Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What to Do While the Collapse Comes

Freeacre

Back in the early 70’s, when our generation felt like we were on the cusp of a wonderful transition and our parents felt like The End Was Near, a great little book was printed entitled, “What to Do Until the Messiah Comes.” It was all about massage. Touching, actually. It extolled the virtues and benefits of touching each other. If we look at primates and other animals, they do it all the time. Preening, and cleaning, and cuddling together when it gets cold or scary. That’s what we do to comfort and to nurture and take care of each other. Back in “the day” friends used to smoke a bowl, listen to tunes, dance, and give each other back rubs all the time. It was free and it felt really good.

Since then, our culture has turned to more materialistic and expensive pursuits that require great investments in gas guzzling toys and gear and such, all of which are put on credit cards to enrich the rich. But, I have a feeling that, with any luck, we are going to be returning to those things that we can do for little or no money, and that feel better anyway. To that end, I would advise to put some attention into your sense of touch. Notice if your awareness extends through your fingertips. Don’t be one of those people whose touch seems to suck the energy out of you, rather than enhance it. Touching should not be a mechanical exercise of just moving muscles around. It is best when you have a sense that energy is flowing from you and through you, and the point of contact is where the energies meld together and healing and affection are transferred. In these anxious times, this is a good thing to do. It’s always been a good thing to do, and the practice is fun.

We can look to traditional cultures for things that help to sustain us that don’t rely on money. Music. A good music collection is nice. But, what if the electricity goes out? Are you going to sit there in silence in the dark? No good. Acoustic and percussion instruments, like drums, guitars, tambourines, pianos, violins, and such are wonderful ways to entertain each other and bond with others. Or, just plain singing in a choir together. Or making your own didgeridoo, and playing it for a group (THAT takes some practice because you have to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth at the same time to keep a sustained tone going.) Anyway, the point is that in addition to stocking up on rice and beans and batteries, cook stoves, bottled water, etc. etc. some effort should be made to prepare for alternative things to do that don’t require electricity or money, and also enhance friendships and cultivate community. Doing this around a campfire or in front of a fireplace or wood stove is very pleasurable.

Skills that are going to be needed to get back to localized production of food and goods are going to have to be geared up in a hurry. UPS just delivered a nifty solar re-chargeable lantern to beat back the dark, so I can read at night during electrical outages. We should be stocking up on “how to” books on everything from animal husbandry to vegetable storing and water treatment and all points in between. No one person can do it all. But, we can organize groups for teach-ins of different subjects and then form collectives to get things done. Some can organize a bakery, some make cheese, some re-load ammo, do metal work, carpentry, ceramics, sew clothing or make shoes. If or when the dollar dies, we can use those things that we produce to barter and trade with each other. We can look back to the pre-industrial skills that kept a small town going for a start. When the school buses don’t have the gas to transport hundreds of children over great areas, neighborhood schools are going to have to be developed. Stand-in grandmas and grandpas will be needed to take care of young ones whose biological grandparents are far away. Trading posts and farmer’s markets will need to be organized, along with firewood collection centers, and community tool banks, greenhouses and gardens.

Then, we can look towards those more modern innovations that hopefully, will make things easier - like windmills, futuristic water wheels, and all sorts of creative energy-generating innovations. Most of these things, when done on a grand or massive scale, will not be sustainable. They will be a huge waste of resources and provide very little benefit because they’ll use up so much oil and other components to build and maintain and infrastructure for them. But, smaller, less expensive units for individual households or clusters of neighborhoods will probably be able to be built that could provide very efficient and sustainable energy-generating alternatives, depending on the resources in their area.

All this is going to take co-operation. To survive you need food and water. But, to live and be safe, you need community. Those social exercises of touch, dance, music, and group activities are just as or maybe even more crucial to your well-being than a cache of food or guns and ammo.

The time to get going on all this is, of course, yesterday. The Time Monks, cliff and igor, from Half-past Human (quoted extensively on George Ure’s Urban Survival) are reporting that the linguistics on the internet project a large collapse event next week – October 7, to be exact. They say that this may be our last “normal” week. There are dire predictions from all corners for the rest of this year through all of next year – and unto 2012. Whether we are looking at extinction or transformation, whatever it is, it’s not going to be dull. From eathquakes and a massive tsunami in the Pacific Northwest, to winds and flooding, a bitterly cold winter, a failure of the electrical grid, gas shortages, bee colony collapse, you name it, we gotta whole lotta shakin’ going on. And, that doesn’t touch the elections, financial collapse, martial law, and whatever else TPTB have in mind. If we focus exclusively on the information on the lamestream media as well as the internet this week and for the foreseeable future, it’s likely to give us an unstoppable nose-bleed. So, I thought it might be in order to keep at least one of our eyes on what we want to create, not just what we are going to lose.

All of this makes a massage sound even better right now, doesn’t it? Or, baking a nice pie, singing a song, knitting a pair of slippers, quilting a baby blanket.… the point is, I guess, that we need to unhook from the television zombie matrix and get real and get going. Roll it around in your mind for awhile. Figure out what feels best to you, then do it. One step at a time. But, at least it will be your step, not a step that someone else dictated or frightened you into.

Aho

As always, this post is just to get the conversation going. We need to hear your ideas on what to do while the collapse comes…and whatever else you've got on your mind.

45 comments:

MoonRaven said...

Great post. I suspect the collapse won't come as soon as people expect--and what to do until then...

Massage is a great activity, as is making music--not to mention planting gardens, getting to know our neighbors and making new friends, learning new skills (especially those that don't require much technology), and collecting useful books (preserve that knowledge). If I'm wrong, and the collapse comes soon, this stuff will be useful, and if the collapse doesn't come for years, this will all be useful when it happens and entertaining in the meantime.

Jacques de Beaufort said...

I'm thinking that electronic gadgets will be employed less. Goodbye internet.

It'll be strange adapting to a world with less stimuli. Withdrawal.

I love reading history books. I'll probably do a lot of reading. If you have a family unit or extended group you can bring back the Bardic tradition...oral histories and live entertainment.

I dunno, who knows when the collapse will reach a magnitude that is destructive on a widescale ? I'm trapped in the middle of downtown LA right now. There's not really much I can do aside from hang out with my Cambodian neighbors, go to work, and try and get some art done. There's no real eco-friendly community here...aside perhaps from the poseur bo-ho's cloistered somewhere in a high rent canyon bungalow living off fat entertainment salaries. I stopped going to the local bars long ago...the art and music scene are littered with the tragically entitled libertines who sit all day at cafe's and music clubs while living off daddies money. Then they photograph their hipster nihilist friends and post them on self-obsessed photo-blogs as if their entirety of their trivial pursuits life was worthy of memorialization.

To question the inviolate edifice of modern industrial civilization and present the possibility of it's collapse is something that ends most conversations pretty quick.

Seems like the shit fan is distributing fecal matter more liberally in RAS's neighborhood right now.

Although.... LA is a powder keg. I can see this city going up in flames if something similar happened.

In the meantime I'll just muddle through it all.

RAS said...

I think one thing we need to remember is that collapse is generally a process, not an event. What I mean by that is collapse occurs in stages and the stages proceeds at different rates in different locations. There are general dislocations at times in the process but then the system -or what remains of it -tends to stabilize until the next dislocation comes along or enough little problems combine to bring it down.

I don't think the collapse of industrial civilization will occur over centuries, as some do, or everywhere overnight, but rather that will take a series of years. Pretty much my lifetime. I expect my grandchildren will live in a far, far different world. (I talk about grandchildren as if I shall actually have some, but I doubt if I will even have children.)

The process has started. I expect the excrement will really start to hit the fan over the next year.

They keep saying the situation here will be back to normal in a couple of weeks. Lol.

Anonymous said...

Now youer talkin shit that was fun, yep, upon arriving in san francisco in 67 crossing the bay bridge and listening to the radio a tune came on called something like if your going to san francisco be sure to wear some flowers in your hair and upon driving into town i notice all these people with hair down past their ears and thought what the fuck is going on, well it didn't take long to find out i can tell you that and man i knew i was HOME!!
came to visit my brother whom had just been released from prison for robbing a bank, don't get me wrong here, he just needed a little cash to buy his girlfriend some thing to show his love thang. don't young people just do the stupidest things? not me never!! o that, well that was different, how you say,? don't want to talk about it.
anyway, trips to the barber shop ended and hair went to the waist and brain went into the black hole of exotic wonderful beautiful drugs with exotic wonderful beautiful people to do it with.
awww yep where in the fuck did it go i have asked myself many times sense then, it was like a door opened and then closed when no one was watching, but we took much of what we learned with us, the gatherings, the music, the friendship, the seven or more in a bed, the children that would come in and jump on your back while you were fucking and the easy laughter in a smoke filled room with a lava lamp going in the corner instead of a TV. UGGGG, don't remember seeing much of those hideous contraptions, still don't.
anyone with long hair was instantly a friend, amazing huh? you could whip out a joint and and never fear getting busted, i think a lot of it was the letting go of the materialistic bullshit that clutters our lives today,no one had much and that removed the threat of stealing or coveting maybe, just a thought but really the idea that floated about was the stupidity of owning all that shit and having to take care of it. don't remember eating, must have though. how can you go years without eating? hummm. anyway those days are gone but the younguns ask about them sometimes and i can see the intense friendships developing in them and also a sense that what they are immersed in is fun but not taking away from what is real and i think that they might get some of it from us that went through that door so long ago and brought some of it home, and that my friends was freedom. freedom to express in the most crazy of ways and opinions and ideas and you name it , anything goes, as long as it doesn't hurt your neighbor because hurting someone else after all is in the most truest sense of the word , hurting oneself, man is that easy or what, why is that such a difficult thing to learn when its so much fun to live.
fuck the rich, they are people to but may have to be eaten as a result of the greed that seems to just multiply like maggots on a corpse.
my god what happened to five or six in a bed and nine in a volkswagen going down the highway loaded on some real good purple haze of orange sunshine or blue smears or... well you get the picture, we had one hell of a run and i think the new awareness is collecting us up like fish in a net, .. thats funny huh? and allowing us to toss around all kinds of ideas without to much ridicule, and the fact that we can kid each other to me reveals much about how far we have come and still how far we still have to go.
that said,
moonraven, i have always had an affinity for ravens, i wear a ring which has the head of one and have worn it for about twenty years, it has a little gold coin in its beak and is still there.

jacques, i have to say i do not envy you living in the middle of l.a god how can you stand that,? i went there as a youngun in 61 to work with a friend and one day my eyes were burning and i noticed my coworkers eyes were watery and red and i asked them what was wrong and they said it was just the smog, i said whats a smog,? they laughed and told me and i could not believe that such a thing could be, that was in 61, how is it now? it seems like it would be a hell of a lot worse after,, lets see 27 years? holy shit,! been that long aeh?

about the rich kids, actually i think that the kind of laxness of which they portray has to be earned, not bought like a weekend special at wallyworld. this comes at least for this one by intentionally stepping out of societies mould and putting ones life on the line and learning to trust the great spirit, and at least for this one it has worked so far. the so called coincidences that have taken place as saving of ones own ass in extremely difficult situations is way to many to count/. and continues to this day, don't ask me why i do not know.
by the way what is a posuer-bo-ho's anyway.
going to go help raise a neighbors storage shed today, no money involved, maybe a pie or someun.,, hell who knows.?
peace out.
aho
mf

freeacre said...

Yeah, Montana, your stories remind me that there is a difference between not having a lot of cash and being poor in Spirit.

It is ironic, I think, that in this week of frightening headlies about the imminent financial doom of the leprous investment class, we have been showered with good fortune from all sorts of unexpected places. It's like we have a need, and it is filled. Examples: We were thinking of getting some rabbits, and a friend from the Citizen's Action Group asked us if we'd take 8 rabbits off his hands along with a bunch of cages. We are thinking of building a bunkhouse and re-doing the roofs to our porches, and we get an e-mail asking if any of us could use 800 sq. ft. of prime metal roofing, never used. And, yesterday, I get a phone call from a neighbor who said she heard that our son might come and live with us this winter and wonders if we might want to borrow a travel trailer for the winter for him to stay in!! Holy Cow! All this in a week! I am humbled by the generosity all around me and the sense of abundance that is not based on currency, but good will.
Like you helping to raise your neighbor's storage shed, Montana. What a better place the world is when we share our time and energy with each other.
We watched a sweet little movie last night called The Pow wow Highway. It was a low budget Indian film about a Cheyenne guy from a reservation in Montana who wanted to become a warrior and went on a quest of sorts to gather his power tokens. He did good deeds and had faith in the Directions, and his strength grew and good things happened, of course.
Our culture has become so focused on material wealth and financial power, that we have lost our sense of personal power and the abundance of a living Universe. It's time to be reminded.

Anonymous said...

Geez, our last week of so-called normalness........ What to do...... What to do......... Man, I have no REAL skills that might be usefull in "Mad Max" Murika. I've been too busy looking for work that pays a living wage my whole....friggin...life! Now that I've finally found a great job that pays REAL money, - TSHTF! Figures. But then, it's all fake anyway. All of it: car insurance, health insurance, taxes, car registration, phone bill, gas bill, internet bill, boob tube noise, cell phones, etc., etc. It's all a bunch of crap!

In Morman HQ, the lemmings are all hot-and-bothered over Palin, thinking she's going to usher in the "End Times" or something. What a bunch of boneheads. These people have absolutley NO business producing offspring. Worthless mouthbreathers!

I've been on e-bay for a while now looking for a steal on steel drums -"da islands, Mon" kinda drums. I've always wanted to live my life in some Caribbean island, sipping my life away on rum and beer and far away from all of the rat-race garbage of Murika and was thinking that if I can't live in "da islands, Mon" maybe I could learn how to play the steel drums and do some major, hard-core pretending. They're pretty darn expensive so I just maybe I should just stock-up on rum -MON!

Later-

Dude

freeacre said...

Hahaha! I lived in Jamaica for two years. Once I saw where the rum was made - I switched to gin.

freeacre said...

Well, one thing to do RIGHT NOW is to fill up your tank with gas, get some cash out of the bank, and make sure you have some food on hand. There are indicators all over the place that the banks just might go on holiday as soon as this weekend. Can you imagine what things would be like after about 3 days of no ATM's or credit cards? Just to be on the safe side... you just never know.
Dude,
Have you read Joe Bageant's site? He lives part of the time in Belize on about $5,000 a year. Some nice stories.

RAS said...

I finally found enough gas to fill up my car yesterday. It cost $40 for my little car. I don't even want to think what all those SUV drivers are paying. I have a couple of months of basic food on hand, so I think I should be okay even if the banks go on 'holiday'.

I applied to 19 jobs yesterday. Nineteen. If things go as they have been, I won't get called in for even one interview. Of course they've probably gotten several hundred applications for each position, maybe more. Last night the newscaster was doing their "happy happy joy joy" thing about the local economy. She had a problem keeping a straight face. I guess the lying is even affecting them.

MF, I love your stories. They are wonderful.
Congrats on the help fa! That's amazing.

Has anyone else been think of Green Day's song 'When September Ends' lately? The past week or so it has seemed particularly apt.
aho

Anonymous said...

Stoney, et al;

You watching this?

http://www.stevequayle.com/News.
alert/08_Money/081003.Hawk.alert.html

-rockpicker

Anonymous said...

Well, it's offical, sports fans. The traitors in congress just passed the bill to tax our asses and give it all to filthy rich dickheads. Bastards.

We're doomed, man.

Dude

Anonymous said...

From Belgium,

I wanted to come in on the last post, that was a good one but life took another of those strange curves, however I have managed to navigate my way back, I always do eventually.

Singing, huh! I usually get two notes of a tune out, sometimes three before someone manages to say “Well thank you for that, we will ask you to guest or us again sometime – maybe”. Don’t always assume that these homespun activities are going to be pleasant for everybody else.

I got slagged off for the last Prince Charles story I told you so here is another. In this one he was a fairly old teener, doing a bit of upper class guesting at one of those garden party wedding receptions, when the marquee he was in suddenly fell down. Somebody was filming the event (pre video) and as the tent started to collapse poor ol PC was rooted to the spot in fit of pure terror like a rabbit in the headlights. It was only a bit of canvas falling on top of him; it didn’t even register on the Richter scale. The point about it is that because he had never been taught how to touch other people he was both incapable of helping others or accepting help himself. So touching is a really essential community life skill. There again the heads of state have always been a class apart, that’s why we are all instructed to avert our gaze.

I think the solar powered torch is one of the greatest technological concepts of our age.

Jacques, you are 100% spot on with your observations.
Mf too.

Did anybody else catch the leader of the western world telling the nation that if Congress rejected the bail out again ‘they’ would turn a crisis into a disaster? Notice how the blame has been shifted away from those who created the situation and onto those who are refusing to fix it. But it will pass in some sort of watered down form which will buy us another couple of weeks and put us in hock for a couple of decades.

I caught the debate by the way. Both sides were oozing niceness. Sarah used the ‘corruption’ word – more than once. It seems to me that the major difference between the parties is that the Republicans tacitly condone corruption whilst the Democrats don’t oppose it. But what would a foreigner know of such things? Whilst neither side has the guts to call the Israelis out then nothing of substance will change.

There a couple of things to report from these shores. Belgium’s major transport service, The Line, is going on strike Monday. It’s a little more complicated than this but essentially they are complaining that things are not like they used to be.

The other major news item for the last six nights in a row is that Belgium’s biggest bank the Fortis is haemorrhaging money on a grand scale. I am not 100% sure but I think the bank descended from Aloes Fortis who was a sidekick of Amsteel Rothschild. This is one of the banks I am with only because it is the corresponding bank of a UK bank I used to deal with and this arrangement speeds up transfers. I have opened up an account with the Belgian Post with small transfers across to the Fortis to keep a few standing orders going whilst I see how things play out. I don’t want to dump my credit history but I don’t want to be too exposed either. I figure the Government will fight tooth and nail before they let the Post go bust.

Here is a curious thing, tonight CNBC/NGC are airing the fire on the aircraft carrier Foristal, in their ‘Seconds from disaster’ series. For those who are not aware of the significance of this, it is the one where the young fighter pilot John McCain accidently shot off a Exocet into a group of planes at the other end of the deck which claimed several lives and nearly wrote off the carrier too. What I can’t work out is why that particular disaster at this particular time.

Aho.

Btw, anybody heard from Cy?

Anonymous said...

From Belgium,

Why Poulson’s plan is not the best plan and probably won’t work anyway.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/JJ02Dj02.html

Here is what is going on in Europe which I referred to in my earlier comment.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/financialcrisis/3104666/Banking-crash-hits-Europe-as-ECB-loses-traction.html?ref=patrick.net

Here is what the oracle of all things financial has to say on the subject.

http://www.leap2020.eu/GEAB-N-22-is-available!-Global-systemic-crisis-September-2008-Phase-of-collapse-of-US-real-economy_a1298.html

Jacques de Beaufort said...

I was just reading an article in the NY Times about how most non-financial services NY'ers were expecting to feel some schadenfreude but actually weren't because all their middle class ambitions were going up in smoke.:

http://warner.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/02/waiting-for-schadenfreude/

I don't know what this woman is talking about, I totally feel vindicated.

Most of the things I aspired for were reserved for a more fortunate elite. I feel like this moment is a great equalizer, a "reset" button for the world. It could be that I'm mistaken, and that it's better to be torturously envious and bitter than to be terrified and in constant fear for your own safety. Regardless, my soul feels lighter. All of the frustrations I had with the old order have vanished as the edifice itself has shuddered and swayed. I am freed from the collective hallucination of a society that had become pathological and schizophrenic.

Tom Wolfe says all the hedge-funders have decamped to Greenwich Connecticut to protect their "Nut's".

How long will it be until a mob starts forming at the perimeter ?

How long will it be until social systems and civic order break down and anarchy is loosed upon our country ?

How long will it be until the elites take measures to circle the wagons and consolidate their rule ?

The center cannot hold, the falcon cannot find the falconer.

I'm going shopping tonight-to stock up on rice and water. At least 3 weeks worth.

Later homies.

murph said...

Jacques,

I read the article from Warner blogs. I think she was born too late to understand the old 60's and 70's hippy attitude. I see lots of the old hippys walking around, we are in our 60's and 70's now, we dress funny and have weird attitudes about a lot of stuff. I along with some of them are able to honestly say, "see, we told you about this a long time ago, we were right". I think the article is about the next generation that have no fundamental view of ideas or morals and are only becoming more confused, uncertain and depressed.

Jacques, you used a term in a manner that gets me to rattling my cage bars. Anarchy. Since that is a system that we might loosely term governance, using it in conjunction with a concept of chaos is inaccurate. I am including in this a short bit from an anarchist publication some years ago;

YOU MAY ALREADY BE AND ANARCHIST

It's true. If your idea of healthy human relations is a dinner with
friends, where everyone enjoys everyone else's company, responsibilities are
divided up voluntarily and informally, and no one gives orders or sells anything, then you are an anarchist, plain and simple. The only question that remains is
how you can arrange for more of your interactions to resemble this model.

Whenever you act without waiting for instructions or official permission, you are an anarchist. Any time you bypass a ridiculous regulation when no one's looking, you are an anarchist. If you don't trust the government, the school
system, Hollywood, or the management to know better than you when it comes to things that affect your life, that's anarchism too. And you are especially an anarchist when you come up with your own ideas and initiatives and olutions.

As you can see, it's anarchism that keeps things working and life
interesting. If we waited for authorities and specialists and technicians to take care of everything, we would not only be in a world of trouble, but dreadfully
bored -- and boring -- to boot. Today we live in that world of (dreadfully boring!)
trouble precisely to the extent that we abdicate responsibility and control.

Anarchism is naturally present in every healthy human being. It isn't
necessarily about throwing bombs or wearing black masks, though you may have seen that on television (Do you believe everything you see on television? That's not anarchist!). The root of anarchism is the simple impulse to do it yourself: everything else follows from this...

freeacre said...

Add some beans to that rice, jaques, and you'll have a complete protein. Tonight I made a thick Indian soup with dal, lentils, rice, turkey legs, broccoli, cauliflower & onion,with curry, tumeric, coriander and cayenne pepper. Had that with homemade egg and craisen bread. We can eat that way for a really long time. Just add rabbit when the tinned meat runs out. I guess we can consider ourselves more free now, or will be once it dawns on people that all their expectations must change. Hopefully, people will be judged by the "content of their character" rather than how many toys they own and where they sit on the corporate pecking order.
That's kinda far down the line, however. Right now it's say "good-by" to our former democratic form of government. Officially merging the banks and corporations with the government is pretty much the textbook definition of fascism. I guess we could mark this day on our calendars. Emotionally, I'm more with Dude. I can practically hear the sound of the jackboots in the streets in front of the stock exchange. I've got a nice new bottle of huge stuffed olives. Plan to sit down with a large dirty martini and avoid thinking of it for awhile. (This is not to be taken as any sort of advice.)
Nice to hear from you, Belgium. Hope things are OK with you. It's interesting that the stock market went down after news of the bailout... maybe they got wind of the $50 trillion in derivatives.

Jacques de Beaufort said...

I did remember the beans freeacre...thanks.



murph, you're right, anarchy is more complex than the clumsy description that I employed.

What do you guys think about Naom Chomsky and Anarcho-Syndicalism ?

Capitalism is hard to beat, especially when the alternatives provide so little blandishments for the stimulation of our desires and flaming of our passions. Plus, when you have such skillful manipulators like Ms. Palin, who are able to come off as some kind of PTA mom next door even while acting as the haindmaiden of a dark and sinister elite. Goebels would be proud.

Freeacre, I think you're right on.
I'm not sure this has been a democracy anyways for a while now. There's the illusion of democracy at least, but clearly this nation is possessed by a faustian demon. We have sold our soul, now the devil comes for what is due..

I posted a nice bit of Kunstlers "Long Emergency" on my blog. Very topical.

Anonymous said...

"... And the day
drags its blindered self to toil. Night trades
whiskey pete for oil, while down slope,
death-drummer birds with blazing eyes
ascend the holy crags to kill dissent
before we waking innocent arise."

-from Waiting For the Signal



I am digging potatoes and fifty-six.
Mostly, they are small,
firm, red and no scab. Small
because hail mulched their tops off early.
Clean, because horseshit and shavings were aged.
Disruption turns methodical. Worms
still drunk from summer reel slow
in shaded ground. I lift, slowly,
so as to not harm worm or spud,
and shake, a little, gently.
I'm fifty-six. One year older
than the ole man, when he died,
exhausted and ashamed, alone,
except for me, the least trusted.
I break the worm-holed clods to crumbs
and bury the fat fathers falling from grace.
I pat them into cool sepluchres behind my spade.
They have earned their sacred space.

I remember planting this bed in May.
I remember the mornings my children were born.
Stumbling into exquisite light, I breathed free,
and assumed all would be right. I'm fifty-six,
and overhead, lines left by passing jets persist.
They spread, rim to rim, and soon our native blue
turns funeral linen. I am fifty-six,
but my children speak of planting gardens.
I can tell them the long eyes, the deep beds
mean little. Fruit appears in the place close
to where sun and soil meet. I'm fifty-six.
They will not listen. I could say
I fashioned a hollow tube with teeth
and drove it deep in silt
for long-eyed seed. And true as it is,
what good's advice achieved?

And so I rub dirt off one earth apple
at a time, and drop it in a rusty bucket.
There is no hurry to this profit -taking.
Let the House capitulate. I will gather
an honest harvest without commission.
I will sing to the stars, praise, for their intercession,
while a small war rages in the apple trees
between the wrens and the chickadees.

-rp

murph said...

Jacques,

Freeacre and I have been watching a series of documentaries on how technology was used in empires. While the pointing out of the technological marvels that have been going on for 5000 years I was more impressed with the history of how empires were formed and the supposed personalities of the people that formed them. While it seems to be true that history is written by the victors of wars, which may or may not be entirely valid for historical accuracy, it always seems like someone comes along with desires to be great, to make an empire, have a charismatic personality, and while not always, usually from a wealthy and powerful family. The results are wars, and the building of massive edifices to their self perceived greatness. Of course, this is to the detriment of those that fight the wars and build the edifices. At least in ancient times, the kings were in the army and sometimes got snuffed.

In modern times, the leaders do not lead into battle, thus insuring their hide doesn't get scratched up in battle.

Our economic system is not particularly unique in history as I understand it. What does seem to be unique is it's application to social control, facilitated by mass communication and advertising.

As you can see by my previous comment, I am an advocate of more of an anarchist means of social organization. However, I realize that doing that with 300,000,000 people would not work, has to be much smaller autonomous groups. Interesting to me is that a large proportion of indigenous groups are mostly anarchistic.

I am also interested in how a hierarchical form of social organization took hold and displaced the anarchistic. In every large grouping of people there always seem to be a certain percentage that lust for power and wealth. How did they get in control of things, and why are they allowed to continue? Personal opinion is that I can lay that at the feet of religion. I suppose that if there is an all powerful god over humans and that god has its favorite humans to dictate to, well, we get hierarchies.

I've had people argue with me by asking the question; so what is wrong with hierarchies? Don't we all benefit from them? I suppose that if we want to talk about killing of the free spirit and the ability to pursue your passions as being good, I would have to agree.

Chomsky and anarcho-syndicalism I have a passing familiarity with. I have noticed that Chomsky hasn't said much of anything new in the last 5 years and makes a lot of money from his lectures and books. Idealism displaced by capitalism I guess. Anarcho-syndicalism (the organized labor movement) is simply another form of hierarchy in a complex society.

I am presupposing that somewhere down the line it must end. Humans have been raping the earth and environment for a very long time now. If we keep it up, we will run out of all the stuff we need to survive and capitalism sure has done its share of raping and pillaging.

freeacre said...

God, Rockpicker, you are a wonder. We must pause to honor your 56th. It's the best of all things today. What a blessing to have you here.

murph said...

Geez rockpicker, That is really beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Murph;

I love all you have said about anarchy. Right on.

Chomsky is a putz. He fucking lied about 9/11, and for that I will never forgive him, nor would I ever fucking trust the sonofabitch again, ever.

He knows goddammed well the fucking government was complicit in the events of September 11, and his shill advice was, "who cares who did it? It doesn't matter."

Well, it does fucking matter. Because we've just seen another 9/11 event occur, this time with the financial infrastructure. Same folks responsibile. And this is a collapse we'll all be taking part in.

Fuck the perps. And fuck the apologists.

Noam Chomsky, my ass!

-rockpicker

Anonymous said...

From Belgium,

Jacques,

I got involved with that piece from the NY Times you put up and wrote the following comment to them but by the time I had gotten it finished they had stopped accepting comments so rather than throw it away I will post it here.

"Bob, (comment 11), you are right that people fought against slavery but did the elites of the day loose or did they enjoy shadenfreude by making us struggle to win what they wanted all the time? Look at it this way, the slave owners had to pay up front for the slaves and for the supply chain to stay well lubricated, the going price for a slave was 5 – 10 years wages for a similarly employed freeman. Not only that, the slave had to be housed, not luxuriously but good enough to keep him in health and he also had to be well fed in order to protect the original investment.

It took a civil war from which the financiers and arms dealers made a load of bucks, to start us on the road to the freedoms we enjoy today and which others, we are told, envy. But what does this freedom actually mean? It involves struggling for 20 – 25 years to buy a house that otherwise would have been given to you anyway, of which only about a third of the price represents the capital cost. Maybe not so nice a house as you now have, always assuming that you are not one of those unfortunates who are living in their car and looking at the house they used to own. After paying your slice to the IRS you then have to fill up your tank with ever more expensive gas to go shopping at Wally World because you cannot afford to go to the top end grocery stores. I could go on listing freedoms but by now you have the idea that the only reason we are free is that the elites can make more money out of us that way.

What the internet has given us is a perspective on the respect our betters feel is their due. Long may freedom of the internet continue – for a while at least.

Betsy (comment 25), I am all for pressing the reset button but be careful of what you wish for. Huey Long advocated a redistribution of wealth and look what happened to him.

Yesterday here in little Belgium, the three biggest high street banks were effectively nationalised because they didn’t have enough liquidity to roll over their short term debt. We will have to duck and cover but we will not have it as bad as is predicted for you guys and it does not give me any shadenfreude to say that."

Rockpicker,
best wishes and don't get too liverish on your birthday you are supposed to enjoy it. We want to see you around a lot more.

RAS said...

Happy Birthday, rp!

Murph, I only have one quibble with your arugment about religion and hierarchies: not all religions lead to or support heirarchy. Most of the currently dominant relgions do, yes, but not all of them. Earth-centered religions, for instance, see God/Goddess/Sprit as all around us and present in everything and therefore no one or anything is above any other. The old immanent/emanent theological divide. Most indigenous cultures have some sort of earth-centered religion and therefore don't develop hierarchies.

I would also say that it is probably the need for leaders combined with religion that drives it. Even tribes have to have a leader -someone who can make the hard decisions in a pinch. There's no time for consensus building when the huns come over the wall or a wildfire sweeps down the canyon. Combine that with religion and you get someone who thinks they are God's gift to the world.

I remember reading about the organziation of many of America's native tribes. They had chiefs but the chiefs lived among the people and had ordinary responsibilities as well as the duties of the chief. Interestingly enough, many of them were also elected.

I had to laugh when I read your comment about the kings of old going to battle. They may have been royal bastards (in every sense of the word) but you have to give them credit for that. The Iraq war would have lasted about twenty seconds if George Bush had been forced to lead a battalion into battle -troops don't fight too well when their commander runs for the rear, visibly peeing his pants as he goes!

murph said...

ras,

You are correct, I was thinking about what we call the major religions of the day. The Jewish and Christian folks really love that hierarchy stuff.

The vision of Bush running for the rear lines peeing his pants is too good to pass up. lol

Palooka's Revenge said...

RP... doc engaged chomsky on that very point. they exchanged a series of emails. chomsky would not budge from his frozen view of.... so what, it don't matter. i think it was at this point that doc realized the deeper impact of fantasy and twisted points of view and the unseen role of denial.

happy birthday. you're observations at the 56th parallel are astounding. i salute in awe at your depth of it and your talent for smithery to put it to word. we can all use it as a model as we stand now midst the unwinding. as well as freeacre's current post. what beautiful syncronicities await us in the midst of what is going down now.

and mf... well, there are no words for his words and his sidekick in wisdom, miz bug. and the sharing of each others magical experiences around this sacred cyber space we have created.

all... yes, we bitch about what is going down. and should. for it is truely an attack on life itself. and, as c a fitts has put it for over 10 years now, there is definitly a coup about.

but on the other hand, it is what we have been calling for. calling for with a playground sense of justice that won't take odds. that will settle for nothing less. this unwinding. this untangling of twisted energies. this loss of consciousness on earth. this loss of individual power and magic. this reflection of massive denial and anti-life agendas.

we are seeing the deepest denials manifesting into form now. so we can expect more of the same. and worse as it progresses. why would it be any different? do we think universe is going to give us a pass and just fix it for us? it don't operate that way. though U is intervening now, we still possess choice. choice is the core of freedom. and yes, freedom has been thrown back on itself. could it be we are all playing roles? that we are all in the game so to speak? that we are the game? that we make it what it is? choice is optional. but even no choice is a choice and is in play as such.

aside from the obvious measures of preparedness, what can we do as this unfolds to help insure our safety? first, keep in mind what is actually happening... universe is moving to reverse the swing back toward the balance point. try to hold that present within us. am i in alignment with the idea? the idea, the dream, the quest for true understanding and balance? for life itself? for evolution along destiny path? does it feel good to me? pay attention to what our inner selves are telling us. there is guidence there. intent is the key. so key in on the key and get clear on intent. and above all, follow our own personal truth... p

btw... bot boyz on rense monday nite, 11 to 1 eastern.

freeacre said...

I don't know much about finance, but it seems completely sick and wrong to me that all these govt agencies and companies and things seem to be freaking out because they can't get loans to function for a few days or weeks. Like the whole thing is going to crash because they can't get a loan. Why not? Why can't the person who has the goods or provides the service or whatever, say, OK, I'll send it to you anyway, and then you pay me as soon as you can. And then the person or company does, and everything is cool.
BUT NOOOO... they are not lending to lend. They are lending to make a profit on lending. We need currency. So the Federal Reserve prints up some and then LENDS it to us with interest. That's bullshit right there. Then we spend it and overextend ourselves so that we have to take out a loan to pay just the interest on the money! And, then we have to pay interest on the loan as well! WTF??

And then, it seems, that everybody is putting purchases of every sort on credit cards or taking out loans to buy everything and all these transactions are based on somebody making money off every one of these loans due to interest. Then, on top of that, they buy insurance to insure that the money gets paid because nobody trusts anybody, God knows, to keep their word.
I hope that Palooka is right that we will be able, after all this bogus system of usury and greed and making money on transactions and fabrications blows up,to go back to having our wealth depend on the strength of our word and our ability to produce things of real value. As we do that, we would cultivate power and abundance that is meaningful, not just a pimp job.

We have a chance to re-calibrate and realign with what is right. The pimps should be beaten with coat hangers and thrown out of town as soon as they open their pie holes and start blabbing about making money for nothing.

RAS said...

Hey all,
There's some weird sh** hitting the fan here in the south. I stopped at the store on my way home today. Remember I said some things were out when I stopped in earlier this week? Well, it's gotten worse. A lot worse.

They had milk and bread to spare, but just about everything else was running short. There were holes in the shelves big enough for me to lie down in and spread out. I'm talking freezer case, meat case, cereal, juice, you name it. They had ONE bag of wheat flour. No one's been panic buying, at least not to my knowledge, so I think this is a supply issue. This is a very well-known store (started by a man named Sam, hint hint) that has always advertised itself as the place to go for value and has never, ever actually run out of things like hamburger helper and condensed soup. (Not that I buy those things but still.)

So, I'm thinking something is afoot. Either there's a shortage of diesal, the store's credit line has been frozen, or somehting else is going on.

Jacques de Beaufort said...

ALERT! ALERT!

check this shit out !:
http://aftermathnews.wordpress.com/2008/10/04/army-combat-unit-ready-to-deploy-domestically-within-the-us/

1+1=2


crap dude


crap

freeacre said...

That's the best site I've seen about the domestic battalion, Jacques. It's interesting (coincidental?) that it is supposed to be ready on Oct. 4. That is the day that the webbots focus on as a "release" day, or thereabouts. If we did have some sort of disaster, though, I could see where they could be of great help. I'm attempting to not get all paranoid... I'd prefer National Guard or Army troops to Blackwater mercenaries, that's for sure. Like when the Loma Lima earthquake (is that the one?) happened and the highways collapsed onto each other, it would probably have been a good thing if some troops were ready to come in and rescue people from the rubble.
On the other hand, if they stomp down the street firing pain weapons at people demonstrating against the war or Wall Street fraudsters and start renditioning people, etc. that would be worse than bad. Guess we'll have to stay tuned.

freeacre said...

You know, Guys, I look over all the comments on this site, and I often marvel at how unique this place is. I am truly grateful for the thoughts and feelings that this very special group shares with each other.

aho

Palooka's Revenge said...

"all these transactions are based on somebody making money...WTF??"

the monster is even bigger fa. most every dick and jane who exchange $$$ for goods and service has been co-oped in one way or another. if you pay taxes you likely take out an ira. that is, if you have the cash. just to defer the tax. AND to make money on the invested instrument. and damn near everyone who has one has that invested in one way or another.

401k and others similar? same deal.

pension plans? mutual funds? bonds? you betcha.

that means they've fed the monster in pursuit of the american nightmare. there's plenty of evidence that the game is rigged just as murph pointed out recently. but they still play. go figure.

what frosts my ass is they play otta one side of the mouth and bitch about the criminals otta the other.

most are convinced they are e-no-cent!! intentional participation, when one has choices otherwise, is alignment by default. alignment is a form of approval. the power mongers would starve if we quit feeding em.

but, just as there are alternatives with energy, there are other choices in finance. consider this...

If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in Delta Airlines one year ago, you would have $49.00 today.

If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in AIG one year ago, you would have $33.00 today.

If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in Lehman Brothers one year ago, you would have $0.00 today.

But, if you had purchased $1,000 worth of beer one year ago the cans would be worth $214.00 as recycled alum.

Based on the above, the best current investment plan is to drink heavily & recycle. It is called the 401-Keg.

now there's some sound investment advice proving once and for all that the fundamentals of the economy are definitly sound! thats what i call liquid asset!!

and it gets better....

A recent study found that the average American walks about 900 miles a year.

Another study found that Americans drink, on average, 22 gallons of alcohol a year. That means that, on average, Americans get about 41 miles to the gallon!

and not to get too political about it cuz i'm votin "none of the above".... but by golly, wink, wink, that proves mccain was right all along! can't imagine why anyone could possibly think otherwise!!

and see there, 41 miles to the gallon. hey john, you and the gutsy gal energy expert sidekick of yours go go go!!! kick some more asses!!!! by golly, we'll show 'em who's boss yet!!!!!

can't wait for my tax break. just put it on the dole. screw the deficit. cheney's right, deficits don't matter.

heard a good one couple dayz ago... some dem pundit came off with... i can see the moon from my backyard but that don't make me an astronaut!

Palooka's Revenge said...

ras... its definitly not A. plenty of diesel in the SE. gas is finally catching up here.

B? not likely on wally's end. they have plenty of cash. their suppliers may be a dif story though. that said, haven't seen any similar probs in metro atl in the grocery stores. haven't been in a wally for months so can't say 'bout that.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Gang;

It's late Sunday morning in a cool and cloudy southwestern Montana.

Project Camelot put-up an interview with Dr. Bill Deagle yesterday. Link is here:

http://projectavalon.net/bill_deagle_4_oct_2008.mp3

Jacques, you may find it especially interesting, due to your location.

Palooka, thanks for your kind words about the writing. As regards the investment plan, somehow , I knew the wisdom of your advice intuitively. I keep a stash of liquid assets in my protfolio, on the back porch. It was the packaging I got wrong. What was I thinking, buying glass commodities instead of precious metals?

Can you say 'bank holiday?'

Still, I'm setting stone
on a rich man's house.
In the space overhead,
between the sofit
and scaffold planks,
two jets, tail- to- nose,
fly west the walk-plank
slice of sky each day
around one. In an hour,
they return, dead on,
their contrail straight
as a shovel handle,
propped inside a grave.

-rp

Jacques de Beaufort said...

rp


that is SERIOUSLY creepy

I had a vision before the tsunami myself, and after 9/11 I had clairvoyance for a few weeks.

I'm gonna stay inside Tuesday

RAS said...

crap, pa now I want to go out and invest in some liquid assets. I've been wanting to do that for a while now anyway. ;-)

I have a feeling Tuesday night might be a good time to get drunk.

The Automatic Earth has reported that McDonald's has had their credit line cut off. And Mickey D is doing well right now.

Here's some things to do while the collapse is coming:
-walk the dog. It's incredibly soothing, especially on a wonderful fall afternoon.
-make cookies. cookies are always good.
-collect jugs and copper tubing, so you can make your own 'liquid assets' after the collapse. hey, alcohol is always money.
-chop wood and carry water (or the modern equivalent thereof); as the old Buddhist saying goes "when in doubt, chop wood and carry water".
-pray if you're religious. hey, it can't hurt, can it?

Palooka's Revenge said...

need something to read while waiting for the shoe to drop? how bout the mccain swift boat story complete with plenty of ole buds with warm, red blood flowing in their veins and sounding off about the real mccain, self-proclaimed american hero. the only thing missing is jerry corsi to write a book about it and boone picken's millions to promote it. which highly likely ain't gonna happen what with corsi busy signing copies of obamanation and pickins busy spending millions hi-jacking sentiment for his take over of the wind farming industry. so you'll have to settle for rolling stone....

http://www.rollingstone.com/news/
coverstory/make_believe_maverick_
the_real_john_mccain

Palooka's Revenge said...

or........ you could better spend the hour just sitting back and listening about why the shoe is dropping in the first place. at least the $$$ part of it....

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/
Radio_Episode.aspx?episode=365

and post broadcast observation by one of the reporters along with some PDG commentary...

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2008/10/
but_how_will_it_affect_me.
html#more

Palooka's Revenge said...

sorry murph... i couldn't find a trasncript link

Anonymous said...

Hey, that's right..... what has happened to Cyclone? He was the one who was predicting the collapse of the derivitives market a good while ago.

And that 401-Keg stuff was funny, pr.

Dude

RAS said...

I just listened to that interview with Bill Deagle. Not sure what to think. A lot of things are saying tomorrow might be a red letter day. I know that when he was describing the location -flat, warm, coastal, lots of people and highways, the image that popped into my head was Houston, not LA. Houston has a much more strategic location, because it is a shipping capital for both goods and oil. Screw up Houston, you screw up a good bit of the country. We've seen that in the SE the past few weeks!

Anonymous said...

ras,

Houston was where a CIA dude was murdered by cops a couple of months ago. Supposedly, he liasoned with an Isreali company that runs the port.

And the stock market is tanking.

We're doomed, man.

Dude

Jacques de Beaufort said...

monday morning

dow down 500, world markets in panic

oil tankers do not unload on promises of cash later on.

winter's icy grip slithers hither

what will be left after the thaw of spring ?


I'm going to go buy MORE rice and beans

is hoarding bad ?

RAS said...

Jacques, so long as you either use the rice and beans or donate them later if it all unravels I can't see hoarding as being bad. Not in a situation where it could be the difference between life and death, certainly!

The U.S. has NO food reserves. In any crisis, there won't be enough to go around and people will starve. I'd rather be a morally dubious survivor who stocked up ahead of time than one of the dead. I hate to put it that way...but when TSHTF, that's what happens.

Anonymous said...

Just linked in over from Charles Hugh Smith (also a big George Ure fan). Had to comment because I still have my copy of "What To Do Till the Messiah Comes" and it has always been one of my favorite books. For the past several years I've been walking around muttering to myself "the hippies were right, the hippies were right . . ." I was lucky enough in my youth (I'm now 51) to know both some very smart hippies and some Depression Era relatives who taught me all I needed to know about gardening, keeping hens, composting, canning, fire-making, firefighting, hand tools,water conservation, being a good neighbor . . . and anarchy. Thanks to them I kept my eye on the reality instead of the illusion over the years and made some fortunate choices in where I live, how, and with whom. What is happening now is amazing, and not at all unexpected. I only hope that more people than not can come out of it less lonely, less confused, less anxious than they are going into it. A lot of people with far greater respect for authority than I have have been suffering mightily for it for the past 25 years or so. I hope the suffering and loneliness ends soon, with lots of touching and shared meals and shared tools.