In my last essay I proposed the short term fix of the poor, middle class and unemployed helping each other via barter of self-produced goods and services and the use of Freecycle. The long-handled spoons allegory I brought in was particularly apt because it strongly resembles the situation we have today. The handles are so long on our spoons because there is a great deal of mileage and a lot of corporate infrastructure between the stuff on the end of the spoon and our hands. It’s like we’re on the wrong end of a pyramid scheme where we’re paying a hundred people to do something as simple as provide a package of raspberries in the grocery store.
In the summer I wrote about the irony of harvesting a good seven quarts of wild raspberries growing near the railroad tracks close to where I live, while the store down the road was selling the same thing for $4.99 for 4 ounces. The store-bought total value for what I harvested ended up being something around $360.00.
I wrote about how people have become so dependent on thinking that there’s only one way to solve problems – the “acceptable” way, the status quo; that people who lived 15 miles away from midtown Manhattan spent the night sleeping on the sidewalk during the northeastern blackout of August 2005 rather than simply… walk home.
It would have taken the average person about five hours to walk those 15 miles. They could have walked along the railroad tracks – the trains certainly weren’t running. They could have slept in their own beds that night. But no… they slept in their clothes on the sidewalk. Because that’s what everybody else was doing. Because they’ve become so dependent on the idea that they couldn’t get home without a car, a bus or a train that they didn’t even THINK to walk. They’ve become fixated on the idea that because it takes them an hour to get into the city during rush hour, they surely live more than fifteen miles away from it. To cite the Dead Kennedys album title, “Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death”.
To save our economy and our nation, we need people willing to think outside the box.
The problem is, we have an awful lot of people who do NOT want us to do that. Because the box is of their making, and they’re very proud of it.
I spent some time the other night listening to the clip of FDR’s first broadcast to the nation that Edger posted in Pluto’s essay on the subject, and while I recognized many a good intention and wise goal in FDR’s plan, I also caught a sentence here and there that got my inner cynic smirking; and furthermore I recognized that there were some interesting peripheral things going on both before and after this speech was made.
I recognized a pattern, a formula. It’s a bad scene that’s going to see some daylight here and now, because we’re being set up to be shoved into that box again and we need to stop the madness.