Sister Pammy of the Soil wrote:
> UnitIV@sputum.com (Doktor DynaSoar) wrote:
> >Dad sez:
> >}>>YOU try going 7 days without it.
> >Pammy and Random?
> >Yer on.
> Seven days without electricity? Seven days? How about thirteen years
> without indoor plumbing? Twelve years of heating with wood (until I
> hurt my back and couldn't carry wood for awhile). But we're fully
> wired, so we can make the loud music, you know?
I sure do miss the wood stove. This is the first winter without it.
Wimpy propane-fired airheater does not begin to create them pure,
radiant Slackwaves roaring off the stove, warming my hands from as
far as 30 feet away. And yes, we're fully wired NOW, but it was a lot
of fun that first year using the backpacking lantern or candles
as a primary source of light, acoustic music only. A few years
of drawing water from a hole in the ground four hundred feet
distant with a five gallon bucket, not having stove or fridge, just
the Hibachi on the porch.
Running a sears craftsman 2.5hp pump into that hole got us the luxury
of running water, warm water if the hose was left in the sun. We ran
cold water to the house after another year; STILL don't have hot water
at the faucet, but we now have a gas stovetop to take the place of our
woodstove to heat dishwater, or bathwater if we just don't feel like
a gardenhose shower. Of course, 29 days out of 30 I opt for the
gardenhose shower anyway. I got great pictures of showering outdoors
barefoot in a foot of snow last year at 22 degrees.
When hurricane Hugo blew through it was a call from my friend Gregory
in California that alerted us several days after the fact. The call
was surreal: "No, I hadn't noticed....You're RIGHT, the electricity is
off!...Four days ago?....Well that explains why the peach tree fell
over...Err, no, we don't own a TV or a radio..."
We were without electricity for four days and hadn't noticed.
> It does amaze me how people lose their sense of perspective about the
> difference between luxury and necessity. (This is not aimed at you,
> Dad. Maine in winter probably has a big three hours of sunlight. Ugh.)
> So which is the most necessary: electricity, or being able to enjoy
> darkness at night, seeing stars instead of streetlights? Do I need my
> rock and roll more than my earthy peace and quiet?
It surprises me not at all that people lose their perspective, with
the CONspiracy ever at work to convince people that they need
climate controlled homes, offices, and automobiles. The CON has got
this battle all but won, judging from how often I hear "Oh, I
couldn't LIVE without my TV". But the CON is insidious; it not only
fuels a sense of superiority in those who have the latest technology
(that's why the commercials often focus on self-esteem issues, on why
your life is lacking and how their product will make YOU a better
person) but provides the BLINDERS to keep you from recognising that
Slack that's all around you. The Slack that perhaps those other
people are soaking up. You're handed the easy comparisons and the
easy labels for those people and their ways. It is not a matter of
one ideological stance vs. another but of AWARENESS vs. AUTOMATION.
The CON tells you that it's safer with street lights, but doesn't
mention the Slack in walking out to the compost pile on a dark night,
unable to see six inches in front of yourself. The CON tells you to
come in out of the cold, but what about those weirdos in Cedar Grove
ROLLING NAKED IN THE SNOW? (Really gonna miss that woodstove this
I have no issue with those who do not WANT to roll naked in the snow;
what I have as a target here is how EASY the CON has made it to label
those po'buckras like Pammy and me so as to create a false sense of
assurance that we are MISSING OUT somehow. The words used are
usually full of negative connotation: Anti-technology, Natureburgers,
Hippies, revivalists, survivalists, sun worshipers, nutcases, kooks.
The CON wants you to do be happy, their way. It never mentions that
people living unconventionally often are doing it for Slack, that the
Slack of rolling naked in the snow is a far better thing than the
numb conformity of not wanting to upset the neighbors and so staying
Ted Kaczynski mails a few bombs and is considered a dangerous
criminal; the fact that he lives without electricity or plumbing
makes him CRAZY. Hell, HE has REAL WOOD paneling, and while his
restroom facility is also a hole in the ground outside, it is MORE
CONVIENIENTLY SITUATED near the house. I don't see broken glass
panes or squirrel holes. HIS fire-pit is nicely stone-lined. I get
real nervous that the CON has decided he is crazy based on THAT place;
our place makes his look upscale. He doesn't even sleep in a
bed, just on a wood slab. Uh oh.(That's right, no matress/boxsprings)
The CONspiracy supplies all the illusions needed to keep subjugation
up to date. People who care about what everyone else thinks often
NEED to think that there IS NO SLACK, oh no, just being happy and
getting along is enough. If we ALL simply got along, look the same,
act the same, ARE the same...
It is easier for the CON to ignore them wierdos in Cedar Grove who
purposely created an immediate environment filled with scents and
colors of innumerable flowers (why should anyone want to work that
hard?), who play music (why so LOUD?), who roll in the snow (they'll
catch their death a cold!) and walk in the woods and play with the
snakes (it's dangerous!). But if it just can't ignore them wierdos,
it at least can label them as ANYTHING but Slackful, anything that
keeps one from thinking that one may have something in common with
'em, that keeps the focus on salient differences and keeps the focus
away from the possibility that the CON programming is not sufficient
to a satisfying life. As long as they keep spoon-feeding you the
Options, they keep you from noticing the Slack that's YOURS for the
taking; as long as they make ridicule an unquestioned response to
unconventionality, they make it unlikely that you will value
self-expression in yourself or in others.
> When I was in garden school in Santa Cruz we didn't have electricity
> at the farm on campus where we lived. It turned out to be one of the
> biggest lessons I learned living there: how to be a night creature. I
> took long walks at night, stargazed, listened to night sounds. My
> eyesight, strained by years of school, returned to 20/20, and I was
> able to get rid of my glasses. We lived in tents and teepees (no rain,
> no ticks, no chiggers and very few mosquitoes!). By mid-summer most of
> us had moved our bedrolls out into the field. I fell asleep in the
> grass, with friends snoozing nearby, and woke up with the daylight in
> my eyes. We cooked on a gas stove, had a gas refridgerator, cleaned
> the kitchen at night by the light of oil lamps. I had no doors, no
> locks or keys, very few possessions to possess me.
> Here at our farm Random and I could install plumbing, in fact we
> occasionally talk about the idea. But outdoor showers with the garden
> hose work for much of the year, and for the rest we do actually have a
> bathroom and tub. I just heat a kettle of water and take a "shower" in
> the tub. Easy. I feel richer, safer, and saner for knowing the measure
> of myself and what my "necessities" are.
Hee Hee - we built the "bathroom" as an addition onto the back porch
because a friend let us have a 5'x9' window and we really wanted that
window. Years of hauling water by the bucket (remember watering the
garden with rainwater off the roof?) have me still smiling at the
"luxury" whenever I turn on a spigot.
> When I went shopping a few years ago for a piano, the saleman showed
> me the Yamaha Clavinova. Digitally sampled grand piano sound, plus a
> ton of goodies like drums and stuff I could trigger. What a play toy!
> I left to think about it for awhile, but when I came back I bought the
> piano. I can play it even when the electricity goes out.
> How's that, Dyna?
> SPOTS--playing piano in the dark sounds cool!
Rev. Random the Other