Are you a person of your time?

For each of these questions, the first response proposes what, though immoderately mendacious, nevertheless corresponds to what commonly seems the most probable, and he who believes choice #1 to be true can glorify himself with being a "person of their time." The second choice no doubt implies a certain distrust with respect to the greatest consensual stupidity, but also implies an almost as great ignorance of tragic, modern reality. Finally, the third response, the most scandalous, is unfortunately the only true one, as can be ascertained by all attentive readers of the Report on Planet Earth (Editions Stock), the specialized medical press and several other, better distributed newspapers.

The 13 questions of this text, reproduced here, concern the current state of our planet, the merits of our modern social organization, the life expectancy that one can expect and, finally, some general contemporary problems. As for the form and tone of the questions, they must natural appear outrageous to those who still entertain dangerous illusions about the current disaster and who thereby contribute to it.

Our Planet

Deserts: The new agricultural techniques and the movements of the global economy have modified the importance of desert lands.

1) The deserts currents recede 15,000 hectares per year.
2) The deserts have not practically receded for two centuries.
3) The desertification of land currently and irreversibly grows at 15,000 hectares per day.

Pollution: Eight to twenty thousand tons of toxic chemical products are emptied into the atmosphere every day. A report by the Environmental Protection Agency,[1] reviewing 320 products, recognized that 60 of them, unfortunately, are carcinogenic.

1) These 60 products are submitted to the norms of pollution [control].
2) Only 47 of them are submitted to such norms.
3) Only 7 of them are submitted to them.

Famines: industrial agriculture, the market economy and its political consequences cause the death by malnutrition of 20,000 children.

1) in the last 10 years.
2) each year.
3) each day.

AIDS: According to the World Health Organization, the AIDS epidemic will affect 30 million individuals in the next seven years. Professor Montagnier has discovered the causes.

1) He has affirmed that the AIDS virus is the only cause.
2) He has also evoked certain "co-factors," which are exclusively microbes.
3) He has evoked other "co-factors," "tied to our civilization," and particularly pollution and malnutrition.

Our Society

Suicides: Our social organization, described as "hedonist" and "permissive," has succeeded in changing life. Thus, in France, over the course of the last 15 years, adolescent suicide:

1) has decreased 8 percent.
2) has increased 8 percent.
3) has doubled.

Drugs: For certain psychiatrists, drug addiction is a species of "chronic suicide." An investigation by the Center for Disease Control[2] in Atlanta, revealed that a third of high-school students had consumed drugs.

1) at least once in their lives.
2) in the course of the preceding years.
3) in the course of the preceding month.

Illiteracy: According to the Group for Permanent Struggle Against Illiteracy, some French people pass through school without learning to read or write.

1) This phenomenon currently affects 1 in 1,000 people.
2) It affects 1 in 100 people.
3) It affects 1 in 5 people.

Violence: Violence, racism, xenophobia and inter-ethnic conflicts are spreading through out the world. History has shown:

1) such conflicts can endanger a modern State.
2) a modern State has the means to master them.
3) a modern State can create them whole so as to prevent the disorders that it fears more.

Life Expectancy

Infectious diseases: Each year, the pharmaceutical industry produces new antibiotics. And so, in France over the last 10 years,

1) infectious mortality has decreased 7 percent.
2) infectious mortality has hardly decreased.
3) infectious mortality has doubled.

Cancer: The modern treatment of cancer and its early detection have modified the prognosis. In the twenty-eight most-industrialized countries, between 1960 and 1980,

1) cancerous mortality has decreased 7 percent.
2) this mortality is still quite important.
3) cancerous mortality has increased by 47 percent.

Cardio-vascular illness: These illnesses cause almost a third of global deaths. In the course of the last 10 years, cholesterol-free diets and the progress of cardiac surgery have modified their importance.

1) Such diseases have decreased 3 percent.
2) They have almost ceased.
3) They have increased 23 percent.

Iatrogenic illnesses: Each year, French people die from the medications that they are prescribed.

1) Each year, this drama affects 30 French people.
2) In fact, it affects nearly 300 French people.
3) Each year, it affects 30,000 people.

The Great Problems of Our Time

Global energy: There is at present a conflict between the partisans and the adversaries of nuclear power. Nevertheless, one must know that

1) nuclear energy is without danger to the public health.
2) so-called alternative energies are less dangerous and just as efficient.
3) these fabulous quantities of energy -- the efficiency of which one discusses -- only serve to make the immense apparatus of modern oppression function.

Public hygiene: Many carcinogenic substances contaminate our food.

1) The public services make sure these substances are kept to the low-side of a dangerous threshold.
2) It is necessary that we ourselves, with the help of independent experts, keep watch over them.
3) The phenomenon of syncarcinogenesis, known to all cancer experts, means that there exist no "tolerable thresholds," and that such an idea is a mediatic bluff or a lie by the State.

Information: The relations that the media entertain with the economical and political powers involve the objectivity of information. Nevertheless, one knows that

1) the press and television are independent from all financial and political pressure.
2) the media is obliged to lie about everything to protect their protectors.
3) the media hardly ever lie, since what they report has been permitted and precisely intended to be reported by the media.

Contemporary history: A civilization is a coherent ensemble of economic, social and ideological connections. It is easy to understand from what preceded it, and to verify in history,

1) that our civilization is likable because each year it overwhelms our wishes for prosperity, happiness and health.
2) that our civilization is indestructible, because it makes work for it all of the forces that must disorder it.
3) that no civilization triumphs with impunity over life and that cancerous cells kill, despite their success.

[1] Translator's note: English in original.

[2] Translator's note: English in original.

(Published in 1993 to accompany the publication of Michel Bounan's La vie innommable, Editions Allia. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! February 2008.)

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