*****All photography on this blog is by me, unless otherwise stated*****
About me first I suppose; my name’s Jan. I’m a 27 year old vegan male. I am the proud parent of a vasectomy, because overpopulation in the Earth’s bane! I’m disabled with a severe chronic nerve pain condition. I have a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from UC Irvine. In March of 2012 I completed a 22.5 month stay in Illinois prisons for possession of cannabis with intent to deliver (read: financial desperation after being denied multiple times for disability). I have written 6 complete novels, as yet unpublished–but I’m going to keep writing, they have to get out of me and I do it because I love it! I’ve had a several articles published in the Earth First! Journal, and a poem about my time doing post-Katrina relief work in New Orleans published in the Louisiana English Journal. I’m on the editorial board of the Green Theory and Praxis Journal.
This is a blog dedicated to the necessity of developing a culture of resistance to the industrial megamachine that is laying ruins to the planet. Through the overpopulation of civilized humans, development and habitat destruction, logging, factory farming, agriculture, the burning of oil and natural gas, mining, industrial fishing, the production of commodities, the building of dams, civilization and most especially industrial civilization is causing the sixth mass extinction of plants and animals in the history of the planet. Not since the time of the dinosaurs, 60 million years ago, have species gone extinct at a rate close to now. This is not natural. There is a normal “background” rate of extinction. But now, thanks to civilized humans, that rate is 100 to 1,000 times higher. Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson estimated in the mid-90s that we are driving 30,000 species extinct every year. We are also driving ecosystems to the point where they can no longer support life, and are close to collapse–if they haven’t already. This is a global holocaust, an unprecendented crisis, and it must be stopped–by any means necessary.
The purpose of this blog is to raise awareness of these issues, and to further discussion on strategies for bringing down the system that is imperiling all life on the planet, including ours. It focuses on the western United States because that is the area I know. I’m going to use this medium to show how spectacular the natural features of the west are–and to demonstrate that what we have left is fragments, scraps–and finally to give some idea of what it might have been like before the dominant culture destroyed most of it. In that way, we might know the glorious future we may eventually have in store for us. If, that is, we take appropriate action.
But I also have passions for many other social justice issues. Everything is connected. When one is oppressed, none are truly free. And it all started with the domestication and domination of the land.
****It is very important that radical environmentalists build alliances with every other progressive social movement–I want to build allies using this blog as a tool.****
This culture is not redeemable. It cannot be reformed. It must be destroyed as soon as possible, because every day that it stands, another 120 species go extinct, and we come ever closer to collapse. Peak oil is here. Everything in our highly technologized society depends on huge inputs of fossil fuels to even exist–our food, our water, our cars, our infrastructure, our houses, our cities, our TVs and computers and widgets–ALL of it would not be able to be produced without massive amounts of fossil fuels. They are a finite resource, and they’re running out fast. The system as we know it is going to collapse. It’s just a matter of when. The longer it stands, the more poisoned our air, water, and soil will be. The longer it stands, the harder it will be for the planet to recover afterwards. For us to recover. We must return to small bioregional communities that depend exclusively on that which the land in our immediate area can provide indefinitely, without destroying it. That is the ONLY true measure of sustainability.
However, I recognize how all issues are connected. Some people will not be reached through talk of dead zones in the ocean or orangutans going extinct in 20 years. And I care about many different interim political issues. So I will discuss other things that matter to me. For example: LGBTQ rights, animal liberation, eco-feminism, disability rights, human rights, women’s reproductive and abortion rights, medical (and recreational) marijuana, the liberty of all people to do whatever they want so long as they don’t infringe on another’s liberty–in other words, true freedom, civil rights, prison abolition, and so on. I hope to look at all these issues, though, through an anti-civilization lens. To keep my eyes on the prize, you might say.
The Rewild West is not just a blog and photography project, but is also going to be my first nonfiction book. If you have any other questions about me or the project, or if you’d like to get involved in any way, please contact me (JanSmitowicz@gmail.com). Thank you!
Here’s a picture of me sitting on the stump of a murdered Ponderosa Pine, who was undoubtedly a very old, large, and beautiful individual.