Wednesday, July 03, 2013


my litany of complaints about the modern world has been altered somewhat by moving here, where conditions are somewhat different and it becomes more apparent that it's possible to do something about some of these complaints. For example, my first complaint and possibly most important one, is that it's imppossible for kids to spend enough time outside these days; since nobody else sends their kids out, and everyone puts kids in summer camps, etc., it's virtually impossible for a kid to wake up, walk out the door, go down by the creek, and spend his days swinging from vines as i would do occasionally as a young child.

down here summers are hot, especially the afternoons, but there are lots of ways to spend lots of time outside, and we've quickly found a few of them. the key words are: morning, and evening. we took our baseball stuff to the park the other day, and had no trouble finding other kids who were willing to swing a bat and run from tree to tree. baseball has always been my favorite sport. if really all they cared about was football around here, i'd be very unhappy. but in fact they like all sports. soccer is big too, so is basketball. being outside is big. being friendly and doing stuff with other people is possible and happens a lot.

i always thought i'd have to join one of those intentional communities, which have maybe twenty families, and are really more like small towns, or, what the heck just go live in a really small town, where you turn your kids loose and everyone knows them, and they grow up on the perimeter or beyond the big garden, or on the mountain trails or something. here we're in a very conservative city. we don't really know how people feel about letting their kid run off with a black kid down the street or looking for trouble. but, there are people around, and they spend time outside. it's a start.

another of my complaints is the following: the balance between i'm-gonna-get-mine and we-are-a-community-and have-to-be-fair-to survive is a little out of whack. some people are piling it up behind an iron gate, and you can tell, everyone knows, you can't keep burning oil and using water forever, but then, there''s this mentality, yes you can. so, you say, once there's a natural disaster, an epic one, then people will come around. well, maybe. sandy came through, and that was enough for three quarters of the usa, but it wasn't enough for texas. a $2 billion drought came through, and that wasn't enough either. i guess they don't impress easily down here.

of course, what's really necessary is a national plan, that everyone buys into, that relieves the earth of some of its burden, and helps the human race to survive on this land a few generations from now. with the world as hungry as it is for energy, and the usa & canada sitting as they are on natural deposits, it's probably inevitable that the frackers come along and squirt gluey toxins beneath us and get whatever they can out of the place. but to have tap water that catches on fire and people forced to leave areas in large droves will be destabilizing to our future, so we have to agree on an orderly way to plunder, and we have to do it as a large group, we can't just let certain clans call the shots.

then the question is, can a place that's so ruggedly individualistic, and gun-oriented to boot, convert itself culturally, fast enough to survive, so that it can do anything as a group? we can do some things as a group, for sure, for example, fight some war. but this, you could argue, is the survival of the whole culture. either we do it, or we can't, and if we can't, there's a long line of consequences just around the bend.

have a happy and blessed fourth, as they like to say, wish you a calm and restful holiday.


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