Sunday, November 24, 2013

Gratitude Readjustment: Free Anti-Depressant!

For thousands of years, mankind (and woman-kind) had one technique to relieve sadness or resolve unpleasant situations: Get off their tired butts and do something about it.

The discovery of alcohol introduced another technique: stay on your butt and get drunk. This works wonderfully in the short run, but, based on personal research, makes everything worse at last.

The modern “anti-depressant” pill seems like an improvement. You still don’t have to solve life’s problems, ‘cause you no longer give a fiddle-dee-dee. More self research, la-la, no thanks.

There are ways to live happily, without booze, doctors, or pills. One is to smoke pot of course, but wiser-than-us governments won’t allow the use of this ancient, natural, low-priced medicine. Regarding research, I invoke Da Fif’.

Less obvious for the lazy, the too-busy, and those of us slowly going insane, is another ancient way, of actually striving to make our lives better. Hard work sucks, but it works. Also, you may have to admit you are wrong about something, or stand up and confront someone else who is; neither generally regarded as pleasant.

Jerome AZ, defunct neighborhood southeast of town, on mine property. Yes I was trespassing.

For today, here’s an easy short-cut: try being grateful.

It may sound gay, but when I quit whining about what I ain’t got, and be glad of what I do got, I instantly feel better. Gratitude is nature’s anti-depressant. It works well and costs absolutely nothing. I am an enthusiastic proponent. When grateful, you are no longer part of the buy-and-sell equation.

Face it: most citizens of Disunited States, one of the wealthiest empires in the history of mankind, are spoiled crybabies. Lifetimes of advertising make most folks feel like they are missing something. Every media image is designed to fuel our longing for more more more. Happiness is just around the corner if we buy their shiny things, they imply; but it always stays just around the corner. Boo hoo!

But compare your life to the ugzillion cavemen (and cavewomen) who came before. Or most of the so-called “third world.” Or our own after the First Great Depression who begged, stole, or starved. We now live like kings, like gods even, with our many magic doo-dads and massive industrial food production!

Happiness is wanting what you’ve got, since you so seldom get what you want. Man’s needs in nature haven’t changed in the last hundred thousand years; if you aren’t cold or hungry, you are as happy as you need to be. If you have no joy, more crap won’t help.

"The Patriarchs", northeast of the Village of Oak Creek

Rather than wasting time bemoaning your Used Crap Store dress, think kindly of the sewing-for-below-living-wage slaves who have less than your nothing. If no car nor bus fare, smile ‘cause you have legs that still go (a gratitude classic!) Rather than griping about your greasy dishwashing job, enjoy the delicious leftovers the rich folk leave. Bung-hole co-workers aren’t worth your hate, thank the gods you aren’t married to any of ‘em. Despised dilapidated trailers still blessedly block blizzards (barely!)

You get a free anti-depressant every day you declare Thanksgiving! So take that made-for-the-merchants unholiness and call it your own. Our ancestors went to a lot of trouble trying to build a country where everyone could get along and have fun. They fought for our right to party! In their honor, let us graciously sing and dance and love and poot and be happy, to the best of our abilities, every day!

South of Prescott, Hwy 89


Nov. 29 on this side of the pond:


The Beaks Of Eagles

An eagle's nest on the head of an old redwood on one of the
    precipice-footed ridges
Above Ventana Creek, that jagged country which nothing but a
    falling meteor will ever plow; no horseman
Will ever ride there, no hunter cross this ridge but the winged
    ones, no one will steal the eggs from this fortress.
The she-eagle is old, her mate was shot long ago, she is now mated
    with a son of hers.
When lightning blasted her nest she built it again on the same
    tree, in the splinters of the thunderbolt.
The she-eagle is older than I; she was here when the fires of
    eighty-five raged on these ridges,
She was lately fledged and dared not hunt ahead of them but ate
    scorched meat. The world has changed in her time;
Humanity has multiplied, but not here; men's hopes and thoughts
    and customs have changed, their powers are enlarged,
Their powers and their follies have become fantastic,
The unstable animal never has been changed so rapidly. The
    motor and the plane and the great war have gone over him,
And Lenin has lived and Jehovah died: while the mother-eagle
Hunts her same hills, crying the same beautiful and lonely cry and
    is never tired; dreams the same dreams,
And hears at night the rock-slides rattle and thunder in the throats
    of these living mountains.
                                    It is good for man
To try all changes, progress and corruption, powers, peace and
    anguish, not to go down the dinosaur's way
Until all his capacities have been explored: and it is good for him
To know that his needs and nature are no more changed in fact
    in ten thousand years than the beaks of eagles.

Robinson Jeffers


Relevant Old Fart Cartoon Wisdom:

“But Charlie Brown, it’s Thanksgiving. One of the greatest traditions we have is the Thanksgiving Day football game, and the biggest most important tradition of all is the kicking off of the football!”

                                               --Lucy Van Pelt

Friday, November 1, 2013

Lifestyles of the Cheap and Shameless

Gold King Mine, Jerome AZ

Every day, working folks, stone broke and desperate, perform perverse acts simply to survive. Read, and weep:

Every morning, John Doughless (his real name), rises before the rest of the household and strategically rearranges pantry and refrigerator contents, to trick everyone into using oldest food first. “Moo juice saved is moo juice earned,” he muses, “An' that fruit ain’t rotten just yet.”

Gold King Mine, Jerome AZ

Some days he washes plastic bags and bottles for re-use; ‘green’ ‘cause he hasn’t got much choice. Other days he sews buttons, or stitches the kids’ pants, hollering “Yr britches wouldn’ split if y’d quit showin’ yr butt!” He hand-harvests dust bunnies and trash bits from the floor, to postpone electric “vacuuming." Finger-feeds to dirty fewer dishes.

Gold King Mine, Jerome AZ

Whenever he seems to need a thing, he first tries to not need it. Like: ties knots to prolong the lives of shoe-strings. And if a Gordian string must be replaced, he steals from a retired shoe. “What sort of pompous ass gives a rip whether their shoe-strings match?” he snorts.

Gold King Mine
Fashion is whatever he can get for nothing, of course, or the Used Crap store. He defends his pathetic attire with wise-cracks:
“Only fashion models look like fashion models,” “Cover only your goodies, unless it snows,” and “The more naked the less laundry.”

(singing) "Up on the roof..."
The same discriminating taste guides every home project. “Inside every perfect house is a worn-out mortgage-holder,” he insists. “Everything falls apart, get used to it.” He fights leaks from roof or pipes, but “the rest can crumble, I ain’t gonna be slave to a pile of bricks and sticks.”

His ‘lawn’ is dead or weed-dotted, trees and bushes unkempt, fence gate askew. “Mama nature is my landscaper,” he boasts. “I already work too much.” He waters a tree only to nap in its shade.

Gold King Mine, Jerome AZ

Car repair challenge: fix it for free somehow. Forget cracked plastic, dented metal, missing/malfunctioning non-essentials. For the rest, duct tape, baling wire, and super glue, mostly. “Why drive anywhere, ever?” he might wonder aloud. “Shiny or ugly, every car is pure evil.”

Jerome AZ

In his free-lance mining enterprise, he snags aluminum nuggets, steel anything (finally worth a few cents a pound!), or busted appliances for their copper-wound motors and precious-metal circuit boards. Open dumpster mining: safer and quieter than open pit mining, at a fraction of the pay! “Better than a kick in the teeth,” he sallies.

Doughless curses every holiday, claims each is a pretext to extract folks’ cash they don’t have for crap they don’t need. Miserly malcontent or not, he’s right of course. “People could save billions if they parked butt at home and ate peanut-butter sandwiches,” he is fond of saying.

Cement Mine, Clarkdale AZ

“Machines have taken over our lives, unplug everything!” he often hollers, as if you could. He lets his phone go dead for days or months...visits friends face-to-face, like olden times. The tele-vision gathers dust, why follow the culture’s collapse? All this keeps the power bill down, good practice for when it gets shut off.

Films, concerts, ball games, circuses, he has no coin for such glitzy fluff. His life is his movie, he sings for himself, plays his own game, directs a many-ringed circus, dancing, laughing, talking wild. “If ya got a roof and some grub, the rest is gravy, so quit yr whinin’.”

So, where to next for bus-hustling trend-upsetting almost-homeless John Doughless? First he’ll be officially replacing John Doe at foreclosed-upon and squatted-in middle-class headquarters, 1234 Main Street, Anytown USA: the new typical citizen of Disunited States.

Gold King Mine, Jerome AZ
From there, the dirt’s the limit! Will it be the classic egalitarian resort, “Van by the River?” The dry and often warm nook “Under the Interstate Overpass?” Perhaps the trendy new un-gated community at the edge of town, multi-colored all-ages “Tent Acres?” Or will he swallow his pride, and camp in the stinky-spilled-bhangwater back bedroom of his dumb-ass in-laws?

Gold King Mine, Jerome AZ
Johnny D. is part of a popular new army of mobile non-consumers struggling day-to-day. Everyone’s welcome! Families and communities are re-forming for survival! Some whackos are even living without electronics, in a bizarre world of sunshine, dirt, plants, rain, rivers, and on good days, fresh meat! Rich do-gooders keep your travel expense--the “third world” is being home delivered!

Along the Colorado River, Grand Canyon National Park

So what’s the buzz on the street, J. D., how’s life in the slack lane? His eyes twinkle over six day beard and crooked grin: “Hell, nobody’s got squat, even them that’s got some crappy job. None of us’ll ever live like the fakes on TV no matter how hard we work, and they can’t fool us anymore. We can’t give a damn even when we try. ‘Civilization’ has already collapsed for half the planet, and good riddance. With nothin’ left to lose, we’ll finally be free!”

Glenbar AZ cemetery

His grin turns to dark leer: “The corporate beasts eating the planet are going to slowly starve too...and the Owners will live behind iron gates, nervously ever after.”

As sun struggles to sink through industrial haze, giving way to coal-fired zap, his slow-paced, low society night life begins....

“Ha! Now, everybody’s invited to my back yard to drink some beer! So, uh, be sure ‘n’ bring some beer!”

Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Area, AZ


  “Early evening traffic was beginning to clog the avenue with cars. The sun slanted down behind him. Harry glanced at the drivers of the cars. They seemed unhappy. The world was unhappy. People were in the dark. People were terrified and disappointed. People were caught in traps. People were defensive and frantic. They felt as if their lives were being wasted. And they were right.

   Harry walked along. He stopped for a traffic signal. And, in that moment he had a very strange feeling. He felt as if he was the only person alive in the world.

   As the light turned green, he forgot all about that. He crossed the street to other side and continued on.”

                       --Charles Bukowski, Septuagenarian Stew