Three days in the life…..

We came home Thursday night kinda late from the library.  9:00 pm.  It was cold, it was wet and and it was foggy but all in all, not too bad.  Boat ran well.  Car ran well.  The evening was a success.  It was our first ‘live’ book reading.  People actually came!!!??

Mind you, there were three other local authors there and there could have been more.  I know of three others who write and publish.  It’s a veritable mosh pit of writing out here and the somewhat frequent ‘author’s nights’ are well attended.  Well, out here, 17 is considered damn good turnout.  We did boffo – selling two books!

Mind you, we also gave away two books and promised a third…but it is NOT about money. 

The first guy wrote a great story (true) and he took half an hour.  Well worth listening to.  The second guy has published several books, he took half an hour and I am sure it was good because people clapped.  But he was soft spoken and my hearing is fading so I just clapped not really knowing why.  I was on my best behaviour (and Sal nudged me at the appropriate time).

Then Sal and me.  We both spoke and it was like a typical husband and wife team….finishing each other’s sentences, suggestions: ‘tell them about….’, and nano-bickering.  “No. It didn’t happen that way, that was in the other book!”  Apparently our book reviews are not so great but out tag-team presentation was much appreciated.

The next day a friend of mine and I installed an ‘illegal’ emergency ‘call-box’ on the approach to the community dock.  Technically, it is illegal because it is a vhf radio and they are SUPPOSED to be only on boats.  But that is not REALLY applicable to us as we do not have cell service out here and everyone, boating or in front of their living room fire, uses the vhf if they need to.  Key word: NEED.

Also, a couple of years back we witnessed a horrific runaway car crash at the hill leading to the dock and, as we had our boat-radios with us, we called out to the ambulance by way of the Coast Guard.  They knew that we were technically on land but I mentioned that ‘If I took two giant steps, the second one would be in the water!’

“Close enough!”

But we (inadvertently) chose the day before the local government officials came out to inspect things.  But they saw it.  They heard the rationale from a surprised-to-see-it-local who was taking them around.  They chose to ignore the unit, not take notes, not say anything….which, for us, is good.  We take silence as acceptance.  So, we are good-to-go on that and someday, some poor sap is gonna be glad it is there.

Sal worked the busiest day of her post office career on Friday.  “It was crazy!  Non-stop the whole day!”  And, at the end of her shift she collected the four cases of wine we had flown in and brought them and some other stuff back home.

And today, She just picked up a journalist from the ferry on the other island (two hours, half on logging roads).  Meagan Campbell is spending a week out here to try and ‘get it’.  Why do people live off the grid?

And, to give her an unbiased perspective on the topic, we (several neighbours and us) are going to swap her around.  She is gonna work the area like a woofer.  She’ll also be a bright spark in an otherwise grey and wet beginning to winter.  She’s going to ‘do the rounds’ with our home support worker.  THAT should be illuminating.

Damn otters are back.  Under the boatshed.  Gonna have to get some chlorine pool-pucks or maybe some urinal cakes.  That usually sends them away but we’ve done it once already….we’ll see.  And, in the meantime (over the past few days), I have built a boat roof-cum-grab rail for our boat.  It (and a tarp) will keep the rain out and we’ll be able to rely less on the always-failing bilge pumps.  That chore required welding and such and such – finding stuff to make it work.  All good but NOT fancy.

So, there you have it….three or four days in the life of feral seniors.


A plan? Coming together? What the Hell? Where’s Murphy!!?

Our community, impoverished as it is, begged and politicked for the Regional district to ‘come together’ and buy 7 acres of waterfront up where the old store used to be.  In effect, the seven acres is – despite being empty except for some derelict small buildings – the center of town.  Well, the centre of the town we don’t actually have.  In fact, it is the centre of town and we don’t even want a town.  We want a village.

We’d like a centre of a village.

“Now, give that land to us!”  The idea is that we, the community, will ‘develop the land’ in such a way as to help out the community and do ‘good works’ by somehow making a community-responsive development which is very likely to be some kind of village-y thing.

As luck would have it, we have the only good politician to ever walk the planet representing us and he did so in this case successfully.  The District bought the land.  Woohoo!  To be fair, they have it now and they have not yet given it to us but that has been the conversation and I am sure it will come to pass in some way.  We won’t own it but we may lease it for a dollar a year-kinda-thing.  We’ll see.

“Why do you want it?  Why do you want a village? “

Millenials complain that the baby-boomers are not getting out of the way fast enough and worse, if they do leave, they want too much money for their house.  And, I think that is partially true.  In the city, for sure.  Where it is NOT true is rural communities and off the grid regions like ours.  Our land is cheap.  Well, cheap-ER.  But still too expensive for millenials.

Very roughly speaking land-worth-having runs maybe $20K to $30K an acre.  More if it is waterfront.  Less if it is inland.  $20K an acre would likely get some small waterfront frontage, tough topography and the bulk of the land NOT waterfront.  Water view for sure.  There are way too many variables in that blanket statement for someone to act on but, generally speaking, that’s close.

Of course, some properties aren’t worth having (no fresh water, north-facing, too vertical, too small and (much more common) too big.  There is no ‘average’ size but, typically a purchaser is looking at maybe two or three offerings and one is 20 acres, one is a co-op share and one is 1.5 acres of waterfront.  The prices would be $400K, $who knows about the share value until the co-op has been met with but worth something and the little one would be at least $50,000 .  No real logic.  NO real market.  And, if there is a good building on it, the price leaps by at least $200 per square foot simply because the cost of construction is double out here.  If you hire people to build your house, it is more than that, actually.

Living poor ain’t cheap.

So, a millenial is looking at coming up with almost as much money for an OTG purchase as they might need in town for a condo or townhouse but, of course, they get land and forests and paradise instead of granite counter-tops and a parking pass.  It’s a choice.

But it is a choice NOT available to young people.  Not as a rule.  Why?  Because you can’t get a mortgage out here and, if you do, it is not a high ratio one.  The buyer needs 50% down at the very least.  There are HUGE barriers to young people buying out here even if the property and the setting is ideal.  In fact, there is no way to ensure any kind of regular employment income.

So, to encourage younger people, this community plans to ‘develop’ the 7 acres into either tiny home lots (on leased land) or actual tiny homes that can be rented.  In this way, it is believed, the young people can get ‘a foot in the door’ and get started.  We’ll see.

That, in itself, is a big undertaking and the community seems keen to undertake it so I am pleased and willing to help when and where I can.  Most everyone feels that way.  We even have some ‘young people’ waiting for it to happen.

And then a neighbour decided to sell 20 acres just up the road!  And a logger was going to buy it.  Such is life.  But it would definitely UGLIFY the area and no one was happy with that deal – especially the vendor.  So, they offered the land to the community.  And one family stepped up BIG and gave $50K on the condition that the balance of $100K was raised by the community.  That would be the previously described ‘impoverished’ community.  

Again – to be fair – the community is NOT entirely impoverished.  We have some billionaires.  And millionaires.  But, of the 250 people in the area, the median income is likely still around  25 to 40K annually.  That might be a bit high.  I know several surviving on less than $18K.

But, after two months, the community raised (so far) $82,000.  That plus the original $50 gives us $132,000 towards the required $150,000.  The empire is growing.  See: GO FUND ME:  Lot 302, Read Island.  It is an interesting read.

What that means to us is not so much MORE development but rather the original plan can still proceed without a clear-cut logging show messing up streams and running over kids.  That 20 acres will go ‘for posterity’ and saving old growth forest instead.  In a twist – we will GIVE the 20 acres to the Regional District.  They give us 7 acres on a low-ball lease and we give them 20 acres with a million caveats attached.  Weird deals get done out here.

All the adjacent land considered (there are other pieces, too, including the school property, the bunkhouse property, a memorial five acres previously donated and another 20 acres bought in a similar way forty years ago.  We will have a kilometer of ‘corridor’ that will keep the village centre as envisioned.

Natural progression.  Slower than island time.  Big (for us).  HUGE impact (on the community).  Lots of community involvement (a community of independents).  Politics.  Government.  Donations (gasp) and general agreement.  No fights or rebels.

How the hell did this happen?




Let us consider the topics of the day, shall we?

Hong Kong voted today/yesterday and it was of some major significance (to me, for one).  Ironically, after weeks of violent protests (sooooo unlike Confucius culture), the vote held was for essentially inconsequential elections.

This vote would be like our municipal elections; important locally but not so much for the province or the country.  This was for the administrative level of politicians that deal with noise bylaws, garbage pick-up and the like.  NOT hot issues.  Turnout was over 80%.  The previous record turnout was around 47% and that was last year or the year before when things began to heat up.  Now those things are pretty damn HOT and over 3 million votes were cast in a total population of 7.5 million.  This WAS an opportunity to make a huge statement and Beijing knew that very well.  So did Hong Kongers.  The citizens voted to support the protests.  They voted for more democracy, more independence.  They voted AGAINST police action.  They voted against government.

But the election went without a hitch.  No protests.  No demonstrations.  Everyone lined up (sooooooo unlike Confucius culture) to vote peacefully.  It was a demonstration in democracy like no other – a massive turnout for ‘dogcatchers’ to send a HUGE message to the ‘powers that be’….but peacefully.

There is a lesson in democracy and courage there for all of us.  And an even bigger lesson there for the United States of Imbeciles.

And so, now to the US impeachment process……what can we say…?  Trump SHOULD be impeached for a dozen different reasons, piggy obnoxiousness being, perhaps, the most obvious one but there are plenty of bad behaviours to work with.  He is highly impeachable as well as repugnant.

But it won’t happen……

….and there are a dozen reasons WHY it won’t but the obvious one: Republicans won’t let it happen is not the critical one.  That, of course, is how his protection will show up but the real underlying reason is that Americans are confused to the point of ambivalence.   And so they don’t care!  Admittedly, the American public is incredibly ignorant of facts and disinterested in finding any but that deliberate, conscious, UNconsciousness is the real stumbling block.  They just don’t wanna know.  They do not want to work at it, read, think, fact-check or consider what it all means….they prefer TV and, well, more TV.  They like listening to propagandists TELL them what opinion to have.  They like FOX News.

Well, better put: they are entertained by FOX Lies and Friends.

I think the Democrats HAD to start impeachment.  If they had not, they would be aiding and abetting, they would be ‘enabling’, they would be deemed complicit – somehow ‘in bed’ with the worst president in US history.  They HAD to impeach.

They KNOW they will fail.  They KNOW the GOP won’t ‘turn’ on their dear leader.  They know the impeachment will also make them look impotent to the casual viewer and the majority of Americans are barely even casual viewers of politics.  ‘Mericans* prefer NFL football to politics.  They vote by ‘brand’ or ‘name’ or ‘habit’.  They do NOT think.

(Not all Americans are idiots.  I know that.  Some of my best friends are Americans…but they are also appalled and ashamed by the number of idiots they share citizenship with so I am NOT including the good guys.  The problem?  I am NOT 100% sure they are still in the majority).

So…how does that all play out?  Dunno……but I can’t help but compare the Hong Kong  concept of democracy and the risks they are willing to take to have it.  AND those people want to get that from a totalitarian government that does not tolerate dissent easily.  Yikes! They may be naive but they are heroic citizens speaking up.

‘Mericans, on the other hand, HAVE democracy and choose not to take it responsibly.  THEIR democracy ignores the people, cheats the people, steals from the people and lies to the people…and the people?  Well, they prefer NFL football anyway so, who cares?

Bottom line: I admire the Hong Kongers fighting an idealistic but ultimately futile battle.  They are true hero/martyrs showing incredible courage.  Especially since they have so little hope.  And they are going to lose.  Many will ‘disappear’.

I am beyond disgusted by so-called American flag-waving patriots who have abandoned and disregarded THEIR own civic and social responsibilities and have so little interest in what should be most dear to them.  Truth.  Honesty.  Fairness.  Instead they live on lies, propaganda, entertainment and junk food.  They are hopeless.

Truly the youth of Hong Kong are manifesting the values as laid out in the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence much more so than are Americans.

World Class First Responder: Sally

A four hundred foot long barge ran aground on the eastern shore of Quadra Island a few days ago…there were mumblings about the crew and a chart table but, so far, the official explanation is ‘just plain, bloody stupid!’

The American barge hit the under-surface rocky reef with such force that it went ‘up’ the reef and settled heavily on top.  NO longer floating fully.  The tug disconnected and reported the mishap (first to their company), the crew changed their clothes and Canada and BC then came ‘into’ the picture with the Coast Guard boat, the Cape Palmerston – all 48 feet of her – the local police boat, the politicians and, of course, all government-based hands-on-deck.  A lot of people stood there looking.  

“Never mind, I thought, our World Class Marine Response team is likely already steaming underway to the scene.  After all, the Americans are not telling what is IN the barge and whatever it is is either toxic, polluting or, at the very least, foreign to the marine environment.  They’re a’comming’.  The HAVE to be.  Justin says ‘we are in good hands’.”

Sal said, “They are useless.  Thursday morning the tide is 15.1.  Then it will float off.”

Of course, divers went down, boats stationed themselves off the side of the barge, the Palmerston drew double shifts and, in all likelihood, the local fire-stations were jacked up.  Ooooohhhhhhh…the preparation!  The response!  The energy!

But, surprisingly, there was no World Class response team arrival except that of the 100% unequipped-for-spills Cape Palmerston and her plucky crew of four.  Mind you, we’d have a lot of witnesses for the interviews, court cases and speaking engagements.

The barge hung around for a few days and then on (take a guess…) the Thursday morning high tide, the barge floated off.

“Hey, Sal!  Seems YOU are the World Class Response team.  YOU said it right first!”

“Get me some interviews.  I’ll do some speaking engagements!”

The times, bridges and the way of inanimate objects….

Let us start with the inanimate objects – like engines.  Damn them!

I mean; I LIKE engines, I really do.  Power.  Work made easy and all that but…the damn things ‘act up’.  In and of itself an engine that acts up is to be expected but lately every engine in our lives is getting out of sorts.

My trusty little Honda 2000eu has crapped out after almost ten years of very dependable and hardy work.  And that little sucker ran perfectly even after being run over by a road grader!

My ‘pretty new’ Yamaha 50 is beeping when the key turns on…diagnosis to follow.  Sal’s little Suzuki had carburetor problems until I stripped it down, cleaned it in a sonic cleaner and reduced the problem down to the idle jet that I THEN over-reamed and made too big.  Gotta replace that mistake.  Someday.

I gave a small truck (1992  Chevy S10) to a couple of young guys on the island who wanted to ‘do’ firewood for people but they have dropped the ball on it and so I may have a tire to fix.  Not easy out here.  I was gonna get an old Pathfinder (to replace the S10) for tooling about the island but I was just informed the power steering pump on it is on the fritz.  I am afraid to go try and start anymore of the petro-power units I have.  And I have at least four others!

But, honestly…?  Engines that act up are ‘part of the deal’ out here. Fix ’em or buy a new one.  Moving on…..

My supplemental battery charger is also acting up.  Damn!  Seems it needs a temperature sensor but the manufacturer does not make/provide the parts!  WTH!?  Still, a little sleuthing on forums reveals a different mfg’er’s temp sensor will fit so that will require some delicate soldering sometime in the near future.  When the part comes.  Someday.

Technically, a bridge is inanimate but, well, one has to GET animate to build the bridge and the bridge does nothing if one doesn’t walk on it so the bridge is not-quite-so-inanimate I think.  You know?  Organic, anyway.  Alive once upon a time….?

Anyway, we needed to rebuild the second bridge and 3/4 of that is now done.  Three quarters is enough to walk on (no railing) and I have engines now calling to me so 3/4 will have to do for awhile.  We’ll get back to it.  Someday.

And I need those engines!

We also have a big chore we would like to (…..NOT like to) get behind us as well.  We have accumulated garbage over our 15+ years here on the Rock and we wanna get rid of it.  Hauling garbage is a pain at the best of times but this garbage is the garbage that was heavy and ‘junky’ rather than ‘burnable, recyclable or compostable.  This is REAL garbage –  landfill-type garbage, like non-functioning appliances, batteries, rusty cables and the like.  They present as heavy and awkward and a real schlep.  And uphill both ways.  We are gonna get to it.  Truly.  Someday.

And now….for the times…..the times!

Politics.  Climate change.  E-vehicles.  Protests.  All topics worthy of attention but, but but…’s the economy, stupid!  We are (oddly and suspiciously) NOT hearing much about the economy as a whole these days.  (But I cannot go a day without reading about a Kardashian or Trump!).  We get industry specific news but the big picture is obscured or absent in the public discourse.  And, from what I can see, the economy is teetering.

How can it not be?  The US is running a trillion dollar deficit on top of a multi-trillion dollar debt.  The US is not healthy.  Canada?  Hah!  Canada is a dwarf joined at the US hip and led by a little boy with a nice smile.

Do NOT use the stock market or GDP as any kind of real economic indicator.  They are indicators but they are indicators for the uber-wealthy 1% and the corporations.  Main Street Joe is not directly affected by the stock market but he feels the larger, societal economy hard and personally everyday driving down Main St.  And those kind of folks are hurting.

All the pundits have been crying ‘the recession is coming’ for some time but it has NOT arrived.  Close…but NOT yet.  So….why not?  Growth is stagnant.  Debt is immense.  Wages are in retreat.  The population is aging.  The bulk of the ‘wealth’ is in real estate and thus ‘land-locked’ and NOT liquid.  We have more oil but the world is rapidly shifting to e-vehicles.  (And they are SSSssooooooo cool.)  That trend is only going to increase.

So, what am I seeing?  I think I am seeing the calm before the crash.  I am seeing a flaccid market, most BIG item buyers too old to ‘want’ for much these days.  No ‘hunger’.  Diminished consumer lust.  The boomers are just NOT driving the demand side as they used to.  And I see debt beyond manageable levels for the next generations that follow.  Way too many people owe way too much money.

And yet, the world is awash in cash.  Money, money, money everywhere and still no real investment being made.  Which means the money ain’t circulating.  Which means no-growth.  Stagnation.  Which usually means soon-to-arrive recession.

Today, you can get a 30 year loan at 2% interest (if you are a big corporation) and that tells any student of economics a lot.  It means the ‘lender’ is not likely to even get back the cost of living from their capital.  Why would they do that?  LOCK UP for 30 years!!??  That suggests that the big-guys see no real upside for investing even with cheap money and that means things like infrastructure and capital investments are not being planned let alone built.  It feels like the ‘first world’ is coasting economically speaking.

Maybe that’s fine.  Maybe a recession does not happen.  Maybe growth simply grinds to a halt.  Who knows?  But, with the aging first world, the social and political unrest virtually everywhere, the unbelievable shift in technologies and the still-increasing gap between the haves and have-nots, I sense tremors in the status quo, a visceral feeling that bodes ill.

Mind you, anyone who reads me, knows I am quick to sound the alarm and slow to jump on a bandwagon.  So, take it all with a grain of salt and a few glasses of wine.  I have been wrong before.


Come Together! Right Now! ‘Cause I am off the grid of the off-the-grid!!

Our life off the grid is still very, very interesting.  A bit less so as to construction and various mechanical things these days (as it gets colder) but significantly more so as the ‘world turns’.  Our community is getting more active.  They are doing stuff.

The community is currently engaged somewhat more than usual and SOMEWHAT is a huge word in a group of people who are notoriously private, independent and generally disengaged on most matters that require more than four people or dinner.  Their basic and very common OTG operating philosophy is something like, “I came out here to be mostly alone and in nature.  I am NOT into being overly social, especially just for the sake of it.  I will contribute when I am needed but, in the meantime, bu**er off!”

I say that like I know their minds…but I do NOT really know.  I know most everyone to say ‘hello’ to, maybe twenty or thirty rather better, but I really just know me.  And that ‘remove’ is largely how I feel so I attribute that feeling to everyone.  Of course, many old grumps seem to carry that same ol’ crusty ‘vibe’ with them so I am mostly just extrapolating and projecting.

Don’t get me wrong about the people, tho.  Any encounter with anyone out here is pleasant, polite and often fun.  But, unless it is a problem that needs their assistance in the solving, the encounters are usually brief.  Blessedly so.

Especially now.  ESPECIALLY NOW!

Our first guests arrived in June.  Our last guests left November 1.  That is six months of entertaining.  I am done.  D-O-N-E!  I would not even host a Victoria’s Secret Slumber party right now.  NOT EVEN IF THEY DID THE COOKING!!!

But, I digress….back to the rumblings in the community……our community is officially represented by a community association, registered and all that.  A real bona fide society.  Tax receipts for donations.  Meetings.  Minutes.  The whole shebang.  And, for the most part, they are pretty good.  I say, ‘most part’ because, like all societies, there are elections and sometimes you get good, hard-working, unselfish people who carry the load for a couple of years….and sometimes you get a board full of dufusses or those with some kind of personal agenda that mostly just annoys everyone.  But we have been very well served these past few years and we seem to be getting better and better.

There is the land purchase initiative (see Go Fund Me – lot 302 Read Island, BC).  We are buying 20 acres for ‘posterity’.  There is the land-already-purchased initiative (purchased by the Regional District and soon to be leased to the community for a possible ‘village’ site or something).  We have a world famous lunch-on-the-dock every Wednesday in the summertime that is a real ‘bonding casually’ experience and well received by tourists and locals alike.

We have added a Winter Cafe on a similar schedule (coincides with the doctor visits) and we have a one-day-a-week home support worker who travels around five islands using her own ATV and boat.  Of course she keeps her bear spray and a chainsaw handy.  That initiative was also privately funded and it has so impressed the local health officials they are looking at how they might make it more sustainable.  We need only about $18K a year for the program so it is not the money that is spooking the bureaucrats, it is the bear spray, the small boat, the ATV and the chainsaw that makes them cringe.

The pussies!  

And there is the water-taxi food delivery service.  There is the day-to-day ongoing volunteering for all sorts of small issues that crop up (Sal is teaching the school kids sewing skills today) and people just handle all that without fuss.  There are visitors, students, politicians, tourists, new-comers and out-goers.  The place is a ‘hive’.

Well, a remote hive…..

Sal now sits on the Quilting Guild executive (neighbouring island).  I have been ungraciously enduring meetings for the local Health Society.  We have managed the home support program.  We have engaged in the ‘properties’ activities.  Money is moving around from donation to cause.  The people are coming together….but….but….Kumbaya will not be sung all the live-long day.  That is just NOT our style.

Me?  I am warmed by the general goodness of it all, I am motivated to help where I can, I see it all as productive and necessary….but…..right now, after the last six months, I am tired, looking to slow down, stay away, hibernate, get some rest……and leave it – at least for now – to others…..

Pretty cold…

…for us.

0 degrees Celsius is NOT all that cold by any real standards but freezing feels colder when you are on the water.  And, we are.  It feels damn cold.  So, the furnace is cranked up and the house is toasty and the chores are just being left to fend for themselves.  We are still very busy, tho.  Today is the last ‘visits’ day of the season.  We have a large group of students coming from Campbell River plus a couple of friends staying for a few days arriving just after the kids leave.

The kids are great.  They are just happy to be out of the classroom and we happen to be a useful excuse.  We are their ‘field trip’ but only because their teacher read our first book, liked it and wanted out of the classroom, too.  They came last year.  It was fun.  I am guessing we are on the verge of becoming an annual event.

Our friends are great, too.  Well, one is…..his partner is ‘new-to-us’ and so this visit is our formal introduction to his new squeeze.  We’ll like her.  B’s partners are fun.  They are always eccentric, quirky, funny and kinda wild and untamed all at the same time.  I am looking forward to meeting R.

As of this writing, I am pretty happy and content.  The chore list – while still long – was tallied up and we did pretty good this year despite a record number of guests and events.  We both find it crazy that we live remote on an unserviced island, retired and unemployed at anything even similar to work and yet have been busy all day every day since May 1.  That’s wild.  Seriously?  I haven’t worked this hard since carrying sides of beef at Canada Packers.

Well, slaughtering pigs at Swift’s Premium in Richmond was the worst manual job but that was just because of all the blood and screaming (some of that was me).  And pouring concrete with the Italian crew (I was 16) would have been harder had I not fallen asleep at the first coffee break and they ‘sent me home’ thinking I was ill.  I wasn’t – I was just exhausted after the first three hours.

I have had some pretty crazy jobs and done some pretty goofy things but I have never been as busy as we have been this year.

You may have noticed a studied avoidance of politics in the last few blogs.  I have plenty to say, of course but, for the most part, it has all been said and Trump and Trudeau are just carrying on being themselves and creating havoc and stench as they go about their corrupt and stupid ways.  No real news there.

But there is something to add….

……‘T’is the season of our discontent’ was the end-phrase last blog.  In case I wasn’t clear, I was referring to the myriad protests happening around the world.  The interesting thing is that, despite the growing crowds, the issues (although similar) are NOT the same one.  ‘Mericans protest Trump.  Hong Kong protests the PRC.  Brits protesting Brexit.  Chileans are protesting corruption.  Venezuela protesting for food and toilet paper.  The list just goes on and on.  Even Russia is experiencing more public protests.

Ya gotta wonder…’what is it that is prompting all this at much the same time?’

I suggest that it might be as simple as social media.  The way I see it, the only common thread to all the protests all over the world is the unifying, galvanizing force of social media.  The hoi polloi can ‘organize’ and ‘gather’ in a very short time.  They do not even have to ‘stage’ themselves to then march – they can ‘flash’ march (as they are doing in Hong Kong).  And fewer of these protests have prominent leadership or even spokespeople.  These are not your grandmother’s protests!  They are also NOT quite being done anonymously but it is definitely more ‘mouse’ with so many donning masks and NOT setting themselves up to be public martyrs.

Are we more angry or are we just better connected?  I think it is both and I think we are going to see more of this ‘different’ way of fighting back over the next few years.  AND we are going to see more migration.

One obvious-but-incidental sign of the deep underlying discontent (even in the first world) is that the OTG phenomena is still growing.  Seems like a lot of people want to get away……