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Topics - luciddreams

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1
Prometheus Rising / Lucid Trucking
« on: May 18, 2019, 05:08:31 PM »
 It's been a long time since I've written anything.  I'm in a motel room in Natchez Mississippi in a temporary holding pattern.  I've just taken possession of a 2015 Freightliner with a manual 10 speed Eaton transmission and a Detroit diesel engine.  Monday I'll leave out of here with a load going somwhere.  My youngest son turns 6 tomorrow, and I will be here...700 miles away in Mississippi.  That's truckin'. 

I'd pray to some diety to allow enough affordable diesel if I believed in the existance of some deity whom would listen.  However I realize there is no such deity listening to my miniscule request.  "I know there are people starving, and dying, and being tortorued lord, but please let the economy hold out long enough for this venture of mine to make sense."  Maybe it would go something like that.  If things continue as they have been I'll go from netting 5000 a month to 10000 a month.  I flatbed...we make more money than all of the other truckers because we haul heavy shit that builds our insolvent and temporalrily unrenewable world.  I regularly haul metal coils weighing as much as fifty thousand pounds.  It's an object smaller than a car and it weighs more than my semi and trailer combined by about twenty thousand pounds.  None of this information stops idiotic motorist from cutting me off and forcing me to stand on the breaks on the interstate.  A few weeks ago I had one such coil shift by about a foot towards my tractor.  Had I not built a false bulkhead out of 4X4 lumber chained down with a 5/16th inch chain it likely would have ended my life.  That bit of wood and one chain saved my life...and that so that one crack head motorist could save a few seconds on I-285 in Atlanta.  Atlanta GA is by far the wost place to operate any type of vehicle. 
 
Not too long ago I was diggin' permaculture holes and worshipping bamboo.  I was splitting bamboo canes with a traditional Japanesse bamboo splitting blade and weaving beautiful baskets.  I was teaching at Mother Earth News festivals and building shit for Eustace Conway at Turtle Island Preserve.  Now I pound the black bitumen sea 6 days a week to acquire benjamins to provice my family with a comfortable 21st century lifestlye.  Asside from that I'm simply trying to acquire some land so that I can grow bamboo.  I'd like that.  I simply want to grow bamboo groves that I don't have to worry about cutting down due to property lines and conventional American thinking. 

There is the real tragedy.  Bamboo is the most useful plant to our species as well as the biosphere.  It creates more biomass , energy, and oxygen than trees.  My domestic fatherly and husbandly duties, as well as my corporeal and spiritual  aspirations are all chocked by a homemade and publicly owned garat.  I once asked "why does a Druid ride a lawn mower."  Now that is comical considering that I'm buying a semi tractor to haul fifty thousand pounds worth of freight around on a daily basis.  That in the name of the money I'm forced into attaining. 

Meanwhile the clock on peak energy keeps on ticking down to economically unrecoverable energy.  I have a simple hope, and that is that I can acquire enough digibits to buy some land and build a quality domicile before the energy clock runs out.  I'm fully aware of the borrowed time.  I'm fully aware of the pollution and the trash we generate.  I'm fully aware of the destruction and death and ridiculousness involved.  I'm also fully aware of my responsibilities as a father to two childen.  One could easily argue that my approach is misguided.  To that my reply is simple.  Show me the money.  It's not me.  I'm no politicians child.  My absent sperm doner left when I was four.  He too drove a truck for money.  Unfortuantely, in my case, this is fate.  Bamboo is my destiny.  Ironically I drive a semi for bamboo. 

Once upon a time I was an EMT on an ambulance.  I netted $500 a week.  I've been netting 1300 a week, and now that I'm owner operating I stand to net 3000 a week.  These are real numbers and they are real fucking stupid.  It's a good snap shot of our society.  Of course every single meat sack reading these words are dependent on the semi's moving all manner of "civiliation" around. 

Our species has been around for approximately 250,000 years.  For about 240,000 years we lived in tribal bands of no more than 150 individuals.  We had no governments, no kings, and no agriculuture.  That all changed.  It's going to change again.  It's going to change back to how it was for the first 240,000 years.  Meanwhile...

If only I could just cultivate the most useful plant to our species as a living.  Oh well...breaker breaker...get the fuck out of my way! 

2
The Kitchen Sink / Diesel Powerd Murikan Roadkill
« on: March 18, 2018, 02:02:11 AM »


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Published on Epiphany Now on March 13, 2018






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I took this picture with my iphone at a truck stop in Utah



 


It's 2 in the morning and a shape appears on the northern Indiana road in front of me. At 65 mph there are only a couple of seconds to decipher the image and react. It's quickly realized that there are two raccoon on the road, they are moving around, probably picking at some type of food. It's a mystery what they are doing, but in the next second there is a thud thud as the 80,000 pound semi tractor trailer continues on at 65 mph. It seems that racoon should be more intelligent than this. The next several minutes are followed by a lingering melancholy. I've just taken one, maybe two, lives, and senselessly with no premeditation. I've killed directly before, with a 30/30, but I killed intentionally from a tree stand 20 feet up in a tree. I also ate the meat.


 


As I drive on through the night and contemplate the death of those raccoon, I'm reminded of some things. I begin to ruminate on America, and why I have also unintentionally killed thousands of people.


 




17 years ago I was on a U.S. Aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Carl Vinson, and planes crashed into the World Trade Centers in N.Y. City. That day changed this country. It changed all of the citizens. It changed me in irrevocable ways, and for different reasons than it changed most. The first Murikan bombs dropped on Afghanistan were from my ship, and I spent a lot of effort directly helping that reality, and I consequently spent even more effort trying to understand why. At the time I was a 21 year old idealist. I should have never enlisted in the military, but I was lost, and wandering, and searching for my own way in the world. I had grown up mostly fatherless, the product of a single mother. That too has gone a long way towards defining who I am now and why I was on that carrier in the first place. Constantly on a quest, searching for something that I defined as the truth. What was the world, and what was I supposed to do with it? I was not interested in money, but money is necessary in society.


 


I smelled a rat. I smelled a stinkin', no good, putrid, walking dead rat. At the time I couldn't put my finger on it, but I knew that it had something to do with my country, and my navy, and my conscience. Cognitive dissonance grew to lighting and thunder in my own mind. It shook me to insanity, and I ran away from any contribution to those bombs. Consequences be damned! I was 21. That decision has also continued to define me. Shortly after the terrorists attacked we were in Iraq looking for weapons of mass destruction as the military moved in. There were no WMD's, that was a lie, as was the effort in Afghanistan. A lot of evidence points towards the U.S. , at a bare minimum, being complicit towards the demise of the towers. The government at least allowed it to happen, and then used that tragedy they allowed to happen to accomplish a goal. Why is our military still in Afghanistan and Iraq? Nobody in Murika talks about the fact that Murika is still at war, and has been since 9/11 of 2001. If forced to think about it “keeping Murika safe from terrorism” will likely be regurgitated all patriotic and programmed meme like.  Well…it's really not correct to call what Murika is doing "war."  It's actually occupation, domination, and usurpation of formerly independent and autonomous nations at drone, bomb, missile, and gunpoint.   


 


Petroleum is the reason we have been at war for 17 years. More specifically gasoline and diesel is the reason. Petroleum is a limited resource, and that is an irrefutable fact of geology. It's an irrefutable scientific fact. Read that again, slowly, and for comprehension, and try to have a clue about what it means. Murikans are professional delusionists. I knew that we are completely dependent on petroleum before I took a job as a long haul flatbed trucker. Now I KNOW it. Everyday I burn somewhere between 50 and 100 gallons of diesel. Do you know how many truck drivers there are in Murika doing the same? It's somewhere around 4 million. It is just about impossible to buy anything with money that has not been on a truck at a minimum of once. It's more likely that the finished product you buy has been on 4 or 5 or 10 trucks (in many cases thousands..this would be your average car) and probably a ship and a train before you spend your money on it. In order to buy something that has not been on a truck it just about has to be made by human hands, locally, and from raw materials that have been harvested locally from nature.


 


Just before I took this job as a trucker I was busy learning how to do just that with bamboo. In fact you could have bought a basket from me, made by me, out of bamboo that I grew, harvested, cured, treated, split, and wove all by hand. You'd have to pay around 2 to 300 dollars for it because said item would have represented a minimum of 25 hours in direct artisan labor on my part. That's not counting the time it took to care for the groves, to harvest the cane, to process it, and then to cure it. That's just counting the time it took me to treat the cane with fire, and then to split the cane with a traditional Japanese bamboo splitting blade, and then to weave it. Next to nobody will pay 300 dollars for an artisan bamboo basket grown and crafted by artisan hands locally when they can go buy a plastic (petroleum) bucket from Lowes for $5. I also spent a number of years training in permaculture design. I made money with bamboo and permaculture, but not enough money to support myself in this world, much less a wife and two children.













Split bamboo next to whole canes.


 














A bamboo fence for my wife's garden spot


 



 


 





 


I was involved in Permaculture and bamboo, and both because I was following my bliss. That bliss was to live a natural life. That bliss was to use my hands to create beauty, and to be a good steward to the natural landscapes that sustain us as biological creatures. That bliss was to pay homage to the actual reality that is the natural processes that occur in nature to make things such as the air we breath, the water we drink, and the soil we grow our food in. That bliss was to treat the Earth as a living entity that, along with the sun, imbues and blesses us all with life. That bliss was an idealistic lie in this world. Alas, idealism does not pay any bills.













Weaving a door for the garden spot fence


 














Delusional bliss in action


 














A bamboo door


 


So what does roadkill have to do with Murika and petroleum and war and an idealistic hippie playing with bamboo and digging permaculture holes? I realized that America is this truck that I now drive for money, and those raccoon are the rest of the world. That is exactly how Murika treats the rest of the world, as well as the natural environment. It's just “collateral damage” (a term coined by the Murikan Military Industrial Complex to describe innocent civilian deaths in war) that is unfortunately necessary to keep us all up in the manner we have become accustomed. Just about nothing, with the exception of nature (and air brakes combined with engine compression brakes), can stop an 80,0000 pound truck at 65 mph. Anything that's in the way becomes roadkill…thud thud. Worse than that actually, because at least the scavenger birds can pick at the roadkill, and occasionally some crazy ass re-wilder may come along and take the roadkill home to eat it. 


 


Those raccoon may as well be the old me sitting in the road weaving my bamboo basket from bamboo grown in my yard, planting trees, and attempting to make my way in this world as a permaculturists specializing in bamboo. Now I'm at the wheel as well. I'm now a willing participant finally made complicit to the Murikan semi that's making a thud thud out of the rest of the planet…kickin' your brown ass and takin' your brown gas! If only the 21 year old me, getting himself kicked out of the navy on account of his idealism, could see me now! If he could see me he would disown me, or kill me before I could get out of control with complacency, apathy, and what he would see as cowardice while kneeling down before the puppet masters of the system for some pellets of comfortably numb conformity.


 


Ironically I love this job! I wasn't entirely a product of a single mother. My father was in my life, but minimally. I saw him a couple of times a year when I was a little boy. He was a trucker, but that wasn't why I didn't see him, that's ironically what enabled me to see him. I didn't see him because his second wife hated my mother, and she hated me because I was my mother's son. For a number of years he was under her spell (something he now recognizes), and so I rarely saw him. When I did see him it was to go with him over the road in his semi (and his wife had no idea, hence the afore mentioned irony). Such power fathers have over their children!  It's enough power to make them into truck drivers 30 years later on account of a couple of preteen memories!  Well, that, and a large helping of genetics.  


 


Deep down I love semi trucks and trailers. I'm sure it has a lot to do with the need I have to be a man, and a father, due to a wife and two of my own boys. My father was a trucker.  He was the only template on being a father I've ever had.  When I finally spent time with him it was to the sound of a diesel engine, and to the smell of diesel, and with the allure of the passing road. I love driving a semi, I love the power, and I love the mechanical accomplishment they represent. But if I'm completely honest, some part of me feels that I have finally grown to a man, and I am now providing money for my family. Men are supposed to provide, and in our society that means money. Yet the plague of cognitive dissonance continues to haunt me with it's furious sound of hypocrisy.


 


To be constantly going somewhere new, and to have everything I need with me, and to mostly be left alone…these are all things that I love about being a trucker. It's very peaceful to be left alone while listening to music, and my thoughts, as the landscape changes in front of me, as I fulfill my husbandly and fatherly requirement to get money. I never know where I will end up for the night to catch a shower and some sleep. Mostly I stay at truck stops, which are the places our society have created for the trucks to stop so that their human pilots may shower, do laundry, eat, and get coffee and cigarettes. There's also rest areas, company terminals, and occasionally a Walmart parking lot or the parking lot of a shipper or consignee. I imagine that I'm sailing a ship on the black bitumen sea, and I'm the captain. I'm also making twice as much money as I've ever made in my life doing this. I'm making twice as much as I made working as a medic on an ambulance after 8 years of service.


 


You see, permaculture and bamboo were not paying any bills. They were not presenting the promise of any type of stability for my wife and children. As much as I wanted to live in a world that did not exist…a world morally superior to the one we all inhabit, and a world that aught to exist, it was all just delusional thinking. Idealism made pernicious by business as usual. 


 


If Murika is the truck that splattered the racoon, than the Corporatocracy is at the wheel, and we're all just unique and individual diesel atoms. Murika is also a delusion, at least as it exist in the minds of most Murikans. The truth is that there are no lines on the map of the world any longer. At least not any lines that matter to the Corporatocracy. All of the inhabitants of this planet, both human and non-human, have no value to the corporate machine beyond the value of their contribution to the continuance of BAU. Business As Usual is business as it always has been. Since the rise of the first civilization the world has been dominated by the hierarchy of man. Man has taken by force using both his mind and his body. For a long time there were proper kingdoms which were ruled by kings. The king ruled by controlling the politics and the military of his kingdom. There were many different kingdoms that existed throughout the world of time and place.













One of my conventional landscape business clients had this pesky weed food growing, so I harvested it


 














Took it home and fed it to my family.  Bamboo shoots have more protein than any other vegetable


 


Now, for the first time in the known history of man, there is one kingdom that controls the entirety of the planet, and that is the Corporatocracy which has a capitol in Murika (not to be confused with capital…wait). It has control of the technology we use everyday. It controls the global military as well as the politics that control the global military. It controls all of the people of this world, and those that it does not control it kills wantonly and with no conscience. No one can stop this final rule of the Corporatocracy. The only things that have the potential to stop it are natural disaster and petroleum depletion. This is the reality that greed has formulated. The Corporatocracy's primary objective is profit for the share holders. All of the decisions that are made are made to keep those at the top at the top. They are at the top of a system that works for them, and they will continue perpetuating that system so long as they can because they are greedy and psychopathic.


 


What about the rest of us? Are we complicit in this unnatural disaster? We all contribute because we all need money to survive. We need money to buy food, shelter, clothing, education, healthcare, safety, stability, comfort, security, entertainment, convenience, and the electronic gadgets we need to participate in SwampBook, KnitTwitter, and all of the rest of the anti-social narcissism that currently defines the majority of the sleep walking wake walkers. There is no escaping the global matrix that controls the planet. At least there is no escape where you succeed and are still left breathing and above ground. To escape in reality, and to do so without contributing to BAU, would have to mean doing so without money. How many people do you know that are living without money? If you spend money then you are spending it on goods and services that are only possible due to this diesel powered Murika. This diesel powered Murika is only possible due to our military and the petroleum our military protects and enables. If you aren't contributing than you'll likely be turned roadkill by the semi trucks that make the American way of life possible.


 


 













The last bamboo basket I made before becoming a Trucker


 


 


 


 


3
Economics / The future of a 401k
« on: January 21, 2018, 10:23:02 AM »
I wanted to put this question to the Diner because I think I'll get a lot of good angels on the question, and because I think it has the potential to provide a lively bit of conversation.  The question I have is this: is it worth contributing to a 401K now?  I got automatically enrolled in my companies 401k when I signed on, and currently I'm contributing 4% of my gross income to it, and that amounts to an average of $160 a month...sometimes more, sometimes less, but that's a good average.  After a year I have the option to up this contribution to 8% (I think). 

With all of the deductions and taxes I lose approximately 22% of my income.  That's with claiming 6 on my W-2 as well, so I'm not sure how that will flesh out come tax time, which will be next year since most of this year I ran my business. 

The reason I'm questioning the 401k is because it seems that it's only worth doing if you buy the predominate paradigm.  I figure 20 years at best, and probably really just another 10 of BAU.  It's possible that trucking can provide me with a livable income for the rest of my life, but it's not very likely...still...possible.  Also, I don't really want to do this for the rest of my life.  At this point I'm driving OTR to get the mandatory experience that will unlock a universe of CDL positions that are more local.  You still need at least a year OTR, and 2-3 is even better.  I can definitely see doing this for a few years.  Yet the possibility remains that I may do it for 20.  I may stay with this company for 20.  If I do that than 20 years of 401k contribution can certainly assist in keeping myself housed and fed in my old age. 

$160 a month is just enough money to be worth considering.  It's $100 a month to pay for my oldest to train in Aikido.  Another $60 could buy some tasty adult beverages, or take us out to eat. 

It's a gamble, I know.  Does BAU last another 20 years?  Even if it does, that would be the point where I'd start collecting on my monthly contributions.  I can't figure out if I'm pissing this money away or not?  I had free medical and now I pay over $500 a month for it, and then I pay when we actually use it in copays and deductibles.  It's gotta be the worst fuckin' racket I'm aware of...Wealthcare.  It's free if you're poor and nominal if you're rich, but if you are blue collar it eats up a sizeable portion of your meager income. 

If BAU is going to end in the next 10 years than it feels better to me to just keep my money, since I'm already losing enough of it anyways.  The 401k is pretty much the only way I can increase my net income. 

So, what do you think Diners? 

4
Geopolitics / The Emperor Dump Has No Hair
« on: January 03, 2018, 02:03:21 AM »


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Published on The Doomstead Diner on January 3, 2017



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   By all accounts the world has gone and entered into a pharmaceutical induced hallucination of narcissistic and instant chicanery.  The entire hallucination is conjured to a fevered pitch of delusional bliss, and manipulated by card carrying psychopaths.  The big black snake went and crossed the river and pissed out a bunch of fracked oil for a healthy 1% profit.  The trickster God went and got himself elected President of Merika and forgot how to pronounce pronunciation while he was at it.  Now the worried amongst the diminishing thinking class of people left on our planet think this trickster Dump might start a nuclear holocaust!   A big fat steaming pile of dumpy poppycock I say!  A president Dump even.  I shit out the likeness of his Dumpness in my toilet bowl from time to time. 

   

   We are entering into our 17th year of continual war in the Middle East.  We're all one cancer cell away from bankruptcy.  We're one pretend chemical industrial food product away from terminal cancer.  Dump's gonna drop a nuclear dump on us any day now.  The coral is dying and the ocean is filling with plastic.  Robots are on their way to making human labor obsolete.  I guess the scientist that technology up this wiz bang, to cheap to meter reality, better come up with the singularity app stat.  Cause we're all going to have to float on to the next chapter sooner then later if things keep going the way they are going.  Otherwise we're going to have some real big problems, and I don't think Dumps gonna be able to drop turds out of his shit hole to cover it up either. 

   

   Indeed, there seems to be doom around every corner…waiting.  I've been waiting for 10, going on 11 years now, for doom to arrive and erase a recognizable pile of business as usual from my view.  I'm still waiting.  Not even a year ago I was splitting bamboo poles and weaving them into baskets.  I was making shakuhachi flutes and playing them.  I was even getting paid money to make chicken coops out of bamboo.  I was making money designing permaculture landscapes in suburbia from time to time.  Money for hugelkultur!  Unfortunately the people in our society with the money AND Earth ethics are rare.  Most people don't see the point when eggs, meat, cheese, vegetables…and microwaveable entrees are too cheap to price in the big box stores.  If you want to support yourself and your family with Permaculture then you have to get certified as a pemaculture teaching wizard.



   Unfortunately energy still has a pretty steep meterable cost.  It's metered in dead brown people over there…in our 15, going on 20, year war on terrorism.  When times are tough we can meter energy in unemployed vets and starving children drifting up dead on the coast of the Mediterranean.  I guess the silver lining is that at least they aren't starving any longer since they are dead.  One less worthless eater to feed!   We need to look on the bright side of life, not the miserable, dead, brown, glass half empty, shitty president Dumpy side.  If we all just believe that unicorns are real, and that their rainbow colored skittle shit is a cure all to the cancer that ails us, then we can all watch football and everyone's team will win forever! 

   

   How much longer will business as usual last?  I mean the stock market is healthier then it's ever been.  Even more healthy then before the great depression.  Even more healthy then when tulips sold for a billion dutch dump wigs.  It's even doing more better then when Chia Pets and Pet Rocks reached their pinnacle of mind dumbing numbing trumpness.  Who didn't want a Pet Trump?  You didn't even have to feed it!  Personally I've grown weary waiting for the crash.  It's not as if the trash pile is getting any smaller over at the land of away.  All of my recycling and natural yield wielding has been for naught.  It's morning in Merika and the sun is rising over the land of Dumpness.   He's dumping unintelligible turds out of his finger tweeter everyday, and he's got a legion of repukelicans puking up his poopy poop in unison. 



   You know it's the end of times when a once Druid Permacultue Bamboo Ninja has given up his lawn mowers for a tractor trailer full of even more fractional reserve digibits.  It just wouldn't be a paradoxical conundrum complete with mythological levels of irony and hyperhypocricy without a Trucker Permie Bamboo Ninja out here on Merika's roadways, hauling freight for BAU.  It's too bad that splitting and weaving bamboo baskets can't pay for a family to live in our current Merikan world.  Who needs primitive skills like splitting bamboo with a knife, by hand, and then weaving it into stupid baskets when the robots are coming?  Who needs natural and renewable landscapes where food is the product and waste doesn't exist?  It's not like robots need food.  Is it?  I mean don't they just plug some plugs into us and harvest our bioenergy in the end?  Aren't we going to upload into the cloud and live in the singularity?  What do we even need the Earth for anyways?  It's not like we're going to need our meat suits in like a couple more years.  Once dump finishes  pooping out his trickster shit we'll all have a good laugh and then depart into the blissful Matrix of human created robot hubris.  I bet his Dumpness will poop out a turd that's got a wig on it as well.  Won't that be hilarious?  Who need a drink?  I'd like a dumpy drink.  A dumpy, stupid, better then you, genetically modified corn colored poopy dump drink to swallow down my load of Dump with.  God Bless Merika, and long live President Turd. 



5
The Kitchen Sink / My Truckin' Truck Life
« on: December 07, 2017, 05:23:39 AM »


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Published on The Doomstead Diner December 7, 2017






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 I have a very distinct memory of being 8 years old and going with my father in his truck for the first time.  It had probably been somewhere between 6 months and a year since I had last seen him.  I saw him once or twice a year when I was a little child, and that was for many reasons, but the divorce of my mother and father at 4 years of age had a lot to do with it.  Like most of our stories it's complicated and nuanced. 

   

        In my memory I'm 8 years old, and I've got on a matching green sweatpants and sweatshirt ensamble, and my father is calling me “grasshopper” as I'm climbing up into his Semi truck, and he's laughing and smiling.  The feeling associated with this is one of fulfillment, contentment, and complete joy.  I've got a lot of memories from these visits.  I would go with him for a week or so at a time, and I would ride all over the country as he delivered loads.  Another vivid memory is going to sleep in the sleeper while he drove.  I opened the sleeper window and listened to the sounds of the road, and was rocked to sleep in a young boys bliss, in the company of his mostly absent father, to the smell of diesel. 

   

        Now I have two young boys.  My oldest is the same age I was at the beginning of these trucking memories of mine.  He knows that I love him, and that I'm proud of him, as does my youngest son.  I talk to them often from the road, as times have changed for truckers.  I have a headset and an iphone, and everything is hands free.  We do facetime.  The other day I sat at the table and watched my boys drink hot chocholate and eat Oreo cookies.  They were in South Carolina at home,  and I was in my sleeper in Kentucky.  My wife propped the iphone up on the table and pointed it at my children as I watched via facetime.  When I was a boy I was only able to speak to my father if he stopped at a pay phone or drove through my town and was able to stop. 

   

        I talk to my wife at least once a day, as I drive freight down the road.  Mostly I transport metal coils, lumber, ceiling panels and the like as I pull a flatbed trailer.  I'm loaded and unloaded via crane and forklift.  My responsibilities are to secure the loads with straps and chains and to transport them safely to the consignee.  I make .39 cents per mile as well as $22 dollars for lumber tarps and $11 for steel tarps.  I've been averaging about $170 a day, and I'll be able to increase that average to around $220 a day as I get better and more efficient at performing my job duties.

   

        After completing phase one of my training, that is passing the exam and acquiring a CDL, I went home for about 10 days before starting phase 2.  That phase involved going over the road with a trainer for three weeks.  I was flown to Phoenix Arizona to start phase two.  The company I work for has been actively increasing their flatbed fleet, and as a result they have more trainees then trainers, and the only available trainer was in Phoenix, so off I flew.  I was able to visit my pregnant cousin and her mother, my aunt, on the day that I flew into Phoenix since they both live there. 

   

        The first active load that I ever drove had me driving within a quarter of a mile of my fathers current house.  I could have driven that load to anywhere in the united states, and I drove right past my fathers house.  We currently are not talking to one another, and it has been that way since 2014 when he and my wife got into an argument while we were visiting for Christmas.  It's tragic and stupid, but there it is.  At any rate, I drove right past his house.  That night, I got off on Cherry road in Fontana California to spend the first night in a Semi truck.  That exit was the exit off of I-10 that my father used to live off of.  The drop yard we stayed in that night was on the same street as my father's old terminal.  It seemed I could not escape this fate, and this was the message I received.  This is fate. 

   

        The second load brought me further into southern California.  I delivered the second load to an alluminum facility that was five blocks away from my mother's current address.  Unfortunately I was not able to visit with my mother.  Even though I could have walked to her house in about 15 minutes, she was busy with work, and I was exhausted with learning a new career.  She's having a house built 10 miles from my current address, in what's been a cow pasture for a century or more, and so neither of us were willing to sacrifice much by way of sleep that day seeing as how she'll soon be living near me. 

   

        I still don't understand this seeming parental coincidence.  Was God trying to tell me something (I currently do not believe in God)?  Is driving a semi truck part of some larger plan for me?  Was driving past my father and mothers house on my first two loads just coincidence?  The first time I ever drove a semi truck, in phase one, U2 came on the radio just as I took the wheel.  Pride was the song.  Another memory I have as a child with my father in his semi truck is listening to U2 blaring from the radio as we drove down the road.  My father loved U2, and it's no coincidence that I have a U2 tatoo on my chest.  It's also no coincidence that I'm writing this from the sleeper of my semi truck.  How strange this life is.  I could have been anything, and yet here I am, finally (and that's exactly how it feels) a truck driver. 

   

         The influence fathers have on their children is immense, and even more so when they are mostly gone.  My childhood was spent mostly longing for the validation of my father, and in confusion as to why he was not there, and as to why he would make plans to see me only to not show up.  Why was he a truck driver?  Inherent proclivities?  Whatever the reason, now I am a truck driver, and I'm just fine with that…on one level at least.  On another level I'm not okay with it.  It's a surrender.  As I slit the carotid supplying idealism with realism, and as I grow up into mediocre and jaded, and as I give up hope…

   

        On a good day I'm getting about 7.4 mpg driving this semi around.  The two fuel tanks hold 100 gallons of diesel each, and I drive about 400 miles a day.  There are somewhere in the neighborhood of 4 million other trucks doing the same.  We are the literal heart of the economy, and all of that diesel makes it possible.  Whether you agree with it or not, I'm sure you buy stuff, and if you buy stuff then you are voting with your dollars to continue perpetuating this trucking paradigm.  Even locally grown and produced food is transported on semi truck trailers.  Do you live in a house and drive a car, or ride a bike?  Do you wear clothing and go to the doctor?  Everything that collectively makes up our way of life is possible because of those 4 million truckers.  I remember having the epiphany, before I decided to be a trucker, that I relied on groceries from the grocery store and therefore I relied on truckers.  It was a mental and moral defeat for me.  I was agreeing with the way things are because I was eating food.  That is how all pervasive trucks are to our way of life.  You can't even be alive without trucks in this country.  How depressing is that? 

   

        It's bitter sweet for me.  I love most everything about being a trucker.  I love that I'm left alone.  I'm left completely alone.  Everyday I'm by myself, and the only interaction I have with people is at the shipper, consignee, and truck stops as I'm checking in, being loaded and unloaded, paying for my scales, buying morning coffee, and acquiring a shower amongst the other things I need that I can't get from my truck.  For the most part it's just me, satellite radio, and the road.  I have to deal with people by way of their car extensions, and people are their most retarded when behind the wheel of a car.  They are also the most narcissistic and intolerant while driving.  However, I don't see their faces because I'm so much higher up.  I'm the biggest thing on the road, and so I'm not able to be pushed around.  I like that about it as well. 

   

         I don't like most other truckers I run into, and I think the feeling is mutual, but then I don't like most other people regardless of their profession.  It's the same with all people.  Most people in Merika are angry, disgruntled, jaded, financially strapped, and intolerant of others, and all of that regardless of what they do to make money.  I've been struck by just how poorly the people in the trucking world treat me.  The people at the shippers, consignees, and other truckers that I meet mostly treat me as though my presence is a minor hindrance at best, and at worst they talk to me as though I'm an inmate of a personal prison in which they are the warden. 

   

         I've noticed that people think they can talk to truck drivers as though we are the lowest rung of society, and I find that interesting since the job we perform actually allows this dysfunctional society to exist in the first place.  Yet, even truckers can't help but to treat their fellow truckers like shit.  It's peculiar to me, and I think it's indicative of something deep within our collective psyche.  It's like we all know that this arrangement is bullshit, and yet we all can't help but to participate in it.  It's not unlike the self loathing heroine junkie.  That's what our country has become.  We are a collective mass of self loathing, homeless, derelict, and virtuless heroine junkies.  We're all fighting for the biggest dose of the purist heroine so that we can overdose and put an end to it just before we liter the world with plastic piss bottles. 



6
The Kitchen Sink / Mechanical Zombie Nomads
« on: September 19, 2017, 02:14:37 AM »


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Published on The Doomstead Diner September 19, 2017






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"It's not just a career, it's a lifestyle change, you are going to become nomads."



–Trucking School Trainer



http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/07/15/article-2173761-1410D609000005DC-871_964x604.jpg Gary Indiana, located a couple of miles outside of Chicago, has many signs declaring a collapsed landscape and economy.  There are weeds growing in almost every commercial lot, and boards in windows, and people who seem to be poisoned by the water, or the atmosphere, or maybe it's just that they were abandoned by the American Dream.  Whatever the case, there are a lot of people, and a lot of cars, and a lot of stupidity.  Of course, there is stupidity falling like rain in every state in this Idiocracy we're inhabiting.  Fukitol, alcohol, fried fast genetically modified gas station foods, corn sugar, CAFO meats…all in a consumer paradise.  Amidst the weeds growing in the concrete and asphalt of what used to be, there's still "opportunity."  You can get your commercial drivers license, and you can get paid to do so.  In fact, there are more jobs in the trucking industry than there are people willing to work. 



https://i.ytimg.com/vi/d4w9FvY1BJQ/maxresdefault.jpg Everything in this country relies on the Just In Time Trucking Paradigm (or JITTPA as I now like to call it).  Nothing happens without it first being transported on the trailer of a semi truck.  Everyone in the collapse blogosphere knows this, but a lot of them like to not think about it.  Especially the green minded among us.  Do you drive a car, do you buy groceries, do you amazon, do you google, do you have a computer, do you do anything short of living in somebodies else's woods while rewilding?  If you do any of those things then you rely on truckers and petroleum for your livelihood and your lifestyle.  Nothing happens in this country without first happening on the trailer of a semi truck. 



What has brought me to this point?  How does one go from a bamboo internship focused on permaculture ethics to driving a tractor trailer for a living?  Why does a Druid ride a lawn mower?  Why would a Druid be a Trucker?  Fake News?  Denial?  Fukitol (currently I'm fukitol free).  Technically I'm an Agnostic Druid Buddhist Trucker at this point.  What do any of these labels accomplish…and what choice do I have?  I've got a wife and two children to support in a world that's been collapsing for my entire life.  Our way of life has been on notice since before I was born and yet here we are, 37 years later with our world of BAU still functioning like a well oiled machine (I mean minus the supper storms, fires, droughts, flooding, melting glaciers, rising seas, unbreathable air, undrinkable water, radioactive rain water, and starving people).  I've been waiting for collapse since 2007, and ten years later I've still got bills to pay and a credit score to keep up (in spite of the Equifax clusterfuck). 



http://static.giantbomb.com/uploads/scale_small/1/17172/1195412-druid.jpg Again, why would an Agnostic Druid Buddhist be a trucker?  It's a valid question, and it's happening, and I'm proof.  BAU just keeps on truckin', and the trucks just keep on truckin', and our way of life slowly dissipates with no hope of changing less Gaia shaking us off like flees.  Why would one willingly atrophy before it's necessary?  To appease one's conscience?  So that one can sleep better at night?  Is having Medicaid, food stamps, and living with an elder relative better then succumbing to the Matrix that has us all imprisoned?  There is no escape from the inertia of our way of life.  Even the rewilders have to deal with radioactive rain, polluted land, water, and biocide drift.  There is no escaping the great American Dream, or nightmare, depending on your perspective. 



Idealism is not realistic, we have to afford to make any change in this world, and there is not one person or entity that has the authority to decide what is best for each individual adult person in this world.  There is no shortage of advice out there to subscribe to in the attempt to figure out what is best.  As the saying goes about opinions, so goes advice, everybody has got one and the end result is mostly shit.  That's not to say that wisdom is not real, or worth following.  But it is to say that everything is relative and opinions depend on perspective.   



At the end of the day, when the tirades and opinions expire, and reality is left standing, we must all answer the call.  If I were a lone soul on this Earth, I'd be in the woods rewilding, or perhaps in a ditch with a needle sticking out of my stiff blue arm.  Those are luxuries I can't afford.  I have two sons and a wife to part the waters for.  In this world that means making money, and in this world those options are withering away like a worm on the sidewalk after a deluge on a sunny day.  Trucking is the literal heart of our society…of our slowly collapsing civilization.  The day the trucks stop is the day our way of life stops.  I'm getting paid to get the license that will allow me to make a good living while BAU persists, and that BAU is only possible because of what I'm currently training to do.  I don't have to go into debt to get this opportunity to slave away for a good living wage of digibits.  I'm getting paid while I make this opportunity a reality.  I'm getting paid in a place that has more weeds growing in the concrete and asphalt of a failed, boarded up,  suburban sprawl arrangement than it has dumb ass people driving around in cars. 

 

Somehow the WASP (white anglo-saxson protestant) took over a continent of indigenous nomadic people.  The WASP took over and massacred the indigenous peoples and the natural resources that sustained them.   They committed genocide of both the people and the environment.  Indigenous nomads had no need of petroleum and civilization.  The Wasp replaced the buffalo with bitumen, and the horses with semi trucks.  They replaced the teepeecs with ticky tacky. They replaced true self reliance and independence with mechanical horses ridden by obese zombie nomads high on fukitol and corn syrup.  It's a god damned tragedy of American proportions, and there ain't one corner left on this blue-green orb that's immune.  I'm no martyr and I've got mouths to feed…mouths that reside in this nightmare that we call the land of freedom.  Reality is a cold hard bitch, and she does not care about the change we'd like to see in this world. 



That is why an Agnostic Druid Buddhist is becoming a truck driver. 





7
The Kitchen Sink / LD in a Big Rig!
« on: September 05, 2017, 03:16:32 PM »
I took a job with Roehl Transport driving a Big Rig.  I'll be pulling  a flatbed trailer.  I leave this Saturday for CDL training up in Indiana. 

As I leave hurricane Irma will likely show up at my door. 

I'm late to the BAU party, but when the trucks stop BAU stops.  It's as good a career as any.  I wouldn't be surprised if the wheels fall of this bitch while I'm in Indiana learning how to drive! 

8
The Kitchen Sink / You want to walkabout it?
« on: August 04, 2017, 12:06:19 PM »
I've been lurking since I went walkabout.  Here and there.  Not much to do on the internet that I care about.  So many times I'm sitting with the laptop and nothing to do.  I've been conditioned with my Diner time.  For a while I thought I'd be better off leaving the negativity of doom behind, but alas, I'm here because it's a niche I fit into.  I'm not into sports, and I've given up on permaculture being anything more then something to do that is "meaningful."  Whatever the fuck that means at this point on the collapse curve.  It's a similar story with bamboo.  I still play the shakuhachi flute on a daily basis, but that's about the extent of it...well and I gaze upon the 13 different varieties I have growing on this 1.6 acres and wonder how long it will be before it becomes a problem.  I still love bamboo, but nobody cares...nobody.

Today I went and got a hair follicle test performed.  I paid for it.  It's been 3 months since I smoked herb.  If it comes back negative then I'm going to pull the trigger on going OTR.  Roehl Transport is waiting on me to call them to initiate the process of getting hired by them.  That will mean a hair follicle test and a DOT physical.  That's why I paid for the hair test out of pocket.  I've been researching company sponsored CDL programs for a couple of months now and Roehl is the best I've found.  I want to make sure I will pass before I initiate with them, which is why I paid for the test.  I should hear back sometime next week.  If it comes back negative then I'll start the process with Roehl.  I've been studying for the "commercial learners permit" (clp).  I've got to go test at the local dmv for the CLP, pass the hair test and DOT physical, and then it's off to Wisconsin for 4 weeks of cdl school. 

They pay $500 a week during the school and put you up in a hotel.  After the 4 weeks of school I go OTR with a trainer for approximately 19 days.  During that period I get paid $90 a day.  After the trainer feels I'm ready I go back to Wisconsin and test for the CDl, and if I pass I get issued a truck and they send me home with a load.  I'll be towing a flatbed trailer because that's what they have available in their fleet in my area.  They will start me at 39 cents per mile which is about top pay in the industry for a rookie.  Plus there are other incentives like tarp pay and a few other miscellaneous payments for different duties.  Flatbedding can be a bit difficult, especially during the winter when your trying to tarp a load with a frozen tarp.  I'm not worried about any of that.  They say I can expect between 2300-2600 miles a week.  I'll be out for about two weeks at a time and then home for a couple of days.  The contract is 9 months.  The local truck driving schools are around 5k out of pocket.  This allows me to get paid while I train rather then paying, and then it's just 9 mo driving for Roehl to pay them back.  After that period I am free to go work for whoever I want.  After a year OTR with no accidents you are considered experienced by the industry and can get any driving job you want.  I plan to get a regional, hopefully dedicated route after a year.  That comes with a schedule so I won't be gone for so long. 

I can expect to make close to 50k the first year as a rookie.  Of course that will depend on how often I'm willing to break the law with respect to drive time. 

Anyways, that's my update. 

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/oJimiVFCjJ0" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/oJimiVFCjJ0</a>

9
The Kitchen Sink / Navigating 21st Century Hopelessness
« on: July 16, 2017, 10:01:05 AM »
I posted this on the Diner Blog today.  Figured I'd post it here as well because it'll likely be missed inside the forum if I don't.  I've never posted using the Diner Blog Wordpress software before so it's pretty basic.  I didn't add pictures or put a link for discussion inside the forum.  Maybe I'll try to figure that out.

Is our techno-industrial way of life fundamentally benevolent?  Is it advisable to continue perpetuating a civilization that is predicated by non-renewable fossil energy sources as well as unsustainable rates of renewable resource extraction?  Our civilization requires an ever growing GDP to be considered healthy.  This is a measure of production in terms of consumption.  Our literal benchmark for the health of our society is based on how much we can consume in a year as a nation.  The reason for this is to create monetary profit for the individuals of this society whom have shares in the corporations controlling this production.  The actual physical wealth of the world is subjugated to the tune of dollars and cents.  To make this pathway possible it requires a proletariat class willing to sell their lives for an hourly rate.  This hourly rate is the lowest possible rate so as to not reduce the profit thatís stolen from the resources of the Earth and the energies of its peoples.  This hourly rate is about making money and not about stewardship of any kind.  It does not have to be like this, but that is a delusory sentiment based on idealism. 

The road to ruin for our species began with agriculture.  Before agriculture emerged there was no need for money, and so it did not exist.  Agriculture allows for civilization which requires money to function.  With the creation of money we stratify into economic classes of people.  Once money is created life becomes about servicing this need for monetary acquisition.  Before money life is about engaging with nature to acquire food, fuel, fiber, medicine and shelter.  In aggregate these actions create a healthy human culture.  Agriculture allows for money and removes the limiting factors for our numbers.  Before agriculture the limiting factor is the amount of food that can be sustainably hunted and gathered.  The hunter/gatherer life is mostly nomadic as we follow the animals and plants through the seasons which define their lifecycles.  Our lives are imbued with rich somatic meaning as we engage with the body of nature.  We are from this Earth, and we inhabit it as a corporeal being made of the elements.  We evolved both physically and spiritually within the framework of our physical Earth.  Our health depends on engaging with nature to create life and its meaning.  The fall from paradise began with domestication which is nothing less than the taming of wild nature.  Domestication is tandem to agriculture and literally creates civilization.  What is being civilized if not the opposite of wild?  The two are anathema to one another. 

Agriculture means that we stop moving around.  It means that we domesticate ourselves as well as the wild beasts of nature.  It sets up the conditions that allows for a great competition between us and nature.  All of a sudden our culture becomes one of domination and control rather than harmony.  Being rooted in one place we begin building monuments to hubris.  We get bored and invent competition.  We stockpile food and create war and plague.  We set up the conditions for disease and famine and warfare (although nomadic people still do occasionally fight with opposing tribes).  We argue and debate and create inequality amongst our people.  Life becomes a struggle to create meaning and avoid boredom.  Eventually, as we move further and further from our natural origin, habitat, and culture the enchantment of being evaporates. We are left with a driving urge to consume to fill this void of meaning that emerges due to our domestication.  Time continues forward and our habits create technologies to service convenience.  We become lazy and our bodies grow fat with our sedentary nature which arises from our domesticated captivity.  No longer do we need our bodies for anything more than acquiring money.  We then want pleasure to fend off boredom and meaninglessness.  Life is no longer about dancing in the wild where we are from and where we return to.  Civilization is nothing more than something to do in the great illusion that we create for ourselves.  This is the way that it is.  The Matrix was born with the first surplus of cereal grain. 

Is there anything that can be done about this?  It seems to me that we are at the end of this failed experiment in hubris.  There is no harmony in domination and control and consumption.  There is only waste, disease, and poison by way of ecocide and genocide.  Our quest for the production of unlimited energy against the gradient of entropy has created cancer.    In the end we cannot dominate nature.  Aside from money the quest for domination  is the great fallacy of civilization.  We cannot think our way out of the limiting factors of ecology.  Our modern techno-industrial civilization will run out of the fossil blood that sustains it.  We will lose the capacity to safely maintain the nuclear power plants that liter the surface of the Earth.  They will spew out DNA damaging clouds of radioactivity as they have already begun doing.  The rain will become poisonous to life.  As we fight to continue this failing technotriumphalism we will continue increasing the CO2 in the atmosphere which will continue heating the human supporting biosphere.  Natural disasters will continue increasing in number and severity.  Our hubris has metastasized into a cancer that will shrink our settlements as the habitable regions atrophy.  Nothing is going to stop this process now.  All that remains is answering the question of what to do about this inevitability.  We have entered into the age of doom. 

There is no escaping this destiny that we have perpetuated.  The most unfortunate aspect about this hopelessness is that man cannot live without hope.  Hope makes life worth living.  Is hope itself a delusion?  What are we to hope for?  The nature of existence is a destiny with death.   The time we have between birth and death needs to be animated by meaning.  Meaning is derived from a harmony with all life.  Our civilization is marked by domination and control.  There is no harmony in control.  The great struggle is finally about the nature of life because life wants to live.  We must maintain ourselves within the boundary of our skin while we are here walking the Earth.  The overwhelming desire is to do this devoid of pain and misery.  The tragedy of man is to think that he can avoid his own nature by the creation of a technological utopia.  Life cannot be about domination and control, but that is what man forces it to be.  We are teetering in a suspended animation just before the moment of expiration.  We are flailing about in denial of this process of resolution.  Maturation as a species must culminate in an acceptance of suffering and death.  We must accept our temporary nature, stop struggling, and lie down in the great current of life.  We swim against this entropic process everyday as we participate in this civilization.  We collectively attempt to keep the center from flying apart under the pressures of our own technologically created centrifuge.  We struggle in vain against the pressures of physical dissolution.  We create illusions to fight against the natural process of becoming to fall apart. 

The first act was rife with physical struggle within the framework of existing in harmony with nature.  Hubris arose and we thought we could become gods using the power of physical manipulation.  We thought we could master the universe with our cleverness.  We are collectively a breaking wave, and nothing will stop the pull of gravity as we are recycled back into the void which we originally manifested from.    Idealism is nothing more than the ravings of a mental lunatic.  Idealism is a delusion that is born from the struggle to acquire more than we need.  Fighting against entropy is finally not worth it.  Yet this fight is what it means to inhabit a physical body. 
In the final analysis life must be about observing beauty.  Without beauty it is not worth living.  We have made a mess of this beautiful blue/green orb thatís floating about the universe.  We have partied our way to desolation.  Yet the Earth keeps spinning around in outer space in its dance with the sun that sustains us.  Every morning the sun reemerges to give us another day of life.  Our great challenge is to honor this life by creating beauty and not itís opposite.  We have created a lot of ugliness.  Maybe the secret to this 21st century hopelessness is to learn how to make beauty out of malevolence.  Or maybe we should just stop struggling and accept the final act of misery which we have written for ourselves?  Or maybe we can simply embrace our collective ugliness with grace?  Without love and beauty this great struggle that is life is not worth it.  The greatest challenge that we face is learning to love and observe beauty even as love and beauty vanish under the oppression of our own collective delusions. 

The nature of a body is to act.  How are we to act?  We should act to minimize suffering for all sentient beings while honoring our bodily nature.  Every day is a new day to make the right decisions.   Yet every day requires a certain amount of money.  This is why my conclusion is that a lifestyle that requires no money is the only truly benevolent lifestyle.  That lifestyle is a fiction in this world we have created.  This world is quite literally hell on Earth.  Therefore we must learn to love and find whatever beauty we can while in hell.  We must not resist as we realize our ultimate destiny of assimilation with the machine we have created.  Iíve tried finding work arounds to the truth that life is suffering, but the only way to win is to let go, stop resisting, and accept the nature of this great delusion.  Manifestation is transience in action, and our resistance arises within that transience only to dissolve back into the void that is death.  All that is created within that resistance is more suffering.  Yet still we must act in the world, and how should we act when our actions only serve to create more suffering.  The heart of our civilization is the creation of suffering, and to participate only adds to this toll.  Not participating in this civilization can be our only spiritual redemption.  For the life of me, and my children, I cannot figure out how to not participate. 

10
Economics / Navigating 21st Century Hopelessness
« on: July 16, 2017, 09:54:36 AM »


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Published on The Doomstead Diner July 16, 2017






Discuss this article at the Kitchen Sink inside the Diner



 



Is our techno-industrial way of life fundamentally benevolent?  Is it advisable to continue perpetuating a civilization that is predicated by non-renewable fossil energy sources as well as unsustainable rates of renewable resource extraction?  Our civilization requires an ever growing GDP to be considered healthy.  This is a measure of production in terms of consumption.  Our literal benchmark for the health of our society is based on how much we can consume in a year as a nation.  The reason for this is to create monetary profit for the individuals of this society whom have shares in the corporations controlling this production.  The actual physical wealth of the world is subjugated to the tune of dollars and cents.  To make this pathway possible it requires a proletariat class willing to sell their lives for an hourly rate.  This hourly rate is the lowest possible rate so as to not reduce the profit that’s stolen from the resources of the Earth and the energies of its peoples.  This hourly rate is about making money and not about stewardship of any kind.  It does not have to be like this, but that is a delusory sentiment based on idealism. 



The road to ruin for our species began with agriculture.  Before agriculture emerged there was no need for money, and so it did not exist.  Agriculture allows for civilization which requires money to function.  With the creation of money we stratify into economic classes of people.  Once money is created life becomes about servicing this need for monetary acquisition.  Before money life is about engaging with nature to acquire food, fuel, fiber, medicine and shelter.  In aggregate these actions create a healthy human culture.  Agriculture allows for money and removes the limiting factors for our numbers.  Before agriculture the limiting factor is the amount of food that can be sustainably hunted and gathered.  The hunter/gatherer life is mostly nomadic as we follow the animals and plants through the seasons which define their lifecycles.  Our lives are imbued with rich somatic meaning as we engage with the body of nature.  We are from this Earth, and we inhabit it as a corporeal being made of the elements.  We evolved both physically and spiritually within the framework of our physical Earth.  Our health depends on engaging with nature to create life and its meaning.  The fall from paradise began with domestication which is nothing less than the taming of wild nature.  Domestication is tandem to agriculture and literally creates civilization.  What is being civilized if not the opposite of wild?  The two are anathema to one another. 



Agriculture means that we stop moving around.  It means that we domesticate ourselves as well as the wild beasts of nature.  It sets up the conditions that allows for a great competition between us and nature.  All of a sudden our culture becomes one of domination and control rather than harmony.  Being rooted in one place we begin building monuments to hubris.  We get bored and invent competition.  We stockpile food and create war and plague.  We set up the conditions for disease and famine and warfare (although nomadic people still do occasionally fight with opposing tribes).  We argue and debate and create inequality amongst our people.  Life becomes a struggle to create meaning and avoid boredom.  Eventually, as we move further and further from our natural origin, habitat, and culture the enchantment of being evaporates. We are left with a driving urge to consume to fill this void of meaning that emerges due to our domestication.  Time continues forward and our habits create technologies to service convenience.  We become lazy and our bodies grow fat with our sedentary nature which arises from our domesticated captivity.  No longer do we need our bodies for anything more than acquiring money.  We then want pleasure to fend off boredom and meaninglessness.  Life is no longer about dancing in the wild where we are from and where we return to.  Civilization is nothing more than something to do in the great illusion that we create for ourselves.  This is the way that it is.  The Matrix was born with the first surplus of cereal grain. 



Is there anything that can be done about this?  It seems to me that we are at the end of this failed experiment in hubris.  There is no harmony in domination and control and consumption.  There is only waste, disease, and poison by way of ecocide and genocide.  Our quest for the production of unlimited energy against the gradient of entropy has created cancer.    In the end we cannot dominate nature.  Aside from money the quest for domination  is the great fallacy of civilization.  We cannot think our way out of the limiting factors of ecology.  Our modern techno-industrial civilization will run out of the fossil blood that sustains it.  We will lose the capacity to safely maintain the nuclear power plants that liter the surface of the Earth.  They will spew out DNA damaging clouds of radioactivity as they have already begun doing.  The rain will become poisonous to life.  As we fight to continue this failing technotriumphalism we will continue increasing the CO2 in the atmosphere which will continue heating the human supporting biosphere.  Natural disasters will continue increasing in number and severity.  Our hubris has metastasized into a cancer that will shrink our settlements as the habitable regions atrophy.  Nothing is going to stop this process now.  All that remains is answering the question of what to do about this inevitability.  We have entered into the age of doom. 



There is no escaping this destiny that we have perpetuated.  The most unfortunate aspect about this hopelessness is that man cannot live without hope.  Hope makes life worth living.  Is hope itself a delusion?  What are we to hope for?  The nature of existence is a destiny with death.   The time we have between birth and death needs to be animated by meaning.  Meaning is derived from a harmony with all life.  Our civilization is marked by domination and control.  There is no harmony in control.  The great struggle is finally about the nature of life because life wants to live.  We must maintain ourselves within the boundary of our skin while we are here walking the Earth.  The overwhelming desire is to do this devoid of pain and misery.  The tragedy of man is to think that he can avoid his own nature by the creation of a technological utopia.  Life cannot be about domination and control, but that is what man forces it to be.  We are teetering in a suspended animation just before the moment of expiration.  We are flailing about in denial of this process of resolution.  Maturation as a species must culminate in an acceptance of suffering and death.  We must accept our temporary nature, stop struggling, and lie down in the great current of life.  We swim against this entropic process everyday as we participate in this civilization.  We collectively attempt to keep the center from flying apart under the pressures of our own technologically created centrifuge.  We struggle in vain against the pressures of physical dissolution.  We create illusions to fight against the natural process of becoming to fall apart. 



The first act was rife with physical struggle within the framework of existing in harmony with nature.  Hubris arose and we thought we could become gods using the power of physical manipulation.  We thought we could master the universe with our cleverness.  We are collectively a breaking wave, and nothing will stop the pull of gravity as we are recycled back into the void which we originally manifested from.    Idealism is nothing more than the ravings of a mental lunatic.  Idealism is a delusion that is born from the struggle to acquire more than we need.  Fighting against entropy is finally not worth it.  Yet this fight is what it means to inhabit a physical body. 



In the final analysis life must be about observing beauty.  Without beauty it is not worth living.  We have made a mess of this beautiful blue/green orb that’s floating about the universe.  We have partied our way to desolation.  Yet the Earth keeps spinning around in outer space in its dance with the sun that sustains us.  Every morning the sun reemerges to give us another day of life.  Our great challenge is to honor this life by creating beauty and not it’s opposite.  We have created a lot of ugliness.  Maybe the secret to this 21st century hopelessness is to learn how to make beauty out of malevolence.  Or maybe we should just stop struggling and accept the final act of misery which we have written for ourselves?  Or maybe we can simply embrace our collective ugliness with grace?  Without love and beauty this great struggle that is life is not worth it.  The greatest challenge that we face is learning to love and observe beauty even as love and beauty vanish under the oppression of our own collective delusions. 



The nature of a body is to act.  How are we to act?  We should act to minimize suffering for all sentient beings while honoring our bodily nature.  Every day is a new day to make the right decisions.   Yet every day requires a certain amount of money.  This is why my conclusion is that a lifestyle that requires no money is the only truly benevolent lifestyle.  That lifestyle is a fiction in this world we have created.  This world is quite literally hell on Earth.  Therefore we must learn to love and find whatever beauty we can while in hell.  We must not resist as we realize our ultimate destiny of assimilation with the machine we have created.  I’ve tried finding work arounds to the truth that life is suffering, but the only way to win is to let go, stop resisting, and accept the nature of this great delusion.  Manifestation is transience in action, and our resistance arises within that transience only to dissolve back into the void that is death.  All that is created within that resistance is more suffering.  Yet still we must act in the world, and how should we act when our actions only serve to create more suffering?  The heart of our civilization is the creation of suffering, and to participate only adds to this toll.  Not participating in this civilization can be our only spiritual redemption.  For the life of me, and my children, I cannot figure out how to not participate. 



11
The Kitchen Sink / Trump and Alex Jones
« on: June 26, 2017, 06:51:56 AM »
For your consideration.  I don't quite know what to make of this.   :icon_scratch:




<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/-HzOqZeX3Yk" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/-HzOqZeX3Yk</a>

12
The Kitchen Sink / My paradoxical fate
« on: June 03, 2017, 08:07:19 AM »
I would type this up as a blog at Epiphany Now, but I think I'm mostly done there.  I've been collapse aware now for about 9 years.  I was at the Barnes and Nobles looking for a book to read, and I happened into the social commentary section, and JHK's The Long Emergency, caught my eye.  Up to that point I had been steeping my mind in conspiracy theory books.  This was no conspiracy theory, and it explained so much about our society and my own discontent.  The tragedy that is suburban sprawl is one of the worst tragedies in the history of our species.  It's not a tragedy in the way Hiroshima was, or the concentration camps, or 9/11.  It's an ongoing tragedy that has spread it's tentacles into every single brain in the first world.  "The American Dream" is the moniker for this unholy delusion of a way to inhabit our landscape.  The landscape has become nothing more than nature imprisoned in concrete and asphalt.  It's about control and dominance.  For the last few years I've been making my living serving this aspect of our twisted society. 

The cognitive dissonance grew in my mind, silent at times, loud at others.  I made great sacrifices to pursue what I saw as the solution to this societal conundrum.   In a word, the solution to peak oil, or peak energy, and suburban sprawl, and consumerism, and commercialism is permaculture.  It addresses all of the problems with how we live in our society.  All except one...money...and the acquisition of it.  Just about the only permaculturists making a living with permaculture are teaching it and charging money to do so.  Most of them need that money to make their permaculture lifestyles work.  This is because you can't exist in our society without money.  Well, you can, and you will be homeless.  There are a few other options.  You could join a Buddhist monastery, but then you are really dropping out of the world at that point.  You could try to live in the woods in a national forest, but that would be illegal and likely wouldn't last long.  There are some areas where you could hide yourself, and I've seen stories of this sort of thing, "Man found living in a tent for 5 years in woods next to interstate" sort of thing.  However, these are really only solutions for an individual who must care for himself and no other.  If you have dependents none of those strategies are solutions that are available to you.  Unless you want to be a shit bag, in which case, abandon your dependents and go to hell.   

Next on the road to sustainability I made my way into an even more marginal topic with bamboo.  The trend with bamboo is to make it illegal to plant it.  There are places up north where this is already the case.  There is a healthy portion of the permaculture world that doesn't want anything to do with it.  It's the most useful plant to our species and us Merikans want nothing to do with it.  Well...that's not entirely true.  I can't say how many times I've heard something like "that bamboo flooring is spiffy man...how do you make it?"  However, that little bit of praise is mostly shouted down by "it's invasive, it will take over everything, it will destroy your house, steal your money, and send rhizomes up through your heating ducts and choke you to death while you are sleeping."  People are ridiculous about bamboo in Merika, and why?  Well, it is invasive.  That much is true.  It's invasive with its usefulness as well.  You can just about do anything with bamboo if you have the imagination and a few simple hand tools, and some knowledge.  Not only is it the most useful plant to our species, it also has the power to fix our climate problems.  It is better at scrubbing co2 then trees are and it releases more oxygen as well.  It provides a truly sustainable harvest every single year, and using it makes the grove more healthy.  However, in Merika, it's just invasive, a blight on our landscape like kudzu. 

"I felt like putting a bullet between the eyes of every Panda that wouldn't screw to save it's species."  That mostly sums up how I feel about my species these days, especially with respect to bamboo.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/JIgNGCZRHy0" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/JIgNGCZRHy0</a>

This article is not just about bamboo.  I could write about it for another 50,000 words, but I'd just be pissing in the wind.  I might go find an electric fence and piss on it while I'm at it for all the good proselytizing about bamboo is going to do.  I've tried.  In the end, it's a problem of suburban sprawl.  Bamboo doesn't care about your fence, or your property line.  It can be hard to control if you don't know what you are doing, and most Merikans have no fucking clue what they are doing.  That's why we have so many different fukitols to chose from, and ubiquitous alcohol under every convenient store rock, and tobacco...can't forget about that one. 

Then SUN was born  :icon_sunny:  I remember back in the days when we talked about a "Foxstead" here on the Diner.  Hell a few of us got together in NC and almost made it happen in real life at the beginning.  I think we found something like 50 acres that a couple was willing to leave to SUN.  Unfortunately "Cat Food Carol" was a nut job, and we had to be vegans to make it happen.  The deal fell through on account of this requirement.  This while Cat Food Carrol fed her many cats packaged meats.  She literally was telling me that we had to be vegans "to save our brothers and sisters of the animal world" while she was opening a tub of animal meat to feed her cats.  She saved the containers as well.  There were thousands of these cat food containers stacked on one another.  This was as close as we ever got to making something happen. 

Next we went to Italy Texas to learn how to build monolithic domes.  Initially I was taken aback by the prospect of this.  It seemed...anti-permacultury to me.  Concrete is one of the most energy intense materials and it also is responsible for a large share of the carbon in the atmosphere.  But, once built, they last a long time and you don't have to worry about shingles.  How spiffy is that!!!   :icon_sunny:  So the quest for SUN to build a dome began. 

A couple of years later and RE spends 10k on a party to wine and dine the movers and shakers of Inman SC.  This time we were going to have a "sustainability theme park."  We were going to tap into the sustainability market...that's a good market, the sustainability market, real smart dollars there.  We estimated that we just needed a millliiiioooonnnnn dollars to get that one off the ground.
Dr Evil
Dr Evil



<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Tvp97SMZc6M" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/Tvp97SMZc6M</a>

Bill Hicks was a fuckin' genius.  "Quit putting fucking dollar signs on everything on this planet!"  Preach it Bill, wish you were still here with us on this miserable Godless planet. 

Honestly, I had already given up on the idea of living a "sustainable life" amidst our acquisitive, suburban sprawl, consumeristic, carcentric, fossil fuel powered lifestyle.  But my wife took it upon herself to carry the cross, so I went along with it because I saw it for the hopium that it was.  By the way, there are many "ecovilliages" out there walking the good sustainability walk already.  If one were really inclined to live this way, one could do it with a reasonable amount of money.  Hell, it could even be done by just involvement over time.  Just dedicate yourself to the cause of whichever ecovilliage you'd like and eventually they'll take you into the fold, and probably even without money.  You can drink Kumbocha, and eat home made granola bars, and milk a goat, and eat the eggs of a chicken you can pick up and pet, and grow your own vegetables...and you will still need money because there are dollar signs on everything on this planet.  Everything has been quantified down to dollars.  Even breathing air can be profited on.  You can buy clean Australian air in a bottle now, along with your bottled water. 

Well, now for the bomb shell.  I'm going to get a CDL and hit the road truckin' to make my nut.  I'll probably get fat as fuck just like my father did, and his father did...drivin' trucks.  One can expect to make 50k a year at it.  I tried to find a way to not need money, and I ended up buying a 5.7 l hemi and pulling around a 6X12 box full of small engines to manage suburban sprawl landscapes for money.  Why did I do that?  Because even living rent free I still needed money.  I have a wife and two children.  My wife can't find a job with her four year degree.  I'm not going back to college.  I'm damn sure not getting back on a fucking ambulance.  I made the same amount of money in my second year of cutting grass that I made when I was handling emergencies for people on an ambulance.  A CDL is the one sure shot left.  It's the one achievable job that will pay you a living wage.  It will take a month and I'll be on the road making money. 

Our societies heart is just in time trucking.  Everything is moved in a box behind a tractor trailer at some point.  There are more jobs then there are drivers.  The boomers are retiring and the younger generations just don't want to work.  There are trailers sitting in yards because the companies don't have the drivers to move them.  You can get hired before you even start school.  Hell you can go to work for a company that will pay you $500 a week while you get your CDL in exchange for you driving for them for 120,000 miles.  It's very achievable.  I will be going to a private school however.  It will cost 6k that is easily financed, and most companies reimburse you for the cost once hired.  They will even hire people fresh out of prison if they have a clean driving record!

Is JIT trucking doomed?  Well...yeah...but then that's the explosion that blows this whole fucker up isn't it.  When the trucks stop, BAU stops.  Of course they may try to automate truck drivers out of existence as well.  I hear rumors that Amazon is on the task of doing just that.  So, I'm going to hit the road to provide for my family.  I'm tired of trying to convince people that bamboo is useful and that Permaculture is what we should be doing instead of driving around in suburbia.  I'm tired of waiting for doom to arrive, for tsthtf, or teotwawki.  REM sung about that in the 80's. 

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Z0GFRcFm-aY" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/Z0GFRcFm-aY</a>

Look, there's an RE in the band name  :laugh:

My apologies if I'm letting any of you down.  I'm also tired of doing that...letting people down.  People have expectations and shit, and they expect YOU to do.  Anyways, I'm a father of two, and a husband, and I've got to get on the providing for my family bandwagon.  I'd be able to do it with my business if it weren't for the fact that 4 to 5 months out of the year my $3500 a month in revenue turns to $0 dollars a month due to Winter and the nature of, well, nature. 

My new plan is to provide for my family, and that means providing money, and driving a truck is about the best option I have at this point in the game.  I could go to college and then medical school, but honestly I have no desire to work in our Wealthcare system.  Been there, done that, it was miserable.  9 out of 10 emergency calls don't need an ambulance, they just need a counselor. 

I've made up my mind.  I'll still be on the Diner, if RE doesn't get pissed off and ban me.  Hopefully he'll understand that I've got to take care of my family.  The world doesn't give a shit about sustainability, at least not enough to pay for it.  What the world gives a shit about is money, and it requires you to get it.  The true sustainability is having enough money to sustain yourself in the world as it is, and not as we would wish it to be.  Be the change you want to see my ass.  Good luck with that.  I tried for 5 years.  You only get to be the change if you have enough money to buy the change...or I suppose there is martyrdom, but then I'm not any good to my family dead now am I?

"Save as many as you can."  Shiiiiiiiiiittttt, we can't even get pandas to fuck each other to save their species.  Maybe they are aware of Doom?

LD in a big rig coming to a town near you.  My life is the paradox that just keeps on giving. 

 :icon_sunny:








13
What could be more important for a healthy psychology than a sense of purpose?  Without purpose what type of a life can be lived?  Purpose is not something that you can fool yourself into either.  I'm not referring to the purpose of family life.  If you are married, your purpose can be to be a good spouse, and if you have kids, your purpose can be to be a good parent to your children.  Those things are purpose with a lower case "p."  They are important, but we all have our own unique purpose for being here.  Or do we?

That statement is one of belief.  I want to believe that there is a purpose for me and everybody else on Earth.  To believe otherwise seems to be the germination of Nihilism.  If there is no purpose to my life than there is no purpose to anything else. 

The things that I am advocating for in my life are important.  Specifically I'm referring to Bamboo and Permaculture.  For me the two go hand in hand.  Both are fringe topics.  Permaculture comes from the margins of society.  My favorite principle is the 11th one: use edges and value the marginal.  Permaculture itself is marginal in our society, and within that margin, on the margin of Permaculture, bamboo is there.  Even in the Permaculture community bamboo is seen mostly as just another invasive.  It's the most useful plant to our species that grows on this planet.  How is it that it is such a hatted plant?  I believe this hatred goes directly to the root of our anti-cultures dysfunction.  That dysfunction begins with privacy fences on property lines.  Property lines being the main dysfunction (closely tied up with money of course).  Bamboo does not respect property lines.  It goes right under fences, and with enough time will cross a road bed.  It's also the most useful plant to our species!  Yet in our anti-culture it is the most hated!  Why!!!  Are we ultimately an anti-culture composed of sadist and masochist? 

Then there is Permaculture itself.  It's antithetical to the conventional suburban landscape of monocultured grass and shrubbery, just as bamboo is. 

My purpose is to advance bamboo and Permaculture into our anti-culture in an effort to do what needs to be done for a life of lower per capita energy.  Because we will eventually get that life, if they don't blow us all up with the "mother of all bombs" first.  Yet, holding that purpose I go forth with small engines to make money managing the typical suburban landscape.  The "greatest misallocation of wealth in the history of the world." 

I'm all the time fighting to advance the usefulness of bamboo and permaculture all while pouring gasoline into my hemi and mower and plethora of other small engines.  I burn gasoline everyday to make money.  We all do this in the working first world.  We have to.  I have no choice.  But why?  You never end up with enough money either.  Everybody works because they need money, and we all come up short and use credit.  Extend and pretend goes all the way to the lowest level of poverty that's just above mailbox money.  Many times in the recent past I have said "what's the fucking point in working so hard?"  My efforts are met by more financial obligations, and there is never enough money no matter how much I make.  Sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up and just being a shitbag in line for some mailbox money. 

I'm told that what I am doing is of the utmost importance.  "The world needs you," my mentor says.  The world needs me because of my unique understanding and knowledge on bamboo.  Apparently the world is hungry for bamboo experts.  It's a similar story with permaculture.  The world needs me for that as well...to advance that sanity.  This must be a tired old story that has always been throughout all of the ages.  That which is most important gets pushed to the margins, and hated...or at the very least ignored.  Money is repelled by importance.  The more important something is the less money is available for it. 

I'm struck lately by how this works.  What I'm doing is so important and yet I have to spend the majority of my time worried about acquiring money.  It seems to me that if what I'm doing is so important then I should not be worried about money.  If it's so important then where is all of the money that should be helping to advance these causes?  It makes my life feel like a delusion. 

I have been struggling lately to maintain a belief in purpose.  My destiny is bamboo, and I'm starting to wonder if that's a good thing?  My destiny is hated by the majority of our anti-culture.  Out here on the furthest reaches of the margins, where even the marginal argue my cause...it is lonely.  I've begin developing a hatred for my species and it's ignorance and stupidity.  My vital energy has been declining.  I'm growing tired of the fight. 

14
The Kitchen Sink / Ancient Earth Landscaping and SUN
« on: April 07, 2017, 05:45:29 AM »
Just gonna give a quick update on what's been going down here in the Upstate of SC with regards to AEL and SUN (which are partners). 

I gave a presentation at the library last night.  The room was packed with 25 people and it went an hour over.  The librarians had to shoe us out (although they were watching the presentation as well).  It ran over due to all of the questions.  GM filmed the entire thing, and we will be placing it online as time permits. 

We also have a booth at Eustace Conway's "families learning together event."  We are going to Turtle Island a day earlier than other vendors because we have made connections there with the local natural building crowd.  We will be helping them construct a hay bale cob arrangement.  I'll be giving bamboo presentations during the FLT event as well.  This is the second year AEL has attended that event. 

We also will be going to Mother Earth New's festival in Asheville this year.  We already have that lined up and had a professional portrait taken of my ugly mug to have pasted on their website along with a description of what I'll be doing during two separate bamboo presentations I'll be giving during the event which is later this month. 

SUN is close to finalizing the Earthship greenhouse at the community garden as well.  Looks like it may actually happen with the help of the local high school.  At least the city council is all about it, so we shall see. 

AEL is in the middle of our second permaculture design and install as well.  Also it appears that I may be getting some bamboo clients based on interest that was shown at the presentation. 

We will document what we can during these events and they will at least be put up on AEL's website. 

As GM is so fond of saying "great things ahead."  Even amidst collapse! 

15
The Kitchen Sink / Human Extinction
« on: March 20, 2017, 04:51:18 PM »
At some point the sun goes supernova and we go extinct and that is guaranteed. 

Besides that, or some massive volcano going off, or a large enough object from space smashing into earth, what are the chances we go extinct before the sun burns out? 

I think the chances are slim that we go extinct as a species.  I think we'd be the last mammal to go extinct because we can hunt all of the other mammals.  We don't need high tech to do this either.  We can fish, trap with simple traps made with no more than a good knife and cordage, and a good bow can be made of bamboo as can the arrow shaft with some chicken feathers and a stone arrow head.  A spear is easy to make as well.  The point is we can hunt until there is nothing left to hunt.  So some homo saps will be able to eat.

Probably the most concerning issue here is climate change.  If the world gets too hot then we, and all of the rest of the higher order life, goes extinct.  I think this is the only thing that will cause us to go extinct before the sun burns up.  So what are the chances that this will happen?  If it does happen won't the poles still likely support human life?  Maybe 99% of our species dies off, but I just don't buy that we go extinct before the sun burns up (or some other massive natural disaster takes us out). 

Nuclear war is possible, but I don't believe that would result in destroying all humans.  I think we'd get our shit together before that happens. 

I'm not a climate scientist, and I'm not down playing how serious our situation is with the climate.  I know it's fucked and getting more fucked by the day.  The oceans are dying and sea food will soon be a distant memory...mostly.  I just think there will be places on Earth that can support mammalian life until the sun burns out.  This is not hopium.  To me, this is just likely. 

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