The earth is burning up with fever, generating defenses to vanquish its anthro-parasitic pathogens.
Shopping for Body Parts, Wood Cut, 11/5" x 18", Richard J Van Wagoner, Courtesy of Van Wagoner Family Trust*
I don’t buy into creation myths, end-time beliefs, or the notion that some deity has mapped out an apocalypse and is hovering for just the right moment to swoop down and repair the human-caused destruction, turning the earth into a Garden of Eden for the *righteous – whoever they are – for a thousand years. God isn’t going to fix these human-caused or -perpetuated problems.
The Orchard, Oil on Canvas, 36" x 48", Richard J Van Wagoner, Courtesy of Van Wagoner Family Trust**
If it exists and is underway, however, the rapture seems to be gaining momentum among religious-based anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers. Unfortunately, we cannot isolate into covid colonies those with the underlying co-morbidities of stupidity, hubris, and selfishness. These are the hills they are dying and killing on. They’d rather burn it to the ground – literally – and facilitate, perpetuate, and propagate deadly multi-variants to pandemic proportions than concede they’ve been hoaxed by conmen, money ministries, or their own idiocy. Dead they might be, but at least they had their freedom. Who cares if—in the true spirit of Christ—they deprived it from those who needed and were more deserving of it?
Willendorf Revisited, Watercolor, 36" x 50", Richard J Van Wagoner, 1994, Courtesy of Van Wagoner Family Trust**
Hosting biological evolution for much of its existence, the earth, I suspect, is set on the survival and propogation of productive life. But it is also on course to annihilate the rest. Just getting warmed up, the earth will win this battle; it will be just fine, I predict, and the pandemic with its multi-variants will become endemic and temperatures will continue to increase until we collectively come to our senses or are naturally deselected by human-created circumstances that make our existence unsustainable. Once we are gone, the earth will breathe a sigh of relief, forests will flourish, and oceans replenish in the milllennia to come.
Sheparding, Oil on Canvas, 36" x 46.5", Richard J Van Wagoner, Courtesy of Van Wagoner Family Trust**
During my life, the world has faced the irrationality of nuclear annihilation. It now (also) faces the dual existential threats of global warming and deadly virulent pathogens. Nature and the earth appear to be tougher negotiators than the Soviets. Tinkering with policy is now a fool’s errand. Governments, the United States’ in particular, seem impotent to address these crises. Indeed, the forms of government in the United States – federal, state and local elected officials with zero required skills beyond the ability to pander and deceive to remain in office and advance the interests of carbon-based dark money that purchases them and their elections– render this consumer-based country particularly unfit to respond in meaningful ways.
*My brother the very talented fiction writer and novelist, Robert Hodgson Van Wagoner, deserves considerable credit for offering both substantive and technical suggestions to https://medium.com/@richardvanwagoner and https://lastamendment.com. Rob’s second novel, a beautifully written suspense drama that takes place in Utah, Wyoming, and Norway, dropped on November 17, 2020. Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple Bookstore and your favorite local bookshop, this novel, The Contortionists, which Rob himself narrates for the audio version, is a psychological page-turner about a missing child in a predominantly Mormon community. I have read the novel and listened to the audio version twice. It is a literary masterpiece. The Contortionists, however, is not for the faint of heart.
**Richard J Van Wagoner is my father. His list of honors, awards and professional associations is extensive. He was Professor Emeritus (Painting and Drawing), Weber State University, having served three Appointments as Chair of the Department of Visual Arts there. He guest-lectured and instructed at many universities and juried numerous shows and exhibitions. He was invited to submit his work as part of many shows and exhibitions, and his work was exhibited in many traveling shows domestically and internationally. My daughter Angela Moore, a professional photographer, photographed more than 500 pieces of my father's work. On behalf of the Van Wagoner Family Trust, she is in the process of compiling a collection of his artwork. The photographs of my father's art reproduced in https://medium.com/@richardvanwagoner and https://lastamendment.com are hers