Dogs? Boats? Anarchy?

Happiness (dogs), accomplishments (boat) or, maybe…… chaos, murder, war, inflation, climate change, disease, corruption, lies and the increasing erosion of humanity, society, culture and civilization? What to write about, eh? What to even THINK about? Who knows?

Cognitive dissonance? A variation…..?

My blog is supposed to be about living OTG. Ostensibly, anyway. But there is more to life than one’s own lifestyle regardless of how fascinating you might think you are. A few years of boating, building, community, ravens, whales, skill-development (that one was kinda short-lived) and I, personally, had had enough of writing about it all…..NOT tired of living it, mind you, but I was out of my conversion-cum-preaching state (never quite fully out) and I stopped focusing on that OTG stuff so much. If anything, I kinda got more into Sal and her adventures and, of course, the humour and beauty of having our first two dogs, Megan and Fiddich. My writing focus got more personal after the ‘building years’.

Sally is a story, a book, a rom-com series and a whole movie, if you must know. She never stops ‘doing’ and she is always growing, always participating and is always interesting. Plus we are very, very different people. This blog could easily be titled, My Life With Sally. (She’d kill me, tho. It would be a short-run of blogging followed by my obituary.) I always ‘sneak’ a bit of the Sally element into my writing anyway but there is more to life than just living with the most interesting and beautiful person in the world….even if she also has puppies.

So, what to write about? I am always inclined to politics and economics but, currently, both are in such a state of flux that just about everything from me is speculative at best, guesswork most of the time and totally without substance, really. I am not even at Davos, let alone in meetings at the Kremlin or the White House. What the hell does Dave really know, anyway?

But looking at the ‘big picture’, I would venture a few guesses…..the systems we rely on and expect are generally eroding, our institutions are failing and a lot of people are suffering and angry about it. We seem to be sliding downhill, becoming depressed-in-the-aggregate. We seem to be collectively resisting more and becoming more belligerent about everything. Harmony seems out of reach.

The climate change phenomena is slowly hitting home and, more specifically, HOMES and communities, if not nations. Half the US is in a life-ending drought, the other half is in the grip of insane people and the whole world is looking over their shoulder at war, famine, plague and (probably) pestilence. We are definitely on a slippery slope to trauma first, anarchy second and a halt in the evolution of a better civilization. Fascism and force, murder and incarceration, totalitarian regimes being cruel and corrupt looks like the agenda of the future.

I suppose the world “going to hell in a handbasket” is not news. I mean; we have spent time in hell and man-made handbaskets throughout history but it does look like we are headed that way again. Even 91 year-old George Soros is warning of World War 3 and even that pales into the ether compared to full-on climate change.

So, back to the question: what to write about?

Maybe the question should be answered thusly: Why bother writing at all? I mean; what will be, will be. It will become what it becomes. May as well play with the dogs. None of us can do much, if anything, to change the direction of those issues. I used to recommend getting out (still do) but, honestly, there is no getting off the planet and we are now talking global issues. I am better prepared for some things but not immune in the least to climate change, WW3, plague or even famine. There is nothing anyone can do or write to resolve those issues.

News today (one day after writing this blog)it seems this mood, this attitude, this resignation coupled with anger and resistance is a veritable epidemic in China, no less! Social climbing, get rich, work-hard China! It seems that youth in China are giving up, losing ambition, becoming ‘slackers’. According to the Guardian, President Xi has even addressed this rather new (to him) phenomena of youth quitting the social ladder climbing (because it is too hard and it doesn’t work!) by urging loyalty to their motherland. Youth, themselves, refer to their bad attitude as ‘Bai Lan’ or sometimes, ‘Tang Ping’. Bai Lan refers to the sentiment, ‘Let it rot’ and Tan Ping suggests ‘Lying flat’. Both mean (in Chinese context) ‘giving up’.

Maybe it is the war in Ukraine, maybe it was the latest black guy gunned down by the police, maybe it is Monkeypox and avian flu…. or maybe it is the just the haplessness and hopelessness of our (so-called) leaders….definitely I’m reeling from the killing of 19 elementary-age school kids by a gun-toting, 18 year old in Texas. But whatever it is, there is a bit less hope in the air right now.

The only thing I can suggest is maybe consider getting a puppy or two…..

11 thoughts on “Dogs? Boats? Anarchy?

  1. Weel, we already have a dog, so that has brought a lot of joy to our lives! For the rest, I have to agree again, and it is getting more and more difficult not to be depressed over the way the world is evolving. I have always considere myself to be an optimist, glass always half full. But now, it’s even getting more difficult to keep seeing a “bright” future for us, our children, our planet. My granddaughter has her second anniversary today, and I am worried what world they will grow up in. Even for our children it will be a lot more difficult!
    And as far as Sal is concerned, isn’t the success of a marriage depending a little of having at least some similarities. You write that Sal and you are very,very different, but there must be a lot in your personality that appeals to Sal, how else would your marriage last this long?

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    • Sal seems to think I have a sense of humour, the kind of which appeals to her. And I think she is hilarious (altho usually not on purpose). But I think the main reason for the longevity of our relationship is that I am inclined to change and she is inclined to be ‘normal’. But, with her desire for normal, is a also strong sense of ‘support and nurture’ plus an adventuresome spirit. We’ve traveled, taught ESL in China, lived on boats, written books, run for politics and all the normal stuff in between; kids, business, career, houses, etc. The last big ‘shift’ was going OTG eighteen years ago (are we due for a change?). We have always been making a left or right turn rather than stay on a straight line. As she says, “I had no idea my life would be so interesting and filled with such weird stuff. You are the one who makes the changes”. “And that is a good thing?” “Never good at the time, always good once we are into it.” Plus she is a great cook and I lift the heavy stuff.

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    • As for similarities, we were both voracious readers with a lot of ‘literary’ links and topics. She still is. I read less now. Don’t know why……we both appreciate nature but I came a bit late to that realization. We are both considerate and respectful of each other………and I do not hold anything in (I am not the type to suppress my feelings. If I am angry, it shows. If I am happy, it shows. If I am amourous….well, you get the picture). But, seriously, we really do have much more that is different but we always seem to find that interesting rather than aggravating. I have tested that on more than one occasion.

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      • That seems a good mix, kinda similar to the relationship I have with my wife. But the “out of the box” thinking and the “changes” that I make, sometimes drive her crazy, but as you write, the biggest fears she has are at the moment of the change, afterwards, she often agreed it made our lives better or interesting. AND she keeps my both feet on the ground (which is necessary at times). So Sal likes a little sarcasm from time to time?

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      • I (we) have had the pleasure of knowing Dave and Sal since about 1971. Through all those changes and I must say they are a pleasure to visit. Dave with out of the box thinking and Sal’s indominable fighting spirit (remember the road block at Stamp’s Landing)? These are the people you want as friends.

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        • Unfortunately, I don’t know them that long, and I only “know” them from the blogs, but I have had this “click” with Dave from the beginning. Meeting them in real life s very high on my bucket list. But Dave would probably call this a puppy’s admiration for his master, as I do have this OTG urge

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          • I attribute these recent complements to Frederic – he who said nice things a blog or two back. God bless you, Frederic. No, I do not see it as admiration, Wim, save for our having actually leapt out of the rat race and attempted OTG living. Even I think that is somewhat admirable despite us being the subject. I’ll take the credit for making the leap. The rest is just eighteen years of physical work, learning, coping, adjusting and then doing it all again the next day.
            And another thing: your OTG urge….? It just might be your own inner survival voice whispering, ‘Get Out!’. And then, when you encounter someone who has heard that same voice, it ‘clicks’ because not everyone hears it. Seriously – we just think alike. The only difference is I leapt and you haven’t yet. But I wanna hear about it when you do.

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          • you will be the first one to hear about it when we take the leap. At this moment, it seems I am taking the first baby steps, just like mentally and physically preparing for the leap, and in the meantime acquiring as many skills as I think I might need. At this moment, this is for me a bit like a safety valve preventing me from going into overdrive in the rat race and have a mental meltdown

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