Monday, 1 February 2010


KODGER KING KOGITATES THE KWESTION IN QUARTZSITE ARIZONA I'm camped 7 miles from town---150 of my friends have gone on to new adventures. I take a walk in the desert considering the comment made by Rob in the previous blog. He gently urged me to be mindful that the lifestyle we mobile citizens lead is made possible by the vast majority who work to produce the goods, services and infrastructure we consume and use. He's right of course---BUT IT NEED NOT BE THAT WAY. IT IS POSSIBLE, I'M CONVINCED, FOR THE VAST MAJORITY OF US TO LIVE IN LEISURE WHILE ONLY A SMALL MINORITY WORK. WE HAVE FAILED TO ENJOY THE BENEFITS OF THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION. I SAY WITH BUCKMINISTER FULLER: "MACHINES OUGHT TO WORK---PEOPLE OUGHT TO THINK."
I BELIEVE OUR WORKING CAREERS NEED NOT BE MORE THAN TEN YEARS. (that's how long mine was and I never made a lucrative salary) I go walking in the desert considering how to make my point.
I encounter this little fellow---moving slow.

So slow that he lets me pick him up---I stroked him---seemed to like it--then gently let him walk away. Interesting---but unhelpful---I walk on.

BINGO----Here's part of the answer---an anthill--alive and functioning even after the recent fierce rainstorm. I'll back away a few steps so you can see it in the context I saw it:

It's located in a vast bare area of only rocks and dirt. What do they eat? Whatever it is ---is very sparce. And hidden underground are 500,000 termites (on average) surviving here. THEY THRIVE BY CONSUMING VERY LITTLE RESOURCES. AND SO DO I---AND SO CAN YOU! FRENETIC GREED AND WASTE IS WHAT KEEPS AMERICANS WORKING THEIR LIVES AWAY. The nearest human equivalent of this situation is the tribes of South Africa's Kalihari desert--who work much less than we do. Come with me---I think I will show you 100,000 people who are not working---who have chosen (more or less) to live in leisure---consuming little.

Here they are--in downtown Quartzsite, Az from a postcard taken one typical January. But this is only the downtown campers. Thousands more are camped a few miles north, south, east and west of here. Only a small fraction are working and the vast majority are camping free on BLM land(government owned)----Here's a fragment of a poem I wrote celebrating this wonderful 3 months long gathering-- suggesting that it is the wave of the future--- when more and more will renounce drudgery, live frugally, experience deep freedom, increasing their chances of "finding themselves." (poem title: Hi Jolly returns to Quartzsite)......
Something grand and dear is happening here,
Hi Jolly could not have expected
The mobile domicile and a new lifestyle
In Quartzsite are being perfected.
The sprouting seed of a brand-new breed
Living simple and light and lean,
Living happy and free as wild cherokee
In cozy little living machines.
A life that is bold, with oneself in control
and clusters of friends--in affection
re-inventing the tribe --- helping revive
Our long lost natural connection.
Choosing sunlight's glow over ice and snow;
Acceptance over sorrow;
Adventurous game over riches and fame;
and today---over iffy tomorrow.

Here's downtown this morning---from the eastern overpass.

and panning right. But I've not done the place Justice for better coverage of this phenomenon see Diana's last 2 or three blogs:
A final thought: Thoreau, long ago, proved that a person can win freedom with frugality. A miserable life doing work you don't like is not necessary. Read the first chapter of WALDEN and be convinced. I did so 38 years ago and am living proof of its truth. His grand experiment was to see how little a man could work and still live satisfactorily---his answer: 6 weeks in a year. He spent the rest of the year enjoying himself---like I do. To those who cannot handle freedom, Thoreau said they should keep on working till they pay for themselves.
Obama should say this to Americans: There are millions of you who have worked long enough and you should consider retiring---downscaling your lifestyle if necessary---to make room in the workforce for others. This is the smart way to create jobs.
And when you do get a job---live smart--save money--let us end the stupidity of spending all we earn. Learn from German workers---who save more than 50% of their earnings.

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