December 8, 2021

Escape to the Country

I often watch a TV show from Britain called “Escape to the Country” where they try to match prospective home buyers with homes in the British countryside. What strikes me about the English countryside is the villages and the age of the homes and businesses. Here, in the USA, everything has to be ‘developed’, as some would say. I thinking about this from the standpoint of living in these villages. I have always wanted land and the out doors, but some of these villages are small but yet offer the basic services. Butcher, bakery, grocer, a pub or two.

What makes these places work is there longevity. You can’t go in tearing down old shit and putting up ugly shit just so property taxes can increase and a developer can make a shit-ton of money. That just isn’t done.

This gives a permanence to the people there and an atmosphere of stability. Some of the homes might be bought and sold, but it all is in keeping with the context of its location.

Small town USA is just corporate money makers: restaurants, grocers, or both, Walmart. Walmarts and McDonalds, Burger King, etc., etc.. You get the idea. You’re probably like me and lived it. Nobody owns a business anymore unless it is some type of service business like a skilled-labor contractor. Those are going away in many places as what used to be “out in the middle of nowhere” slowly turns into a suburb. More densely populated means that you expand to keep up with the growth or turn into someone’s employee.

Money the song says. How many different ways and how many different times are we going to speak of the problem with capitalism? As an 18 year old who already thought it all was bullshit, Pink Floyd just helped validate it. I was about 11 or 12 when the Beatles hit. We lived in Georgia where my dad always had a country station tuned in on the car radio. I can remember dancing to Buddy Holly on the radio before I was old enough for school. Mom liked Elvis so the pop stations were turned on at home while Dad was at work. In fairness Dad didn’t mind the music, he had other preferences.

Why am I telling all of this? Music has had a large effect on me. I don’t play anything, but I get feelings from music. I really thought at the time, 60’s, that ok, everyone has figured out that the whole thing is a racket and that we need to do something else and that they would do something else. I thought this because of the activism and the music that linked so closely to the messages of change. You could feel change happening. And you felt like you were in the middle of it. Great things for a 13 year old, held back from skipping a grade level at 5 years old, a Dad away often for work, a Mom who didn’t know how to deal with me, and no friends. Must have been good because I still don’t have any friends and I spent a lot of time away from my two sons because of work and school. I’m going to skip over the years 1970 to 1983 because, well drugs really. Too much to be said for that period.

I graduated from GSU in 1989. Night school and then midnight shift. Or sure, I got promoted along the way. Then it was night school and midnight shift as a supervisor versus an electronic technician. Etc.,etc.. Until I was responsible for the activities of about 50 people and the budget. Time flies when your employed and trying to stay that way. Yeah, I had sold out.

But I still thought it was all bullshit. Especially since I investigated psychology, metaphysics, quantum mechanics, religion and computers during my off time.

Sold out just like the people I listened to through the years. Nobody had the vision. They had visions alright, but they didn’t have a workable one. Because they began from faulty premises. The biggest faulty premise was stated well by Albert Einstein:

We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

What is the thinking that makes this applicable? The answer comes from this question - What kind of thinking has predominated the last 4000 years, give or take? It is the one that divides humans from life. The one that views the world as something to control; to make ‘better’ for our use. The one that says “This is not enough, I want to exercise my ‘superiority’ over everything I see. Or as Roger Scruton referring to the knowledge of good and evil in the Adam and Eve myth said “. . . the ability to invent for themselves the code that governs behavior.” We call it “Civilization”.