Monday, September 5, 2011

Romanticizing Hard Work--a Rant

Something I've noticed is that many folks who would like to see the rest of us go without electricity, clean water, and transportation (especially teh EBIL Diesel trucks) have an idealized idea of how it is to oh, heat your house by wood or transport the myriad things that life in the country necessitates (and we're only nominally in the country--folks like my friend Chas are REALLY in the country).

We spent some time yesterday stacking wood--we moved about 2 1/2 tons by hand.  And while we were sorting and stacking, it occurred to me that the urban dwellers who kvetch about everyone driving big trucks, or the rabid recyclers, or the other 'greener than thou' folks really have no idea about the sweat equity that is necessary to be truly green (and for us, it's being cheap rather than being green, although it's a nice side-effect).  That said, it would be a lot harder for us to even do what we do without gas-powered implements, but we are well aware of the time-savings that those tools afford us.

Do they think that wood splits itself, that you can just start a fire anywhere and heat your house, that cooking using a wood stove is as easy as flipping a switch?  Or maybe that dryads donate sufficient wood and supplies?  I think that they are like the folks at Burning Man (not the naked guy, Roberta and Tam), but they go into the country for a weekend and 'rough it' and recycle the rest of the year and feel that they then can look down on the rest of us.

It's an annoyance.


Old NFO said...

Meh... You're dead on the money... Of course they would PAY people to do that nasty work, since it's below their notice... What I'd REALLY like to see is them trying to go to the store on a horse (and they store being about 15 miles away)... :-)

Anonymous said...

Re: Burning Man
I used to know that country quite well - before Burning Man started and them "nature-lovers" ruined the area (though I suspect Bruno likes the income - if Bruno's still with us).

That's beyond "roughing it" for a weekend. NO way that many people could survive even just a weekend out there without some sort of not-Green support - water first comes to mind. Getting there - and out again is also something to think of (if the 50,000 or so people that went stayed home, how much energy/CO2/etc would be saved? Seems they want "us" to save energy, but they're exempt when it's something they want to do).

Perhaps the non-Green isn't visible to those that don't look, but it's there.

Re: Green in general.
Observe the picture of the "Holy American Indian" (not the real people, the romanticized version)

They lived with nature - Greenies worship thoughts of that lifestyle. But the Indian didn't waste any time picking up the benefits of technology when they had the chance. Horses? Iron? Firearms? Gee-gaws? Look at the mental picture of the Indian "life". Perhaps a feather-draped warrior - fine beadwork on leather clothing, knife at his side - on horseback pursuing the buffalo with a bow and arrow.

This whole picture is based on adaptation of European technology which is claimed to be the cause of the destruction of Mother Earth.

Have the Greenies that favor strict back-to-nature cut their own firewood ... and ask where they wish to get the metal tool? Or ask them how they would find the ore, smelt the ore, and make the tool? or start the fire?

I lived that way in the NW mountains for a decade or so. I liked it. I would go back to it. But I want tools. Powered, preferably. A truck to carry things up and down hills. And perhaps a Bobcat.

God, Gals, Guns, Grub said...

I'm not sure most city-dweller have a clue about where their daily needs come from... be it food, power, whatever...

Or how precariously close they are to disaster should the supply lines be interrupted or cut...

Hence the recent reports from folks hit by the hurricane...

A country boy can survive... and some of those country boys even live int he city and the suburbs...

Dann in Ohio

Mr.B said...

Wood heat you four times. Cut/split/stack/burn.

Most folks would have a heart attack if they had to do any of the above.

Much less the tedium of tending a fire.

Midwest Chick said...

NFO--It's the same mindset where a person will hire someone to landscape their yard, plunge their toilet, or paint a room. Then they denigrate the skilled laborers who do the work that they are incapable of doing. Disgusting.

Q--One of the funniest things I saw was a guy at a conference one time talking about a 'nature ritual' where the officiants went into the woods and rolled in the leaves, etc. I was sitting next to a couple of vegan druids who just about had a collective conniption at the destruction of the woods and killing of lichen, wildlife, etc. But the other guy would never understand that part.

Himself and I use gas powered tools to help with our wood cutting and splitting. It takes our tasks from days to hours.

Dann--Your comment made me think of the woman who complained about hunting and said that people should "get their meat at the store where it's made"... *sigh*

Himself (Mr. B)--true that, and I don't think that feeding the fire is tedious at all..... And I like the exercise (but I also like using the tractor to get stuff from point A to point B).

Midwest Chick said...

NFO--Check out this article for an example of what I mean: