Posts Tagged ‘Fight Club’

Doomsday Preppers: Frank & Elaine Woodworth

Our last preppers on this episode are Frank and Elaine Woodworth, of Maine.
As in the case of the seeming majority of folks we’ve seen this season, Frank is Preparing For Economic Collapse, *slam bunker door*.
frankwoodworthAs usually happens when a segment wastes time on sensationalist appeals to the lowest common denominator instead of letting the subject discuss their issue, I don’t a whole lot to say about this couple.
Frank’s big kick is the idea of physical fitness as a survival tool – it’s survival of the fittest, guys! To accomplish this, he and his wife train with the ‘Irish Hand Grenade’, MMA fighter Marcus Davis. This is a good way to kill a few minutes watching an older fellow get knocked around the octagon.

So, when the stars proclaim the time has come (or however an economic collapse is announced these days), Frank and Elaine plan to hop in their bush plane and fly into the north woods to their hidden bunker. Now, unlike Bryan Smith from a few weeks back—whose massive, $150,000 Atlas bunker boasted all the comforts of civilized life—the Woodworth’s $24,000 bunker is apparently only 140 square feet. If that seems kind of small, that’s because it is. For a frame of reference, let’s remember that H. D. Thoreau’s one-man cabin at Walden was 150 square feet! So, with that little space, there’s really not much room to do anything besides sleep and do push-ups on the side of the bed. Hope they stocked up on reading material.

Because they are concerned about being able to reach their bunker, Frank makes a backup one (it’s what he does) to bury nearer their home. And because he seems to think that should they be discovered by marauding vandals, said raiders would attempt to breach the bunker by digging down and throwing some dynamite under it, that’s exactly what he tests. So before the thing gets buried, they wedge a few sticks underneath and set them off. Now, I’m by no means a demolition expert, but I seem to remember reading something about how a successful charge needs something to direct the explosion where you want it—likesay, if you’re going to blow up a parking garage, you don’t just duct-tape dynamite to the support columns and call it a day, you surround the dynamite with sandbags or something. Like I said, I’m no expert, but the way they do it seems kind of unscientific and ‘just for the lulz’.

Frank also seems to think that “America would be safer if more people had bunkers”, because there would be “less people out trying to steal food.” Well of course he’s going to say that – he builds bunkers! And for a very short-term disaster like a hurricane or tornado, maybe that’s true; if everybody had a well-stocked bunker off which they could live when things suddenly go south, then yes, people wouldn’t need to go looting. But a bunker is only ever a short-term solution. Unless you’re prepared to recycle water and grow crops with piped-in sunlight and your own humanure, you’re eventually going to have to come up for air.
Basically, it all comes down to this: a bunker isn’t going to help you survive the scenario that we never hear preppers talk about: the ongoing, Long Emergency-type slow failure of our unsustainable civilizational experiment we’re currently seeing across the globe. As overpopulation and climate change continue to ramp up, weather patterns get more extreme, our corrupted monocultural food industry becomes less productive, and people become more desperate and violent. I’ve never been one to deal with symptoms—I prefer to focus on the root of problems. And excluding celestial events that can’t be prevented, I can’t think of a disaster situation that doesn’t trace its birth to our 8,000-year-old culture of death and domination.

Anyway, the experts suggest that Elaine and Frank think about storing staples in their bunker, as well as consider a food resupply plan (because those food buckets aren’t going to refill themselves!) and joining a group of like-minded folks; on this last point, Frank stubbornly boasts that he doesn’t “play well with others.” Really? Dude, humans became human as social animals in communities; if you’re worried about survival, recognize that trying to fight your evolutionary heritage probably isn’t the best strategy.
In the end, the couple receive a score of 47 points for three months’ initial survival time – a new low.


Doomsday Preppers: Michael James Patrick Douglas

The series’ fifth episode begins by featuring Michael James Patrick Douglas, a bushcraft teacher who lives on 30 acres in rural Maine.

The producer-enforced worry in this case is overpopulation, which is a good one to focus on—it’s probably the shatterpoint that will determine the course of the next fifty years or so.

As a primitive skills teacher, he definitely has low-tech solutions to things, which I like. Instead of electronic perimeter alarms to warn of intruders, Mike teaches his family to rely on the flighty nature of songbirds. Which, of course, requires them to have a deep understanding of dozens of calls; I’m impressed. Instead of normal hunting weapons, they practice using rabbit sticks. For defense, they have a bunch of tomahawks (which the teenage son unnecessarily twirls around like a flashy videogame character).

Apparently, he doesn’t have any guns—because he doesn’t want to be dependent on bullets, which he perceives will become increasingly scarce post-disaster. While I agree with that idea, I do think it’s kind of naïve. Unless you’re going to be a silent, invisible injun archer shooting invaders from behind trees (and I didn’t see any archery going on), keep a few rifles around—even a .22 would be good for hunting small game. If you’re concerned about being beholden to modern bullets, what’s wrong with a flintlock? Blackpowder (as opposed to modern smokeless powder) can be made at home pretty easily, lead balls are easy to cast, and I would bet he already has a good source of flint on hand.

A sizeable part of this segment focuses on Mike taking his middle child out in the woods to test his skills of debris shelter-building and firestarting. Although throughout the segment the kid is shown as being uninterested in the dad’s drive for self-reliance, I have it on good authority that the kid was told to play it up for the producer to inject some drama. In the end, they build an awesome debris shelter, light a fire, and have some quality father-son bonding time. Apparently, dad has kept each kid’s umbilical cord preserved to give them on just such an occasion, to symbolize they are no longer children. It’s kind of a weird way to do it, but hey, rites of passage are sorely lacking in modern society, so this family makes their own.

His outfit is another example of the producers spinning these folks to seem like some serious societal outliers. I’m in a facebook group that Mike posts in frequently, and he doesn’t appear to wear buckskins all that often. While it’s cool to make and wear leather clothes that will last you the rest of your life, in this case it makes him look like a walking caricature of ‘the primitivist’.

Finally, Michael states that when the SHTF, his family doesn’t plan just to survive, but to ‘sur-thrive’. I like that; reminds me of a bit of propaganda from the good folks over at crimethinc. It’s a bit heavy-handed, but I still find it pretty motivating.

1. to remain alive or in existence
Are we alive?  Do we know what survival really is?  We can’t be alive so long as our lives, almost every aspect of them, are controlled by others: they convince us to work, to buy things we don’t need, to alienate ourselves from others, to dominate and compete, to mow the lawn.  We dream their dreams without ever imagining our own.  Their desires are fulfilled while we die sick and alone, never content but not knowing why.  If we are not alive-if our lives are not in our own hands, then what are we? We are Domesticated: like a plant, grown to fit a mold and then usurped.
We don’t know survival because we have never lived.  It’s time to break free from our domestication and live wild, learning what it means to have freedom, autonomy, solidarity, the pursuit of our desires, and what it means to live outside of civilization (their quaint name for domestication).  Break free and learn what it means to
[Middle English surviven, from Old French sourvivre, from Latin supervvere: super- above, vvere- to live.]
above living.

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Coming soon…

So, I was watching some program about Ötzi on the Nat’l Geo. Channel the other day* when I saw an advert for an upcoming series in February: DOOMSDAY PREPPERS!**

Ohh boy. *Eye roll* This should be fun. Granted, I’ve only seen one ad and poked around a bit on the Channel’s website, but I can already tell how the show will play out.  Obviously, based on the profiles on the site, they’re going to try to put each of these people in their own category: the survivalist party girl, the hillbilly prepper, the down-to-earth guy with too many knives in his bag.  They’ll be sure to put a big focus on Guns! guns! guns! (I’ll be curious to see if ammo! ammo! ammo!, or reloading get mentioned).  Likewise, they’re making a big deal about what specific type of scenario everybody’s ‘prepping’ for. Like, lady smiles into the camera and confidently declares ‘I’m so-and-so, and I’m hoarding silver for a global economic collapse brought on by hyperinflation!’ Except for the guy in LA who’s focused on earthquakes (which makes sense, because it’s California!), everyone else is prepping for some single event. That’s honestly pretty dumb, because in today’s world, Nothing happens in a vacuum.

What I want to know is, where’s the guy who says, “Hi, I’m so-and-so, and I’m doing this because I study anthropology and history, and watch films by George Lucas and James Cameron, and read Jared Diamond and Daniel Quinn and Tolkien, and I think our ‘civilization’ isn’t such a good thing. I’m transitioning to a radical, sustainable lifestyle for when 10,000 years of global Taker monoculture finally compounds and bites us in the ass.”

Oh, right, I forgot. I’m not on this show.

And so, because it’s 2012 now, and apparently Everyone’s getting caught up*** or cashing in**** on the whole TEOTWAWKI/Armageddon/Apocalypse/Z-Day/Mayan thing, I figured I would too.  I’ll try to make this a feature as this series airs, and report back with some hopefully-helpful-and-not-too-smug-or-snarky commentary.

*while the majority of their lineup seems to indicate their desire to become the ‘Drugs and Prison Channel’, their archeo-based specials are usually pretty well-done, and at least they didn’t suggest the iceman had anything to do with extraterrestrials, like the ‘History’ Channel would’ve done.
**Aurrrughh, I hate that word; it sounds like a teen stereotype from a high school in the future. Unfortunately, I don’t know if there’s anything better; ‘survivalist’ smacks too much of early-90s right-wing militia types. I guess ‘Prepping’ sounds more open-ended—‘preparing for’ and ‘getting ready for’ almost imply a definite nature of whatever-is-coming, or even a known timetable!
***For Christmas, one of our very sane and well-adjusted friends sent us—in addition to ‘normal’ gifts—a hardcover copy of Kunstler’s The Long Emergency, and several pounds of organic heirloom beans.
**** I’ve already seen Hornady ‘zombie ammunition’, Hogue ‘zombie’ pistol grips, and a Leuopold ‘zombie’ rifle scope.  I’m sure there will be much more to come.

Interview: A shameless plug

In the interests of promoting both our sites, here’s an interview I recently did with my friend Liz over at WanderBuzz. Especially if you like to cook, you should check out her page!

Mr. Chops, Hillbilly Environmentalist

Mr. Chops: He’s been called a time traveler, a dumpster-diver, and a guy who “should just go live in the wild.” His philosophy is remarkable in many ways – he happily follows a lifestyle that marks him as “old-timey” or “backwoodsy,” but simultaneously cares deeply about the environment and makes deliberate decisions to live in an eco-friendly way. And he is not alone in his outlook. In many ways, he is part of a vanguard of emerging Hillbilly Environmentalists, whose inspiration toward green living comes from a close relationship with the land and a desire for a return to the small-scale, sustainable practices of the past. I had the invaluable chance to ask him some questions about the intriguing lens through which he sees the world.
This guy.

Many people (myself included) might place these two identities (Hillbilly and Environmentalist) in very separate spheres—like apples and oranges, or really apples and giraffes. The merger of the two in your lifestyle is remarkable. Now, did you always consider yourself to be both, or did one aspect of the philosophy emerge before the other?

I’ve just always been Me.
But really, they’ve both been part of me for my whole life—we were (unbeknownst to me) pretty poor when I was growing up, and I have never not lived in The Bottom.  My parents were big back-to-the-land-ers in the 70s/80s (second-wave hippies?) Both of them were big into frontier America stuff.
I always heard my grandpa say he was a ‘flatland hillbilly’ raised on gravy, growing up in southern Indiana.  My parents made sure that I was at least going to be a cultured hillbilly, as opposed to all of the uncultured rednecks in our area.
I guess the environmentalist part emerged first (from discussing the Valdez at age 5), as I wasn’t aware of really being a hillbilly.
Growing up on a large rural farm meant that from my infancy I have been in nearly constant contact with some form of nature.  Unlike a city-dweller (who could, in theory, go years without experiencing any more nature than wind, rain, and pigeons), someone living where I come from would have to actually go out of his way to avoid nature.  It seems that simply breathing the air back home allows one to experience more of nature in the country than one could ever find in a city: the air carries a unique aroma of grass, manure, river water, and all manner of decomposing material; in short, the air smells like LIFE.
When did the synthesis happen in your life? What brought it about?
Being poor leads to conservative (in the conservation sense) actions. From an early age, I learned to embrace a simple life, to not equate Happiness with Things (thanks, Thoreau!).
While always aware of it, it wasn’t until probably mid high school that I started fully embracing the frugal-homesteader/plain-living stuff which started out a few years before as ‘learn native edibles so I can live in the woods’.
As to when the synthesis came to the surface, it was Sept 13 2007; I noticed a synthesis of Palahniuk (anarcho-primitivism), Mao (students & farmers as guerillas), and PBS Frontline (turn your back on the Cool Hunt; make your own culture—which I couched in Pirate terms).  Building on deep threads (rebelliousness etc.), I started to pick and choose elements from disparate sources to form eclectic Modern Me.
What do you think are the hallmarks of “Hillbilly Environmentalism?”
Being in tune with natural cycles (moon phases, equinoxes, seasons); humility before Nature, and a strong sense of history.
The environmental side comes from a deep connection to the land: when you know where something comes from, you are more likely to protect it. (Erik Reece?) Emotional connection = Value = Protect.
Hillbilly side comes from spending lots of time with Depression survivor grandparents from a young age,  and/or being poor at a young age. I’ve always been taught to prevent waste; “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” is a mantra I follow to this day.
However, simply being in close proximity to the land doesn’t necessarily result in this ideology.  Without a proper base, poor & rural can equal redneck.
rural, poor, & conservative = redneck?
rural, poor, & conservative-conservation = Appalachian/foxfire hillbilly?
rural, poor, & liberal-conservation = hillbilly environmentalist?
Overall, would you call the ideal liberal, or conservative?
I lift elements from both sides of the spectrum (the Left/Right spectrum, NOT Dem/Rep).  I’m old-school conservative—I like traditions and want to conserve what I already have, but the liberal half can see when something is broken or outdated or needs replacing.
I really got the best of both worlds—being raised by liberal Yankees in a rural environment so that I got all the benefits of the outdoorsy, self-reliant, character-building conservative childhood, but in the context of a nurturing home built on trust and respect.
For example, guns are a modern conservative issue, but I see them as a part of Classical Liberal (i.e. Founding Fathers Libertarian) idea (i.e. don’t infringe on my rights); but I mostly have them around for historical significance, and they are only to be used when respectfully/stewardship hunting, or when defending nonaggressively (Jedi).
Ron Paul is okay.
What makes your philosophy different from other eco-friendly ways of living?
Perhaps that instead of ‘looking forward’ as some other country-raised-Lost Boy-environmentalists do, I look backwards and draw inspiration from the past (pioneers, Injuns, cavemen, etc).  Also, my historical/anthro academic background lets me see the big picture and patterns.
It’s also definitely not based on consumption (unlike the modern capital-G ‘Green’ movement/lifestyle).
Like, I just saw this kit in a magazine, that would let you grow your own herbs, with a tray, trowel, and three plastic cups, all made out of recycled yogurt cups.  It cost $35.  Why not just reuse actual yogurt cups?—Reduce and Reuse being way more important than Recycle.
My view of money comes from both non-industrial societies and my frugal upbringing.  To me, paying money at the store for something that can be made for free is absolutely ridiculous (and often, the handmade will be better quality).  For example, apple cider costs four dollars a gallon at the grocery, but I can make several gallons in an afternoon, and all this costs me is a few hours’ time and a little elbow grease, with the additional benefits that come with working outdoors.
And in my individual case, really damn eclectic.  I am puzzled by so-called Green people who are just looking for and latching onto easy identities (and their accepted views) without really thinking about them.
I borrow from Everything.
So what do you think people see when they see you?
Especially after the latest Beardo fest, I have a problem with people who unthinkingly buy into every accepted tenet of a culture/ideology, making them walking caricatures/stereotypes.  Being a granola treehugger does not require you to wear tie-dye, have nasty hair, and use drugs.  You CAN pick and choose.  If you look like a stereotype, you don’t give others a chance to get to know you?
To look at me when I’m normally out in public, it might be hard to tell I’m a far-left, anti-civilization environmentalist, because in terms of dress, I usually present myself to the world as fairly no-nonsense & conservative (few words or patterns, & classic styles), but with oldschool militarism (Indy-esque) (and maybe some fem elements just to mess with the Right); but 95% of the clothes are secondhand or surplus, and quite likely modified in some way by hand.
Of course, all this eclectic pick-and-choosing of elements means that I can both fit in with anybody, and nobody at the same time…no one can be 100% consistent.
I’m too militaristic for the hippies.  I’m too hippie for the military, etc… 

What’s the hillbilly take on big-picture stuff like climate change? Does it matter? Can your lifestyle rectify the situation?
This makes it sound like there’s a united hillbilly movement and we all share a stance!  If you have a proper close connection to the land/Nature, you’ll see how it doesn’t really matter, as the planet has survived, and will survive much worse than what we’ve done to it—‘Life finds a way’ (Ian Malcolm).  Also, George Carlin: ‘Relax! The planet is fine! …the _People_ are fucked!’
Remember, humility is important—don’t push your lifestyle on other folks.  If you’re doing something right, others will recognize this.
Besides, in this case individual actions or lifestyles can’t make a difference because the big dogs holding the power so absolutely overshadow them.
Really, the lifestyle/behavior of a minority rarely gets anything done.  Popular support would be needed, and the culture wars have pretty much ensured that won’t happen (anything even slightly out of the status quo will get you branded liberalprogressive/ hippie.)
My personal (and pretty out-there, downer) take is: we’ve become so stuck in our rut that the only way to build a better world is to wait for the old one to collapse. Or, drawing on Palahniuk, do what you can to speed up/ensure the collapse and then live a fulfilling Injun life afterwards.
Who else is a good example of a hillbilly environmentalist (if anybody)? Who do you look to for inspiration?
Dillon Bustin’s Almanac, so so much.  An album about simple living, natural cycles, and a real sense of history.
Wendell Berry’s Mad Farmer Liberation Front, for the most part.  And Thoreau (whom I’ve been learning, in a fashion, since I was about six), of course.I also like Lost Mountain, especially because of all of Reece’s apocalyptic and war-language.

Any closing thoughts?
If all the history-major liberal parents would move from the city (where they just breed more White hipsters) to the country and raise their kids there instead, there might be more hillbilly environmentalists.

On Apocalyptic Mindsets

(I’ve touched on some of these topics before, but recent conversations helped me get the ideas more coherent.)

In the last decade or so, we’ve seen absolute glut of apocalyptic-themed media.  And I do mean glut: in film alone, we’ve seen three Adaptation Decayed <Blank> of the Dead from George Romero, 28 Days/Weeks Later, a “RomComZom” (Shaun of the Dead), serious drama The Walking Dead (adapted from the comic series), awkward comedy Zombieland, The Book of Eli, I Am Legend, The Road (from the excellently bleak Cormac McCarthy novel), Children of Men, 2012, a forthcoming Red Dawn re-make, and the list goes on.  That’s not to mention the dozens of video games, and the entire oeuvre of ‘the world’s foremost zombie expert’, the eminent Max Brooks.

Overall, I don’t think this surplus of PAW (post-apocalyptic world/wasteland) tales is a bad thing.  Anything that gets folks thinking about the state of our world and their own survival is good, in my opinion.  While I don’t have a problem with bringing apocalyptic themes into the public mindset, I usually don’t like how most of them play out…especially the zombie ones. Generally, the pattern goes like this: a group of Survivors get together, somehow find lots of guns (never any mention of ammo!), go to a mall (or pub or wherever), lock themselves in, and proceed to defend against the hordes until relieved by the Authorities, or until they’re all killed.

If you asked me, I’d say this approach is about the farthest thing from survival that I can think of, and it’s totally unsustainable.

Based on what I’ve read on survival message boards, it seems the majority of survivalist folks have this idea (based, no doubt, on the popular apocalyptic media they’ve consumed) of shouldering their tacticool 100-pound ‘I’m Never Coming Home’ pack, loading up their black plastic rifle with a thousand rounds of ammo (maybe some body armor too, just for fun), and setting out for their fortress retreat in the woods, where they will live on canned soup and astronaut food for the foreseeable future.
Apparently they all want to look like this guy:

My approach is quite different.  If shit goes down, and I have to ‘bug-out’, I’m pulling on my homemade leather shoes and a 1930s canvas rucksack—mostly filled with home-dehydrated fruits and nuts liberated from dumpsters (because I eat like a caveman)—rolling up a wool blanket and canvas tarp for a bedroll, grabbing a walking stick, and cross-country hobbit-ing the fuck outta there (I’ve been told many times that my gear has “an old-school cool” vibe about it, and I’ll admit it’s no accident).  Instead of approaching an emergency as an act of war, I see it as an adventure.  I’ll head for the family farm, where I’ll set up shop, replant my garden, and continue living in the plain-livin’, quasi-permaculture sorta life I grew up with.  And y’know, I might just keep on living like that, even after whatever crisis abates.

Because, like Stewart Brand of the Whole Earth Catalog once put it:

“We have wished, we ecofreaks, for a disaster or for a social change to come and bomb us into the Stone Age, where we might live like Indians in our valley, with our localism, our appropriate technology, our gardens, our homemade religion – guilt-free at last!”

I’ve written about it before, but it just really distresses me how the current survival movement is based all towards ‘rebuilding’ the post-apocalyptic world.  And what are these people going to base their new world on?  The only one they’ve ever known…the one that turned them into time-clock slaves and disconnected (figurative) zombies filled with postmodern ennui: the one that collapsed in the first place!

Consider, for an alternative, possibly one of the most beautiful pieces of prose I think I’ve ever read: Chuck Palahniuk’s vision in Fight Club for a post-collapse world:

“…picture yourself planting radishes and seed potatoes on the fifteenth green of a forgotten golf course.  You’ll hunt elk through the damp canyon forests around the ruins of Rockefeller Center, and dig clams next to the skeleton of the Space Needle leaning at a forty-five degree angle… …stalking elk past department store windows and stinking racks of beautiful rotting dresses and tuxedos on hangers; you’ll wear leather clothes that will last you the rest of your life, and you’ll climb the wrist-thick kudzu vines that wrap the Sears Tower.  Jack and the beanstalk, you’ll climb up through the dripping forest canopy and the air will be so clean you’ll see tiny figures pounding corn and laying strips of venison to dry in the empty car pool lane of an abandoned superhighway stretching eight-lanes-wide and August-hot for a thousand miles.”

If—and that’s a big if—we’re going to rebuild, we’re going to need some fresh perspectives.

Like Tyler says, even a soufflé looks pumped.

part of an ongoing series of columns I’ve written, reprinted from the TU Rambler.

November, 2009.
Most pharmaceutical ads I see usually say something about only being effective when combined with “proper diet and exercise.”  But what does that mean?  Last week we talked about eating healthy; this week, let’s talk about exercise.  Our culture seems to have an obsession with “getting ripped”, which I’m pretty sure is the male equivalent of girls starving themselves trying to look like Kate Moss, but instead we have protein shake-chugging guys going to the gym trying to look like men, at least the way a sculptor or an art director or Mtv says men should look.  But really, there’s no reason to try to become Ahnold Schwarzenegger.  When in life are you ever going to need to lift 400 pounds?

Like I said last week, if you want to see human beings at their height of physical fitness, you have to turn the clock back about 20,000 years.  If the lifestyles of modern-day hunter-gatherers are any indication, your ancestors were way more fit than you.  How’s this for analogy: Paleo-man is to ‘carved out of wood’ as you are to white bread.  Modern man is a flabby, out-of-shape wimp.  “But,” you protest, “I spend fifteen hours a week in the gym pumping iron and running on an elliptical machine!  Surely that makes me better than some hairy Ice Age brute.”

Yes, perhaps you are more outwardly muscular than Mr. Cro-Magnon Man.  But look at modern hunter-gatherers living on the savannah: none of them look like Kimbo Slice, or even Mr. T.  There is more to being healthy, fit, and trim than counting repetitions and bulking up and drinking Gatorade.  Our ancestors didn’t pencil in a block of time each day for ‘workout’.  Bushmen get their exercise in the course of their normal day, chasing gazelle, climbing trees, throwing spears or shooting a bow-and-arrow (chances are so did your great-great-grandfather, who probably had to chop wood, make tools, and plow his fields by hand).  While I’d like to be as hale as the former, I could happily settle for the latter.

Here’s a novel idea: instead of buying a Bowflex, buy (or even make!) a bow and learn to shoot it;  master some stairs instead of hopping on the Stairmaster; don’t run laps around the track, map out a route and take a jog around town (you might even take a bag and pick up trash along the way).

Human beings weren’t meant to get their exercise the way most people do now: under florescent lights, hooked up to a machine (identical to the one next to it), in front of a window, unable to feel the wind or the sun on your face.  We evolved in an ever-changing landscape, not separate from it.  A change of scenery can transform exercise from drudgery to fun, but the scene out the window of the [campus Athletic Center] rarely changes.

Two thoughts

based on discussions in one of my courses last year.

“The society that sets us up for boredom and a soul-crushing existence also sets us up for addiction to luxuries like cheap processed foods and consumer goods to hold off depression.”

a critical Disconnect:

In Civilization: Job/Work = Money = Grocery store = Food.
In Nature/Uncivilization: Work = Food.