Saturday, June 12, 2010
What to Do Until the Apocalypse Comes
a mountain man rendezvous
Charles Hugh Smith had a post up this week (6/11) about envisioning collapse scenarios that are more positive than Hollywood would have us imagining. Perhaps, if the global economy as we know it disintegrates due to its own over leveraging, resource depletion, and moral rot, and we peasants are reduced to living a real life rather than going to the mall, things won’t have to look like Road Warrior after all.
If the disaster in the Gulf plays out for the next couple of years with an almost unimaginable amount of oil and toxic fumes, it would likely lead to thousands of people heading to the wastelands of Michigan and the Rust Belt. And, if by then, China will have had to increase the value of their money and ours has tanked, we will importing a LOT less stuff. So, real things that people will require to live, will begin to be made in this country by innovative neighbors and small businesses. Even if we did not import much of anything for awhile, we have lots of materials to make things out of if we simply begin to mine the land fills.
I doubt that rat-eating zombie hordes will be coming out of the woodwork when the sun goes down, or that aliens will be crawling out of holes they have been hiding in while waiting for us to go back to the gold standard. I also doubt that roving gangs of skin-heads, Latinos, Blacks, Asians, Scotch-Irish, or any other ethnically identifiable groups will be ravaging the country-side looting and pillaging. Historically, bullies can be counted on to pick on their own neighbors. They seldom leave their own neighborhoods. Once the people figure that they are on their own to defend themselves, I have a feeling that the bad guys will be taken out pretty quickly. Most people are pretty good folks who don’t want any trouble. There are many good people who have experience in the armed forces that I doubt are going to just sit around and allow friends and family to be intimidated and robbed. Right now, people are pretty much disarmed. They may have guns but they are useless unless you don’t mind going to jail for defending yourself.
When I lived in Jamaica, the poor did have a big problem with “tiefs.” Thieves would actually enter the homes of people like my housecleaner and rip them off while they pretended to sleep. But, it was illegal in Jamaica for good people to have guns. It ain’t the same here. Something tells me that the bad apples are known. And, they will get right, or they won’t be around too long. In fact, I believe that when people no longer look to the government for help, they will begin to renew fraternal organizations, build alliances, strengthen church groups, and pull together in ways that will amaze us all.
The seeds to re-create ourselves have already been planted. People are pretty sick of the greater corporate mentality already. Why do you think goofy folks in costumes are running around in the woods all over the place? Witness our mountain man friends in the top picture. Here’s another one of my brother (on the right) with his wife and his Scottish Highland buddy with their kilts at Highland Games. Think of the Renaissance Faires, Burning Man celebrations, Native American Pow-Wows, and even the Star Trek conventions. All these groups have one thing in common – people who would love to turn their backs on the soul-sucking dominant culture that we have now, and go for a simpler, more satisfying and inspiring lifestyle not centered around money and Wally World. They are all nescient intentional communities.
Our allegiance is reflected in what we wear. The banksters and Overlords wear suits and “power ties” as uniforms to inform us of their status. The hippies made an anti-war and anti-corporate statement with their long hair and bell-bottomed jeans. So do the Amish, with their colonial clothing and horse and buggies as they shun the “English”. They did not wait for their ideas to catch on before they changed their lifestyle. They changed their lifestyle and made the change happen, at least for themselves. The Mall Rats and those we think of as “sheeple” announce their compliance with the powers that be in their designer jeans and newly bought clothing and contrivances.
We don’t need to wait for pioneer or wiccan or Renaissance, or cowboy clothing to be sold at Penney’s to start to look different. Personally, I like the “ma Kent” look. I loved Superman comics as a child, and somehow got the idea that ma Kent was my ideal older woman. I’ve been wearing clothes that look like 30’s housedresses for awhile now. Soon, I am going to sew some pioneer bonnets and aprons to go with my dresses and walk around town looking like a pioneer. Why not? They are comfortable, functional, homemade, non-corporate – and fun! Shit, I’m too fat for a Na’vi, or I’d be painting myself blue and wearing a feathered headdress and dangling ear cuffs. The point is to announce the fact that you are resisting The Man and the materialistic, sick, debt serfdom that goes with it. Just as the Amish have always refused to comply with the greater culture and have demonstrated a clear alternative, we can do the same.
I say, “Go for it.” Do it now and avoid the rush. A revolution of thought and action is at hand. The dissolution of our former way of being is happening all around us, whether we like it or not. We can desperately try to hold on to business as usual and somehow pretend that we have the resources and wherewithal to extend our stranglehold on the planet and its resources. But, it will only lead to more suffering and grief and damage to the planet. And, there is going to be enough of that already.
Let’s offer ourselves and our neighbors something else. A memory or a vision of a better time in the past that can lead to a happier time in the future… simpler, friendlier, smarter, more generous, co-operative, and sustainable way of living. More free and more powerful, imaginative, and fun as well!
-- carry on the conversation from the last post, Guys. Good stuff!