November 2, 2016

Hello Good People Of Earth

Hello good people of Earth, still the nicest planet in the known universe. While my longest break from blogging since 2009 was very relaxing, I really missed writing here. I missed the interactions that we have while sharing thoughts and ideas.

Most of all, I missed sharing our deep desire to live differently upon this planet that we love so much.

Therapist William Glasser writes that humans' deepest desires are: 1) to love and be loved, and 2) to do something one believes is worthwhile.

For Linda and I, maintaining the Not Buying Anything blog fulfills both. Here we express our love for Earth, for nature, and for all of you who visit here. When we read comments together, we feel the love from readers. We like it a lot, and think it is a worthwhile effort.

But an occasional break is nice.

Since our summer sabbatical began there have been oil spills, impassioned pleas to check global climate change, the strangest US election I have ever witnessed, and an over-the-top militarized response to peaceful protesters with legitimate concerns.

But still only crickets from the MSM and most of the general public. Where is the outrage?

20 years ago we had a coffee mug that said, "If you aren't outraged you aren't paying attention."  Two decades have passed, during which time things have continued to deteriorate, and still no outrage.

Linda and I talked recently about updating the slogan for today's situation. We came up with:

"If you aren't outraged you may be a brain-dead zombie."

Except instead of stumbling around saying, "brains!", we say, "More shopping!" "More money!" "More stuff!" "More!"

What does it take to get the attention of consumers across the land blithely pretending that nothing is wrong with the state of the world, and that their actions aren't directly contributing to the whole mess?

Obviously this blog must go on. Thank you for all your encouragement.  It is good to be back.


  1. It is SO good to have you guys back. I've missed reading your words of sanity. I'm in NZ and the US election is very strange and so unlike anything I've ever witnessed. I completely understand the need for a sabbatical. I often take one and just potter about my garden growing food and planting flowers that look beautiful and making delicious healthy food for my children. It's not important to anyone else but it is meaningful to me and those I love. I'm unsure what the millions of Ultimate Consumers are thinking but I'm thoroughly enjoying not being one of them. xx

    1. Karen,

      It really is SO good to be back. While our break was everything we wanted it to be, and more, both of us missed hanging out here with all of you. Our lives were more simple for a while, but more lonely, too. This has become an island of refuge in the sea of consumerism for us, too.

      This summer we went at the speed of pottering. Gardening, making wholesome food, spending time with loved ones - what else is there? How can you beat that? Short answer is, you can't. No amount of money or stuff can improve on that.

      Realizing that is extremely liberating, and I am thrilled you and others here are living proof of this. I am so happy that people are sharing their stories of the simple life so that the Ultimate Consumers can see that it is all right to let go of stuff and simplify.

      Better than alright. For Linda and I, it has been the best decision we have ever made. Less shopping, more pottering. That is my vision for all.

  2. Good to see you posting again. The world, our country, is changing so much, it's scary. Lately I feel like I'm in a body snatchers movie and I'm the one walking around pretending to be one of the "brain dead zombies," when I'm not. I'm living in a place where mostly everyone's views of the world are different than mine. Most conversations revolve around sports, gossip, and bashing the president. I recently met a like-minded person and we had a political conversation in a whisper, like we'd be arrested if anyone heard us. I feel lost, like I'm losing my identity, which I realize now was a high price to pay for warmer weather. I'm thinking it's time to move on to another place, but to where?

    1. Clamco,

      We have been thinking a lot about you, your family, and all our American friends over the past few months. There is a lot of strange shit going on down there. Come to think of it, there is a lot of strange shit going on every where right now.

      It is increasingly hard for me to relate to mainstream lifestyles and the preoccupations and distractions that come with that whole world view. I keep on waiting for professional sports to die from lack of support as people turn to more important (and less violent) concerns. Not yet, I guess.

      You are right to be paranoid - the way things are going it is going to soon be illegal to speak the truth, or fight the power. Or protect the earth and water and sky.

      One reason we moved here was for a more reliable source of water than, say, a place like the prairies where rivers may run dry in the summer after the glaciers in the mountains entirely melt away. Guess what? This past summer here in south west Nova Scotia was the driest since record keeping began in the 1800s. Many rural wells went dry.

      Where to move is an excellent question. It seems that no where is safe now. But some places will be safer than others. Hope you are all safe down there. Hang in there - we are with you.

    2. Clamo, I relate entirely to every word you wrote. I am in the same boat. I've experienced much of what you say especially in the deep south, USA. It is really hard to find like-minded people and I too have experienced having to be under cover so to speak with some conversations. It feels fake. It is fake. Numerous times I've been respectful of another person's opinion regarding sensitive subjects like politics or religion. I've ventured to share a watered down version of my own views while asking for the same respect. Numerous times I've been bashed and verbally attacked for expressing my watered down views in an attempt to be more authentic. It just doesn't work here. Not at all.

      Yet I know if I don't go along with it somewhat, I have no social contact at all. For me, that is an extremely hard place to be. I am not a loner. Though I'm somewhat an introvert, I do need social. I need connection. I need face-to-face. So I have to do a lot of pretending or rather keep my opinions, beliefs and views to myself and just let them assume whatever they need to assume in order to fit in just enough to get bare minimum of my social needs met. It sucks. Big time. It does kind of steel my identity away from me. It's very hard, you have my compassion and empathy.

      Gregg is point on, go where the water is. Back in 2007, I took a 21 day solo camping trip. I traveled all over CA, OR, ID, WY and NE. Though I found a few areas I think would be more my kind of place, the water problem out west was starring at me the whole time I was out there. So I decided to not to move out there.

      That's a sad thought that Nova Scotia had the driest season since before the 1800's and that wells went dry.

      The sports thing is not going away any time soon. Recently, I learned that every high school football game locally here earns the school district $40,000 USD in gross revenue. As long as there is that much money made at the high school level, we'll have high school football, college and professional football. It's not going away. I'm flabbergasted at how many people actually get their identity tangled up with a football team. Around here they say, "I'm a Gamecock." which means they identify with the state university football team name. It sound ridiculous. But they are most serious about it.

      I'll continue with, there is something fundamentally WRONG with a society that pays a football player millions of dollars to destroy his body.

      There is a lot of shit going on here. You are right, Gregg. It's a very dark night of this country's soul. On one hand we have people with so much apathy and denial about what is going on. They just keep shopping and going to football games. On the other hand we have people with a great deal of hostility and no shyness about expressing it. I've encountered things I thought I would never encounter. Heard things I never thought about, never imagined people would actually say.

      Other than reading a few headlines I've had to turn the news off even public radio. It is just too much. I'd love to think that the crazy stuff will calm after the election, but I fear it will elevate to near crisis or beyond. It's impossible to predict what could possibly happen. Meanwhile, I just try to stay safe and get enough money to keep paying for food and shelter. We are in uncharted waters on many fronts.

    3. Terri,

      Best to focus on the food and shelter and hope for the best. Tomorrow will be an interesting day.

      Besides the community here on NBA, Linda and I don't have many like-minded social contacts. But we have each other, and take great comfort in that. It's not like we switched to an alternative lifestyle recently - neither of us has ever been attracted to the mainstream, so we are used to feeling somewhat isolated socially.

      It is hard to relate with what passes for "normal" culture these days. Far too violent and savage for our tastes. I read an excerpt of "Quitting Football" by Steve Almond which was quite excellent. He says, “I happen to believe that our allegiance to football legitimizes and even fosters within us a tolerance for violence, greed, racism, and homophobia.”

      But why pick on football? It is probably an unintended consequence of ALL militaristic team sports.

      Humanity is learning, and some things are getting better, but holy crap we are a slow bunch. It takes us hundreds of years to figure things out, sometimes millennia, and some things we are destined to never learn because we seem to be a little challenged as a species.

      But it has been a very interesting experiment, and I do wish us the best possible outcome. It could still happen. When the SHTF we can be pretty good at pulling together and getting through tough stuff.

      Think good thoughts. I firmly believe it matters.

  3. Yes, we have work to do! :)
    I love your update to that slogan, and might add that the "food" most people are polluting their bodies with is having equally deleterious effects on their minds. I just watched a great documentary titled "That Sugar Film" by Damon Gameau that illustrates the crisis nicely. Faux-food=materialism and lack of compassion for others.

    Viva la Food Revolution!
    -Erin in TX

    1. Erin,

      Yes - revolutions are coming, and faster than even I suspected. Your "faux-food=materialism and lack of compassion for others is blowing me away. Have to think on that one for a while as it makes so much sense.

      Food is the best medicine. My garden makes the best food. Therefore, my garden makes the best medicine.

      We will be looking for "That Sugar Film". Thank you for a bit of enlightenment for the day.

  4. Welcome back, you've been missed! Speaking of mindless consumerism, I too just watched a great documentary: The True Cost. I hope you'll watch it (if you haven't already) and share it far and wide with your readers!
    Again, glad you're back delivery weekly doses sanity :)

    1. Lexie,

      Always looking for more documentaries from which to learn. "True Cost" sounds great. Will look for it, and share far and wide.

      Have to share the sanity while it is still legal. It IS still legal, isn't it? Glad you are with us.

  5. Linda and Gregg ,welcome back.I am doing fine and almost could call my self no consumer. Take care and good wishes for everyone. Saffron. (Australia)

    1. Saffron,

      Yahoo! We will not call you a consumer. Or ourselves. It is a good thing not to be. Here we are simple. And happy. Glad you are doing well, and are still with us. You have been very patient, and we appreciate that.

  6. Glad you both enjoyed your break. You have been missed!!! Thank you for this sane blog in such a crazy world.


    1. Renee,

      I don't know how sane it is to be speaking out these days. Now our country is putting journalists under surveillance by the police, something I thought only happened in other, more repressive countries.

      I can't help think of the story of Cassandra. There are a lot of truth tellers in prisons around the world.

      If our systems aren't failing, why all the repression of the free exchange of information and truth as we know it? NBA will be pointing this out as long as it is legal. And until they imprison us if made illegal.

    2. And after the internet closes down we will be distributing pamphlets on street corners.

  7. Glad to see that you're back.
    I ask myself that very question almost daily. How can people not be outraged? How can people sit idly by while the world keeps being destroyed? How can people not see that their very lives depend on the well being of this planet and all of the life-forms on it? Everything is inextricably connected, and to kill any part "outside" of ourselves, is to do the same to our own bodies.
    It's a combination of factors, I believe. Cognitive dissonance which would then lead to either denial, avoidance, and burying their heads further in the sand, or actually opening their eyes to the reality of the situation and educating themselves on all of the atrocities. It also has to do with selfishness and a mentality of everyone out for themselves, to get what they can while they can get it at whatever cost, consequences be damned. I also think a lot of people feel helpless, because they feel that they're just one single person on a planet of billions of people, and they feel their actions are insignificant to make a change and they see how the government and corporations and people in power bulldoze over anyone and anything that gets in their way...and they have militarized forces and police to do the bullying for them as well.
    We need more people bringing the truth to light and speaking out. Most of all we need action to make real change. I don't know how or what kind of actions, but words can only take us so far. We need people to stand up not only for themselves, but for all other beings and the earth as well and take responsibility and to realize that while they may not be directly responsible for the myriad of atrocities committed world-wide, that sitting by and not doing anything IS a choice too, and that we are just as responsible for our part in letting it happen.

    1. I ask the same questions you do, Pagl. I'm glad you used the term cognitive dissonance. It's rampant and rarely spoken about. It's a big part of the problem too.

    2. Pagl,

      Awakening to the state of things can be painful, and you just can't un-know that stuff once awareness happens. For most people in privileged countries, it requires a wholesale alteration of one's beliefs and values, away from what we were taught.

      That means that in order to avoid cognitive dissonance, we must change our behaviours. Again, a painful move. Everything conspires against awakening in our culture. We are stuck in the warm cotton-wooly embrace of control by consumerism. So enticing, so comfortable, so convenient.

      But our very survival depends on resistance and breaking free from any and all control from outside our selves. If everyone was committed to taking care of their own behaviour, and the welfare of all, would we need police? Would we need giant corporations? Would we need a government?

      It is all coming to a head. I wonder which side we will choose in the end? The militarized police and corrupted officials, or the Earth Protectors? Each of us must decide. I am glad you are with us.

  8. glad to see you back. keep on rockin' in the free world!

    1. Anon,

      "There's a warnin' sign
      On the road ahead
      There's a lot of people sayin'
      We'd be better off dead"

      - Neil Young

  9. Thank you so much for your return to blogging, you have been sorely missed :)

    1. Anon,

      Is this real? When I read all these super positive comments I am thinking, "Mom? Is that you?"

  10. Good to have you back and to have our little community active again. I've miss you all!

    1. Miss Marla,

      Linda and I have been waiting for you to let us know you are out there. So nice to have everyone back, plus so many more we have not heard from before. Very exciting when things grow like they have. Together we can do this thing.


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