Who Are These People And What Do They Want? Part 5

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Walter Yuschak is a big fat red-faced guy who shaves his head because he noticed his bald spot was growing and decided to get proactive about it. Here ends the physical description. He’s more defined by his voice anyway, which is kind of high and rasping — not pleasant, but penetrating and hard to ignore. It’s gotten him his own weekly TV show. He has a verbal tic — he can't help prefacing his remarks with "Listen," "Listen to me" or "Pay attention." This tells you a lot about him already.

A lot of people don’t like Walt, but he sees himself as a man of strong convictions who expresses them proudly and has an excellent sense of humor. He can laugh off any insult you throw at him, and expects everyone else to be able to do the same. As a result, he is often dismayed and frustrated by the inexplicable sensitivities of others. This is what being an asshole feels like from the inside.

Walt supports Pratt, but is much more of a libertarian. As he often says, “I’m more afraid of the government than I am of the weather.” (Which, if one just goes by human history, is a pretty reasonable opinion.) He doesn’t want Western civilization to collapse, but if it does, he’d rather it go down Mad Max style than 1984 style.

Which is how he gets himself on the Brownlist — repeatedly insisting, on the air, that the massive and agonizing serial weather disasters (110°F weather in the South, two and a half feet of rain in the upper Midwest, etc.) are nothing more than a normal change in the earth’s climate that wasn’t caused by human activity and can’t be changed by human effort. It isn’t just that he’s afraid of his taxes going up, or of the government using this as an excuse to claim power over more aspects of his life… although that’s a big part of it.

No one would ever believe this about Walt, but in addition to being smart, he always takes the long view. In this case, what he sees through that view scares the hell out of him. If this really is the dawning of the Age of Anthropocene, if the collective activity of the human race has become a force of sufficient power that care needs to be taken not to damage the livability of the planet… Walt doesn’t want to live in the world that that implies. He doesn’t want to be constantly monitoring what he’s doing and how much fuel is involved. He really, really doesn’t want somebody else monitoring his doings for him. If the universe has become such a minefield, he’d rather do a faceplant onto a mine and end it all quickly than have to watch every step for the rest of his life.
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