Wednesday, September 06, 2006

13 Aspects of a Paragraph

Thirteen aspects of a paragraph that touched me.

When I become too theoretical, when I ask with too much vehemence why people work jobs they hate,

why so many earn their living by deforesting, or mining, or working other destructive jobs, my friend reminds me:

"Sixty days", he says. "That’s how long it takes before people in the civilized world begin to die of starvation.

Dave can’t quit his job because in sixty days his children will die.

That's the primary reason most of us do not rebel. We have too much to lose".

Ours is a politics, economics and religion of occupation, not of inhabitation,

and as such the methods by which we are formed and governed have no legitimacy

save that sprouting from the end of a cannon, from a can of pepper spray, from the rapist's penis,

from the travesty of modern education, from the instilled dread of a distant hell and the false promise of a future techtopia, from the chains that bind children to beds and looms and from the everyday fear of starvation

-- as well as an internalized notion of what constitutes social success or failure --

that binds us to wage slavery.

The responsibility for holding destructive institutions, systems and culture accountable falls on each of us.

We are the governors of this prison as well as the governed...

Derrick Jensen, A Language Older Than Words


Thursday Thirteen is an activity where online participants have an opportunity to get to know each other by presenting their interests within a structure of 13 items.


Red said...

It's all true, of course. Fear is the main element governing our lives, whether self-instilled or promoted from the outside (the notion of putting words like "Elevated Threat Level" on ticker tapes, a practice typical of Fox News, for example). Sure, we live in dangerous times, but I think we need to learn to be vigilant rather than fearful.

Tracie Nall said...

A very interesting list.
60 days....that really hit me, I have never thought about it like that before.

Candy Minx said...

Hey you two, when you want good times, come to my blog! Yes, the sixty days concept is scary.

Other cultures can live for their entire lives outside civilization without that helplessness.

Lisa said...

Interesting list!


Very awesome list you have put up.
Thanks for passing by.

DigiscrapMom said...

Interesting and brilliant!

Happy Thursday!

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's a very special and interesting list.
My TT is about birthday facts this week.

Carmen said...

Interesting comments. We all fear change most, I think

Heather said...

That's a unique idea for the list!! I like it!

Knitting Maniac said...

What a cool TT!!!!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Chaotic Mom said...

This list was absolutely wonderful. VERY interesting. I wish I was in a better mood to think about it for a while. I may print it out and do that later. ;)

Candy Minx said...

Thanks for stopping by!

And Red, I agrtee with you about vigilance over fear. It's funny "fear" wasn't the main thing that stuck me about this was the idea that we allow our civilization to control us. It's our choice.

My Shoes said...

60 days....that one is sad. very intersting list

SlackerMom said...

This is definitely not your average TT list, is it? Thought-provoking, that's for sure. Fear does govern too much of what we do but in the U.S. since 9/11 there's not much of a line between fear and vigilence. As long as there are people who are sworn to the destruction of those who don't agree with them, there will be fear.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'll try to get my TT up soon but it'll probably be much less thoughtful than yours!

Anonymous said...

That was great, very insightful. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

i think people work at jobs they hate because they need $$$. too many struggle through school, earning a degree, only to find that their dream job, doesn't exist, yet if they want to exist, they need money, it's just a sad circle that has come to be.

Ghost said...

It's ironic that we all rail against slavery but we are all slaves to ourselves in our wants, needs, and desires. The priority should be the simple delight of seeing something beautiful in the shape of a cloud rather than the shape of our bank book. Or feeding a child rather than feeding our ego.

The Shrone said...

Industrialization took away from us our ability to be self-sufficient. The convenience of having a factory make our food, an agribusiness grow our crops, the textile weave our fabric and sew the clothes on our backs, etc. We were sold on the idea that having industry produce the necessities of life is progress and modern. Being self-sufficient is backward, crude, and primitive. Being able to do these once necessity of life things is now done as hobbies, recreation, or art. So much more has been lost, too, as a result.

Interesting TT list!

Anonymous said...

I'm actually surprised by the 60 days thing. I would think it would be a lot shorter. Thanks for stopping by my site.

Underground Baker said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Candy Minx said...

Oh my god, these are all such intense and thoughtful comments. I am really blown away. In fact my sister just called me from Vancouver and I read them all out to her. (which is silly because she reads this blog, but I got all excited) She also knows that I am nuts and very rarely does anyone engage in some of the topics that I obsess about...farming, slavery, industrial, corporate and how hard we work just to put food on our tables and buy a couple toys. My sister was like, wow the people who are at your blog are so cool.

(my sister is shy...but she is working on setting up a blog right now, but I am not allowed to give away the address at the moment.)

Thanks for giving me something to chew on folks, I love you for that!!!

Jessica...all our voices are important and I think all levels of contemplation count. So I don't think you could be less or more thoughtful than mine. This is a challenging activy this Thursday Thirteen. It's trciky for all of us to talk about what is important to us, it's taking a risk on any level of topic if you think about it.

Tinker, yes, the sixty days thing kind of freaked me out. I had heard that many of us are a few paychecks away from the street...but the sixty days puts a spin that it is when we are right out of options.

Samantha K, thanks!

Better Safe Than Sorry, you are so right about the education and the dreams. My god, I really don't know how families or young people pay for college. And often none of us ever lands up working in the feild we were trained in or dreamed of growing up to be. I don't know how Universities can justify their elitist costs and course line ups. Having said that, I think the only reason older people have their jobs is because the kids are ina stalling program...studying and therefore staying out of the work force and job competition. One could really amke a conspiracy theory outta that concept.

ghost, I am with you one hundred percent. Hear hear. On our deathbeds no one says...I wish I slaved(worked) more, I wish I bought more they usually want loved ones nearby. Money is no good when it comes to lifes fragility and love.

The Shrone, yep yep and yep. I see young people all the time who don't have a clue how to cook dinner or sew up their jeans or a hem. They can't sanitize a wound or save a bird or make soup. Especially boys. Even after all the cultural and finacial changes 50 years ago, people still baby their boy kids. How can you send a child into the world that doesn't know how to make soup? And then clean up after themselves?

Kailani, sheesh the whole thing is dumbfounding. And frankly, money wise, I wouldn't last a s long as 60 days. I just don't fit inot our culture, never did, it's never made any sense to me our economy. But outside of civilization? Survival skills wise, I'd last longer than most...outdoors, fire making cooking and foraging and hunting. If (when) there is an agricultural collapse I'm your huckleberry!!!

Anonymous said...

60 Didn't know that.

Zeus said...

I think that this was perhaps one of the most creative and inspiring Thursday Thirteens I have come across in awhile. I loved the entire passage, but the final line will definitely stick with me for some time.

Thank you for the inspiration! I hope you have a great Thursday, and feel free to check out my list if you get the chance! :)

Margaret said...

I love the way you did this list, so creative and thought provoking. Way to go! Great 13! -Margie

Buttercup said...

Not the normal TT. I like it. Mine's up on a lighter subject - Albums that in my humble opinion kick ass. It's late b/c I've been slaving away at my utterly pointless occupation. Ugh!!

Bridget Jones said...

Can't say that I understand the structure of 13 but will see how the others approach it.

Also as a biologist can't say that the 60 days thing rings true at all. 7 days is more like it, but we need some definitions first.

There were a lot of assumptions in that post that I don't buy into.

At some points in our lives, yes it's easy to some from fear--OR LOVE. Fear is lack, love is confidence. It's easier to come from fear, coming from love is much tougher and has to do with how you were raised. It's more the attribute of an older or more experienced person (don't hate me, it is).

I'm from a family of wing-nuts who followed different drummers; inventors way ahead of their times who quit jobs on principle regardless of what it did to their families financially. Yes it was a very hard way to live. All of us inherited the same tough line of ethics and it stood us in good steed from both sides of the family. Remember the Chev ad? Say what you mean, mean what you say and always drive a Chevy? Like that.

Sorry for the long post.

There are programs for what some of you are posting about (Model Forest Program, for example)...but this post is long enough. Just one more thought: love is letting go of fear and fear is lack of information.

Raggedy said...

Good List.
The sixty day thing was shocking.
My TT is up

Faerylandmom said...


I have to agree that this is how a lot of people do live their lives. I don't believe I live that way, but your 13 will make me examine that.

My 13 is up too.

cass said...

Whew. Some things to think about! My TT is not so deep, a list of 13 favorite books. :)

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