Oh gentle readers, I suppose I’ve been neglecting you, not that many will notice and less will care. Still, WildernessPunk, the idea one can survive without most of the mundane expectations of the day. It focuses on helping the environment by using less processes and items which destroys the land and instead living closer to it. Getting more involved with nature, while using less of what kills it. Can such a concept work? Like most things in life it is more a matter of greys as opposed to a pass/fail black/white idea.
This explains the Wilderness, but what about the punk? Originally, I was trying to live in the wilderness, while creating the funds for doing so with my writing and internet work. High tech creating the means for living low tech. To be honest, I think some of this has dropped off, although I have gone a whole year now without the dregs of an 8 2 5 job, so I’m living some sort of ideal, now if I can just figure out what the ideal is.
Maybe a few updates are in order for the eight of you who have followed WildernessPunk over the second half of 2016 and into 2017. Maybe just some bullet points would speed this up.
- I’m seeing my kids.
- Yes, I’m living in a house, my old place in fact, trying to make things work out for everyone involved.
- For the first third of 2017, I got a job which ended up being ridiculously awesome. I only worked about one day a week at it, but made a few hundred dollars an hour while doing so. I got to travel around Arizona for free. Not great places unless you like places like Yuma and Phoenix, but what the hell.
Now however the steel teeth of reality’s beartrap is closing in on me. Boy, wouldn’t it be great to be a writer or a guy who could survive by working on the internet in the woods or at home? I’m clinging on with my toenails, but the grim figure of mundania lurks outside the door ready to kick it in.
I could go over a shopping list of bullshit, such as the landlords not thinking the yard is yuppie enough with the tree trunk tables, sandstone shelves, and trying to evict us after paying to live there for twelve years, but I have better things to speak on. Besides WildernessPunk was never meant to be a journal as much as a philosophy, so let’s move on past my personal triumphs and tragedies.
So what new concept are you going to discuss this time, Mr. Bone?
Unless you’re Donald Trump, or have a black heart full of hate, (wait, same thing) most people you ask, “Are you trying to help lessen your impact on the environment?” will answer, yes. But what does it take to be really be helping or be an environmentalist? I hesitate to use the word environmentalist, because it has certain defined conditions. So just to insure we do not make any Trumpers nervous, in this one case, let’s just say Environmentalists are people trying to live in a way which creates less damage to our world.
Let’s look at a few categories. Those bullet points were fun before, let’s use them again.
- End Game Recyclers: These are the folks who separate their trash, bring it to the curb, and then hop in their car to go buy a new set of lawn furniture.
- Privileged Purchasers: These people feel they are ahead of the pack because their new custom made home has an energy efficient dishwasher and since they have solar power, the average person could never hope to be as cool to the environment as they are.
- Cherry Picker: These are the people that pick an item or two, usually something easier for them or what they want to do anyway, then elevate themselves above anyone who falls short in this category. Sure, every positive thing you do helps, but helping the environment does not stop because you bike commute or have become a vegetarian.
- Power Shoppers: Folks who might do some of the above, but then consume and consume. They buy new things while the old items get tossed into the landfill. They recycle their plastic, but purchase so many groceries they produce five time more trash than they can recycle.
The list could go on, but I think you have the idea. Does an environmentalist complain their neighbor is not buying new yard furniture fast enough or maybe dumpster dived an old frame and uses it as a couch, for a few extra years before he burns it in his wood stove?
Quite often environmentalism isn’t pretty. A plastic covered garden instead of a water hogging green lawn, might be an eye sore to some, but we need to rethink what an Environmentalist really is. Is the inner-city professional who votes blue and has all their food transported hundreds of miles to them really better than the red voter who just hunted a deer and made himself a hundred meals without the use of chemicals or animal farms.
Driving and spewing poison in the air, so you can take your Sunday walk through the woods, seems like a contradiction. Yet, this is so much of what we see in this country.
What am I trying to say? I am saying we need to rethink what an Environmentalist is and what it takes to be one. Again, it is all a matter of greys, but if your only making it to the 5% mark, you need to reevaluate where you stand. We also need to rethink what we can do. Is having a pristine yard and worrying over what your neighbors think more important than global warming? Are we just going to pick a few things to make us feel better and then ignore the rest of our destructive behaviors?
No one can be perfect unless you head off into the woods and become a hunter/gatherer, but disregarding that, we need to look at our environmental impact holistically and also not judge others who live closer to the earth and have not bothered to lower the water table by keeping a perfect lawn in the middle of a drought, because, let’s face it folks, we are all in a drought.
You can grab some of my fiction here, which I promise has nothing to do with this.