I can’t think of where to start this story. Great-grandfather Alphonse always says, “If you don’t know where to start, go back to the beginnin’.” But I’ve realized that would be a long blog post, so I’ve split it into two parts, the second parts is going to be titled “Flirting with Nihilism”, something to look forward to.
I’ve had a ridiculous view of the world for a while. My views became more pessimistic starting in high school, this is when I first began reading adbusters, Culture Jam, and other anti-consumerist and non-mainstream articles. I also started becoming completely disillusioned with politics. I had grown up being a strong democrat, but that quickly faded.
In college my disillusionment continued. I started to believe that politics were unable to bring any meaningful change. I learned much more about republocrats/demopublicans and more about the world in general.
I joined an anti-consumerist group (Cider and Majesty were the only other members) and began doing various activities with them including dumpster diving. Dumpster diving began as, “why would someone throw this out.” And slowly changed to apathy, and an understanding that objects have no inherent meaning of value, be it food, clothing, jewelery, computers and GPSs.
The next major marker I can remember is my first heart to heart with Savages. This was the first time I had sat down and learn more on peak oil, and our unsustainable agriculture industry. I slowly learned more on these topics through classes, including a class that openly acknowledged global climate and peak oil as unavoidable problems that were going to drastically alter the world as we know it in the next several decades.
My views slowly continued evolving, and I became fairly disgusted with the current world we live in. Frustrated with the way it treats some people, and how even in first world countries unhappiness is rampant. It just didn’t seem like we were meant to live in the society we had created, even if it were at all sustainable or humane.
This point was then affirmed when I took a class on hunter gatherers. This is the culture that the first homo sapien sapien’s lived in. And seems to be the society we first best in. Small bands of nomadic people that interact with other small bands, living off foraging and hunting. I by no means considered myself a primitivist, and thought the idea of returning to this way of life was idiotic. However, I still appreciated hunter gatherer cultures believing this was the ultimate ideal way for people to live.
I didn’t realize how I really appreciate the idea of hunter gatherers, and had hope that things like Transition Towns, the organic and locally grown movement could expand and bring production home, not just to the states but to the towns. I hoped that the world could be more community oriented, not globally oriented. I still did have a lot of hope, but you’ll see how quickly that changed in my next post.