Thursday, February 14, 2013

What this is

In addition to the other things clogging up my mind on any given day, I do a lot of thinking about a certain network of topics, revolving around "nodes". These nodes are ideas and worries about economic and ecological health, and their branches take me in interesting directions:

Urban vs. Rural
Legislation & (or vs) grassroots

....and so forth.

In order to keep my thoughts and observations in some readable form, I've sprouted a blog off my normal online presence, Venice in Winter.  ViW is for arts, crafts, and fun things, while this one (What are you waiting for?) is for the more serious inquiries into hearth, home, and how "we" do those.  Whoever "we" may be :)

There are two phenomena that have been on the top of my head lately, when I've been thinking of these things.  The first is the Dark Mountain Manifesto, which I've been working through, annotating by the paragraph.  This project-collective-?? began in 2009, so I'm very late to this party!  But it's still active, and endlessly fascinating.  I can't say I am completely supportive, and I can't say I don't have some issues with the concept of "uncivilisation", but I'm finding the manifesto rich territory to delve into and argue with.

The second phenomenon is most definitely stateside, one of the most early-century American things I can think of, and that is "Prepping", as in "preparing" for some dramatic, cataclysmic event.  This started underground with survivalists, but has been spreading in popularity, doubtlessly stoked by recent weather disasters and an ever-growing sense of distrust in the mechanisms of state and civilization itself.  Preppers have quite a range, from prudent to deeply disturbing, but they all deserve observation and analysis.

When I look at either Dark Mountain or Preppers, I see two staggeringly different responses to the same matrix of anxieties.  Can our current way of life sustain us?  What will happen when it suddenly can't?  Will that failure itself be sudden?  How will we survive? How will we continue as a species?  What will we have to sacrifice, and will we gain anything from that?  The way these questions are posed and the way answers are sought strongly differ between countries, and I keep that in the forefront as I read the literature coming out of both movments.

It's a fascinating trip, and I'm looking forward to reading more and more, and gaining a fuller understanding!