Thursday, March 3, 2011

Inquiring minds want to know

(Notice I spelled inquiring with an "i" because I do not in any way want to be associated with the National Enquirer, the classless rag that first made such a statement. Frankly, I'm not even sure that it merits the italics used to indicate a publication...)

I have an inquiring mind, and I want to know. I want to know because I need to know. How bad is it going to get in America? In the world? Situations are unraveling faster than the newspeople can address them. You'll notice the local news-givers have simply refused to acknowledge any serious news outside of an invisible 60-mile radius surrounding our city. Another local fire? Robbery? Shooting? Demonstration? Quick, find a barely literate, clueless person to interview!

Anyway. Obviously, no one's getting the truth from the liberal, purchased national media folks, either. What I do manage to learn, (mostly via web sites which merely visiting could earn me the label of militant troublemaker,) is all bad. Economy and employment=bad. America produces very little and is controlled by thugs. Food? Bad; it's controlled by giant conglomerates like Monsanto who force chemicals, additives, and dependency on its unsuspecting consumers. Housing: bad for most, unless you had the sense to purchase a tiny, cheap home in a decent market for a fair price, and you've somehow managed to stay employed for the past 3 or 4 years. The youth? They're the victims of all this degradation and sadly, a lot of them don't even realize how unbalanced (not to mention immoral and sleazy) our world has become. Hope and change? Fading fast. Leadership and government? They're in midair now, having already driven off the cliff. (Did I mention you were in the cart they dragged behind them?)

So, what's a poor, flustered, concerned suburbanite to do in the face of all this madness?

Go off grid. Actually, go off off-grid. Just being a survivalist and removing yourself from the so-called "grid" that our culture has slowly plugged into the back of your head, Matrix-style, is no longer sufficient. Now, apparently, you must branch off from the off-grid lifestyle.

Or so I'm guessing, based on the talk about a book that becomes available in force via book bomb tomorrow, March 4. The author is a full-fledged, real-life off-gridder, and I for one am quite interested in any insights he has to offer. The intelligent, informed people over at the Granny Miller blog had some good things to say about it, and they've piqued my curiosity. I might have to bite the wallet and order one.

I love being near the city for many reasons. If someday Todd and I decide to remove ourselves from its midst, I will miss the culture, and the availability of odd and wholesome foods, and the diversity, and the dazzling array of amazing manmade creations, and the opportunities and events and seemingly limitless re-sale options. But at the same time, I can clearly see the rapid deterioration of our easy, effortless lifestyle, of the freedoms that we take for granted daily. I can see that the entire country, and most of the modern world, is teetering on the brink of some really difficult times that will make the depression look mild. It's not going to take a super-human shove to push us over the edge. Unpayable debt, overloaded systems, a majority of citizens that rely on government assistance in some form, unhealthy agricultural monopolies, pollution and corruption and—well, you see my point.

Not to mention the cost of gasoline. The refusal of our figureheads to drill at home, thus our reliance on knuckleheads. The absolute breakdown of everything when there's a disaster, natural or otherwise. Can you even imagine this country if we all lose power for any length of time? Or if some evil person gets into some major water supplies and fouls them up? Can you envision what will happen if some major roadways are disrupted for any reason and become impassable for a length of time? What if (gasp) the dollar is replaced as global currency?

I try not to picture these things, but I still do. I can't help myself. I am grounded firmly in reality. I don't like confrontation either, but I prefer it to walking away while peering with trepidation over my shoulder.

I have to think it's better to address these looming possibilities, and what I can do if they come to fruition. I wouldn't be nearly as concerned if I weren't so bloody dependent on all these faulty, flawed systems. That's why I keep eying this whole off-the-grid idea with such focus and fervor. I like the idea of being a self-sufficient unit. I enjoy the pleasures of our culture, the entertainment factors, the modern conveniences, the exotic choices in every realm. But I could live without most of it pretty easily. Could I live without all of it? What would it take? Where would it need to happen? How much money, knowledge, and preparation would it require? How much work would it be?

I know it's a lot to think about. But I do believe it merits a ponder, or two or five. Because truly, the good thing about being such a darned pessimist is that after thinking of all the bad things that could happen, the pessimist is empowered to then move forward into the preparation and planning stages.

I hope you'll check out Granny's site, or the book's website (the link is there).

Meantime, anybody want to sell me some remote land and livestock cheap?

P.S. Sorry if you find more typos than usual here; I'm hurrying, because I want to get this live so my two readers can check out the book by tomorrow...

1 comment:

Facie said...

I have some many scattered thoughts on this. But since I went only to Granny's site (and skimmed the post at that) and not the other one, I don't think my opinion is fully formed.

Some days I wonder if I should not just spend most of our savings b/c I fear the $ won't be worth squat in a year or so, so why not have fun, take my kid to Disney, etc. Of course that is not what you are saying...

Brian shares some of your thoughts. He is rather anti-people, and has talked about heading to the mountains or the woods. I would miss the world too much and not sure we could sustain ourselves. Again, w/o reading the off-grid stuff, how do you grow enough food around here? And how do you get electricity? I guess maybe the point is you could live w/o it.

When I get through a project after next week, I will check it out. I am intrigued. Sorry to ramble!