Now I noted in my review that there is a section set in the Iraq "war" that is a character's recollections. I thought it was well done and really put the reader "on the ground" in the senseless violence of Iraq from a journalist's viewpoint. I thought it didn't go far enough, however, in denouncing the criminality of that conflict, and so I was a bit uncomfortable with it. Still, I could forgive that. What prompts me to comment, are a couple of other passages in the book.
The first is from one character's internal monologue:
...I take a deep, shuddery breath to stop myself crying...it's everything: It's grief for the regions we deadlanded, the ice caps we melted, the Gulf Stream we redirected, the rivers we drained, the coasts we flooded, the lakes we choked with crap, the seas we killed, the species we drove to extinction, the pollinators we wiped out, the oil we squandered, the drugs we rendered impotent, the comforting liars we voted into office--all so we didn't have to change our cozy lifestyles...we summoned it, with every tank of oil we burned our way through. My generation were diners stuffing ourselves senseless at the Restaurant of the Earth's Riches knowing--while denying--that we'd be doing a runner and leaving our grandchildren a tab that can never be paid. (David Mitchell, The Bone Clocks, Random House, 2014 edition, p560-561)
I agree with his assessment here of the current state of the world. I don't completely agree, though, that it is because we are selfish louts consuming the world without thought, or care, that doing so is at the expense of the next generations. Yes, people do that, but they do so driven by a "dominator" culture that is parasitic to humanity and run by a psychopathic, patriarchal, oligarchy. It is these, at the top of the pyramid, that are ultimately responsible for our planet's destruction and I will not take the blame for them.
I did not vote liars into office. The system will only put liars into office, regardless of whom I vote for (if I have a vote).
So does that mean that you and I have no responsibility for the state of the world? No. I believe it behooves us to do what is right and to resist evil as much as we can. It's just that I will not, in doing so, pretend that the world's ills are a result of common thoughtlessness (basically, gluttony). No, there is a driving evil for this that we have not been able to overthrow in ten thousand years.
It is best not to engage in mindless consumption as if the earth were a limitless resource, and so believe that tomorrow will always be like today. That is delusion and it is a support of the oligarchs that they depend upon. We can fight them, and erode their system, to the extent that we can come out of this delusion.
Now considering the above, there is another passage in The Bone Clocks that I found most interesting and probably indicative of Mr. Mitchell's mindset:
Unthinkingly, I've looked up at the sky. My imagination can still project a tiny glinting plane onto the blue...a jet airliner, its vapor trail going from sharp white line to straggly cotton wool. (David Mitchell, The Bone Clocks, Random House, 2014 edition, p565)
This is a description of a small part of what we see over our heads every day: high flying airplanes leaving long aerosol trails that don't dissipate, but expand into cover like (ugly) "straggly cotton wool." This is Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering (SAG) that is currently the principal means for the oligarchs' destruction of the earth. In averring that this describes a "vapor trail," perhaps Mr. Mitchell has reached another line that he cannot cross.
As an author, David Mitchell is currently enjoying a popularity and influence that rivals J. K. Rowling at the height of her Harry Potter series. So it is fascinating to me to see that he even touches on issues that lead to a consideration of the world as it really is. Most fiction writers do not. They stay within the accepted constraints of their genre, as imposed from above.
Perhaps if we can cross that line ourselves, in our thinking and in our actions, we can encourage our artists and bards to do the same. It is only there that we have any chance of finding a better world.