A mature oak can produce twenty-nine thousand acorns a year. Each has the chance to sustain our people, heal the world some, and spread where it can.

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Premises of This Blog

It's been said often enough that argument arises out of people thinking they mean the same thing with the same words. More specifically, a lot of these disputes have to do with pre-conceived ideas about a subject, and the assumptions we make concerning the world and our relationships. Often these assumptions are not examined, the result of our culture's conditioning and the narrative conveyed by pop culture and so-called "educational" institutions alike.

It's also true that the first rule of propaganda is that if you can slip your premises by someone, you've got them. Mainstream media and education are forms of this, transmitting the imperial narrative into our minds so nefariously that we mistake it for an accurate model for reality. I don't want to do that here, even if it would be easier. I want to be clear about what I think, after my years of observation, thought, and study, is an accurate shorthand for reality. And I want to stem off pointless, if intelligent, arguments before they start, so I don't have to constantly repeat the same arguments over and over and over again.

Luckily for me, I don't need to spell out every little bit of information that I think you all need to know, because some of my fellow writers have already done this. Two very huge influences on my opinions have been Derrick Jensen's two volume book Endgame (and especially the premises he lays out in them, from which I got the idea for this post) and Jason Godesky's series of essays entitled "The Thirty Theses". In fact, Jason compiled these essays in part to have a comprehensive answer to the same old arguments he kept getting from people, and to lay out the well-researched premises and conclusions he'd come to in his own studies concerning traditional indigenous and civilized people. I thoroughly recommend reading both of these works, or at least skimming them for the "headlines". For the most part, I agree with these outlined points.

There are some other works that have been hugely important to me as well, like Ward Churchill's Pacifism as Pathology (and many of his other works), in which Churchill convincingly argues that strict, dogmatic adherence to totalitarian non-violence only supports the status quo, that each situation needs to be considered on it's own basis (tactical, logistical, and effectual) whether or not violence is the appropriate action, and that the refusal of (mostly white) supposedly radical people to even consider violent or destructive action is privileged cowardice shrouded in a racist narrative of moral superiority. I've always assumed that this book was at least partial inspiration for Derrick Jensen's fourth premise in Endgame, and I think this excerpt is a great example. And as I hinted at earlier, I think the formation of many of these opinions have a lot to do with the imperial narrative present in education, pop culture, and mass media, and this narrative's implicit demonization of legitimate freedom fighters, and exclusive praise to non-violent protesters (no matter if they actually had effect or not).

To wrap this up, I'll quickly state some of the other premises that my essays are based upon.

-Humans are not inherently destructive, and evolved to live in such a way as to use culture as an adaptive mechanism to find sustainable, healthy, and even robust ways to live within ecosytems. This obviously makes civilized cultures aberrations.

-Humans have evolved as omnivores. We require some meat, but the percentage of the diet is very malleable and largely dependent on factors such as the landbases we live on. In general, the further from the equator a group of people is the more meat they consume, and conversely the closer a group of people is to the equator the less they consume meat.

-Humans do not naturally tend to enslave one another, and we are not evolved to be on either end of such a relationship. To say slavery is bad should suffice, but some dumb shit will even decide to argue that. Slavery is not only ethically reprehensible, but is the basis of empire/civilization, and all of the evils entailed.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hunting Advice

As I've mentioned before, I'm making efforts to transition my diet away from markets and towards relying on my landbase for food. This has involved some gardens (some failed, some successful), lots of foraging, and learning to hunt. Well, shortly after my hiatus from blogging began, I finally went on my first deer hunt. This was a huge thing for me, not just because I love well cooked deer meat, but because killing a deer would be a huge source of food for my partner and I (and the friends and family I share things with). I've also yet to kill any animal bigger than a crayfish for food. So I went into the woods one chilly November morning with a pack of essential gear and a shotgun loaded with slugs.

I explored for an hour or two looking for a good place to camp, and ended up finding a place where I thought there were signs of deer. I was in view of an old stone wall with a large collapsed section, which led down to a lake. I knew that deer went through there, so I set up my poncho to sit on and waited.

Turned out it was a pretty good spot. Within an hour after sitting down there, I spotted a deer. Unfortunately, she spotted me first when I shivered like crazy. It was in the single digits and, despite dressing in layers, I had failed to take into consideration how much colder it gets when you're not moving around. As the doe bounded off away from me, I knew I wouldn't see another one that day. I blew my chance. I spent another half hour building myself a nifty blind out of downed tree limbs, which I intended to go back and use but never did.

So I have two bits of advice for all new hunters out there. The first is to dress warmer than you think you need to. Wear socks that are at least 50% wool, and wear two pairs. Wear thermal long underwear, and pants of decent thickness. Basically, be very, very warm and layered. The other bit of advice is to get yourself someone to show you the ropes of hunting. Get a teacher if you can. Because damn, these lessons are probably easier learned by mouth than be experience.

Labels: ,

Winter Hibernation and Return

Winter is always a weird time for me, writing wise. A lot of things have been happening lately with me, and I can use them all as excuses to cover for the fact that, essentially, I've just ignored writing. Sorry for those of you who enjoy my writing. In part, I think I've been depressed, and while I know it's at least a little bit because of a lack of sunlight and monetary troubles, some of it is also the usual stuff: crushing realizations of how horrific civilization is, how much industrial civ is exploiting the world and killing people every day. How it tries to turn us all into drones. The mess in my apartment (which I'm putting off cleaning to write this) certainly doesn't help. But I've got some great friends and family as a support network, and of course the most wonderful partner.

At least I've been spending some of my time doing good things. My partner and I have been working a bit on our preps. Like I've said, mainstream survivalism is a useful tool in rewilding and even in general anti-authoritarian work. Aside from just helping us prepare for collapse, the sort of independence gained by learning primitive skills, hunting, gardening, self-defense, and fixing things yourself have the effect of allowing you not only self-sufficiency, but cuts off at least some of the influence that systems of oppression have on you. More on that soon.

And I sure picked a hell of a time to go on hiatus. The Middle East is on fire, with revolutions ousting one dictator after another. It's pretty awesome. The revolts are varied in character, from the mostly peaceful one in Egypt to the all out war going on in Libya. The realization that governments are essential corrupt is becoming more palatable, and while I think that the hype about revolution spreading here is overblown, it is nice to see some serious struggle going on in the Midwest. From what I hear, a working class rebellion is brewing in Mexico, too. Yay. The fact that many of these rebellions seem to be at least partially rooted in food shortages caused by declining grain production is unsurprising.

The predictions Mike Ruppert and others made, which I mentioned previously, seem to be going roughly according to schedule. Wikileaks recently released cables confirming what many have suspected for a while: Saudi Arabian oil fields have entered decline, and the Saudis have been intentionally overstating their reserves and production to hold on to power.

Times are interesting. I'll try to keep up here on my blog. Keep up the rewilding!

Creative Commons License
Twenty-Nine Thousand Acorns by Daniel Q is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Photoshop Tree Brushes created by Obsidian Dawn. Photoshop custom dandelion shape created by MyMimi. "Broken Acorns" photograph in banner taken by modcam. Layout by Kris.