I rewrite this personal anecdote every few years, whenever it feels I might be able to improve it a bit at just a moment when I feel the seed may fall on fertile ground.
The scene: Me, alone, 1989, traveling by train through Italy, Czech Republic, Poland, East Germany before a semester abroad in Lille, France:
The demand at every border, on both sides of the border, by intimidating uniformed men who could tell instantly I was a foreigner, well before my passport and visas were promptly presented. This is, for reference, even in the five miles it takes across ‘no man’s land’ from East Germany to West, between Germany and Italy, between Czech Republic and Slovakia, etc.
For reference, imagine traveling the equivalent of 3 states in New England and having to show your papers 6 times, even in the middle of the night in your sleeping car. Whether they chose to search your backpack or detain you for any number of unknown reasons depended more on the officials’ mood than anything you might say in the moment, so you learn quickly to keep your mouth shut, nod and smile, A LOT.
It was annoying and intimidating but especially, for me as a young, naive American, it was baffling. As was the constant currency exchanging, the shifting languages, the ghost-town Sundays when everything was closed. I was already used to being mobile across vast distances since my earliest memories without any of these inconveniences. It seemed primitive to me. Backwards, less advanced culturally, surviving from the Stone Age.
It was the first time I really considered a few of the advantages of my home country, since it was already trendy by that time at university to defile the uncouth, uneducated ‘ugly American abroad’.
When I went back again after grad school in the mid-90s I saw for the first time protestors against the European Union and heard for the first time the word “Globalism”. I considered those protestors as I did the other European inconveniences, that is, yet more survivors of the Stone Age. I’d bought the propaganda like the good student I was.
Please note—I was bold enough to travel through foreign countries alone as a ‘cute young thang’, foolish enough to roll my eyes at border officials (once), confident enough to crash on strangers’ couches or even on a bench of a train platform, desperate enough to work illegally, dumb enough to smoke hash in the loo, smart enough to learn a few foreign languages—but not nearly wise enough to recognize the mountain of propaganda I’d swallowed—hook, line and sinker.
No borders? Single currency? One GIANT happy Global family? What in carnation could be wrong with those protestors??
I saw the EU maneuvers as the continuation of a smooth skate in an ever-ascending flow toward cultural Enlightenment.
I was a front-row witness to an explosion of progress and those protestors were a visual menace to Europe’s peaceful transition. Thankfully for me, they were really easy to ignore. The politicians and media agreed with me, obviously, and slurred and minimized their pathetic attempts at being such bitter clingers to the past.
Ringing any bells yet?
It wasn’t for several more years that a few pinholes pierced through my blinders. First, it was non-stop celebration.
I lived on the Czech side of what was referred to as Sudetenland, just past the west German border and the goods were flowing, fast. The thrill of choosing between 3 kinds of toilet paper, the gratitude for non-fat yogurt, the convenience of plastic wrap and home phones and fancy new trains, all upstaged the coming onslaught, for a while.
Then the McDonalds came, and the ubiquitous candy and junk food and porn and the flood of advertising. And, once the EU was firmly established by the end of the decade throughout most of Europe, it became nearly impossible for an unconnected American to find legal work anymore.
And if that wasn’t all bad enough, then came the crowds.
Booming tourism, which I once believed would be a great thing, began invading all my favorite quiet haunts and deserted streets and the subtle, muted colors of old Europe went proverbially (and sometimes literally) neon.
And, finally, I questioned, “Uh-oh, what have I been blindly supporting through my ignorance and short-sidedness all this time?”
It had never occurred to me for a moment that I might be inviting in Tyranny through the back door. I’d considered myself an advocate of progress. But, I was not wise enough to ask: “Whose version of progress?”
The American Empire is on its last legs, but I never wanted, or asked, to be a part of any empire. Progress to me now means something very different than it did 3 decades ago. I wish we could go down more gracefully than the empires of the past, but there’s little hope of that.
So instead of hoping for a miracle I work, with growing awareness in ever-increasing ranks, toward piercing more pinholes in all those as unaware and propagandized as I once was—those who are still blinded by tyranny in its many guises and stuck in various roles of keeping it alive and thriving, while insanely badgering on about ‘progress’.
The last time we had a real snow here in rural East Texas was at Easter over a decade ago. That was fun, we were here camping at the time, so there was as yet no garden to be concerned about, because by Easter we’d have lost all our young crops.
I realize for much of the States right now this is nothing too remarkable. But for us, to celebrate this anomalous occasion we did what we could to make it as memorable as possible.
Running around in the nude seemed an effective way to do that, at least for one of us. Here are some of our shareable efforts. 🙂
I often feel sorry for men. And those boys who try to become men, few as they may be nowadays.
I remember when my dad started writing poetry in middle age, in order to potentially ward off another divorce. It was a phase that didn’t last long and I don’t remember if his poetry was any good, but I remember being impressed by that effort. First he converted for her, got baptized and everything, then he attempted to swim, via words, the seas of emotion, alone, at high tide, with no training.
Doesn’t surprise me much. He’s always been impressive that way. Exactly that sort of way, actually. While dismally unimpressive in other ways.
I do understand that’s called being human.
But it bugs me this isn’t something we’re allowed to talk about, the being human part. The warts and all part. Because the sugar coating gets nauseating after a while. Besides, it’s not healthy, in that where’s the broccoli sort of way.
This is not allowed in my FOO (family of origin) and I know for certain, it’s not just mine. Broccoli hits that table only soggy and drowning in artificial cheese sauce.
Somehow over the generations there’s been a great divide happening between many aspects of familial and societal life, and leaving all conspiracy theories aside for a moment as to how that’s come to pass, there are clear and present repercussions being felt by the glaring lack of healthy masculinity being demonstrated currently in our culture.
Dad’s poetry efforts didn’t pan out. Too little, too late, I suspect. That pesky human error thing—hindsight, tunnel vision, any one of the 7 deadly sins—or whatever.
As flawed as I’m able to paint him, which depending on my mood might go pretty dark, it’s the unwashable tones that I prefer, whether that spectrum proves dark or light.
Unfortunately, I don’t have the skill, or the distance, to paint him well, to do him justice, warts and all, not even in words. But, someday.
All I feel able to do now is to demonstrate those parts of him I admire, and always have and always will, which comes down to pointing out their antithesis.
Who is Dad not?
This matters enough for me to post about publicly because there are a whole lot of heroes out there, but you’ll never learn about them until you turn off the TV and really tune in to what higher minds are trying to tell us, because it is becoming increasingly less common knowledge than it should be.
Examples of positivity masculinity exist and were once diligently cultivated. For every accusation of power abuse there is a man who gifted power, maybe even a dozen of them.
For every accusation of narcissism there is a man who dispersed his glory voluntarily upon those close to him.
For every accusation of arrogance, selfishness, egoism, betrayal, there is a man who knew, above all else, that what it takes to be a man is as tough as it is simple: never accept arrested development.
Happy Birthday, Dad.
Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” -Theodore Roosevelt
The artists know. They just don’t know exactly what they know, or how they know it. Can you see what he feels?
Beginning in 1890, Jacques-Arsene d’Arsonval (1851-1940) Director of the Laboratory of Biological Physics at the College de France, investigates how electricity of high frequencies affect living organisms. The facts proved, he wrote, “That the currents of high frequency penetrate deeply into the organism.”
The Scream (1893) Edvard Munch
G. Marconi, electrical engineer, had not heard of D’Arsonval’s research.
“If radio waves are dangerous, Marconi, of all people in the world, should have suffered from them. Let us see if he did.
As early as 1896, after a year and a half of experimenting with radio equipment in his father’s attic, the previously healthy 22-year-old youth began running high temperatures which he attributed to stress. These fevers were to recur for the rest of his life. By 1900 his doctors were speculating that perhaps he had unknowingly had rheumatic fever as a child. By 1904 his bouts of chills and fevers had become so severe that it was thought they were recurrences of malaria. At that time he was so occupied with building a permanent super-high-power radio link across the Atlantic Ocean between Cornwall, England and Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.”
“If hope is to be found, it will be found with those of us who do not rely on politicians that promise to fix what is wrong but instead do their part, at their local levels, to right the wrongs and fix what is broken. I am referring to the builders, the thinkers, the helpers, the healers, the educators, the creators, the artists, the activists, the technicians, the food gatherers and distributors, and every other person who does their part to build up rather than destroy.” JW
Whether red ants will really fight black ants to the death is a question for the biologists, but it’s an apt analogy of what’s playing out before us on the political scene and a chilling lesson in social engineering.
If you want to know what’s happening here and now all you have to do is look what has been happening around the world for the last 100 years or so. The tyranny has come home to roost.
Source – scheerpost.com “…What’s shocking to a lot of people is that this is now happening in the United States,” Donziger said. “I don’t mean murder, but death by a thousand cuts. Chevron does not want me to be a lawyer anymore, at a minimum. They don’t want me advocating even as a nonlawyer. They […]
Relatively speaking, we had an excellent year. I’m not the type to gloat, really. It comes as no surprise to me at all that my experience is pretty much the polar opposite of most folks most of the time. I accepted that ages ago and prefer to think I’m perfecting this ‘gift’ bit by bit, year by year.
Following are some highlights, some whys and hows and so forth, not meaning to boast or give advice, but rather to contrast previous years with my rosy 2020 perspectacles.
I perfected sourdough bread. I’ve been getting failures regularly for years without understanding why and thanks to one farm friend and her new guru, Elaine Boddy, I got the bitch slap needed to learn I was doing it ALL wrong. Not only was I making it infinitely more difficult than it had to be, I had a flabby starter and was creating needless waste. We’ve entered into higher consciousness sourdough on the wee homestead, praise be.
I have also become a Kombucha master. Really, a master. It’s easy to say that for a number of reasons, but especially because so few folks drink it around here, or like it once they try it, that it’s in the realm of ‘acquired tastes’ and only needs to appeal to Hubby, and two nearby friend-aficionados. I’ve been working on signature blends for months, using seasonal herbs and fruits, have Kombucha vinegar in a few flavors and am now aging Kombucha champagne. It’s the funnest thing ever. Or, I’m just a real geek like that.
Of course, no one becomes master without help, and in Kombuchaland, this is Scripture:
Three great gardening successes overshadow the multiple failures—like a second year of sweet potato perils and a fourth year of melon miseries. I leave those to ponder in an upcoming post. For now, it’s Cranberry hibiscus, Blue coco beans and Trombetta squash. I really can’t praise them enough and they were prolific and worry-free and I can’t wait to plant them again in profusion.
But I once said that about the sweet potatoes and the melons, so I’ll shut up now.
Extra-special mention goes of course to the best news of the year, Hubby’s layoff-rebranded early retirement, a somewhat unexpected miracle that has improved my reality already in very unexpected ways. Sometimes the true weight of a burden isn’t fully realized until it’s lifted.
I knew he’d take over most of my animal chores leaving me more time in the garden and the kitchen, where I most prefer to be. And that he’d build more and relax more and check off items on the to-do list at a more satisfying pace. We’ve added two large asparagus beds, coop 3.0 has raised the bar once more in poultry housing, the orchard looks positively professionally and my promised potting shed is in the planning phase finally.
What I had not expected was how good all of that would feel and that it would come so early and that he’d be so glad about it and that we’d be prepared enough for it to not miss the income much in the foreseeable future.
There’s incredible empowerment and peace of mind in preparing, and not just financially. It has gone in a single year from “Prepping” being something we heard mocked for a decade in the mainstream to now feeling like we were choosing wisely all along—not the easy road for sure, but the right road for us and the many others doing likewise.
And with that a wee bit of a boast.
And another. Still, mask-free, with no need or intention to alter that reality or any of the layers horse shit coming down the pipeline with it in future. Have I earned the right yet to say what I really think about these fucking vaccines? Decker, at Dispatches from the Asylum, says it best so far: vials of battery acid.
Just mark me down in your permanent ‘anti-vaxx’ file and if they send the goons to our house, warn them they’ll be given a good ole-fashioned goose chase. (hmm, bravado before breakfast, I must be feeling good!)
Food for thought for the New Year:
“Ignorantly worshiping our own being on the theater of the external world leads to pathological behavior and neurosis. We are ensnared and enslaved to the will of despots in all sorts of guises. We are wide open to irrationality, manipulation, mania and insanity. As parents often work to deliberately undermine our will and identity, the world’s leaders and misleaders use our psychic dissociation to their advantage. In fact, our estrangement from ourselves is the main reason for the rise of all tyranny. However, the deadly predicament ends the moment we heed the inscription at the Oracle of Delphi – “Gnothi Seuton” or Know Thyself. No other instruction is needed on the journey toward enlightenment.”