extreme side of their support of animal preservation?  Are we preserving the feelings of animals now…I mean, since we know what they are thinking and how they feel and all?  Sure…the tiger may very likely go through a bit of depression after the story’s wife stops coming to him daily.  But…how do we not know, without being a Dr. Doolittle, that he tiger was depressed because he missed the juicy tenderloins he’d been gobbling up over the past few months?


Then there was a point made by a few women in the audience who complained of the apparent weight put on the story’s wife to perform the role of nurturer because this husband had made the decision to go to war.  This husband, they complained, was putting undue pressure onto his wife by choosing to go to war in the first place…making the wife the victim of the actions of her husband and the PTSD he’d been afflicted with while at war.

Well, well well…could these women have possibly been married in the past?  I find this doubtful.  In my opinion, a husband and wife are a TEAM.  Surely the wife and husband discussed the man’s decision to go to war in the first place, right?  I mean…did he just come home one day and say, “Hey honey, pack your shit, we’re moving!  Oh, and… I’m headed off to war!  Hang in there while living alone!  I don’t care what you think about my decision.  Peace, woman!”


Here, one might argue that perhaps the husband in the story was a member of the armed forces, and that he HAD to go to war.  Perhaps the decision for him to go to war had been made for him by his superior officers and the Department of Defense.  But still, my point remains…didn’t the husband and wife discuss his decision to become an active member of the forces in the first place?  Think they might have made that decision together?  A good husband and wife would.  A healthy husband and wife always communicate their true feelings and thoughts when an important decision is made that involves both of their futures.  Because I feel this way, I find the audience members response to the topic of “it was the man’s decision to go to war” pretty flippin’ ridiculous and downright annoyingly feminist.  In fact, it is this sort of logic that makes the word “feminist” pretty close to a slur in the minds of many.

Enter our adversary, Dimitry Orlov, and his presentation on communities.  Orlov’s question and answer session was RIPE for some feminist fueled debate.  Carolyn Baker’s presentation seemed to get the estrogen protection flowing…so when Dimitry spoke of communities that were patriarchal and known to carry histories of abuse among their community members…a wildfire was sure to erupt once the comments were welcomed.

Orlov’s mistake of mentioning an Amish “gunshot wound” inside a discussion involving all things domestic violence really got them going.  So, when he continued into his question and answer session by discussing how Russian women believe that feminism is a failed experiment in the west…and then carried on even further to claim that the Pussy Riot women were idiots (which he may have stated to try to get a quick laugh?)…it is no wonder that the women hung around after the speech to shoot eye darts at him in their firing circle.  Mr. Orlov should have spoke before Ms. Baker, I guess.  At least the attackers aren’t sexually racist when it comes to picking their targets, right?

To the speakers’ defense, it must be fearfully difficult to answer any question appropriately among a group of highly passionate doomers.  For instance, “Hey Dimitry!  You’re facing animal rights, freedom of speech and PTSD…Fuck one, Marry one, Kill one…annnnnnnd…. GO!”

Looks like this bar fight between Gail and Orlov, as seen in their blog comments, may have started up just before “last call for alcohol.”  That roadhouse was, again….RIPE for a fight!



One thing that I have truly noticed, being new to the idea of collapse, is that those who are “aware” are also passionate.  They are, in fact, usually passionate about more than one basic issue, too.  I suppose it makes sense that when you are of the opinion that the entire structure for which our society is based on is set up to fail, you might want to be informed and loaded with mounds of facts to back up your claim.  This requires one to be passionate about their belief.  If you have researched the idea that our industrial civilization is eventually going to regress or cease to exist…and STILL believe that it will after said researching process…you know what he hell you’re talking about.  You are PASSIONATE, downright LUSTFUL about your beliefs.


passion flower

Passion Flower

Passion (from the Latin verb patī meaning to suffer) is a term applied to a very strong feeling about a person or thing. Passion is an intense emotion compelling feeling, enthusiasm, or desire for something.

The term is also often applied to a lively or eager interest in or admiration for a proposal, cause, or activity


(yes…I keep using Wikipedia references…which, I am aware can be altered by just about anyone with a brain…but when I use these references, I agree with their definitions)

Note this particular Wiki definition’s Latin root:  “Pati:  meaning– TO SUFFER” Well, well,welllll…there we have it, doomers.   We have gotten so deep into our beliefs, so deep into acquiring the TRUTH, that is, that we are destined to become passionate about said beliefs and are therefore, destined to SUFFER for them.

Sadly, this suffering will include arguments between not only those who have not yet been awakened to the truth, but also among our fellow believers…our DOOMER COMMUNITY.  Let’s try to remember this the next time one of the main passionate speakers in our community has the balls to get up in front of a group of OTHER suffering, open eyed, open eared sponges to give their thoughts and emotions about topics that we all agree upon.

Can’t we all just be tolerant of each others opinions?  Time to ban together, put down the broken bottles and help clean up the mess, folks.  Let’s just all go have some coffee, eat a little fruit, over at The Diner and talk it out like adults.

passion fruit

Passion Fruit


4 responses »

  1. Gail blames ozone for the tree damage. I had not heard that until I read her comments on ClimateProgress that then lead to her blog.

    But step away from her blog and one can check the National Crop Loss Assesment Network – an agency that was tossed aside by the Bush admin after they pretty much learned all the needed to know. Namely, that background levels of ozone clearly hurt plants (some crop losses are up to 18%)

    See the pics from a USDA report See the tables of crop loss. See how simple is the experiment

    Now there is not much research funding to duplicate these studies – since nobody wants it to be true — but it is very simple to do – Setup two greenhouses, remove ozone from one (simple filter), leave the background O3 levels in the other. Water, watch and record.

    Very simple. No need to read blogs about this. Even the EPA says that high tropospheric ozone exposure longer than a few hours are declared harmful to humans too. Just ask the Olympic athletes in LA.

    Or check most large city air quality recording stations..Background levels are rising – it comes from any carbon combustion. . oh just look for yourself. I like it when bloggers can introduce me to new ideas or overlooked science – but I prefer to validate it for myself.

    Now forget personalities and check for yourself. When you google, I invite you to be very selective in the studies – stick with university or government studies. The Europeans have done much. And the EPA has a great bibliography on the damage that ozone in the lower atmosphere can do.


    • Thank you for providing a few leads in where to find further information about ozone damage. This is a topic I have not researched. Sticking with university or government studies makes sense. I know that there are a lot of opinions about important topics out there…and I would never use someone’s personal blog as a end-all reference, so no worries there.

      Gail and yourself have introduced ideas worth validation. I only had questions about the brief explanation found within the singular blog post that I read from her blog. Had a I been a regular visitor to Wit’s End, I may not (should not) have had those questions.
      Thanks again for providing some insight into her thoughts. I did call out for an answer and all… 😉 (any correction or input is appreciated)…and your response is appreciated!


  2. For those interested in listening to a recently uploaded Podcast with “Monstaa of Doom”, follow this link!

    The interview includes commentary from Monstaa, William Hunter Duncan (Blog: Off the Grid in Minneapolis and myself.

    Also, check out Gail’s response to these blog posts over at the Diner:

    Join the diner and reply! 😉


  3. Pingback: Fire, Feminism & Collapse: Part II | Doomstead Diner

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