What A Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire

Tim Bennett, middle-class white guy, started waking up to the global environmental nightmare in the mid-1980s. But life was so busy with raising kids and pursuing the American dream that he never got around to acting on his concerns. Until now…

Bennett journeys from complacency to consciousness in his feature-length documentary, What a Way To Go: Life at the End of Empire. He reviews his Midwestern roots, ruthlessly examines the stories he was raised with, and then details the grim realities humans now face: escalating climate change, resource shortages, degraded ecosystems, an exploding global population and teetering global economies.

Bennett identifies and calls into question the fundamental assumption that has led to this unprecedented crisis in human history: that humans were destined to dominate the rest of the community of life with the Culture of Empire.

He pushes the dialogue where Al Gore did not go.

Powerful interviews with well-known authors including Daniel Quinn, Derrick Jensen and Richard Heinberg, and noted scientists William Schlesinger and Stuart Pimm, fill in some important pieces. Scathing and humorous use of archival footage is balanced with very human snapshot comments from family and friends.

On Walkabout, Bennett ends with an invitation to join him with courage and consciousness on the unexplored shores of a future not yet written.

One path leads to despair and hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.
~Woody Allen

Click HERE to go to the website

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  • thisbliss

    Took a quick flick at this 2 things which resonated:
    1. that animals go psychotic in a zoo, something I have seen. And something we have unwittingly done to ourselves in the form of civilisation and cities being our cage
    2. humans for the majority of our history had a relationship with the universe and knew how to relate to it. Then science was used to ‘run’ the universe

    • Monkey See Monkey Do

      Sounds like its romanticizing the past because
      1. The origins of culture began as a form of functional psychosis.
      2. Humans have barely related to each other let alone the universe.

      • thisbliss

        You could be right, but I’m an ol romantic at heart!

  • Ted Heistman

    I’ve become convinced that the Empire is actually not run on the greed of elites but on the laziness and need for security of the masses. I’d like to see a documentary about that.

    • David Duke-Astin

      laziness and need for security is what keeps the masses from noticing that the Empire is literally stealing from them…er….us.

    • echar

      I thought about making one, but then I came here instead.

    • Monkey See Monkey Do

      Its both. Then the question remains. What drives the greed, laziness and need for security?

    • echar

      The elites bank on that, so much so that the masses could take advantage of the complacency.

  • BuzzCoastin

    how come when someone wakes up to the bullshit
    they feel compelled to make a film about what they figured out?

    how come there isn’t a film about what is to be done after waking up?
    anybody know of one?

    • David Duke-Astin
      • BuzzCoastin

        thanks for the suggestions
        though I don’t think they fit the bill
        they are not typical entertrainment fare
        butt to me
        a film that depicts & postulates types of escape routes
        (e.g. films about sustainable living techniques or
        alternative economic structures that work or
        ways to live in the whirled but out of the System)
        would be more helpful & interesting

        • David Duke-Astin

          well, since those types of films would teach you to avoid profits, they don’t make them. it’s almost as if they don’t want you to ever think of it. Entertainment, especially films, teach us to hoard and to fear the unknown. they teach us to compete and covet and to eschew modesty and sustainability. culture is one of the chief propaganda tools of capitalism. I promise that you’ll find nothing in mainstream culture that transgresses the dominant culture in a meaningful way.

          • BuzzCoastin

            exactly
            a few years ago I decided to do some research
            on how to grow food
            this quickly expanded, because of info I found
            about techniques used to live sustainably &
            comfortably outside The System
            I now have about 100GB of docs & videos on the subject
            I’m now in the process of implementing
            the techniques I’ve learned

            films & books by & about the following people can be of help:
            Fukuoka, Bill Mollison, Geoff Lawton, Jean Pain, Sepp Holzer
            films & books by & about the following subjects
            can also be of help:
            permaculture, building with earth, solar energy, hydro-energy

          • echar

            They gave that away for free, and yes ask for support. So this is not true of this film. At the end, if you did indeed watch it, it suggests making a choice and getting involved in whatever way possible.

            This can include the sustainable living Mr. BuzzCoastin prefers. I see this film as in invite to those who are on the fence on these issues, and not so much for those long on the other side.

            Yes there are still people waking up, and we can facilitate a clear vision when they fully open their eyes.

    • echar

      Not every one is on the other side of the fence long enough to become smug about it.

      • BuzzCoastin

        to me it’s not about what I may or may not have achieved
        the comment is really about the plethora of info
        about the corrupt SYSTEM and its spawn
        (thank gog the Lusitania Truthers are all dead)

        I don’t think for a minute that most Americans
        view Der Homeland’s government as promoting their interests
        or see corporations as benign service organizations
        but they really don’t know what to do about it
        let alone how to go about it
        this is the missing piece of the puzzle
        rarely documented or discussed
        otherwise
        I’d have nothing to do except mind my own beeswax

        • echar

          I enjoyed this film. For me it offered new data, and I am aware that others may be long aware of all this. A collection of how to’s would be amazing.

          The only ones I can recall are Alone in the Wilderness, and part of an episode of Mountain Men, with that Ira dude. I honestly doubt there is nefarious reasons, such as Insta has suggested. Maybe anyone with the knowledge is more concerned about checking out, instead of checking in with the rest of us.

          • BuzzCoastin

            Proenneke did a much better job of it than Thoreau
            because the availability of useful information & resources
            were much greater 100 years later
            just as today
            information resources are now are even more widely available
            just 50 years since Proenneke built his cabin

            essential skills need to live outside the System:
            an understanding of magik
            an understanding of magic
            an understanding of teamwork & uku economics
            an understanding of the water, soil, plant exchange cycle
            an understanding of shelter building techniques
            an understanding of the properties of water
            an experiential knowledge of rules that can be bent or broken
            a willingness to live on the edge of experience &
            outside the boundaries of Normal

          • echar

            “understanding of teamwork”

            By my research, the thing that tore apart communes was having to live in close confines with others. The free wheeling approach towards to life and sex in general was awesome, in theory. In practice, relationships couldn’t handle it.

            That would be an amazing documentary. A group of people starting a commune from the ground up, or maybe sponsored by some interested and eccentric wealthy person.

            Showing each step with detail. It would take some bold people.

          • BuzzCoastin

            exactly
            most groups fail to comprehend the dynamics of teamwork
            especially those of Western culture
            most Asian societies have better group dynamics
            because reciprocity (uku) is part of their cultural heritage

            as opposed to some movie sponsored by an elite
            (too many of those already)
            it would be better to find a group and learn dynamics on the fly
            through direct participation

            OWS was a great school for that
            and not a final destination

          • echar

            I just threw that an eccentric wealthy person out there. Learning on the fly would likely be best. I wonder how that Welsh group made it happen. Too bad the courts had to intervene and ruin the party. Even though the case was won by the right people in the end.

          • BuzzCoastin

            ever notice that the only stories you find in the mass media
            regarding alternative communities
            are always about failure & collapse
            the two main reasons for this
            1. failure & hopelessness are what “they” want you to know
            2. successful alternative communities
            don’t announce it to the whirled

            whereas any attempt at all is a great leap forward
            for which wee lack the vocabulary to describe

          • echar

            I have noticed that they are not widely advertised. I have seen a few successful alternative communities talked about positively on shows. It makes sense that they wouldn’t want the attention.

            “a willingness to live on the edge of experience &
            outside the boundaries of Normal”

            We have to be honest here and admit that a percentage of people interested in this are likely to be poorly adjusted individuals. For instance take the recent internet famous Kai. “Home-free” back packer and wanderer.

            According to what he said the rainbow tribe folks took him in for at least a little while. A few months later he kills a dude because he was allegedly raped.

            There are some issues here.

            How are the way too weirdies to be weeded out?

            What about the rule structure?

          • BuzzCoastin

            see
            that’s always the spin
            danger at every turn
            if you experiment at the edges
            they’re all Charlie Manson ready to kill you
            meantime pigs kill at least a person a day in Der Homeland
            all processed food is poisoned with GMO shit
            the tap water is poisoned with chemies

            I’ve lived with outlaws in the wildo
            it’s not without it’s problems
            but not any more than anywhere else, really
            and when it comes to some shit
            frankly, you can’t escape fate

          • echar

            I would think if you have a community like this, Hells Angel types… with their uber aggressive ways are not the best people to be around. Frankly they are typically assholes and more likely to shoot. At least you know what they are about.

            I think you misunderstood me. There are maladjusted people in all walks of life, but there seems to be quite a bit in the marginal/alternative lifestyle circles. I am not saying all are crazy Manson Family types, I know better.

            I also know from experience that there are weirdies out there that will take whatever they can, because they can. Including lives. That is all, no need to get defensive.

          • BuzzCoastin

            but there seems to be quite a bit
            in the marginal/alternative lifestyle circles

            this is pure bullshit
            it’s not any more likely to be dangerous than normal society
            in fact
            normal society is far more dangerous
            but somehow danger has been made to appear normal

          • echar

            Alright I can’t prove that. It would be a concern of mine, if I lived in an alternative community.

          • BuzzCoastin

            right, I’m not making a judgement about this
            but each time I’ve mentioned interacting with the the fringe
            you have a serious concern about it
            but no experience on which to base your concern
            whereas I’ve had lots of experience
            and few concerns other than those
            that I’d be sure to have in Normalville

          • echar

            I do have experience, More so than most, maybe not as much as you. There were questionable people. I accept that you have had different experiences. I had no intention to insult you.

          • BuzzCoastin

            no prob, I’m not insulted easily
            and you and I have more than a few good back & forths
            I think it’s good
            to have lot of different perspectives to consider
            it helps create a bigger picture for everyone

          • echar

            Understood

          • echar

            Pardon, I worded the original question poorly.

            How does one attract beneficial members to their community?

          • BuzzCoastin

            it’s done by chance and good intentions

            for almost every alternative community I’ve visited
            the introduction depends upon meeting the right person
            who decides to let you in on the secret
            and each community
            seems to have been cobbled together the same way

          • echar

            Thank you. Good night :)

          • echar

            I think if the shit hit the fan hard in the West, that many would have to learn reciprocity. Many think they like royals or some such.

          • BuzzCoastin

            > Many think they like royals or some such.

            with good reason
            they are living the Subsidized American Dream
            oil, electricity & fake food
            are all heavily subsidized by Uncle Homeland
            (Canada, the 51st State is included in this)
            therefore it is hard to forgo cheap luxury
            or even rebel against it
            (Hey, the food is poisoned but it sher tastes good!)

            travel around the EU or Asia for awhile
            and one thing stands out clearly
            nowhere are things as conveniently organized
            to take money from you in consumer transactions
            as Der Homeland
            and miraculously
            everything fucking pretty much works
            something that’s true only in Germany & the US
            but Germany is nowhere as convenient

          • echar

            You better believe If I had an opportunity to live elsewhere comfortably, happily, and safely that I would.

          • BuzzCoastin

            ideas about comfort and safety keep most people on the sidelines
            being out of your comfort zone & safety parameters
            keeps one sharp, agile and ready
            then you can enjoy relative comfort & safety
            knowing you can live without it if necessary
            instead of being afraid of living

          • echar

            By comfort and safety I mean where my life isn’t seriously threatened. I have lived outside of my comfort zone for long periods of time.

          • BuzzCoastin

            I know a few people who go for that extreme
            but I know many who couldn’t live without modern conveniences
            and the American notion of safety is borderline mania
            as well as misguided

          • echar

            I’d like to have easy access to running hot and cold water. Be able to make coffee, and have access to electricity. I’d also like relative warmth, cover, and a bed.

            Access to a library is pretty awesome too.

          • BuzzCoastin

            BTW: Proenneke & Thoreau decided to go it alone
            really hard to do, since humans need other humans to survive
            there are ways to accomplish their goals
            without having to completely withdraw from society
            the Amish & Mennonites being the most widely known example

          • echar

            It’s really dangerous, to boot.