Soundbite for Humanity!

Update on deck – next blog.

Turns out that living OTG (off the grid) has so many iterations that the term is indistinct and used by so many different lifestyles as to be confusing.  Our book category is a melange of quirky titles and authors describing how to live in your car, your boat, your RV or on a surfing couch, live for free, live in a house built from garbage or live in a cabin in the woods – just to name a few.   One nut lives on a remote island up the BC coast!  And another self published book I saw on Amazon featured a shopping cart on the cover and promised to reveal the secrets of homeless living.  (Presumably, those suggestions work best in the city…I can’t see that shopping cart thing workin’ too good in the forest.)

Fair enough.  OTG is more of a mindset in my opinion, anyway, but I think Amazon is embracing the fringe rather than the real OTG’ers but why squabble over semantics? Basically, all of the folks living unconventionally are making a statement.  They don’t like the ‘burbs, the condos or the lifestyle required to get there.  Or else they can’t get in. Doesn’t matter how you cut it – voluntarily or involuntarily – conventional living simply does not work for everyone.

It doesn’t work perfectly for anyone, in my opinion.  It works for the system to have a ready-to-hand labour pool and taxpayers willing to hemorrhage money on demand in aid of that system but the lifestyle seems to grind everyone up in the end.  No one is happy unless they are on Prozac and have just recently avoided an indictment.   Heart attacks, drug overdoses, destroyed families, tension, neurosis, psychoses, failures to launch, chronic fatigue, addictions, divorce, cancer, bankruptcy, all this collateral damage in aid of sustaining a system that just doesn’t strike me as supportive for enough people to warrant it’s continuance.

But how do you change it?

I simply moved away from it.  I moved away like a person who objects to an industrial odour or heavy traffic or local drug houses or drive-by shootings.  I moved away from what I saw as bad rather than to what I knew was good.  That it turned out to BE GOOD surprised me as much as anything ever has.  But I lucked into this paradise.  I was really just getting out of the kitchen ’cause I couldn’t take the heat anymore.  No genius, here.  More like a rat leaving a sinking ship.

And, what’s it to me, anyway?  If folks wanna meth-amphetamine themselves to death in a highrise condo while avoiding their creditors and lying and cheating those they know, why would I care?  Even if they are NOT doing that but just being ground down to a tiny nub like so many others, why do I care?  Hell, even if they are living the high-life with only burnout as the price they pay, why would I care?

And, do I care?

I honestly don’t know the answer to that question.  I know I care a bit.  I care a bit that 7,000 Nepalese were killed in their recent earthquake.  I care that hundreds are dying trying to smuggle themselves into better lives from where-ever they came from. I care that ordinary Canadians are being made to feel like failures because of overwhelming debt.  I care a bit that people would incite radical Muslims to die defending the imaging of Muhammad at a cartoon contest.  I even care a bit that senator Duffy is being tried (rightly so) for simply being the wrong pig in the wrong pigsty at the wrong time.  Nasty pigstys offend me at all levels. I am a sensitive guy.

But how do you change it?


I’ve been asked to write an article on a milder version of that question (I haven’t agreed to do so).  How can a political party actually make positive changes?  I have some ideas, of course.  You don’t get to be 67 and having written a few thousand blogs by lacking opinions. I got opinions!  But what is the basic one? What is the pure message?  What cuts to the chase in 750 words?  How do you change the world in a soundbite?

Wanna job?  Wanna real job?  One that continues?  Then vote Green and change the world so that it can be all that it can be!

Old parties think the economy runs by selling our natural resources in bulk to other countries.  And the rich guys get richer.  The Greens believe the economy starts at the local level and we are awash in the resources we need to do that and do it sustainably.

Real jobs begin at home!

Or should I just go to my old standby?:  Get out!  Get out NOW!

I believe all that but is it game-changing?  I don’t think so.

Having said that, Elon Musk’s pretty conventional battery  – nothing simpler, really – will shift the big picture a little.  A battery will change the energy grid.  Our collective perspective WILL change.

OMG!  Maybe there is hope, after all.


17 thoughts on “Soundbite for Humanity!

  1. People are dying to get here. The story of mankind looking for a way to quench the angst. As you note self medication is one approach to the “black dog” but there are others as you know. Sadly fair, equable and reasonable are the source of much unhappiness in a world with the motto, “Life is not fair.” Certain myths are deeply entrenched that prevent a progressive agenda for Canada. A start might be to elect a political party that has an interest in preserving our natural resources and fostering a reasonable quality of life for all Canadians.


  2. ‘Elect a political party’ is part of my problem. Do we really think we can find an enlightened group of MPs with the smarts, ethics and influence to ‘do the right thing’ and have it work fast enough that the dark forces can’t undermine them? Can anyone? Can Jesus?
    And – as for my role …? Can I write anything to give that imagined and hoped-for group a leg up?
    Elon Musk did nothing more than take an expensive Made-in-China li-ion battery and commit to producing slightly better ones at better prices in California for a real hands-on everyman application and THAT is gonna make a difference. It is just a better mouse-trap and the world will beat a path to his door! IT CAN BE DONE!
    But, can WE do it?


    • Yes it can be done but some of the layers need to be peeled away. Pick a target such as child poverty and propose ways to end it. Elevate the level of political discourse around a social agenda for families. Have a plan to train the future workers. End homelessness. Deal with our environmental issues. Stop the regressive thinking that sees Canada as a hinterland for wealth extraction only.


  3. I’m not sure if a ‘different” party is the answer.

    The entire political/lobbyist system needs an enema.
    I dont think it really matters who gets into power.
    The money, the power, the promises made behind closed doors.
    Ruins the best of intentions.

    Ban lobbying.
    Limit all political election spending INCLUDING those taxpayer funded self promotion ads every level of govt seems to bombard us with. (its our money telling us that the govt did a “great” job building a bridge/dam/highway/hospital/translink?
    Politically motivated ads should also be severly restricted(ie Teachers/Nurses Unions lambasting the govt for not giving them ANOTHER cost of living increase OR Big business ads supporting the latset pro business govt project)
    All these organizations , be they unions or business have an agenda.
    Get “their guy” into power so they can milk the system.
    Its MY tax dollars being urinated against the wall to either promote or defeat these ads
    Case in point. Translink is spending $6 MILLION dollars to sway a referendum in its favour…… Never mind dealing with Translinks many and varied problems from the top managment to the maintenance of the track…..Lets spend $6 million dollars to advertise our need for MORE money.
    And the irony is…….. Big business(investing in Translink “improvements”) AND the unionized employees working there are both supporting a referendum to increase the budget by $1 billion over 20 years…..
    Taxpayers dollars naturally.
    News Flash to ALL political parties.
    We’re taxed to death and there’s no more money to be found in taxes, user fees, cuts, etc. in the private sector…..
    Want to save money, balance budgets and get re elected?
    Time to start looking in the mirror instead of your navels.

    rant over.

    Pathetic if it wasnt so typical of govt these days.


    • Oh, man! Don’t stop ranting now. That’s why I write that stuff…to get a reaction.
      The Greens asked for a ‘piece’ of writing and it’s intended for their membership. I dunno…….sounds like preaching to the converted to me. I am ambivalent. I wanna rant! And I wanna rant about how the GREENS need to have an answer to the economic situation. Better yet – to the BIG LIFE questions (why not?).
      Most people over 30 are focused on their bills and their shattered dreams. They need a V-I-S-I-O-N. Elon had a vision. Why can’t we have a vision? Even that waste-of-time Trudeau could have a vision, couldn’t he?
      ISIL has a vision. Dark and crazy, lethal and mad, but it’s something some fools are willing to follow. China seems to have a vision (‘you will be assimilated’). The US used to have a vision (the American Dream) and it seems to still have a buzz for some. Why can’t Canada have a vision that we can all get behind?


      • Elon Musk is brilliant if not a tad nuts. genius and insanity
        He wants to move to Mars.
        In his speech announcing his plans to populate the red planet he said,” I would like to be the first human on Mars….hopefully not on impact!”


        • I know. He has that ‘look’, doesn’t he? Sorta like that Luka Magnotta..cannibal…killer…guy..? But then again, so does Billy Bob Thornton and a few others whose eyes seem to burn extra bright. Like Nicholson in the Shining? Still, I will get one of his batteries. I will. Mars? Not so much.


          • Yeah, not sure I’d want to be stuck on another Planet with Elon Musk when the food runs out and the next ride home is in 5 years………..


  4. And the result of taxpayers fed up with seeing their budgets blown, their services cut, their politicians lying to them year after year after year?

    Why, a minority coalition govt of course!
    Its no mystery that most democracies everywhere from Europe to North America have seen a huge increase in minority govts. Be they federal, provincial, state or local. taxpayers are NOT voting for the established parties OR how their parents voted.
    Its a whole new ball game kids!
    Lets see if Im right
    Tonight is Alberta and PEI’s provincial elections. Pollesters say its so close they cant predict either race.
    My prediction . Minority govt.. Back door deals. Same old same old
    Britain is voting in the next few days. Poll results indicate a minority govt.
    Israel, Italy, Germany, Australia, on and on and on.
    NO ONE trusts anything any politician says anymore so they cast the “anti vote”.
    “Screw ’em” I just want them out” becomes the rallying cry.

    Canadians shouldnt be too smug.
    Our election will be in Oct and my prediction is minority govt with the NDP holding the balance of power. And another election within 2 years.
    The only good thing?
    Harpers own people will boot him out.
    The “anti vote” wins.


    • PEI went Liberal again. I can’t imagine Albertans voting NDP altho it would be the ‘right’ thing to do given the Tories recent track record.
      I agree – people hate their governments. All people. Everywhere. So one basic question…why have ’em? Can Harper and the Cons ‘protect us’? I don’t think so. Can anyone protect us from cyber invasion? Seems the answer is NO. With rampant capitalism, Russian mafia, Chinese imperialism or drug-cartels can BUY just about anyone and anyplace they want. So, what is the point of government? Seriously? We need to debate abortion, head gear and speed limits some more?


      • Hmmmm, PEI Liberals won eh? Musta promised more freebie goodies to the local populace than the other party…..
        Promises they cant afford and had no intention of keeping.
        Ahhhhhh, the gullibility of the voting populace.
        Who says WC Fields was wrong when he said , “Never give a sucker an even break”.
        Canadian politicians apparently have his quote as their inspirational theme……and what the hell…..ITS WORKIN’!



  5. Political onanism is not the answer to failure. Nor is self interested cynicism. The mantra goes, “Nobody does it better” but lately not so much. Bring in a choir of dog whistles ‘but no one else can do better.’ We are all doomed. LOL! Kevin O’ Leary, well know political pundit said today that, ‘Alberta faced a future of darkness and evil worst than any disease.’ I wonder what party he meant?


  6. Hmmmmm.
    The angry voters have spoken in Alberta.
    Electing an anti conservative party for the first time in over 40 years….
    Methinks Calgary South MP Stephen Harper may be sitting up and taking notice. Are those beads of sweat on Steve’s brow?


    • I whooped for joy! Really! And I saw it entirely as a rejection of Harper/Redford/Prentice. That whole ignorant bully thing was sent packing and 54 seats to 12!! That is a beat-down.
      The NDP cannot do much in an oil culture but, if they keep their noses clean, stick to schools and roads and tell the truth, they may get another term and enough time to make some lasting change. We’ll see.


      • It seems a Premier making one million dollars a year should not preach austerity to the masses and raise taxes on all except corporations then fly to Texas and buy a vintage Cadillac. Where has all that resource money gone?


        • Expenses, of course. Are you not watching the Duffy trial?
          But, seriously, I do not want to be read as someone who supports the NDP. I don’t. I could. But I don’t. The NDP in BC will no longer allow penis-carriers to run. That’s right! Males (unless they are incumbents) cannot be nominated. I am still NOT believing it but I have read it and I asked our NDP MLA about it and got no answer. If it is true, it is as stupid as the Cons are corrupt.
          Having said all that………..I am for…..definitely a supporter of, completely behind, give money to……well…..uh, gee…..I dunno…..right now I am banking on the second coming of Christ!


          • If the Green Party wants to build its power base it will be with the youth who believe that less is more and with those that have a social agenda that is inclusive. I’ve often thought of the Green Party as having an enlightened small ‘c’ Conservative philosophy. Conserve the environment, build communities, care for people, govern for the benefit of all. Be respectful of all. As far as I know xenophobia is not a conservative value.


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