Escaping the Matrix’s Consumerism. You might surprise yourself that not only will your homemade bread taste better & be more nutritious than the World’s Wonderbread, you will feel more alive & in control of your life when you succeed! This post is to encourage more self-reliance in all of us. The system encourages waste; I want to encourage people to realize that everyday things can be treasure. This post’s foundation rests on the incredible ongoing examples that the Mennonites, Amish and other self-reliant rural folk showed me on a daily basis. These country folk knew thousands of tricks for living successfully…sorry, but the rest of us seem quite retarded from what I’ve seen. While many of us were watching TV, playing video games, or similar pastimes, they were actively living life & handing down thousands of tricks to the next generations. You too can say, I grew that, cooked it, & enjoyed it! You too can feel a sense of cleverness when you learn & apply these tricks…when you repel ants with flour, temp. fix your taillight with red duct tape or replace your lawn chair’s missing webbing with duct tape doubled on itself. When you have your kids suck on ice cubes before they have to take yucky medicine, which reduces the sensitivity of their taste buds…& you’ll ask yourself, why didn’t anyone teach me these things?
MISCONCEPTION. The Amish have their faults also. One was the misconception that they live more simply than everyone else, as they assume everyone drives a car, has their eyes glued to a TV screen, etc. There are people in the city who have no car, no buggy, but simply ride a bike or walk and live quite simple, & even find places to garden. You don’t have to have a horse & buggy or a beat up Ford pickup truck with a milk cow and a small tractor to be a do-it-yourselfer. You can start taking control of your life right where you are. Anyone, anywhere can begin to change his or her life…and the Internet is now providing lots of sites & information for do-it-yourselfers. This post is for everyone in the matrix. It is for everyone who realizes how little we mean to the World System. When the U.S. accidentally bombed Cambodia in 1973, our govt. paid the survivors $400 per dead person. In 1870, Massachusetts’ corporations realized they could fire their American help & pay the Chinese workers they brought in $26/month. Even a general like MacArthur is replaceable. Don’t expect the world to appreciate or boost your value.
TAKING CONTROL OF MY LIFE IN SOLITARY. I learned firsthand that one must take hold of one’s life, or life will take hold of you & thrash you! This principle applies to all of us. When I was in solitary in the hole I took a stick, some of my hair, and a rubber band or two to hold the hair tight and made a nice watercolor brush. From my food I made water colors, and then made water color pictures to send to people. I also enjoyed doing pencil drawings. I made 3 sets of dominoes. One I gave away. From molded toilet paper I made numerous things, including baskets. My success at thriving in solitary proved to me that we often get beat up by life, because we let it control us, rather than we controlling things. And the World teaches us to be passive, to allow others to be our experts, to allow others to do so many things that we ourselves could actually do, and probably can do better, and feel more fulfilled & joyful knowing that we did it ourselves. It’s time to quit selling yourself short. But first you must give yourself a gift…give yourself the freedom to make mistakes, even to screw something up. (That has been a difficult task for me but important to learn.)
GREEN TOMATOES. This is a random example. Let’s say you grow tomatoes & they are still green…there are a number of reasons why you may want to pick them green…and a number of ways to ripen them! If you wait until they are red, something may invest or degrade them. Pick them just as they are beginning to ripen, set them in the window sill where they get sun & sun ripen them. Or place 5-6 tomatoes per ripe apple in a paper bag…the ripe apple will help them ripen. The weather report warns of an early frost…then pick your green tomatoes & wrap each one in two sheets of newspaper. Place them in storage in a dark place in an airtight container at normal room temperatures, check each tomato every three days until it perfectly ripens. Or…just simply enjoy your green tomatoes by frying them. You can’t get fried green tomatoes in the restaurants, & they are a treat to eat. Batter them like you would other fried veggies.
TRICKS OF LIFE. Many common items have many more uses than we realize. One of my traits is to see future uses for things—yes, I was the proverbial pack rat in prison, but I noticed when people needed things they would come to me. My medical drug reference books that were in my locker saved my life. I had them in part to know what was being prescribed. The prison doctor would have killed me, if I had not been pro-active about knowing what I could & could not take together. Even in prison one can get aspirins in commissary. Let’s discuss the lowly aspirin, which is simply willow bark refined. When you get a mosquito bite, wet the area & then rub an aspirin over the itchy area. Your car battery is just shy of enough juice to turn your car over and you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere….then drop 2 aspirin into the battery acid for one more charge. The aspirin will only boost it once—so drive somewhere where you can get a proper charge or new battery. At 53 yrs. old, I ran a timed mile in prison (& if my memory serves right it was perhaps 6 min. 20s.) To get an edge on things, prior to running I had taken aspirin as a blood thinner to make it easier…and I believe it helped. Aspirins have lots of alternate uses: crushed aspirin powder mixed with water can restore you hair’s color after swimming in chlorinated water, it can help dry up pimples (just put the aspirin paste on for a couple of minutes, or if needed, repeat it ‘til it does the job), and it can boost the ability of shampoo to control dandruff (2 crushed aspirins per the normal amount of shampoo you use to wash w/ mixed into the shampoo and left on for 2 minutes).
BACK TO THE GARDEN. In Oregon we have lots of slugs, as well as snails. They love strawberries as much as I do, but I grow my strawberries for myself, not to share with slugs. Broken egg shells cut the bodies of slugs, & a barrier of ash (from the fireplace) on the ground will dehydrate them. Slugs have the ability to smell beer from 20 yards away. I’ve poured some on the ground & watched dozens of them appear & make a bee line for the beer. A large container—like a cut off large juice container full of warm beer- where they can drink, get drunk & drown is one way to cut down on their numbers. I did a similar thing with wasps. One season we had (due to the weather) an extra large population of wasps. I filled a 5-gal. bucket half full of water. I ran a string with a fresh piece of raw meat above the water level. The wasps gorged themselves on the meat, fell in water, & drown. Beer will tenderize meat too. Pour it over meat & let it sit for an hour, or even marinate the meat in beer overnight. (The buzz I want, is the buzz from having bees.) I used coffee grounds to fertilize my roses & keep bugs off of some plants by encircling them. Evergreens & carrot seeds enjoy coffee as fertilizer also. Orange peels w/ coffee grounds make cats go litter somewhere else. Root maggots that attack carrots don’t like coffee grounds either. On the other hand, bait worms love coffee grounds. Coffee grounds is just one example of many…We used coke & pepsi to pour on the rusty joints of old farm equipment…it frees them up.
DENTAL FLOSS. Perhaps you remember 2 women crossing the Antarctica in murderous weather to reach the south pole, & they made it because they patched things up with dental floss. I don’t suppose many readers are planning to ski across Antarctica, but there are plenty of other uses for dental floss from hanging pictures (rather than using wire) and cutting sticky cake (instead of a knife). Stuck cookies on the baking tray come off with dental floss. And if you keep losing your coat button, switch to dental floss rather than sewing thread.
MAKING THINGS. We often learn more from our mistakes, so give yourself permission to screw it up. I’m not saying to intentionally make mistakes, I am just saying they are part of the process of learning. Remember my article on wabi sabi love…the Japanese concept that flaws can be appreciated…when you handcraft something, then your uniqueness (deviations from the mass produced item) will be worked into it for better or worse. Appreciate that wabi sabi uniqueness.
EDWARD BERNAYS. It was Freud’s nephew that created a campaign of brainwashing to break the habits Americans had of being self-reliant. The corporations used him to manipulate people’s insecurities, fantasies & lusts. The U.S. govt. used him to make WW I popular. Bernays came up with the war slogan, “Make the world safe for democracy”. So the corporations using mind manipulation convinced people that “homemade” was inferior, and home-canned food was inferior & unsanitary. To have the latest style of car was cool, to have an old model shameful. This is all consumer programming. The elite have admitted to me they do this, of course the fact that they can manipulate whole populations simply reduces their respect for the man in the street even further. As the Amish don’t have TV, they missed their dose of mind manipulation, and they just kept on being self-reliant. Now that people are beginning to wake up to the Matrix, I encourage them to start making decisions to take your life back. Decision by decision we can begin to free ourselves of the Matrix, and the dependency (enslavement) that the World so slyly encapsulates us in.
Be blessed my friend.