Bartender, pour me a double of something that hurts. I need to embrace the pain this cold afternoon.
I'm starting to perceive that the escape hatches from the bunker/madhouse that is modern capitalism have been shut and welded.
All the mess is intertwined; you cannot leave the internet behind because your bank or the utility companies won't allow you to do so. You cannot abandon the smartphone because your work requires it, and you cannot abandon the work because the mere fact of existing in this world is extremely costly.
You need a car to get to the work, which requires roads, gas stations, tire centers (which now rival churches and banks for sheer unbelievable numbers.) You'd live closer, but the houses are all 4000 square feet and cost nearly a million dollars.
You cannot build a small, low-cost shelter because laws forbid it. You cannot harvest the fruits of the land because the land has been denuded; ecosystems graded and paved over in pursuit of something called "economic growth," and there's too many of us to do that anyway.
My fingernails are ragged from seeking cracks in the welds. They're there, but small and ultimately only let in the tiniest amount of light and fresh air.
The oxy-acetylene torch method is of course to chuck it all and live like Mark Boyle, or other anarcho-primitivist sorts. But unless you want to squat and risk eviction or arrest, you need land--which for something that provides fuel, water, and a way of surviving is extremely pricey at present.
I don't know what is best to do, but I DO know I can't persist in this...existence.
Or perhaps I could. That's a terrifying thought. Years upon years of enslavement to mere possessions and the expectations of my parent's generation, followed by senescence and death.
RIP, whiskeyding. He busted his ass for fifty years to have money to pay his property taxes and keep his lawn under control. He died tired.
Wow, I'm a chipper fella today, ain't I? The other patrons are grumbling and looking at me funny. I'll close my talk-hole and resume beating out a Karriem Riggins-esque riff on the bar with my non-drink holding hand.
I've come to realize this very thing myself not so long ago. I've been reading Thoreau and various anarcho-primitivist writings for some time now, but only fairly recently actually tried to examine the practicality of it.
A substantial disconnect from the current socioeconomical confines is becoming less and less feasible due to the invasive overprotection enabled by technology (mind, I'm not a luddite) that we are subjected to as citizens, while the decision about participation in which is entirely not up to us. There's no "I understand the risks, let me out" form to fill out anywhere in the bowels of the state's gargantuan machinerie. The only approved way of life is a brownian, peer-enforced conformity to every new unnecessary and meaningless crap, be it material or ideological, since about every concept of noble intergenerational cohesion has been clubbed to death and then some by big money and even bigger emotional immaturity. If you don't want to tag along, with every move made more controlled and commodified, you're writing yourself off as a freak and lunatic.
We have collectively assumed that to torpidly wither away under a skin-deep illusion of diversity and freedom is a far better outcome than to die precariously as a master of one's own existence — and to think otherwise is a sign of dangerous madness that must be eradicated. We as a civilization have a growing, debilitating tumor on our body and fervently cherish it because we caused it ouselves; being able-bodied is passé anyway. It's so bizarre.
I'm currently saving up for a piece of land nowhere to some day live with like-minded someone(s) and maintain possibly minimal relations with institutional forces. This vision might be tough to achieve, but is one that fills my soul with hope.
Got sore throat from this rambling, another one of this firebreather please.
I'm perfectly content to be written off as a lunatic. Much of my childhood was filled with exasperated variations on "why can't you be NORMAL?" I'm used to it.
You do hit upon a very important point, though--this isn't a task to be done alone. There are very few people with the skills and the personal fortitude to live a non-institutional life all by themselves.
We need a tribe.
A tribe would be a great thing. I believe that relatively small (a few hundred to thousand people?), stable, largely self–governed communities are the most natural human environment and shouldn't have been abandoned and labeled as archaic. Their renaissance seems to be very much needed in our atomized and rootless lives. Not as a complete replacement (some aspects of a large–scale society are good), but a viable alternative. I think we have severely neglected our mental and societal well–being while chasing for novelty and are only pushing this problem down the line. The idea of taking a few steps back appears to be unthinkable for the mainstream.
A thought: we haven't ever been a pack of noble savages; we have yet to become them.
But how do I find people who share this mindset and are not an ocean away? This is a question I'm grappling with lately.
Hey bartender, could you get both of us some whiskey?
It's such a strange feeling. I spend all my time working for a work I'm not sure I like. I give it all, but for what? My phone is always with me and even if I hate looking at it, I can't stop. It's almost like my own mind is against me. Which then brings up the question: who am I? How can I do something I don't like for so long. It's a strange battle I'm having. And I've got no clue where it will lead me.