May 21, 2022

Choices?





I can buy a thousand different tooth brushes, but I can only vote for two main federal political parties. 

What kind of choice is that? 

What if neither choice is attractive? Then what?


Left or Right?

Neither.


Green consumerism or ordinary consumerism?

Neither.


Internal combustion or electric car?

Neither.


Work for this boss or work for that boss?

Neither.


By framing our choices they limit our choices and our freedom to live more richly and intentionally.

They go as far as to tell us there are no other choices, that what what we see now is somehow inevitable and unchangeable.

Have we forgotten that there are other choices available to us rather than the strictly limited officially sanctioned ones?


The West or The East?

Neither.


Capitalism or communism?

Neither.


City or suburbs?

Neither.


White meat or red meat?

Neither.


Beer or spirits?

Neither.


Old World Order or New World Order?

How about No World Order? Is that a choice, too, and if not, why not?


The choices they give us aren't choices. They are more like threats or demands to maintain our compliance.


Going strictly with the narrow narrative on anything restricts thinking, choices, and freedom.


Choose not to choose any of their limited choices. Make your own choice.


And in closing, do we really need thousands of different makes and models of tooth brushes? 

They have this choice thing backwards. 

Important stuff = very limited choices.

Unimportant stuff = dizzying array of choices.

Both situations are paralyzing. 

Perhaps that is the result they intend.




May 19, 2022

7 New Normal Job Opportunities

A Rag and Bone Man.






Some observers think the Western lifestyle is going medieval and soon. I am a little more optimistic, figuring that future lifestyles will regress, but not that far.

Although the western empire does seem to be on the edge of collapse, instead of conditions similar to the 5th to late 15th centuries, our new normal is likely to rhyme with the 17th century, with some lines from the 18th.

Whatever things turn out like, it sure won't be The Jetsons with flying car and robot servants. Nor is the billionaire colonization of space in their phallic rides likely to happen.

Rocket Limousine Space Driver may not be a lucrative career path. 

The following job opportunities might be more realistic.



1. Rag and Bone Person (Recycler)

2. Repair Person (of anything)

3. Farmer/Market gardener

4. Rickshaw Operator

5. Ice Cutter/Storage/Delivery Person

6. Rabbit Wrangler

7. Bicycle Mechanic



If I were a young person, rather than get a paper route, I would invest in a sturdy sack or push cart and start eyeing out potential routes through which one could call out to householders along the way,

"Rags, bones, metal! Rags, bones, metal!"

One could start a new ancient career that has not been seen in these parts since Victorian England.

I know of a local recent graduate that has been investing in farmland and equipment rather than try to fund a pricey higher education. 

Doesn't that sound like fun? 

The future won't necessarily be worse than today. Some of us will find that it is better.

What job opportunities would you recommend for a young person blazing a trail into the New Normal?



May 15, 2022

Less Toil - More Hiking






Henry David Thoreau was an avid practitioner of walking and hiking. I am, too.

Everybody needs to escape to places one can go to heal and gain strength in body, mind, and soul.





Thoreau said that "every walk is a sort of crusade, preached by some Peter the Hermit in us." 

Besides being a personal mini-crusade, a walk in nature is also a natural anti-depressant. 

The smell of mycobacterium vacii, a microoganism fond in soil, compost and leaf mold, lights up neurotransmitters that release serotonin, which is a mood-lifting brain hormone.

I have never felt part of society, but have always felt completely comfortable in the wilderness. Maybe that's why.








During a hike in the woods I am the trees, the water, and the rocks. I forget about everything else.

This is it. The landscape absorbs me, takes me in, and it's as comfy a home as one will ever get.

This is my element, my centre, my very being. 

I can live without a lot, but I can't live without this. 

It is the essence of my simple living project. 

Less time toiling for the odious machine, and more time walking and hiking in nature.






Less civilization, less society, less cultural programming, and more wild spaces. 

There are no billboards here, no signposts, no sidewalks, no noise.

I can't remember any time that I didn't feel like escaping the hubbub of modern industrialized life. 

If our system is so great, why do so many want to get away from it all? "Escape" is an entire lucrative consumer category these days.





For me there is nothing better than regular periods of silence and solitude in nature. 

I highly recommend it. It cures all that ails us, and currently, there is an awful lot that ails us.





Listen to your inner hermit, plan your own crusade, and get out there today in the name of health and healing. 











April 27, 2022

Shut It Off - Shut It Up



“The essence of totalitarianism — regardless of which costumes and ideology it wears — is a desire to completely control society, every aspect of society, every individual behavior and thought. 
Every totalitarian system, whether an entire nation, a tiny cult, or any other form of social body, evolves toward this unachievable goal … the total ideological transformation and control of every single element of society 
This fanatical pursuit of total control, absolute ideological uniformity, and the elimination of all dissent, is what makes totalitarianism totalitarianism. 
Thus, each new totalitarian system, at some point in its evolution, needs to launch a purge of those who refuse to conform to its official ideology. 
It needs to do this for two basic reasons: 
(1) to segregate or otherwise eliminate actual political opponents and dissidents who pose a threat to the new regime; and 
(2) and more importantly, to establish the ideological territory within which the masses must now confine themselves in order to avoid being segregated, or eliminated."

- C.J. Hopkins

 

A couple of things about corporate/government advertising/propaganda mind pollution. 

1) It's everywhere, it's getting worse, and
 
2) No one likes it except those that benefit from the spreading of this mental excrement. 

What to do?

Shut it off at the source, and drastically improve your mental space.

They want us programmed to work-buy-comply-die, and to do so unquestioningly. 


Nope. 

It's simple. 

Shut it off, and shut it up. 

Cut the flow off, free yourself and emancipate your mind.

End the illusion. Share what you learn far and wide.




April 24, 2022

Most People

This guy. He doesn't do what most people do.




Most people want more.


Most people avoid the truth because they don't want their precious illusions shattered.

Most people will comply with orders, no matter how outrageous.

Most people believe we are defending democracy when we bomb a country into dust and execute its elected leader.



Most people automatically give authority figures their respect.

Most people say they are not affected by advertising, but still buy things that are advertised.
 
Most people will not choose voluntary simplicity, even if it will save them and the Earth.

Most people do what other people do.


I investigate what most people do in order to determine what NOT to do.

For just because most people are doing something, does not mean it is the right thing to do.








April 23, 2022

No-Energy Food Storage: Carrots In A Moss Bin





I have been experimenting with a forest moss bin in our unheated garage for the storage of garden carrots for the past two years as a no-energy method for preserving our food.

This year, after our garden carrots (and beets) were used up, I put store-bought carrots in the bin to see how they would make out.

The carrots start growing again. When the carrots went in, not a root or top growth was to be seen on any of them. 

After many days in the moss, take a look! 

The long roots snake through the moss, which I keep hydrated over the season with occasional half cups of water sprinkled around.

I have never seen roots or new tops like these on store carrots while in their plastic bag in the crisper of my fridge. 

Moss bin carrots last longer, and can be stored for months rather than weeks. We can stock up when carrots are on sale, and not worry about them going bad.

And best of all, I find that any carrot stored in the bin tastes fresher than carrots kept in the fridge. 

Bonus: saves energy, which saves money.

Bonus plus: the moss can be returned to the forest as the weather warms up, and any parts still alive will grow again.




April 22, 2022

Earth Day 2022 - Love Your Mother





Earth Day 2022. The 52nd Earth Day. 

Their motto this year is "Invest in Our Planet". 

Doesn't that mean that you expect some kind of return, some profit from this investment? Are we that callous and selfish that we would sell out our own mom?

Wow, imagine the state we would be in if we didn't have those 51 years under our belts leading to the state we are in today.

My alternative motto this Earth Day, is "Love Your Mother". 

You wouldn't sell your Mom out to the highest bidder. 

You wouldn't knowingly hurt your Mother. 

And if she was sick, you would drop everything and make her health your #1 priority over everything else.


We have been tricked into selling our Mother to the bankers, in exchange for what WE want, to fulfill OUR limitless desires. The sacred bond has been broken.

"In this state of total consumerism - which is to say a state of helpless dependence on things and services and ideas and motives that we have forgotten how to provide ourselves - all meaningful contact between ourselves and the Earth is broken. 

We do not understand the Earth in terms either of what it offers us or of what it requires of us, and I think it is the rule that people inevitably destroy what they do not understand.” 

― Wendell Berry


When Berry writes about the Earth, he also understands it to be the Mother of All.

We have forgotten that The Mother of All offers us everything. This relationship requires us to show her our love, gratitude, and respect in all we do.

She will do everything for us unconditionally and for as long as she can. Today she is sick.

What will we do?

Remember our love for our Mother. 

Maybe by the 53rd Earth Day we will begin expressing that love through every thought, decision, and action. 

When we do that, current abusive systems will be blown away. This planet, and all its inhabitants will begin to heal.

Peace and harmony will reign. 



Years of digging the Earth,
Searching for the blue sky,
Piling up layer upon layer
Of mediocrity.
Then one dark night
The ceiling blew off,
And the whole structure
Disappeared into emptiness.

- Muso






April 21, 2022

Consumerism Explained Part III





After only 100 years of material excess, workers in consumer nations are witnessing the beginning of life with less stuff. 

It was unofficially over when they announced that in the near future "you won't own anything". 

The training and pressure to consume has been intense since the 1800s, but especially since the 1920s. 

Since then virtuous workers citizens consumers have done what they were told, for the good of everyone. Shopping was sold as a patriotic act in a classic mind control operation. 

Work, shop, repeat. We were drawn into a fake new world.

And now, the matrix is closing in.

"You should feel lucky to have food!" is the new, "You should feel lucky to have a job!"

Post-consumerism is a state that was destined to come from the beginning, and this had to always be known. 

But there were minds to infect, and profits to be made.

Consumer propaganda went so deep that our fears and negative attitudes have been internalized. We don't realize they are not our beliefs at all. 

We assume they are simply "the way life is".

Now it is becoming more apparent that a life based on endless consumption, waste, and disconnection from nature and each other, is neither possible nor desirable.

This is not the way life is, or ever was, or ever will be again.

They lied, and now they are in a panic.






April 17, 2022

Consumerism Explained Part II





The Circus of Consumption is producing so many distractions for us to devour that the ring masters are getting wealthier from us being entertained to death.

People who are entertained endlessly will hardly even notice when their world is crapified for profit.

Our being harmed and killed by the entertainments, distractions, and propaganda is simply a fringe benefit for the operators of this infernal machine.

Just because we aren't consuming a material thing does not make consuming "entertainment experiences" any better for us. 

Especially if they are pre-packaged crappy experiences.

The most troubling thing is that while this is happening there are no cries of anguish to be heard from the chronically entertained.

The only cries are for "More, more, more" of the same three rings simultaneously slinging mental sludge.

We can't turn it off, and we can't get enough. The consumer circus goes on.

Or does it?


April 16, 2022

Consumerism Explained Part I





In a consumer society you can buy anything you want. 

Any time you want it.

Mostly you can buy happiness. 

It's fleeting, and fake, but by making repeat purchases forever, everything will be fine.

Isn't that marvellous?








April 9, 2022

Power Of The People




Archimedes said that if you had a lever large enough, you could move the Earth. 

Accordingly, if you had enough people and the necessary handholds and place to stand for everyone, you could lift the Earth.

The Amish show this to be true, albeit at a smaller scale. 

In this video they model the power of the people and what can be done when we work together.

Competition has it's place in nature, but manufactured artificial "survival of the cruelest" competition for the benefit of the few is socially corrosive and unnatural.

There are more examples of cooperation in nature than there are of competition. There are both.

In human society, the mix between the two has been put grossly out of balance, and we are now seeing the full effect of fake, imposed competition where cooperation would naturally reign.

Surviving and thriving on Earth is a cooperative activity. If we don't start tapping into the power of the people, working  with each other and with the greater natural community, we are done.

Note to self. Bumper sticker meme idea: "If the Amish can do it, why can't we?"

We can get together and move the Earth. Or anything else we choose.



April 4, 2022

The Shaker-Fuller Test





I found the Spring 1969 Whole Earth Catalogue ("Access to Tools") online today. It was my go-to book back in the day, and it felt comfortable seeing it again.

In the Purpose section the publishers say, "So far, remotely done power and glory - as via government, big business, formal education, church - has succeeded to the point where gross defects obscure actual gains."

The Catalogue was meant to help redress power imbalances in society, and help people start to take care of themselves.

A little further in I was looking at references to Buckminster Fuller's books. 

When I read about what Fuller wrote about the importance of beauty in problem solving, I thought of groups like the Shakers.

Fuller said, 


"When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty... but when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.







The Shakers didn't need to think of of beauty when they created the things needed to solve the problems of life since arriving in late 1700s America from England. 

Their work has always been a sacred pursuit, and a job well done a form of worship. 

The result was durable, practical, and beautiful things, the designs of which endure to this day because they can not be improved upon.







Humanity needs broader solutions that are as beautiful. 

That should be the sniff test - 


1) "Is this solution as simple as it needs to be, no more and no less?", and

2) "Is it beautiful?"






I call it The Shaker-Fuller Test.

Have a proposed solution? Is it needlessly complex and not beautiful for everyone and the planet?

Then it is not viable.

Next.







Thinking beautiful thoughts is our first step. 

Then, we make those beautiful thoughts into simple, beautiful solutions.

Surely this is possible for big-brained beings that consider themselves to be the most intelligent, highly evolved life form in the known Universe.




See the Whole Earth Catalogue here. Note: it appears to be a scanned copy.



April 3, 2022

Billions And Billions Saved





Because of my interest in satirical art, I learned about William Hogarth, an English painter, printmaker, pictoral satirist, and social critic from the 1800s. He was possibly the original editorial cartoonist. 

If Hogarth started visual satire for the masses, the artist known as Mr. Fish (Dwayne Booth) has been working on perfecting it. 

When I saw Fish's "Billions and Billions Saved" artwork I thought of the most conventional thought experiment going - the "Killing Hitler" scenario.

In this mind mashup one theoretically averts all the horrors of WWII by going back in time and offing young Hilter before he and the Nazis had a chance to come to power.

When I saw the picture above, I thought that one might save more lives in a time travel thought experiment of "Strapping Ronald Into An Electric Chair" scenario.

Imagine, if you will, the theoretical time traveler offing him and his inventor, Ray Kroc. before the deadly duo had a chance to sell all that killer fake food. 

Hitler, or Ronald thought experiment? 

I wonder which would save more lives?







 

April 1, 2022

April Fools Day Cancelled





Things you do want to hear, "April fools!" after:


- "Because of the way you think, we froze your bank account until further notice without evidence or trial."


- "There's a ______ (food, energy, truck driver, everything)  shortage."


- "All our leaders have failed us."


- "We're out of coffee."




Things you do not want to hear, "April fools" after:


- "War is over, and peace has broken out everywhere."


- "The effects of global supply chain breakdown have been mitigated by import replacement and bolstering community resilience."


- "Our lame leaders and corrupted systems have been replaced with more effective alternatives."


- "Shortages are temporary, and we will be back to normal shortly."


- "I love you."






March 28, 2022

Save Money On Food And Energy... At The Same Time







Lately we have swapped our online time from The News to more healthful pursuits, such as Learning to Cook More Vegetarian Dishes. 

We are using the infinite cookbook that the internet has become, which is a much better use for it than being a conduit for mind-bending propaganda.

We have been very happy with the results. By cooking all our vegetarian food, and using the thermal cooker extensively to do it, we are saving money on food and energy at the same time.





Question:
What is in the thermal cooker tonight?



Answer:

Baked curried spiced sweet potato, cauliflower, onion, and garbanzo beans so good that eating this dish felt like doing a round of yoga, or laughing, or being on a mountain top at sunrise. 

Or all three, simultaneously.












Yes, we like it that much.

This veg dish is flavoured with olive oil, paprika, cayenne, cumin, salt, black pepper, cinnamon, and lemon, all of which do wonders for vegetables. 

In our experience, the more spices the better, and we try not to hold back. We want this dish to take us right back to India, and it does when done right.

Plate up with a generous garnish of home made yogurt. 












We made eight pita bread to accompany our meal.


The result?

A guaranteed nutrient high. The light burn in the mouth, and general feeling of well being lingers as a reminder of what just happened in the kitchen, the mouth, and the stomach. 

It's downright transcendental.

The News NEVER has that effect on us.


Question:

Why a thermal cooker? 


Answer:

There are many advantages to thermal cookery.

1. Don't have to watch dishes as no danger of burning, or boiling over. 
2. Foods done in the cooker almost magically reach perfection in cooking. We have rarely overdone anything.
3. Cooked foods stay warm and ready for serving for a long time. Eat at your leisure when you are ready. 
4. Save 50 to 80% in energy costs. This is one of our favourites. 


Note: 

We use dry beans because they are the most cost effective. Using the thermal cooker to make our beans reduces the amount of time the beans must be on the burner. 

First we soak all beans to be cooked in water overnight.

Then we drain beans, refill water to 2.5cm above beans, simmer on stove top for an hour, then 2 to 6 hours in the cooker, depending on the bean and what consistency is desired.

We cook three cups of dry beans at a time, then use canning jars to freeze 500 ml portions to use later. 

Our freezer currently holds a few cans of our own 3 bean mix (white, chilli, and kidney), chick peas (garbanzo beans), and soy beans.

For the dish in this post we used a can of the cooked chick peas done in the cooker earlier. 

The beans and the veg was all mixed together then mixed with the spices in 1/4 cup olive oil. We placed it in a baking dish in the oven at 350 for 15 min. 

After that we put it into the thermal cooker to finish off and keep warm (30 - 60 min).





This is where we learned this vegetarian dish, which has quickly become a favourite.