Friday, July 16, 2010

Needful Things

You have to start whittling away at your life.  The real problem with the America that we have grown to loathe is the naked dilettantism and petty enthusiasms that pervades nearly every aspect of our culture.

You really have to have a clear set of priorities that accurately reflect the world around you should you wish to thrive.

Mine are focused around pretty mundane things.  Working for the man for money, gardening to help provide food and spiritual comfort, cooking slow to conserve money and provide a step away from the processors, brewing beer to provide a tenuous link to the calming precision of the lab (needless to say, the alcohol provides its own reward).

Most of America's unhappiness rotates around what we don't have.  Everyone my age has scraped and saved and established a physical portfolio of "needs" that would astonish a King a couple of centuries ago.  The pain and their anguish about the storm that is a brewing is that their expectations defined in a earlier time will not pass through the storm.  They would vote for anyone, do nearly anything to retain the physical luxuries that they consider their due.

They sit and watch the news, praying for a hint that someone has developed a magic potion that will allow them to keep their stuff.  They glean through the net, looking for the purveyor of hope that will tell them what they wish to hear.

But in the end, they will have to walk away from the Babel that they have made.  There will be no dreams of excess to unite us anymore.  We will have to travel a thousand paths and find to our great chagrin that many of them will be failures.

I think that this is how we will truly carry on in our lives.  The daily rantings of the cognoscenti and the untruths of the world around us will not effect us in a noticeable manner unless we pay attention to them.  The world going broke in a big way will break around us if we prepare reasonably well and don't allow ourselves to get caught up in the furball.

What I am really talking about here is getting an emotional distance from the false world.  This can be supplemented, if you desire, by a physical separation, but I don't see that as necessary.

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