This is not a put-down. Not of the people involved, anyway. They are are victims, really. They are victims of over-regulated behaviour and victims of their own mindset.
Dateline: Yesterday on the west coast. The story: rain, rain and more rain. The personalized stories to get our attention featured people who were deemed really hard hit and victimized by the weather. Tragedy was inferred. Disaster implied. Helplessness featured. First case on the news: a woman in San Francisco suffered a power blackout and so her garage door wouldn’t open and she was trapped. Couldn’t go shopping. Oh, dear!
Case#2: In Lions bay on the Sea to Sky highway, the village water system was destroyed by a mudslide. Everyone’s water system was shut down. It went dry. Clean water poured down the middle of the village along the man-made stream bed but, of course, no one could possibly get water from the stream! The news showed a resident with boxes of bottled water. “Bought all I could carry in my SUV!” Best news for the residents: “We do not plan on evacuating people from their homes just yet!”
Courtenay was flooded and a street of stores was closed off. Really big puddles. The biggest disaster for the store owners was that the stores were not allowed to re-open because the ‘authorities’ did not deem the road safe anymore even when the waters had receded. A dozen or so firemen and RCMP patrolled the puddles for the better part of an extra day. Big, burly armed and uniformed guys guarded the really big puddles from foolish waders. Store owners fumed.
You know what I am saying, right? This is tort law used as a cudgel. This is ignorance and helplessness in the general population. This is stupid stuff.
And, since when have the authorities had carte blanche decision-making over a person residing in their own home? Or their store? That kind of thing has gotten way out of hand. Remember that town in Alberta, High River? Residents were evacuated and the police went into their homes and confiscated any guns they found?
I remember when Mt. St Helen’s erupted and some people chose to stay in harm’s way and they were allowed to do so. That turned out ot be a bad decision for some of them but it was (or should be) the right of a sane person in a free country. No?
I have also read of people surviving drought and dehydration by (gasp) drinking from rivers and streams. Hell, we do that everyday! So, why can’t people use water from rivers anymore? Maybe you drink bottled water to be safe but a lot of water doesn’t have to be proven potable before being put to good use.
My point is simple: too many people are so dependent on the ‘grid’ systems, directions from authorities and their ‘conveniences’, they are paralyzed when there’s a glitch. Of course a system going down is inconvenient and, maybe for a few, a disaster but the vast majority of the people should not be rendered helpless because their garage door doesn’t work!
For the record: Sal would get out her tools and dismantle the door.
Worse, of course, is that we put ourselves in position to be made helpless even if we are generally capable. Those trapped on Skytrain when the system went down last year pried open the doors and jumped down on to reportedly ‘live’ tracks. No one was hurt but those folks were literally trapped between a stopped rock and a shocking place. The same seems to hold for me whenever I get trapped in traffic. Waddya gonna do? Walk away from your car? In other words, our systems – when we rely on them with total faith – inevitably fail and thus put us in vulnerable places. The more systems you are reliant on, the more vulnerable you are.
And airports are major delays just waiting to happen. And happen they do. Putting your self in harm’s way is the very definition of going through an airport and getting on an airplane. Must be – look at the security! I refuse to fly anymore – for many reasons – but the main one is that I have no control over anything. I feel like just one of many cattle being led to an abattoir under the direction of those %$#!*& authorities.
Living OTG is not just about getting out from the boring and unfulfilling, it is not just about learning and growing and wonder. It is really about more independence and freedom in a world increasingly invading your private space and personal actions. Living OTG is unquestionably freer and freeing of the body, the soul and the mind. Part of that is the nature of the lifestyle but the biggest part these days is the difference between living OTG and existing in the city.
Living OTG is feeling increasingly like being an outlaw in a land chock-full of stupid laws.
Challenges are everywhere but accepting the challenges is a different matter. I knew a guy who changed light bulbs in pensioners residences for twenty-five bucks a pop. Why is such a service needed…capacity. Real or assumed helplessness. The good old no can do attitude. I see one of the major advantages of OTG living is that it forces one to engage and be alive in the moment. OTG one has a job that stimulates the self reliance gene. As a teacher I frequently taught students that lacked confidence. For them the prospects of Off the grid living was too grim to face. I’ve known teachers who refused to work at any teaching job more than an hour away from their stomping grounds. The no can do attitude is wide spread. They must have wifi or die. What percentage of the population could do what you two do?
I think most, if not all, could do it if they had to. But, so far, they never have to! We have created a coddled, stupid, helpless society and we call it FIRST world – as if it was something to aspire to! And what seems so depressing to me is that they would rather pay $25.00 than change a lightbulb! What kind of madness is that? How is having everything done for you enjoyable or even satisfying? Why is comfort so highly rated? Is the ideal to simply sit like Nero and have peeled grapes popped in your mouth? What kind of life is that?
What kind of life? Kinda pathetic, banal and pitiful. OTG you get hours of time restored to your use. OTG you have a reason keep ten pounds of various nails, screws, nuts and bolts. Conceptually, the no can dos are bewildered by the concept of self reliance and challenge.
Well, I am a hypocrite. I never thought………. We just went down to the mall and had our car washed! Yes, I have some excuses (no hose, bucket, sponge, etc.) but, honestly? After that rant? Embarrassing. But here’s the worst of it: we paid $35.00 to have it washed and vacuumed. Manager’s special. Our car would not fetch $1,750.00 on the market so we just paid 2% of the value of the car to wash it! And, when I fill it up with gas – which is every other day – I pay 4% of the value of the car to fuel it! I just paid 30% of the value of the car to replace the spark plug leads and distributor cap. OK – gotta stop. Nothing makes sense to me these days.
A few years ago there was a power outage in Toronto or some other large Canadian city at Christmas time. Temps hovering around 0 celsius.
Highrise apartment buildings with no power, ugh, walking endless flights of stairs.
One lady was interviewed, “ALL our food has spoiled! There’s no power for the fridge! We have to buy ice and more food and put it out on the balcony in coolers!”
It was 0 celcius outside.
Apparently common sense isnt a Canadian trait. It isnt just the laws that are stupid.
I know. It is pitiful. It really is. I cannot claim to be a helluva lot better as I experience a shiver of panic and confusion myself whenever a system goes down or a warp happens in the time space continuum. But, usually, within a few seconds I can find Sal and get her on the repairs or, in a pinch, stagger through them myself. There is a huge feeling of satisfaction when you have stitched up the fabric of time and space and freed the Millenium Falcon. It is not the inconvenience people should fear, it is the vulnerable, helpless, dependency that is revealed.
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