Tuesday, 6 March 2012


one thing i think i need to get straight in my head
and on this here blog too
the problem is not people per se
it's the prevailing culture
it's easy to come over all misanthropic but that would be wrong
i don't want to make it so easy
for the civilised to dismiss me out of hand
there are the abusers and the abused
the natural world falling into the latter category
but when a person is born into this abusive culture
a brand new stone-age baby
the opt-in is pretty much automatic
no-one asks the baby whether it buys into the great machine
the uncontested religion
the god of consumption
no one asks baby if it approves of decimating the planet
systematically cutting off its life-support systems
for the sake of profit and greed
just so that we in the 'rich world' can all go on driving around in our jeeps
or consuming the latest i-pads and kindles
or taking hot showers
or putting on our central heating
or whatever level of unsustainable technology you wanna propose
so what about opting out?
well that's the difficult bit
because to survive in this culture
opting out is a pretty tough business
most of the avenues have long since been blocked
how to opt out of the water authority
that pipes stolen water from a welsh reservoir
in a dammed (damned) mountain valley
to a large conurbation
where the local landbase's supply of fresh water
has long ago been sullied and poisoned?
i dunno
a complete opt-out is practically impossible
unless you're ray mears
but a partial withdrawal is not
to take a few examples off the top of my barnet
rejecting car ownership is a form of withdrawal
it says: "i refuse to buy into the car-manufacturing and owning culture"
tearing up loyalty cards is another
it says: "i refuse to be a slave to your brand and boost your profits
to supply you with free data about my purchasing habits
all for the sake of a few measly crumbs from your table"
cancelling direct debits is a third kind
it says "i refuse to give up my right to settle my bills myself
when - and not until - i am good and ready"
these may be more or less trivial examples
(i'm sure you can think of better ones)
but they show that there are degrees of opting in and out
that there are choices to be made
so this is what i'm wrestling with right now
how far can i opt out?
and to what degree do i still opt in?

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