Pick up stuff, put down in new location

I think I have to move. I’ve been thinking about it pretty much ever since I moved into this apartment. Regularly I’ve tried to convince myself that I’d just start making more money and that would solve the problem. Bus alas that is a mirage. In order to make more money I’d need more time and energy, and I spend my time and energy paying for this. Or do I? Perhaps that’s a cop out, a shifty indulgence of my natural laziness and sloth.

In any case the fact remains that I seem never to have any more than I’ve got – which is typical, but let’s move a bit past that. I spend all of what I make, on food, on rent, on utilities. I feel no financial sense of progress, and while it may be argued that there really is no need for such a thing, I do find myself not doing things I would like to do simply thanks to the financial leash I have fashionned for myself. So moving is a thought.

This loft is not the loft which I had imagined. The geometry is all wrong. The advantages, 13ft ceilings, wide open spaces, are all a waste due to conflicting configuration. Why do I have tall ceilings in my kitchen? Not even the Sweedish Chef requires such soaring spaces to toss his ingredients. It simply isn’t right, never was right, and the cost, the cost…

I want a balcony, I want bright natural light for less than a figment of the day. But mostly I want to pay less, play more.

Moving is never a happy thought, being as it is nothing but a reaffirmation of deference to stuff. Stuff. Stuff. Stuff. I think the collective stuff is the only thing that really stops me. So much of it. Goddam stuff.

It is time to start looking. I at least have the luxury of making a move at the time of my choosing, not being stuck with a legislated lease with terms and dates. Still, that also could be a weakness, no deadline, no pressure, no looming end. But, as the bank account slides, maybe, maybe I could think of better things to spend it on than four white walls and neighbours having noisy sex.

Advertisements

Lights Off?

So we’re rapidly approaching Earth Hour. The one hour out of the year where everyone is supposed to turn off their lights in some kind of solidarity with the planet and the outrageous damage we’re doing to it with our neverending energy demands. So what exactly does that achieve? A warm fuzzy feeling? A chance to drink wine by candlelight? Perhaps. But I think none of this really gets to the heart of the issue which is really considering our relationship to energy.

Instead of turning off your lights for an hour, maybe you should go hit the main breaker for your house. Kill the water heater. Kill the thermostat. Kill the air conditionning. Kill the refrigerator. Shut all of it down. Now you’re starting, just starting to get the idea. Now expand it. Not just an hour, how about a day? How about the street lights and the traffic lights outside?

It kind of sounds apocalyptic, but its not really.

Think back to 2003 when millions in eastern Canada and the north eastern US were struck by one of the biggest blackouts in history or the ice storm that paralysed the same region in 1998. When I talk to people about those events I don’t hear stories of doom and gloom and the end of civilization, on the contrary I hear stories about how beautiful the night sky was, the silence, the sense of community, eating meals with neighbours by candlelight. Rather than hardship it was an adventure, an opportunity to simplify and get back to the basics. It was like sending the normally stressed and over charged city of Toronto for a weekend at the cabin in the woods.

Personally I think there should be an annual blackout day, where aside from essential services like hospitals the whole grid just shuts down once a year, to remind us of what a blessing energy really is. What rituals and events might spring up around Blackout day?

Another thing to consider during Earth Hour is making your energy more personal, and by that I mean making it yourself. Would it really be cheating if you spent Earth Hour leisurely peddling a bicycle generator to run a 7W compact fluorescent bulb while you read a book? I for one don’t think it would. Nor would I complain if you’d been storing that energy up from your home solar array. There’s a lot of talk in the government about energy independence, about getting away from the clutches of foreign oil. Well, why should you remain in the clutches of your local energy provider? If its good enough for the country, it must be good enough for you.

So go ahead and shut off a lightbulb or three if it makes you feel better, though I’d much prefer if a lightbulb went on above your head and you come up with some ways to make a difference the other 364 days and 23 hours of the year.

DON’T PANIC

That reference from Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is good advice these days, especialy in light of the frenzy being whipped up by the media over this “economic disaster.” Given that I don’t much frequent the mainstream media I think I’ve been a bit isolated from the mania, but come on people.

The AIG story is the perfect example. So some financial bigwig shitsticks got $160 million in bonuses thanks to a government bailout of their failed company. Yeah that’s unscrupulous and dirty, but as someone recently said on NPR’s Planet Money podcast – “Fine, we’ll just deduct that $160 million from their next $300 billion dollar bailout cheque.” What is that as a percentage? Doesn’t even register. Kind of puts it in perspective. The media has managed to smoke screen the entire nation with what amounts to a penny sideshow while many other issues are still burning away on the hillside. You goddam fucking sheep.

Now these are ripe times for conspiracy theorists, the collapse was planned, Obama’s a socialist, China’s taking over. While I think most conspiracy theories start with a grain of truth where they run afoul is just how far they take their conclusions, usually without considering other evidence. Was this this planned? To an extent, in so far as there are big, powerful people who knew it was coming and have been preparing to turn it all to their advantage. Its not like someone pushed the self-destruct button on the economy, but some people knowingly helped it along yes.

Why?

Well the answer is simply one of power. These are the same people who ran monopolies back in the day before they were made illegal. This is a great time for people with liquid assets to buy up severely discounted companies and property cons0lodating more and more power into fewer and fewer hands. This crosses notions of nationality, as corporations long have. Its no more a Chinese or Saudi takeover than it is a Russian or Iclandic one. National boundaries mean nothing in the global economy, what matters is class. The ultra-rich the world over are the beneficiaries, the working stiffs the losers.

This video in particular kind of bugged me, because his fevered conspiracy theory is incomplete and does injustice to his very prudent advise to increase your self-sufficiency by starting to grow your own food. You see he never figures on WHY an economic collapse would be engineered. If someone indeed has planned it all out they’d be stupid to bring us to the point where we had no food, ’cause that’s when the rioting and the looting would start. On the other hand consolidating the food supply and slowly raising the prices would be a terribly effective ploy to take control of a people.

Food really is the key. If you think about it big chain groceries and big agriculture pretty much have us completely hemmed in. Look at how agressively Monsanto’s been pursuing their genetically modified crops. The real concern shouldn’t be about health, it should be about their ability to OWN the very DNA of your food. Already they’re suing farmers if Monsanto owned strains are found in their fields, even if carried there by the winds. Monsanto is forcing third world nations to use their products whe they recieve food aid. Some strains don’t even germinate meaning seeds need to be bought from Monsanto every single season.

Control of the food supply should scare you a lot more than stocks and derivatives and mortgages.

The stock market is a speculative economy that sits on top of the real economy like a piece of tracing paper. At the end of the day if you strip away the stock market we still have food, cars, factories, houses, etc. None of that goes away. That’s the magic of money, it SEEMS real and important, but really its not. All it is is a structure to control our interactions with each other. Its useful on many levels, but people have twisted and manipulated it to the point that its become a cruel and powerful tool for control. So if it all collapses… well we’ll figure out another way to live together, without bankers and hedge fund managers. Hmmm, that sounds like a happy world.

Oops

I missed the submission deadline.

Once again I managed to misread the information on the website, this time the submission deadline date.

I am a total fool.

Well, I suppose I’d better make a couple of films this year just to spite my screwup. School’s not really the be all and end all of making it in this industry anyways. Still. Dumb move.

At least I won’t have to dig into my depressed stock portfolio to pay tuition this fall.

Unbelievable…