"Either be groovy or leave, man."
Bob Dylan (via fluxofpinkindians)
Irishman Mark Boyle tried to live life with no income, no bank balance and no spending. Here’s how he finds it:
"If someone told me seven years ago, in my final year of a business and economics degree, that I’d now be living without money, I’d have probably choked on my microwaved ready meal. The plan back then was to get a ‘good’ job, make as much money as possible, and buy the stuff that would show society I was successful.
For a while I did it – I had a fantastic job managing a big organic food company; had myself a yacht on the harbour. If it hadn’t been for the chance purchase of a video called Gandhi, I’d still be doing it today. Instead, for the last fifteen months, I haven’t spent or received a single penny. Zilch.
The change in life path came one evening on the yacht whilst philosophising with a friend over a glass of merlot. Whilst I had been significantly influenced by the Mahatma’s quote “be the change you want to see in the world”, I had no idea what that change was up until then. We began talking about all major issues in the world – environmental destruction, resource wars, factory farms, sweatshop labour – and wondering which of these we would be best devoting our time to. Not that we felt we could make any difference, being two small drops in a highly polluted ocean.
But that evening I had a realisation. These issues weren’t as unrelated as I had previously thought – they had a common root cause. I believe the fact that we no longer see the direct repercussions our purchases have on the people, environment and animals they affect is the factor that unites these problems.
The degrees of separation between the consumer and the consumed have increased so much that it now means we’re completely unaware of the levels of destruction and suffering embodied in the ‘stuff’ we buy.
Very few people actually want to cause suffering to others; most just don’t have any idea that they directly are. The tool that has enabled this separation is money, especially in its globalised format.
Take this for an example: if we grew our own food, we wouldn’t waste a third of it as we do today.
If we made our own tables and chairs, we wouldn’t throw them out the moment we changed the interior décor.
If we had to clean our own drinking water, we probably wouldn’t shit in it.
So to be the change I wanted to see in the world, it unfortunately meant I was going to have to give up money, which I decided to do for a year initially. So I made a list of the basics I’d need to survive. I adore food, so it was at the top. There are four legs to the food-for-free table: foraging wild food, growing your own, bartering and using waste grub, of which there far too much.
On my first day I fed 150 people a three course meal with waste and foraged food. Most of the year I ate my own crops though and waste only made up about five per cent my diet. I cooked outside – rain or shine – on a rocket stove.
Next up was shelter. So I got myself a caravan from Freecycle, parked it on an organic farm I was volunteering with, and kitted it out to be off the electricity grid. I’d use wood I either coppiced or scavenged to heat my humble abode in a wood burner made from an old gas bottle, and I had a compost loo to make ‘humanure’ for my veggies.
I bathed in a river, and for toothpaste I used washed up cuttlefish bone with wild fennel seeds, an oddity for a vegan. For loo roll I’d relieve the local newsagents of its papers (I once wiped my arse with a story about myself); it wasn’t double quilted but it quickly became normal. To get around I had a bike and trailer, and the 55 km commute to the city doubled up as my gym subscription. For lighting I’d use beeswax candles.
Many people label me an anti-capitalist. Whilst I do believe capitalism is fundamentally flawed, requiring infinite growth on a finite planet, I am not anti anything. I am pro-nature, pro-community and pro-happiness. And that’s the thing I don’t get – if all this consumerism and environmental destruction brought happiness, it would make some sense. But all the key indicators of unhappiness – depression, crime, mental illness, obesity, suicide and so on are on the increase. More money it seems, does not equate to more happiness.
Ironically, I have found this year to be the happiest of my life. I’ve more friends in my community than ever, I haven’t been ill since I began, and I’ve never been fitter. I’ve found that friendship, not money, is real security. That most western poverty is spiritual. And that independence is really interdependence.
Could we all live like this tomorrow? No. It would be a catastrophe, we are too addicted to both it and cheap energy, and have managed to build an entire global infrastructure around the abundance of both. But if we devolved decision making and re-localised down to communities of no larger than 150 people, then why not? For over 90 per cent of our time on this planet, a period when we lived much more ecologically, we lived without money. Now we are the only species to use it, probably because we are the species most out of touch with nature.
People now often ask me what is missing compared to my old world of lucre and business. Stress. Traffic-jams. Bank statements. Utility bills. Oh yeah, and the odd pint of organic ale with my mates down the local.”
"When men say that they “love to see the woman underneath the makeup,” they’re not saying they want to see your leg stubble and greasy bangs—they’re saying they want you to be better at hiding your maintenance routine. Because the maintenance spoils the fantasy."
Lindy West (via toolers)
Wye Oak | Civilian
I don’t need another friend
When most of them
I can barely keep up with them
I’m perfectly able to hold my own hand
But I still can’t kiss my own neck
This is pretty serious stuff. Bayer might be about to overturn the EC’s decision to ban the pesticides implicated in killing off the bees! If they win this case, it could be truly disastrous for both the bees and our own future. Please share, and please see the SumOfUs link (no affiliation) to make a donation to help the campaign to save the bees.
Early in 2013, the European Food Safety Authority stated that three specific neonicotinoid insecticides (imidacloprid, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam) pose an acute risk to honeybees, and the European Commission proposed a two-year ban on them.
This is due to go into effect on Dec 1st – and the ban was introduced because of mounting scientific evidence that these insecticides, produced by Syngenta and Bayer, have been the agents responsible for Colony Collapse Disorder – a major problem threatening both the bees and the safety of our own food supply!
However in a horrifying twist, and despite huge public opposition, Syngenta and Bayer are now suing the European Commission over their “right” to continue to produce the pesticides which have been implicated in the massive die-off of millions of bees. Yes, their “right”. Because as we know, corporations’ sole agenda is to make money. They cannot let a trivial thing like nature get in their way.
These insecticides continue to be produced and used on a vast scale in the USA and in other countries and are huge moneymakers for the chemical corporations…
This threw up a few red flags when some of the links led to wiki pages but I looked up the lawsuit and it seems to be legit. Bayer is trying to lift the ban on pesticides that have been linked to the death of millions of bees in Europe. This is, unquestionably, terrible enough on its own, because bees are amazing little insects and deserve all our love, but if all the bees in the world go extinct, human life as we know it will change drastically. Produce will virtually cease to exist. That is a big freaking deal.
In addition to the donation page listed above, SumOfUs also has a petition going around that is still in need of signatures to help stop this. And it needs to be stopped. We cannot risk losing any more bees.
Bees get a pretty bad rap, but honestly? The scary, stingy things you’re afraid of? Most likely wasps. Bees, particularly honeybees and bumblebees, are just these fluffy little cuddle balls that fly around and pollinate stuff. They won’t sting you unless you’re a direct threat to them, because if they sting you, they’ll die. Don’t be scared of bees. Be scared for bees.
I’ve done as much looking around as I can because I know Tumblr is a cesspool of misinformation, and this looks as legit as it gets. Please tell people, sign the petition, and donate if you can.
And in the meantime, if you’re a gardner, please try to encourage bees to come to your garden. You can use the tips listed here. There’s also some information about different kinds of bees you might run into, in case you’d like to learn more about bees and why they’re wonderful.
Thanks for reading, guys. Please share this.
REALLY FUCKING IMPORTANT, REALLY REALLY FUCJING IMPORTANT
(TW: eating disorders, anti-gay slurs, cissexism, misogyny, all sorts of douchebaggery)
This is my new least favorite website. From their “About Me”
"Return Of Kings is a blog for heterosexual, masculine men. It’s meant for a small but vocal collection of men in America today who believe men should be masculine and women should be feminine.
ROK aims to usher the return of the masculine man in a world where masculinity is being increasingly punished and shamed in favor of creating an androgynous and politically-correct society that allows women to assert superiority and control over men. Sadly, yesterday’s masculinity is today’s misogyny. The site intends to be a safe space on the web for those men who don’t agree with the direction that Western culture is headed. Click here to send an email to the team.
Women and homosexuals are prohibited from commenting here. They will be immediately banned.”
they should be fucking shot
people who should be castrated
they should not be shot. nor castrated. think about it.
they should be smothered in fucking love and compassion. possibly the only way they’ll ever snap out of it.
$50 says if you castrate/shoot them they’re bound to just build a nastier website.
don’t perpetuate the cycle. rise.
they should all be brought to a room filled with women suffering from eating disorders, rape victims, and victims of hate crimes.
they should be put through the “browneyed-blueeyed test”
they should be taken off the internet, out into the real world, and stripped of their advantage over other people.