Here are two things that are indisputably correct:
- Digital media is a cruel, fickle industry that is perpetually teetering on the verge of a total implosion thanks to razor-thin sustainability margins and the hovering flock of venture capitalist vampires eager to suck the lifeblood out of everything good and fun online.
- The planet is on an unalterable course toward total climate meltdown that will render whole cities — if not entire geographic regions — uninhabitable, causing unimaginable human suffering and seismic shifts in civilization as we know it.
With those two cheery truisms in mind, I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve figured out what I’m gonna do with myself when both the digital media landscape and the actual-landscape landscape are inevitably underwater: I’m going to drive a zamboni in Duluth, MN.
As it happens, The University of Minnesota-Duluth’s Amsoil Arena has indeed put out a call for not one but eight aspiring zambonists (zamboners?) to ice down the rink for the upcoming season of UMD Bulldog hockey. And while I’ve never actually driven a zamboni before, I have to imagine that it’s both not all that hard to do, and is extremely satisfying. I’d guess it’s like driving one of those big rakes they use to smooth over zen garden sand, or like smoothing the fibers on a microfleece blanket so that they’re all pointing the same way. Only while you’re doing that, an entire arena full of revelers is there, cheering you on. You can probably have a beer while you’re doing it, too. Sounds great!
As it also happens, Duluth is one of the few places in this country that might not simply survive a global environmental cataclysm, but actually thrive while the rest of the world burns (or freezes, or floods, or all three). And wouldn’t you know it, Duluth just so happens to be my mother’s hometown, and a place I’ve visited almost every year of my life, in summertime (lovely) and winter (less). Is it a bustling metropolis? Hardly, but it’s got a pretty cool music scene, some nice waterfront views, and — again — is currently hiring a fleet of zamboni artisans.
I’m not saying living in northern Minnesota at the cusp of another potential ice age is a totally flawless plan. There’s the cold, and the Nazis, and lately, the bears. But when the ice caps finally melt, and the Discourse Blog servers are 30 feet below sea level, I know where I’m gonna be: humming contently as I turn my perfectly smooth brain to “autopilot” from atop a zamboni. It’s a perfect plan.