Thursday, August 6, 2009

Nearby owl

Great-horned Owl high in a tree, not fifty yards from here. I'll never get a look at him, since it's dark out, but what a thrilling sound --

"Who Who Hoohoo! Who Who Hoohoo"!

This place ain't so bad...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Is Money Slavery?

A friend of mine sent me an email containing an article in which the author posits that in the capitalist system we are all slaves, and assumes the conclusion that money itself is indeed slavery. What follows is my reply, with a few of my thoughts on the matter. Please forgive the tinges of saltiness, which are atypical for this blog.

This is all well known, and we accept it out of habit and laziness. The only way to make it in capitalism is self-employment/entrepreneurship and ass-breaking hard work. Everyone is a slave to some degree. Even those who have already made it are slaves to their own way of life.

As the writer says, the only way the system will become unseated is through the loss of confidence in our sense of place. When the shit hits the fan with the environment, everyone will become an entrepreneur simply to survive, or they will lose out completely. When we realize our unbreakable connection with the world and our need for a resurrection of civilization, there will be an opening to make things right for all time. If that doesn’t happen, get ready for another 4000 years of hell. Personally, I always hope for the best — and expect the worst.

Unfortunately there isn’t enough activist energy available to fix everything that needs fixing. I try to point out to people (even the “rich”) the necessity of having a sense of place, feeling one’s feet on the earth, and living the Golden Rule. Those simple things seem like our only hope other than waiting for a disaster; however most people react to the suggestion with quizzical disdain, a sense of foreignness. Quixotically, I keep hoping...


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Summer changes, 2009

Once again, sorry for leaving you hanging. I know, it's been a long time. That's how it goes sometimes.

I have moved out of the cabin in the woods. It was getting too risky to live there and too expensive to keep up. For starters, the squirrels had taken over in the attic and were starting to chew through the walls and the wiring. There was no insulation in the attic to begin with, and when it got cold in the New England winter all the heat I was able to manufacture with a couple of inefficient space heaters and a wood stove went right out the roof. The siding was rotting in places on the outside, again leaving the place exposed to the elements. And the roof leaked in a couple of spots. To top it off, I had two trees fall toward the house as a result of lightning strikes, taking out the electrical wiring from the pole and causing destructive shorts in some of the outlets. In a nutshell, it was time to go.

Due to a chronic illness I was able to get a clean, well-maintained apartment in an apartment complex for elderly and disabled people. It's been a godsend; life is now easily livable again. It is no smaller than my cabin, two clean rooms with kitchen and bath. The sunlight is only fair, although it's better than in my woodsy abode. I'm not as close to nature as I might like, although there are plenty of birds around. I have a feeder which has been attracting scores of tufted titmice, black-capped chickadees, white- and red-breasted nuthatches and American goldfinches. I also have a regular downy woodpecker, and an occasional red-bellied woodpecker. Between them they consume a ton of black oil sunflower seeds, but they are an endless source of pleasure during the day. I do miss my deer, and my wild turkeys, but this town is full of natural features, and I'm sure I'll see my share of true wildlife. And the Audubon sanctuary is a scant two miles from here. I could do a lot worse.

So that's my current update. In the coming posts there may be some more personal stuff than has been posted before. Let me know how you like the changes, and the blog in general.