The People of Earth

Chump Change, 2013 An Acrylic Painting by Artist Bill Rangel
Chump Change, 2013
28"W x 22"H acrylic on canvas

When I painted this image four years ago, I wrote, “Humans are of insignificant value to the planet if they are incapable of preserving it.” This week, Hurricane Harvey drowned the Houston area in rain of biblical proportions, wreaking havoc on a scale the size of New Jersey, which will cost billions to recover. Meanwhile, the Trump administration announced it’s gutting regulations to ensure infrastructure projects could withstand rising sea levels or meet the demands of severe weather due to climate change. And at the same time, they’re proposing to reallocate funding for disaster relief to pay for Trump’s border wall. And these are only two of the many policy shifts or regulatory proposals coming from this administration in the last eight months that are deliberately intended to destabilize the world and make life miserable for millions of people, all so that Trump and his cronies can make bank. The message I’m hearing is that the human condition, morality, and ethics mean nothing to our leadership. Humankind and the world are only the commodities of business, and our president acts like he is the CEO of everything visible. And, whether we like it or not, we put him and his accomplices in office. But this criminal, moronic, tragic, deadly and doomed trajectory we’re on is not a recent phenomenon. To get to the point of annihilation, it takes generations of conditioning and influence. Even though no one will be around to discover a suicide note when we blow the planet to smithereens, here’s how it should read, “Apparently self-destruction is an innate human trait we could not contain. And we’ve chosen to destroy the planet along with ourselves as quickly as humanly possible because if we can’t have it, we certainly aren’t going to leave it for the evil aliens. Regretfully yours, The People of Earth.”

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