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Monthly Archives: January 2010

I don’t have any rambling thesises today. No rants or raves or annoyances or lunatic platitudes. You’ll have to check Glen Beck’s Web site for that. The only thing I’ll offer up today are a few links that might not appear connected at first but after reading both (it will take some time) you’ll see both dovetail into each other. For a further explanation, check back Monday or Tuesday.

Link 1: Ecological Unconscious

Link 2: The First Humans (first PDF link on the page)

339 and counting. That is how many days I have left on the lease at my current address. I want to move to the country side in 338 days. Unfortunately, that cost money, and my current job isn’t a gold mine. So today begins the first day of fighting back against consumerism. To date, I’ve lost battles in some of the most horrible ways. Gruesome injuries and deaths of fellow soldiers have beset me. Take the battle of the latte as an example. I spend between $90 and $120 at one coffee shop per month. Not only is that glutinous, but it is a huge chunk of change that I could be stashing away for a down payment on a few acres in the country. With that money saved, I’ve got about $1,200 towards my goal, not a small amount for me.

In addition to putting money in the bank for a farm, this reduction in spending will also serve as a reduction in my participation of a system that is morally bankrupt. Thus redemption by thrift becomes a triumph.

That’s the plan at least.

An earlier post, Work work work, all day long, talked about how physical labor is freeing. I’d like to elaborate on that. Physical work, the kind that involves your brain and body, is freeing because it creates a self-reliant person. The man (I’m going to use man as substitute for human just because I want to. It’s not meant to offend or be misogynistic) who can fix his property is freed from depending on the repairman for service. Even better, he is freed from the consumer market because, while his counterpart who doesn’t have the knowledge of repair must buy a new product, the self-reliant can simply fix the old one.

To me, the person who embodies all of these qualities is the homestead farmer. Do not confuse farmer for the poor saps who drive enormous machinery and command vast acres of deserts masquerading as forest of corn and soy beans. Those fools are so indebted to the banks and federal government that they can never know freedom. In fact, they pass that same indebtedness to their children. They are slaves who think they are free.

The farmer I idolize is the one who raises enough crops and animals to feed his own and has enough left over to sell or barter with neighbors to get all of life’s other requirements. Look for the callous hands and crows feet from squinting into the sun and you’ll know what farmers I am talking about. They have sausage link fingers on the claws they call hands. They haven’t spent a day in a gym but they have the strength most gym rats would kill for. Spend a summer bailing hay and you’ll get a taste of the physicality needed to be a farmer. Spend a year planning for planting and harvest and you know the intelligence these people have.

Honestly, once I have the capital, both in monetarily and mentally, I will quit this rat race of journalism and take up a much more pastoral existence. Wanna join?

This post inspired by Wendell Berry, a fellow Kentuckian.

Injury. I don’t think there is a dirtier word in the English language. It has so much weight behind it that when you hear it, it feels like John Henry hitting you in the chest with his sledgehammer.

So few things in life remain the same;  you lose a job, get a job, move to a different city, make new friends, forget old ones. The one constant for me has been exercise. I’m not some meathead or a someone who weighs their food to make sure they don’t put on an extra quarter pound, which would translate into carrying an extra 6.5 pounds in a marathon. I’m just a guy who likes to run and lift weights. I feel like exercise is a fundamental part of being human.

As I write this, there is a dull pain in my left foot. I’ve felt it before. I know what it is. I’m in denial now, but am soon moving on to acceptance. It’s a stress fracture. It’s not a huge deal. I’ll stay away from running for a week or two, but damn it. Not being able to take off and run for a half hour is depressing, it’s like loosing some freedom, stuck in a prison of my own making.

Normally I’d transition into some weightlifting but I hurt my right shoulder while moving into my new apartment. I sit here a broken man, unable to lighten my burden through my typical means. These are the times when I want to smoke. I need some stress release, some way of getting outside of myself for a while. I don’t even think I could make it through a Yoga routine without aggravating one of my injuries.

Now I play the waiting game. I sit, and I wait. Which will give first, my need to find relief, a.k.a, drinking too much on a week night, then walk to the gas station to buy a pack of cigarettes. A decision I’ll regret only after I’ve smoked half the pack over the course of several days. Or will my injuries heal quick enough that whatever stress I develop can be held inside without rupturing. I’m not sure. I’m praying for the latter but expecting the former, and this is the first day (Jan. 19, 2010) I’ll miss a scheduled run. It’s going to be a long few weeks.