Missing something

I am remote.  Mostly.  Kinda.  I mean, it is hard to claim legitimate remoteness when you write a blog, isn’t it?  But that contradiction notwithstanding, I am pretty ‘out there’.  Off the grid.  Isolated.  I am certainly not part of any influential information-sharing network.  I am not milling about in the madding crowd.  I am not in the least way hip.  I am way, way out of the loop.

It was not always thus.  I rode the merry-go-round.  I rubbed shoulders.  I chatted at cocktail parties.  Been there, done that.

When I lived in Vancouver, I would even, on occasion, be in the news or be part of the news or be part of a news story.  No biggie.  I worked in Skid Row and the media love doing pieces about that.  I helped refugees at one time and that, too, was easy grist for the media mill.  Building KIDS ONLY MARKET at a time described as the ‘echo boom’, ensured another minute or two of my allotted fifteen minutes.

It was all less about me and more about the voracious appetite of the media to fill air in order to sell advertisements to, well, people like me.  And I know that.  But it happened.

So, imagine my surprise to have had several ‘contacts’ over the last few years from media-types doing ‘stories’ on people living off the grid?  It is almost a phenomenon.

It isn’t, actually.  It is considerably less than a phenomenon but living OTG has attracted a bit of attention.  It falls short of a phenom for me because, so far, the media types don’t really want my story.  My story is not what they are looking for.  I think I am too dull.

So, we chat for a minute and part amicably.  And then they write what they write.  It is always about something else.  Not just someone else but something else altogether.

It is amazing how far off the mark they are.  At least from my perspective.

Nick Rosen wrote a book and is currently keeping a blog about living off the grid.  But his sense of living OTG is people who live in cars, RVs and up North. He might include liveaboards or desert dwellers who just live far away. He sees some farmers as living OTG because they live remote not because they are actually off the grid.  I think Nick misses the point.

And I just had contact from a woman who wants the story of someone who is “….just leaving the city and maybe just bought a farm and, like, maybe is getting chickens and stuff for the first time.  You know, urbanites hobby-farming?”

“Oh.  You mean like a hedge fund manager who picks up a hundred acres in upstate New York and has a funky barn he gets renovated?”

“Yeah!  That would be great!”

“Well, you can contact Michelle Pfiefer, the actor.  She has a home up here somewhere.  She is rich and has staff, too.  Comes in by helicopter.  Does that work for you?”

Ooh, that would be great.  Do you have her number?”

I guess Michelle and the fund managers qualify as much as I do as living off the grid but, somehow, it seems like the wrong image.  Most of the people I know who live OTG are not wealthy.  They are rich because they want for little and  rely on less.  They do it all themselves (give or take) and they are off the grid because they do not even have direct road access, let alone piped in water, electricity and cable.  My definition of OTG is more along the lines of Mother Earth News than it is Lives of the Rich and Remote.

But judging from the media contacts, I am off the mark as well.

6 thoughts on “Missing something

  1. Between what you are perceived do(which in the minds of some is a combination of hell on earth and insanity ) and what you really do lies a gaping conceptual gap. Most folks do not get your choices. If more folks got you then the city would have moved to your back yard. And shazam! Alone time is gone.
    Sidebar: go google yourself and what they know.


    • I suppose you are right. Most folks……….
      But part of the choices-thing is having some. When you are commited to the rat race for your career, family and all, you don’t have a rural/urban choice. Not usually, anyway. But, when you retire, you do. You can make a choice. You can do something different. Of course, many people choose what they know but retired people have long cherished the dream of ‘getting away’ and ‘putting this all behind me’. They have dreamed of different. So, one would think that choosing to actually do it would be more common…..no?
      Google myself? Aren’t I just a mediator? I’ll go see…….


      • Seems they have me mistaken for some big, fat, old white guy who likes to talk…………..
        J. David Cox is, it seems, the (current) name of the identity thief who is the secretary to the American Federation of Govt. Employees. Sheesh….no wonder no one likes me. The guy looks like a dork! Worse, we look similar!!


      • Ooops……….my bad…………seems Nick Rosen (thanks to the googling suggestion) has ‘corrected’ the previous bias in his book and is putting more emphasis on the OTG mainstream. I unfairly dissed him. He made the correction last year. Sorry, Nick.


  2. Minimalism and peacefulness is counter to the media’s main focus on promoting consumption and aggression to the other. Be glad they saw something shiny or a celebrity to hound and forgot about you.


    • Yeah. I agree. But it is something more, too. You only know what you know and the young media types don’t know much. And they seem to know even less about rural, OTG and remote – conceptually, I mean. NOT urban is becoming a foreign concept it seems. I confess to having a bit of that kind of blindness, too. I am still trying to adjust to hunting deer for meat. In fact, I have not done it. I still wonder at the heft and size of a fire-wood log in the rough. I marvel at the wildlife, changing tides, weather and everything, actually. I came from the city and a lot of urban blood still flows through my veins. So I get the cognitive dissonance. But they don’t.


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