Bipolar, part zero

One moment you are on top of the world, the following the world is on top of you…


You’re inside the condom, feeling the contours of heaven in your head and body,

but you want too much and you push too far, the condoms breaks,

and you realize you were fucking the vagina of hell. The swirls of extreme

vacillation carry you forth and back, unceasing, as the universal war uses your body as

it’s most intense battlefield. The tornado of you forms and turns

you around to look backwards, and you see that the vagina isn’t actually hell,

hell is what you brought to it. And then the storm ends, your orgasm stolen,

you’re left limp on cold and unfriendly ground,  your own memory not there to

serve your bodily habits but to elongate the torture your mental world

must relive, this time, next time, until your time ends…

Works Cited:

Zhukov, Alexander and Momzikov, Dmitriy. Baroque. Earth: Inside the Minds of Eximinds, 2011. Sound. url: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fx2SaeyIR6g ; listen alongside with full spectrum sound, for a more full effect:

Advertisement

Lucid Living: Tendons Of The Organic Trance Totality

Lucid Living: (Important) Tendons Of The Organic Trance TotalityL

Trance as a name for a musical category is a misnomer, as it doesn’t put us into a surreal context, it pulls us out of one! Our daily surreality (or should it be sub-reality?), imposed by an unhappy and mediated world, dissipates like a contrail, and we are left with a clarity that is unmistakably real. Any haze that remains has a laser plane shone through it that highlights its organic curvature, beholden to no structural logic that would normally draw our focus a la our capitalized and technologiized societies. The experience we have gradually draws all of our bodies into motion (as they should be given our biological predispositions). Feel free… to listen to the exquisitely titled “fake awake” as you suffer through my breaches with logic.

Sweep The Filter: Towards A Revisceration Of Im-media

Trance allows the real world (that is, the cold technologized world) that we have now to enter in elements such as filtered down sounds. Through acts such as filtering and amplification, trance is displaying in sound what all mediums in our over mediated world really do. Mediums don’t add anything to vitality—they strip away many surrounding overtones to give a very contrived, weak, and alienating connection; a controlled and corrupted connection. Trance utilizes this feature which we as the captive victims from civilization’s domesticating modalities (as in Stockholm Syndrome) are so allured to, and then it quickly yet gradually adds back the wholesome tones. It does this perhaps (because not all trance ingeniousness need be the same) through both a filter sweep in the single lead, and a volume sweep through the larger movement of the full orchestration, all instruments choosing to be in full interrelation as cells of a body. Before this unity, in the previous minutes of the song, the individualized or cliquey instruments were all introduced as powerful yet fiercely independent and essentially lacking to reach their full potential (though still beautiful if the composer chose the elements correctly).

The domesticated sounds from before the breakdown are then all transformed through synthetic combination and amplification that lay out a path for all of we freedom seekers to leave our alienated pigeon holes of reified experience. Trance does all this—it displays our cages naked, then it melts our chains, and then finally we are guided in the art of flying.

***

When the song is in full swing, there is the overflowing of emotion and energy, and the rhythm sings to all of our emotions and speaks to all that is neglected and marginalized in our current world. It recognizes the waking reality that we feel, but it takes us in waking life in to the literal dreams that we have of rebecoming the animals that we were so intended by a mutualistic natural milleu. Animals that are so free we wouldn’t even call them human. Indeed, there would be no suggestion, no impetus, no need to call…

Only the most brilliant trance songs have us climb up the mountain and jump off the world. Most fall short and return us to earth, elevated perhaps but still as caged animals. The select songs (or the songs that select us) are the matchmakers to wed our true dreams with a truer reality. It would be wrong to say it was goD’s music, but not so to say the music of gods.

Notes:

L – As the title suggests, this piece is a tendon, or element, of a larger philosophical expose that I have kept caged up for almost a decade. It has overgrown its cage many times, and I thought I’d give it some play time now. May that time come soon, if not in writing then in the unleashing of the bottled up organic forces of difference that we suppress in lieu of conformity.

Facebook As Fistula

According to wikipedia, a fistula is “an abnormal connection between two hollow spaces such as blood vessels, intestines, or other hollow organs. Fistulas are usually caused by injury or surgeryL, but they can also result from an infection or inflammationL.”

fistula thin

I am writing this in haste, so there are lots of connections that I will leave for your imaginations to fill in (your own fistulas to proliferate, if you will). What I have in mind with such a visceral entitling is that the Internet itself, you could say, acts as a fistula in that it channels our devices into electrical connections with other devices networked in. What facebook has done to take this logic further—and prompt me to label it a fistula—is it has channeled many of us further into frequenting their site as a means of connecting, a fistula within the larger Internet intestines (or tubes!). However, the fistula which is usually an alternate minority pathway has become almost as large as the parent (the Internet) from which it is a deviant. The result for many of the old Internet pathways such as websites, has been their steady atrophying and alienation, with private website browsing way down, in terms of ratios at least.

post-positivity

The small beginning of facebook, before it had all of us migrating through it’s alternate intestines, was very enticing as an easy and practical platform to have all your friends organized in one place and share social experiences. We were bated in by an original platform that now has constantly changed itself to be more [attractive?], but also much more profitable to itself. Anyone who has been using facebook for a few years can tell you how they are always tweaking things, usually to the annoyance of the users. A parasitic fistula is an evolving thing, and this particular fistula wants to digest more and more of us, with our time (through advertisements), our money (turning us into advertisers), and other insidious ways I’m sure. It controls our rate of movement through it’s complex, assuring that it is to its own benefit. One issue that spurred this thought: the destruction of “reach”; it ends up being a particularly fitting term, reach relating to the notion of our bodily reach being reduced by our decapitated/disabled arms. We are made to socialize with the outer walls, covered with advertisements, that digest us methodically. Our mingling is reduced, as much of our surface area is taken up with unchosen, unfriendly interactions.

A last thought for your consideration: facebook has a similar historical trajectory as the United States; in the beginning both led people to believe they were joining a democracy, but over time you start to see the hierarchy become apparent.

energy digester

Notes:

L – As an asside, I find it interesting to note that of the four causes of fistulas, surgery and inflammation are both definitely products of the neolithic age, and a majority of the infections and injuries we face these days could arguably be linked to the stagnancy that is civilization as well. In that vein, I don’t think it would be too far reaching to imply all of civilization as fistula, but I’ll leave that for you to sort out if you wanted to, my dear reader! (thanks for reading! and shout out to Ray Dawson of GodGutsandGlory for his constantly keeping up on my posts, much appreciated!)

Becoming Out of Line: The Misalignment of Straightness

Matter composed into straight lines—or even more appropriately a three dimensional object with straight surfaces—is very rare in our world, if you exclude what humans have artificially pounded into existence. Nature offers a myriad of phenomena of almost straight continuous things that one could say tend towards straightness, such as icicles. However, one of a different mind could say icicles are essentially tending away from straightness, not towards it. Nature seems to abhor straight things, because of an obvious violence and simplification of what is so beautiful and complex. Regardless of this, lines have come to imply continuousness, with the concomitant inverse inference that if something is not linear, it is somehow less whole or less connected.

This notion of curvature—and any change in direction for this matter—as somehow being a break in continuity of the phenomena, is ingrained in young minds receiving a standard education across the United States, and probably in other Western and Westernizing states. A student draws a hexagon and he is praised, another student draws herself an image resembling a contour map and the paper is thrown in the garbage. Though both the students’ lines are contrived abstractions from something that may actually relate to the tangible world, the curvy terrain lines are scaled down versions of continuous lines in nature. Any man made straightness in the world is going to be unmade by forces greater than our efforts into something that isn’t so straight… something that has sporadic spatial changes… something that is alive! Yet we with our incessant maintenance efforts keep trying to impose hexagons, impose squares, impose closed loop circularity into the landscape, out of the landscape, and into our offspring.

We fail to sense the desires of our children (including that within us) to be non-linear, to be “out of order”, to be untameably free, and instead insist, in a rather neurotic way, that they line up straight, that they not experiment with their voices but use them as precise tools of communication (and occasionally as regimented tonal singers). What curves in nature, continues on—both in the spatial sense but also in the chronological sense of surviving; curving is much more internally continuous/harmonized than what fragmented-ness occurs when something is forced into straightness. That fragmented-ness is made visible when roads start to fall apart, when windows on skyscrapers break, when supposedly rational human beings become artistic, when dementia increases in likeliness (this is a loaded, nuanced topic that perhaps I will give opinions on later).

Anyways, this is the first post I am not going to go back and excessively (and obsessively) edit and impose my own twisted logic upon, and apologize for (philosophically speaking). Also, this is one of many contributory thoughts building up to a post on the ontology of violence (contrasted with the epistemology of violence) that I have been gathering towards.

Quotes are Words Worth a Thousand Words

Here is a non-exhaustive compilation of some favored (and savored) quotes/paraphrases by others:

Man only hears what he understands – Johann Goethe

The traditions of the dead are the nightmares of the living – Karl Marx paraphrased

Freedom is always freedom for the one who thinks differently – Rosa Luxemburg

The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed – Stephen Biko

Capitalist production reduces space and time to a common denominator and degrades time to the dimensions of space – Georg Lukacs

Reason tears up what nature has joined, and unites what it has divided – Johann Hamann paraphrased

Happiness isn’t a place, it’s a direction – Sydney Harris

I would not lead you into this promised land if I could, because if I could lead you in, someone else could lead you out – Eugene Debs

It is criminal to steal a purse, daring to steal a fortune, a mark of greatness to steal a crown—the blame diminishes as the guilt increases – Friedrich Schiller

Suffering is the impossibility of nothingness – Emmanuel Levinas

It’s not called humanism, it’s not called ethicalism, it’s called capitalism, and it’s about making money, nothing else – Stephen Bronner

Science has turned from a servant of man’s fine and infinite creative capacity, into a dictator which determines man’s position morally, politically and personally – Johann Hamann paraphrased

Historically, the most terrible things – war, genocide, and slavery – have resulted not from disobedience, but from obedience – Howard Zinn

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free – Johann Goethe

Free election of masters does not abolish the masters or the slaves – Herbert Marcuse

Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one” – Abbott Liebling

Reducing the rich variety of the universe to a bleak uniformity—which is itself a form of not facing reality—and attempting to imprison it in some prefabricated favorite logical envelope – Johann Hamann paraphrased

Capitalism and Islands of Socialism: A Response to the Trotskyist Argument for International Revolution

To many anti-capitalists capitalism seems like a daunting enemy—a goliath—but those who take this big view to see global capitalism for the awful thing that it is, should perhaps zoom out even further to take in an even bigger picture, one that belittles capitalism and brings into focus the history of life and of the planet as a whole. For as much as capitalism seems to have going for it, it still needs constant and growing energy inputs, and some level of innovation in a world where it is largely responsible for having destroyed it. Most large organizations are under it’s fold, namely state’s and corporations, but there are many other resilient organizations (beyond socialist worker parties) that Trotskyists seem unable to give appropriate weight to. There is a sense among them that short of global revolution and the total destruction of capitalism, any other socialistic efforts will be co-opted, but I think this is to the denial of the many vital things that are not products of capitalism and are not beholden to it, and are often antithetical to it. Yes, capitalism is the dominant economic system between humans who are consumers, producers, others (I felt the need to add this third category in this age of economic perversity), but in many places in the world capitalist modalities scarcely enter into the oldest and most enduring human organization—the family. Thinking anatomically, within human bodies the economy between cells, and between organs and muscular-skeletal systems connecting through nerves and blood flow, is very cooperative displaying socialistic principles of sharing and “from each according to his abilities to each according to his needs”. Eco-systems that blend the three kingdoms of life and the less animate, inert earth, are largely symbiotic and a teacher that is too often not read (our nature literacy is at an all time low).

Capitalist relations do invade patterns of thought, and there is a suppression of a genealogical understanding of the development of all things in preference for a transhistorical view of the present as having some natural, eternal purpose. Capitalism projects itself backwards in time, overshadowing the real past, but an honest look backwards would show that just 250 years ago capitalism was not yet global, something practiced by a peculiar English minority in a much larger world of other traditionally exploitative systems. And capitalism was arguably only poised to be spread so virulently because of the discovery of fossil fuel energy potentials, not some teleological force within capitalism that made it unstoppable and somehow logical to be a conquering force: if a giant asteroid hit the earth and killed all mammalian life, would capitalism still have taken over?

British Empire Evolution

Capitalism did not come to be all at once, and it does not necessarily need to be destroyed (unsubscribed from) all at once, with every single worker being class conscious and squaring off with everyone’s common enemy, the exploitative land owner. Besides, to accept the capitalists as the actual owners of the means of production is to accept the property ideology of capitalism, which seems to be regressive, non-revolutionary thinking. A revolution to transfer ownership from one class to another, sounds more like a regime change within the larger umbrella of propertied economic systems. Sticking to the topic of global worker revolution, think also of the huge efforts it would take to link and organize such multi-lingual, multi-continental efforts, and keep them from being hierarchical bureaucracies as some of the socialist parties desire (while other parties accept the idea of hierarchical organizations as a means to an end).

The argument put forth against creating “islands of socialism” is that they will come to be immediately under siege by capitalist forces, and there is a lack of truly understanding that such a way is a reaction to capitalism not a true break from it. Couldn’t it be equally as true that such islands put capitalism under siege, as pockets of land and pockets of potential consumers are taken out of the exploitative loop? I believe that such islands—some of which already exist imperfectly as small scale communes—serve as inspirational models that service a concrete contrast to the capitalist system that has so destroyed the imaginative capacity to envision an after-story to capitalism. A truly communistic society, no matter how small, is sure to invoke passions and energies from its purveyors that the capitalist system has never tapped into because of its alienating, deadening manner. Islands also serve as social experiments to teach lessons of what works well and what doesn’t as much.

I think we should feel relieved and happy to start socialism small and manageable, as this is in line with how every species (or economic/social system) always has started, allowing time and space for it to grow. We start with ourselves, in our bodies that share nutrients through our blood to all the different parts, in a very harmonious way. This is a great place to start, and we only have to grow in small ways beyond this level… To play on some Marxist prose, we have to impregnate this old, harmful society with a new, humanistic one. Babies don’t kill their mothers, but with enough caring they do outlast and replace them.

This post is a continuation/conclusion of Strikes r Out

The Mental Collapsing into the Detrimental: Civilization’s Abuse of Memory

I want to focus this post around what is happening (and what is not happening) for your brain a la civilization, to tease out the profound subtle effects on the human experience of the world. To be sure, it would be wrong to equate subtle effects with small effects when discussing the human experience of the world. Noticeably large effects/complaints of modern society, such as too much pavement, too much time being demanded by employment, too many advanced weapons, not enough sleep, too many diploma mills, too many abbreviations, “etc.”, are arguably less detri-mental than what is happening inside our craniums. As normal as these noticeable (and bland) phenomena have become, it’s the subtle structures of our brain that are more fragile to the totality of civilization—or civilization’s lack of a totality—that need consideration.

Learned helplessness? “It’s not like it hurts,” is what a teacher might say to reason with a student who is refusing to read a textbook, or write down some notes. Such mental “activities” as reading and writing, computing math problems, searching analytically for patterns using the tools of human reason and logic, might be painful to the youth who haven’t yet numbed their instincts in favor of the platitudinal thinking heralded by civilization; pain can perhaps be translated as depression, a phenomenon occurring at an alarming rate for youth. Small pains are always manifesting themselves, but are we ever learning from the pain, or just learning to ignore it? The pain of the daily annoyances, the daily headaches (literally), and the daily drudgery—whether at the student level, the cubicle level, or the factory level—can point us to a much deeper issue: what is the purpose of memory, and are we using memory in the way it was evolved to be used? Is memory a repository for factoids, a static hard drive to park hoards of separate data bits? Based on the function (and dysfunction) of memory in the modern age, I would argue in earnest it is not. The fact that we require hard drives external from our brains is not only evidence that we have too many particulates in our world, but also that we are using our memory in a way (to track and categorize particulates) that it was never evolved to do.

We have come to a situation where we have simultaneously overburdened and underburdened the memory regions of our brain, just as we have analogously done with our digestive systems—we are eating far too many vegetable fats and grain based products soaked in pesticides and far too few game meats and pre-agricultural vegetable and fruit. Homo sapiens and our cousins in the homo genus have historically most always been migratory wanderers, and so it would make sense that our memories would be optimized for and crave such adventurous, changing circumstances that would beset a prehistorical nomad. Nowadays, our brains are not being fed the stimuli they evolved to be fed. They still work of course, but not in the optimum, which is why we never quite feel at our best. The exception being those fleeting moments when something—like a fragrance on the breeze—hits us and grounds us in a place where we feel so much more alive.

In memory of muscles. Our bodies are built to migrate through a constantly renewing cycle of different fauna at different seasons that brings us truly into the present, where there is no anxiety to escape, no anxiety to doubt whether or not we are supposed to be there. Our brain is merely one of many essential body parts in the conscious travel of our bodies through the diverse landscapes. These days, we so frequently turn/sprain our ankles not because of a random poorly placed hole on the landscape, but because there are so few bumps in a road, paved smooth for the benefit of machines, not necessarily to the benefit of the human body. New technologies aren’t progressing us, they are being applied to keep the context exactly the same, which is why our bodies atrophy. Even though it might serve as a remedy, think about how dire the situation is that treadmills exist—machines that keep you keep you moving but not going anywhere. That’s not wind you feel when you are on the conveyor belt, it’s Sisyphus trying to smack you for your unwitting mockery.

The ideas of stagnant property—of staying put, of living within a limited range—have become so normalized, so disablingly comfortable, that roaming is both impractical and dangerous. We are so far from following the seasons, of maneuvering to stay in the spring and summer, and instead are stuck in a place of just accepting and enduring the fall and winter. We have taken the passive role, of letting change happen to us and then reacting, rather than being the agents of our own change.

I want to here postulate the following statement that seems intuitively possible, but I cannot find a rationale—maybe its lack of rationality that makes it true for life—to fully ground it:

Memory is typically viewed as existing for recalling the past, but its real potency is when it is fully activated in the present through activation of the senses available to the (human) animal.

In other words, memory is fully existing in the present without distracting/taking-us-away from the present. An example of this might be when a fresh breeze hits your nose through an ascending grove, and the smell and degree of moisture hints at a new fauna’s choosing to flower; you make your way through the brush towards the flower, avoiding the thorny bushes without looking at them, none of this activity requiring a pause to ponder questions like “where did I feel this before?” Memory in its full form asks and answers for you, not serving to distract the larger body in which it’s embedded.



The Abuse (misuse) of Memory: Addendum

So I was originally going to title this whole post merely “the abuse of memory”, and I was going to have a secondary meaning to the title being related to the following picture, but then I changed the title, though I still feel that this is the right place for my commentary on the Armenian Genocide:

0506151655a

So, this post could have been framed in such a way to be critical of cultural efforts to use what happened in the past to mobilize people via guilt/anger to do some bidding in the present or future. Using and reminding people to access their cultural memory in order to squeeze funds out of them or their efforts, or even just their recognition in which they may bask. I’m not sure I want to fully levy these criticisms on this church’s efforts to raise awareness of the 100 year anniversary of the genocide, but I do feel there is something that smacks of marketing and propaganda, though I just can’t quite get at what it is.

A Zone 4 Earth: A Permaculture Approach To Create Primitivists’ Utopian Paradeisos

From Propaganda of the Deed to Propagation of the Seed

A core principle of conduct embraced by many anarchists is the notion of direct actionhumans engaging directly in political or social acts without seeking recourse through a diluted, indirect pathway. Indirect actions could be categorized as those commonplace processes most of us partake in daily in modern industrial society, where we employ cadres of “middle men” to get our needs met, even at the expense of living in an alienated and hierarchical world.

Where and how we get our food is a realm fertile for direct action that has far too often been overlooked, and the more human efforts are put directly into getting our food in nature—something an anarcho-primitivist strives for—the less need and the less desire we will have to separate ourselves from the natural processes by using modern machinery and agriculture techniques that keep us out of the loop, ultimately keeping nature out of the loop too. Permaculture offers the surest bridges to allow humanity to cross from a concrete and machine besieged existence back into a thriving symbiotic connection to the rest of the living world. The paradeisos—the plentiful, self-perpetuating lush groves of our dreams—can be realized as actual places that we can stumble upon for a filling meal in our recapturing of the nomadic way of life. Our nomadic sensibilities are not irretrievably lost, but we may need to piece together a different game trail to migrate forward, back in time.

Seven Billion Nomads?

An anarcho-primitivist professing the wonders (and wanders) of a nomadic lifestyle might from time to time encounter a stickler who responds: “but there wouldn’t be enough food to support the seven billion humans; do you really think we should allow a mass die-off?” This is an uncomfortable corner for such an anarchist to be painted into—especially if it’s by other anarchists—and it’s a corner where (mental) starvation will eventually occur and a primitivist may quit on the fertile, migratory utopia. Permaculture heroically shines light into the dark forest, growing multifarious roots out of such a trap, the wise path being a generally “zone 4” approach.

It would take far too long, in terms of human lives (and billions of human deaths), to wait for the succession of the modern monocultured forests back to the dynamic, efficient, high yielding places of yesteryear. Anyways, it’s doubtful the succession would privilege human’s food needs, i.e. humans, nor the bottleneck of species they have domesticated for food, could have had the evolutionary time or pressure to be fully equipped with all the appropriate digestive enzymes to enter into a diverse ecosystem and gain nourishment from thousands of different plants. The zone 5 mentality of letting nature do it’s thing must be dropped, and the zone 4 mentality of changing nature in analogous ways to fit human needs must be adopted. Here is a non-exhaustive list of permaculture ideas that primitivists can become familiar with and possibly implement in even a “guerilla gardening” fashion, depending on their accesses to land:

– Since forests are such masters of the hydrologic cycle, turning non-forested land—such as grasslands, deserts, and abused agriculture lands—into diverse food forests would prove the most immediately beneficial for producing a surge in available biomass fit for human consumption.

– Start figuring out foods that can be wildcrafted, “eating the weeds”, and introducing them to the palates of others as well as your own; once someone realizes they can eat lettuces growing wild in the forest, their lenses are changed and they start considering what else they can eat (bark? berries? bugs?).

– Sabotaging trees that are low in what they provide the ecosystem, and favoring and seeding trees that are much more beneficial to human needs and the ecosystem as a whole; this is especially relevant to our monocultured forests that are daily wasting the energy potential granted from the sun.

– I had other ideas when I conceived of this post, but they are currently unavailable; when they occur to me, I will edit them in.

The Lost Decades

I can’t say I exactly like the decade thinking, for analytic reasons—such as “why can’t 1987-1997 be its own decade just because of counting arbitrarities?”—and also for all the people who don’t want to identify or be identified by a decade in which they “came of age”, as if it is incumbent upon them to defend the decade they were unfreely thrown into.

However, my main point in bringing up decades is not to attack or defend them, but as their current status has jeopardized “decade-thinking” to becoming extinct. The 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s all have adjectives that can be attached to them, and people are ready and willing to attach those adjectives and reminisce and possibly even be nostalgic. The “00s” or 2000s—whatever people are calling (or not calling) them—are the years in which new bottoms are being reached in terms of culture.

There is something so void, so empty, about these series of years, that nobody—even among the youth who should have had feelings towards these years—is able to meaningfully speak of these years and lift the fog. To me, what is most blaring about the “00s” is the rising numbers of unhealthy youth, including both psychologically and physiologically, if the two should even be acknowledged as separate. And I think it would be completely wrong to attribute any blame to those youngsters who are now suffering with these ailments, because of previous poor choices—on both a cultural and personal wide scale. There is something that those lost in the previous decades have failed to pay forward, and these lost years are the result. Since it was not paid forward—the self-absorbed baby boomer generation are gluttonously feasting upon whatever resources come their way, dare anyone thoughtfully save them for the future—it is up to the youth to take back. They have the moral high ground, for the earth is their home for the longest, and they should not look up to their elders for wisdom, but look down upon them as fallen usurpers who need to be managed for damage control purposes.

(for example, every day that the bridges and tunnels into New York could be blockaded, or the electricity cut to this city and other imperial headquarters like it, is a day in the right direction and a day that healing can occur… we have to stop thinking of these as places of productivity and realize that they are one major link in a process of global destruction and decay)

Petroleum Walking: Separate Yourself From the Wheat and the Chaff

cherry blossom fest

I was looking at crowds of people in the park, making the best of a colder than ideal sunday, and couldn’t help but think about how ephemeral and dependent this whole situation was on fossil fuels. Rightly so, most people were being in the moment, but many of the preceding moments (decades and centuries) contained lots of “ungrounded” activities focused on combing the earth for more and more stores of natural resources, the current rage being fossil fuels, most especially oil.

Oil is how we drive, but because of the amount of oil being used to grow our food and in some cases heat our homes, it is how we walk. The oil can be traced in our bodies and blood, and is energizing (or enervating) our motion. As far as oil in food, we have “cleaner” petroleum free options, and for meat we too have organic as well as grass fed, but what is the grass fed itself? In so many industrial and residential practices, grass is fed petrol chemicals as if its been thirsty for millions of years when nature sans humans wasn’t providing it. What percentage of all of our bodies is petroleum byproduct? I have taken on a fairly strict paleo-ketogenic (bulletproof-esque) diet for the past few months, but I don’t delude myself into thinking that I am close to petrol free.

In contrast to a paleo diet, I’d like to mention the staple (funny, staples keep things stuck) crop of wheat, which because of its inefficient nutrient density and nutrient uptake, is very dependent on direct and indirect petroleum inputs for maintenance to keep the fields in a constant state of imbalance, relative to nature’s corrective yearnings. Wheat is destructive to the human species, more so now because of the partially petroleum laced chemical, glyphosate, now sprayed on the wheat before harvesting. But even before these additional petrol perils, western culture has survived despite eating wheat, not because of eating wheat (sorry Kropotkin, you didn’t know, but maybe we should change this title… or maybe its appropriate in the negative sense of bread). Whether you have problems with gluten or not, its best to separate yourself from both the wheat and the chaff.

So, back to the picture above, we can say that the people themselves wouldn’t be the same if petroleum wasn’t a part of our world. Certainly the dress would be different, more earthly perhaps (definitely no nylon), and they would on average be substantially healthier, despite whatever petroleum dependent medical advances might have to offer.

Would there be less people, in this colder climate, if fossil fuels weren’t there to support their needs? There would certainly be fewer people if there was a reversion to agriculture as it was practiced in the pre-industrial revolution era, with its obviously poor understanding of how to produce the lushest high quantity and quality yield on a given piece of land… permaculture excels at considering the needs of the land to be the most versatile and productive. If these permaculture principles were the mainstay of our agricultural practices (and we were “oil sans”, opposed to Canada), the densely populated state of New Jersey could be as populated or even moreso, with a lot more (meaningful) employment, and less commuting across the Hudson River to the hollow “shelled out” city of New York.