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The 1st Diner Convocation II

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Published on Epiphany Now on March 20, 2014

Discuss this article at the SUN Table inside the Diner

In 2007 I read James Howard Kunstler’s The Long Emergency, and my life changed irrevocably due to the information I received from that book. Shortly after, I joined the Kunstlercast forum and posted many threads and had many in depth conversations about collapse, peak oil, and the ramifications of our infinite growth on a finite planet paradigm. I also began digesting collapse related books with precision and efficiency, and I would often order five or six books at a time by authors like Richard Heinberg, Dmitry Orlov, John Michael Greer, Michael Ruppert, and Jared Diamond just to name a few. Figuring out what the collapse of our modern petroleum dependent civilization meant to me was no easy task. I’m an Aspie, so it wasn’t an emotional affair for me to deal with, but it was stressful nonetheless, and collapse became a “special interest,” and it’s a special interest that is still current for me. Mostly because I’m unable to not abide in the truth of things. It seems this to is part of my Aspie brain (I’ll be writing about Asperger’s Syndrome much more in the coming months because I have just recently stopped being in denial about the diagnosis…but this particular blog is not the time to do that).

I was a daily contributor over at the Kunstlercast, and it was the first forum I’d ever been a member of. I greatly enjoyed communicating with like minds on that forum via the written medium. I fell in love with it actually, and the regular contributors became my friends (which was great since IRL friends are difficult for me to acquire). This was a set of people whom would talk about the truths surrounding PO with me for hours on end, which is still next to impossible to do with people IRL. Threads that would stretch for days and days. I was a conspiracy theorist at this time in my life and had been for about five years. The “Kcats,” as we called ourselves, helped open my eyes a bit about the nature of conspiracy theories and their many half truths. Around 2009 or so I got tired of the same old shit being discussed over and over again via countless incarnations on the Kunstlercast forum. It got boring and I decided to leave the forum without a word about it really. I just sorta left one day and never went back. I also deleted my facebook account around this same time and focused all of my writing on this blog.
The only blog I was reading at this time was John Michael Greer’s Archdruid Report. He came up with the concept of the Green Wizard, and a forum was devoted to the project, which I frequented for a while. I had shifted my focus from understanding the nature of our predicament to wanting to act on the information. What became important to me was the answer to the question “what am I going to do about collapse?” The Green Wizard Project (GWP) was exactly what I needed. The GWP was mostly designed for solitary green wizards, and it was about using appropriate tech and about developing strategies that would help with minimizing the impact that the Long Descent would have on the GWP participants. The psychological component of the GWP can be summed up by JMG’s own acronym “LESS.” Less entertainment, stuff, and stimulation. JMG advises us all to step back into voluntary simplicity and learn how to live more in tune with the natural world and it’s cycles and it’s renewable pace. I became a Druid as well. For the next couple of years practicing green wizardry was sufficient for me as a response to collapse, but that to began to change as my understanding of our predicament began intensifying.
I realized that the only chance of survival in a shit hits the fan scenario, or even just a long descent scenario, would be real community. As far as I can tell, real community has gone extinct in our imagadget, narcissistic, techno delusional, American Hologram deployed and Matrix controlled consumer waste generating stank of a society. I had found fellow blogger William Hunter Duncan’s blog, Off The Grid in Minneapolis, via a comment he left over at the Archdruid Report. William resonated very strongly with me (which interestingly enough, William now works with autistic people as his job). I began following his blog, and he began following mine. He may well have been the first “follower” of mine on this blog. We became good virtual friends and even exchanged books we were writing for back and forth criticism and suggestions. He told me about a new forum that he was an administrator for called the Doomstead Diner. I went and had a look, but I still had a sour taste in my mouth after boring with the Kunstlercast forum. I looked around and it appeared to be just about the exact same thing as the Kcast forum with different avatars. After a short visit I decided that I wasn’t interested in joining as a member (and I just found out, via going to the kunstlercast forum to copy the web address for the hyperlink for this blog that I’ve been banned from the Kunstlercast Forum for some unknown reason).
Several months later I left a comment on Morris Berman’s blog and RE, the man responsible for the existence of the Doomstead Diner, saw it and it peaked his interest enough to come over here to see what I was about. William had commented on that blog and RE saw this and apparently formed the opinion that I may be a good match as a cross poster on the Diner. It felt good to have somebody seek me out for my writing, and I was more than happy to have my essays published on the Diner. I figured since I was going to be publishing my blog on the Diner that I might as well have a more focused look around to see what was shakin’ in the Diner world. I’ve been an active participant and a Diner ever since. Not long after I arrived at the Diner fellow Diner Roamer arrived and posted a thread titled “Community OwnedDoomstead.” That thread lit a spark that found good tinder and began smoking. Roamer knew about 150 acres in NC that an elderly couple owned and were interested in allowing more able bodied individuals to cultivate the land in permaculture fashion. My wife Gypsy Mama and son Ayden Zen and I all drove to NC to meet Roamer in person along with his on again off again lady friend. We met in a coffee shop across the street from the university my wife graduated from, and we all instantly liked each other. It was the first time I had ever met a virtual friend in real life…making Roamer an “in real life” friend as well. This was a very exciting and important step for the Diner. As it turns out, Roamer, GM and I’s meeting was foreshadowing the now not too distant future. The 150 acres didn’t work out on account of dementia and Cat Food Carol, but that’s a long story (and you likely already know it if you’re reading this blog). We came a pubic hair away from the first Sunstead (at the time it had been dubbed the Foxstead) within weeks of the first attempt that the Diner’s made for a community owned doomstead.
We’ve since been working towards figuring out how to bioneer our way into a petroleum scarce world. We’ve been trying to figure out how we move forward from this point. How do we structure a new way to inhabit the land and use it’s resources to meet our basic human needs in a sustainable and healing way? We don’t want a commune, but we want something intentional that empowers the Sunsteaders, and gives us autonomy and meaningful community at the same time. Eventually the new effort was dubbed the SUN project (sustaining universal needs). Our driving ethic is to “save as many as you can.” This translating into a tribal unit we are currently calling the “Sunstead.” We want the Sunstead to be a self replicating template that will pop up like mushrooms in spite of the Near Term Human Extinction (NTHE) meme. NTHE being the idea that all life on Earth will be going extinct sometime in the next two decades (as soon as five years from now) due to run away positive feedback loops running amok in the climate control mechanisms of our planet. They may be right, but I refuse to live in a world with no hope, and I recognize that there is no way anybody can know what the planet will do. While our civilization is definitely collapsing, and while we are doing our level best to shit all over the planet that sustains us with our incessant chemical creation and consumptive waste generation, our planet is a living organism which we cannot study under a microscope.  We can’t possibly know how the Earth will react.
The Sun Foundation is now a 501c3 non-profit organization, and we are currently waiting for the magic government letter to arrive so that we can begin accepting charitable donations from people like you, whom care about the reality outside of the Matrix, and our engagement with the wasteland we’ve inherited. In a little under two weeks a select few Diner members are going to converge on the Toothstead in Texas for the purposes of the first Diner Convocation, and for training in Monolithic Dome construction.
The coming Convocation is proof that we’re not just a bunch of keyboards circle jerking into the endless night about how fucked it all is. We want to do something in the real world about the predicament our civilization’s in. The writing is on the wall, and food prices are fit to bust any time now due to drought and ever increasing super storms. I could go on about all of the problems our crumbling civilization is dealing with, but I’ve done that countless times here already. If you don’t know what the problems are at this point than it’s because you are willfully deluding yourself, or just don’t have the desire to extricate yourself from the Matrix’s mesmerizing hologram. We’re going to meet in Texas, in person, as a symbolic act, to look each other in the eyes and validate the reality of our typed expressions, desires, goals, and to engage with reality of the real, rather than reality of the virtual persuasion. We’re going to drink beer and break bread at a real Doomstead Diner table. We’re going to study Monolithic construction and plant some real seeds of change. We’re going to build a rocket mass heater, have a hole diggin’ contest, possibly film a spoof on the NTHE movie trailer 22 After, and get to know a handful of Diner’s in person. I’ll be bringing my family and my boomerangs.
Most importantly we’re going to ferment in a real life think tank. That’s what the Convocation is ultimately about. For me, it’s a vetting, and it’s a chance to look my fellow Diners in the eyes (I know, ironic considering my Aspie status, but I’ve always been atypical even amongst the atypical…consider that the majority of the medics thought I was weird when I worked EMS to gauge how weird I am…as it turns out, not weird just not neurotypical) and see what I see. Is the SUN Foundation worth my time? Is it something that can be real? Can we actually bioneer a Sunstead, or a Waterstead, or a Foxstead, or a Doomstead? Can we actually be the force that begins fixing this clusterfuck of a predicamentation civilization? Does RE really smoke six packs of cigarettes a day? Is William really bald and in love with the Goddess? Can Eddie fix my fucked up mouth full of metal (just kiddin’ Eddie…at least this time). Will Haniel and I see Aspie to Aspie and relate to one another?
I’m looking forward to finding out the answer to all of those questions. For me, the Convocation is my chance to show everybody that I really am a 6′ 4″ bad ass Aikido ninja permaculture green wizard druid Aspie Diner. It’s my chance to look them all in the eyes, Haniel included, in an attempt to pull as much of their true intentions out so that I can shine my hyperfocused understanding of the human psyche onto them. Here’s hoping we’ll all be comfortable, and that William won’t get his feelings hurt when I dig a bigger hole in the Texas dirt. My wife Gypsy Mama, and my children Ayden Zen and Harper Tribann will be there as well (as far as I know they’re the only children Diners…hell, Harper Tribann was born a Diner). Several Diners will converge in two weeks. To hear RE tell about it, you’ll all get a chance to participate in real time on the net. I hear he’s bought all of the recording devices he could find. If nothing else, for the first time, Diners will break bread at a real Diner table…in Texas…and I’ll get too drunk and throw my boomerangs.

Knarf plays the Doomer Blues

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