Friday, June 27, 2014
Kissing the Toads.
Somewhere or other, I remember reading a book where the princess explained that in order to find a prince, one had to kiss a lot of toads.
I spent a good bit of today kissing toads, with no commensurate reward . I wasn't looking for a prince, but I was looking for some useful connections and they did not materialize.
I'm not a joiner, and I work alone. That doesn't mean I'm opposed to cooperating with people who have common interests when it's to my advantage to do so. Particularly now that my kids are gone, it won't hurt me to be on speaking terms with other individuals in
my part of the mountains who are also practitioners of self sufficiency.
So, today I went in to town for a get together being touted by a person I know in an off hand manner. He was having coffee with some of his buddies and invited me to go along and meet them.
Right off the bat, I didn't get a good feeling with these people. I've met all kinds of self sufficiency oriented people in Georgia and the surrounding states over the last 30 years. They come in every persuasion, from disparate backgrounds in plenty. I'm not particularly concerned with their origins so much as their philosophy and planning. These guys were clearly from the mountains, which on the face of it is fine.
However.... Though they doubtless had skills that were of value, I didn't like them. I'm sure they can hunt, and farm, and do carpentry. I'm certain they would be unpleasant people to tangle with and they probably keep their word. They were extremely coarse people. I don't expect everybody to be a Pi Beta Kapa, but frankly these individuals would have fit right in with the cast of Deliverance.
One fellow regaled us with his story of how he smokes woodchucks out of their burrows, so his dogs can tear them apart alive. His descriptions were graphic and met with gales of appreciative laughter. Another bragged about shooting foxes from his front porch, when they came to play in a grassy spot on his land. I asked him if they were getting his chickens, and he said, oh, no , it was just fun to shoot them.
I am not naive about life up here. Still, it occurred to me that these bold souls had no idea what real, serious violence is about or what it looks like. They thought they were hard cases but they don't know a thing about the real deal. I was not impressed. I made my excuses and left. Allies like that I don't need. A wasted trip.
Stopped at the Farmers Depot on the way back, so as to try to salvage something out of the day. I ran into a fellow I know who is a janitor at a hospital two counties over. Yesterday, all the "workers", the house keepers, janitors, etc. were called in to a staff meeting. They were told that effective immediately, they no longer worked for the hospital. Instead, they were now employees of a contract labor company. They took pay cuts, loss of vacation time, loss of insurance. I told him that the hospital couldn't just "sell" them to a blood sucking labor contractor outfit like that, and he said if he quit he wouldn't have a job. There is no work up here to speak of, and he's right. This is one more example of things just getting worse and worse for working people. It's exactly what Kunstler said in "The Long Emergency." The guy wrote the book in 2005 and it's like he could see the future. I took some time tonight to skim through it again. Over and over, exactly what he said would happen, did happen. He predicted the housing bubble bust, what has happened in Iraq, what has happened to our economy, and on and on. I wish I could give everybody whose blog I read a copy.
Well, it's been a pretty trying day, but at least it's over. Tomorrow may be better.