I feel a bit that way right now. Like an impostor. This blog is supposed to be about living off the grid and no one is more ON the grid than me. Smart TV and all. I am an impostor. It is a bit embarrassing.
But, in an effort to stay true to the message, let me cite two incidents that reinforce my committment to getting back out there as soon as possible.
One involves a cavity search.
Seems some female Indian diplomat has been accused of underpaying her domestic help. Nasty behaviour but not unexpected amongst the elite. So, when she comes back from abroad and has to go through US customs, she is given the full treatment – she is strip-searched and cavity-probed. Seems the government has the power to probe your parts on whatever basis it wants to use and, in this case, it is about alleged underpayment of wages. Probing for cash, perhaps? Call me crazy but that is a major abuse of power that underscores the whole of the Big Brother problem in a minor cavity-kind-of-way.
The second incident involves an older woman in Florida living off the grid. She owns her home outright and her taxes are paid. But she lives in a tract home in the burbs and so the city of Coral Gable is not accepting of her refusal of grid-based services such as water and electricity. She collects rainwater and uses propane. They don’t like that. They want to make more money off her and they have a monopoly with which to do it – the grid. She jumped off and so they want to evict her.
That kinda says something about the grid, don’t you think?
Seen the actions of BC Hydro lately?
Of course I know that these are isolated examples of the abuse of power but, on the other hand, I do not think them as uncommon as they might seem. Big Brother touches us all one way or the other and some are touched so hard they are hurt. Big Brother is a bully.
I can’t imagine my dealing with a cavity searcher in an obedient manner. I am sure that I would escalate the incident, be tasered, arrested and likely jailed. God knows, they might actually kill me in the process and, after the cover up, all the parties would go about their protected business of bullying people. City living at it’s best!
That sort of thing used to outrage me. I’d get worked up. It was wrong and I would argue, resist, refuse, object and fume about it. Rant, even. Sometimes I actually did something about it.
But not so much anymore. Now I have an alternative. I can leave. And so I do. When I am off the grid, I am largely exempt from the insanity that passes as civilization these days and, despite the lack of regular tasering, enforcement officers, cavity-probers and document-servers, life is surprisingly much, much better. More civilized, if you want to know. Seems we don’t need no stinkin’ badges forced on us to behave.
The point: we have come to accept too much forced intervention in our lives. Too much regulation. Too much control. But we did not do this willingly, knowingly or even consciously. Big Bro (institutions) has the benefit of a never-ending life. It can afford the time it takes to impose its will. And so more and more incremental control has been imposed over the years and each generation is born into it and accepts it as ‘normal’. It is not. It is erosion by drips. It is insidious. It is like a disease. And we were infected a long time ago.
“Dave, you are an anarchist!”
“No, I am not. I do not want chaos. I like a bit of order. I am actually quite sane (as all crazy people think of themselves)”. I am just saying that bit by bit, law by law, rule by rule, social manipulation by social manipulation and forced-by-circumstances controls (like traffic) we are becoming more and more controlled. We may not realize it but we are jailing ourselves!
And it is all that that makes me an impostor. Hypocrite at the very least. I know this is wrong but I am going to stay awhile anyway. For me, it is like visiting friends in jail. I can do it because I know that visiting hours are limited and, even if they weren’t, I’d limit them myself. And I will. I will hand back my security pass. I will allow them to pat me down. And then I will get the hell out!
It is an option open to every one.
At least for the time being.