Watts-Montana Snippets #4

With acerbic wit…let me entertain you!

Keep a friendly banter kind of tone (in mind) while reading this response.

Briefly, Fred Pearce writes from a pro-civ perspective. His take on species movement focuses almost post ice-age. Having said that, his book is interesting and often he remains inconclusive. He does question the evidence on both sides. Remember he is looking from domestication to the current day and that’s why he doesn’t consider pristine to have ever existed! Thus, he concludes that biodiversity is trying its best in the face of human pollution including agriculture. I would argue he is anthropocentric in his perspective. He believes rewilding to be a waste of time as movement of species is way too overwhelming to be ‘corrected.’ Fred’s book is, in some ways, the story after “Man The Hunted.” I enjoyed the latter because of the authors’ depiction of biodiversity before human sedentism and before controlled use of fire etc.

I haven’t looked for any critiques of “An Unnatural Order.” It was while listening to Roger Yates (vegan of long standing) that I became of Mason’s book. He said it was one of the most influential books he had ever read.

E-friends/E-community is popular because people can walk away. The dynamics in online community are different to those in face-to-face relationships. People like the choice, accessibility and freedom of e-community regardless of any negatives. Where e-relationships hit a wall is with physicality and the deprivation of human senses such as touch.

What I mean by dropping-out is to drop out of, for example, conspicuous consumerism: materialism by way of making a start. It is this that feeds so much of all else, particularly in western-style economies. Learn to do without. Without is not a sacrifice. It is freeing in my experience. Do without deodorant, hairspray, household cleaning chemicals etc, the list is a very long list. I would add the car and plane trips too. Existence is now based on conspicuous consumption… Dropping-out wouldn’t happen instantaneously, it would be gradual if at all. Humans don’t need the distractions created by the current way of being. Arguably, we are over-stimulated by pointless creations which are being created to fill the created need of feeling that ‘progress’ is necessary and that it is happening due to human ingenuity.

Mutuality is such a big player in less ‘advanced’ economies where people scratch each other’s’ back because they have to! Yes, people need to remember that community can be just as suffocating. Anti-civ speaks of community as always a positive, I don’t agree. If you got the money, you don’t need to depend on community, just the services which can be purchased. Relationships in less advanced economies are not so commodified. There is freedom in having money, some would say, most would say.

Yep, read books on A.S. Neill and Summerhill. Good stuff but still part of the civilised way. Summerhill didn’t challenge civilisation, nothing like it or am I just being facetious? In fact, what did Summerhill actually change? Fuck all.

Karen Shragg believes nothing substantially positive will happen with an expanding human population. Expanding in the numbers-sense and in the consumerist-sense: that one person can consume way more than one person needs, so that one person may count as two, three, four people. Also think about how many people (how much energy) are in a gallon of fuel. Let’s say a gallon will move a car 30 miles at 50mph, how many people would be needed for that? Nothing happens without the input of energy.

You wrote, “Where do you stand on the whole native/nonnative question? On restoring wilderness ecosystems to their pre-European human past versus letting the human introduced species fight it out?” Why stop at pre-European? Where is line to be drawn, if at all? Indeedy, if it is a case of each of us choosing where that line is, then this has to be, surely, some form of egoism as egoism is about choosing how one would like things to be? Pristine is over…for now…only for now! When the sun cools, it’s all over anyway is how some people view it, so why worry!? It is what it is, right? Until, you’ve got cancer! Or until, you get THAT phone call? Until the bad news! Does it matter or doesn’t it matter? Fuck it, where’s my distraction? Phew, here it is.

You wrote, “In my opinion, she let too many folks off the hook in her Which Side interview in her underlying view that humans should not be limited by habitat with their superior ability to flex & adapt.” So, now what? What does this mean: what are the consequences of not being limited? Is Layla still an anti-civ thinker?

In regards to Peter Bauer being hypocritical, paradoxical or inconsistent, you wrote, “imo – it’s impossible for all modern humans to not be these 3 to some extent. we only have room to judge it as an extent, not as black or white, yes or no.” OK, then, Ria my darling, stop having a dig at people. Leave the likes of Jensen alone. Simple! Instead, empathise with their hypocrisy, parodoxy and inconsistency. Not so fuckin’ easy is it. Instead, your ego basically says to others, “You’re wrong pal.” Ha ha.

You wrote, “This has me thinking, where do we draw the line with consuming? My first thought is consuming within habitat is mutualistic co-existence.” Where do we draw the line on most issues is indeed the stuff that divides people. Flesh eating is mutualistic within a habitat as it was once was for humans too.

I got no goodies to share. I’ve no writings, no recorded music such as demos of times gone by from the bands in which I played guitar. I got no photographs either. I’ve thrown it all away. Likewise, I don’t usually take photographs. However, I took those of Llyn Idwal to give you an idea of where I roam/ed. I have no photographs of my dead mother. To me, it’s all clutter. Baggage. Do these people who take photos all the time actually ever look at them later? In the end the sun will cool so what’s the fuckin’ point! Ha Ha

Yes, the places I have walked became a part of me in that I continue to walk such places. I suppose much of where we have lived, whom we have known etc all become part of us. I got into mountain/hill walking through a mate who took me camping in some foothills years ago. I never knew people walked on the hills for pleasure.

Ria, what the fuck do you like about watching television??? That is one insidious contraption. Dropping-out would definitely include no more television. You and Zerzan both watch it!!! Very paradoxical. Very hypocritical. Very inconsistent. Ha Ha

You wrote, “Explain to me again why you don’t want to get your writing out there? I know, it won’t make a difference anyway, but your stuff is so entertaining, and it’s a good vent on your end, is it not? Maybe make some cool connections, it’s only human to have cool connections.Well, I’m glad I ‘entertain’ you. I suppose that’s a back-handed compliment? No my dear, it was an authentic compliment. Farting in front of people is also ‘entertaining’ but less thought provoking I would summise! Ha Ha You have answered your own question really: is John’s show entertainment or is it supposed to be provocative? Was it provocative and now it is entertainment? At least Ted K had a go to some extent. John slags off ITS and Ted for killing ‘innocents!’ Who, in the advanced economies is the innocent? We (the innocents) know the score. We (the innocents) know the cost. We (the innocents) contribute to the pollution. How many innocents do the guilty kill? What of the innocent flesh John puts in his mouth!!! Zerzan, the fuckin’ paradoxical hypocritical, inconsistent anti-civ entertainer? Who are the innocent? Who are the guilty? Come on Johnny, do tell! Enlighten me.

On with the entertainment…

“But it is a funny thought, KT & me. Don’t know which, but one of us would end up dead for sure.” Why should one end up dead? Interesting take on outcome! My way or the highway? Egoism anybody? What about your empathy for human contradiction etc? Feelin’ wound-up yet?

You wrote, “Have you ever tried to visualize any paths ‘forward’? In general and detail?” That depends on what a person desires… egoism again. I do like the community of egoists which is basically a community of like-minded people aka vegan anarchists of one sort or another. The primitive is not so pressing for me. Sure, I want a lot less technology and a lot less people but I don’t see that happening but you never know. People may well get sick, bored and tired of technology. Technology may not be able to sustain itself. Directly or indirectly, technology plays a significant part in our lives. I can certainly live without people being constantly around me. I can live without urban noise and light pollution. I can live without a fuckin’ TV ha ha

I also think a person can just be fed up with living and instead of admitting that, they slag off everything.

My vision: Yes, like you, I think I’ve also had enough of fellow Western people trying to have us  “copy” indigenous life-ways…almost as if it was a step-by-step guide! I do think the future (ha ha the irony) will be (one day) some sort of “future primitive” but not necessarily what has gone before. This will, most likely, be forced upon humans through consecutive collapse rather than us volunteering with veganism (and veganic permaculture) possibly occurring before anarchism. To which we are in some agreement as you replied with, “sadly, admittedly, sounds like the most logical prediction”

You wrote, “… you always end on a good note” I can also be like a death on New Year’s Eve! Yep, typical of me to kill the party! Ha! Doom and gloom merchants plc.

“shall we try to brainstorm a list of the most realistic effective ways we can make an impact?” This has been done over and over. People don’t want to know or, they know and don’t care. It’s hard to accept I know. But the evidence is there.

You wrote, “what would happen if humans decided to drop out, en masse?” Simple, they wouldn’t so no point in wasting time on a pointless hypothetical, right?

Controlled fire equals cooking, light after darkness, heat where it’s cold and mobility via wood (steam), coal (steam), oil, gas and nuclear. This is the extension of controlled fire. What is before us today began via controlled use of fire. It is the most significant event and it is so overwhelmingly under the radar. The wood for the trees!

You wrote, “What if he (Jensen) said cannibalism is not natural, some animals only do that under rare circumstances “ My question to you is please do tell me, what is natural? Is it all natural: that nothing can be outside of natural? Perhaps, it is what is it that is natural to you the individual? Rare circumstances is still natural though, right?

You wrote, “The more we talk about it publicly, the more these ideas are normalized, maybe even waking up some sheeple (speciesist language, naughty), and some of them will feel the emotional support needed to act?“ And what about symbolism? How do we reconcile ourselves with symbolism? Hopefully, humans will come to realise we don’t need all this stuff and the over-abundance of stimulation we have today. Hopefully, we can de-populate voluntarily but I doubt it personally. I can see dietary veganism becoming the norm. It’s all about where we each choose to draw our line, what our individual preferences are. There are possibly almost as many lines as there are opinions so how compromise is reached, how consensus is reached on a global scale, fuck knows!

You wrote, “it’s cool when writings reflect an author’s evolution. Unfortunately the only change I see him (Jensen again) making is allying with the enemy – just check out who he chose to write the reviews on the back of his book?” The enemy!!! Not exactly alliance-building language is it Ria? Not exactly forgiving of an individual’s contradictions etc is it? Lol.

So, given Jensen’s line and your line, how the fuck do people “save the planet?” I mean, I am writing about two people: you and him, who are far more versed in the multiple ‘problems’ facing life on earth today! He is not going to accept controlled use of fire or even dietary veganism as possible solutions and you are not going to accept his world view, so what happens next sweetie?

To emphasise my point on the stalemate: I wrote, “Reading Derrick Jensen and others, I sort of know what I am going to be reading. Weird really, I am about to read his work because I sort of know what will be contained between the front and back cover. So what’s the point in my reading it exactly?” “exactly indeed” was your response. What’s the point of tuning into John’s show every week?

I wrote that I have also read books by staunch capitalist enthusiasts such as Miltion Freidman’s “Capitalism and Freedom” and “Free to Choose” also Friedrich Von Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom.” Reading these books is a challenge as these people present a polemic of different sorts and, reading such people does sharpen one’s critique. How many anarchists, so-called, have read these people too? Why would an anarchist read a staunch capitalist? Perhaps to understand difference?” You responded with, “fucking boring waste of time to me.” So how do propose making any alliances? How do propose to understand others? How are you going to convince others they are on the wrong path? Is it not just as boring listening to John’s show week after week knowing exactly what will be contained in his show? Would a capitalist not read your site and think it’s that same old boring stuff proposed by the anti-consumerist/materialists types?

Maybe there are no solutions other than what will be will be?

People who live on the street have a sense of community, live a sense of community. They know each other by name. They pass on needed information. They live with very little stuff in comparison. Perhaps this community exists out of necessity to know and be known? Communities have their own oppressions too.

Pivotal book? Me? I don’t think so. I cannot draw the line for others. Through books etc, I have gotten the means by which I can articulate myself (to some extent) regarding how and what I feel. What I want is not what others want. What I want can vary also. I cannot have what I want. I understand why Ted K went his own way. It was easier for him to do it that way. He did it. He didn’t get online and pontificate forever and a day. He did it and fought those who would deny him. He drew his line when he came across a newly built road which was once “undeveloped” land. That was the last straw. His line had been crossed. Enough was enough for him. Time was of the essence. He didn’t have the time nor the inclination to discuss the issues. Did innocents die? John says yes they did. I’m not so sure. Complicit. It’s the ‘I was just following orders’ that we use. We all like the comforts of civilisation, that is those of us who are benefitting from instant fire, instant food, instant light, instant heat, transport etc. How much indigenous have turned down the use of metal? The human energy saved in using a sharp metal edge compared to a sharp stone is felt by the individual who has put their backs into preparing shelter and/or food. Technology is inviting but there is a cost. So, we have a choice. Carry on or change? It is obvious the decision (made directly or indirectly) is to continue with competition, conspicuous consumption, technology, pollution etc. We don’t want to use ourselves as the energy source.

Socrates, people are still writing books with his name referenced but does he matter? Fuck knows! I doubt he is the original critical thinker either.

Your vacant house, is it falling into disrepair? Do you check up on its condition? Does it cost you any money even though it is vacant? Do you ever plan to return and live there? How come you don’t live there?

Is Layla really frugivorous and nothing but frugivorous?

“Can we see through the hypocrisy to do something, anything, no matter how small, to make some kind of difference?” All the actions, both small and large, that you disagree with, are made by those who would argue they are, indeed, trying to make a difference…just not in the direction you want!

“…perhaps one reply would be that humans don’t intentionally bring ‘nether world’ humans into the world?” Can you claim this to be 100% accurate? Also, how many of us are living in a nether world where we are constrained, where others get to decide for us, on our behalf? Isn’t that what is known as representational democracy?

 “…but what is the point in continuing to discuss all our inconsistencies & hypocrisies…” Yes, this is a theme that keeps on making itself known to us. Perhaps because this is what really matters! Differences make so much…well, difference. This is human/Human. Hello Human, I am Human too. We are the same. We are similar. We are human. We are Human. Wait. We are not the same. We have different opinions and views. Hang on, you are in my way. You are not me. I am not you. So fuck you and your hypocrisies! So, my conclusion is… I’d rather be a loner because I have had enough… of people. Me and people will, in all probability, never agree on much so why keep on bangin’ my head against a brick wall?

For instance, Gary Francione seems like he’s on auto-script sometimes. His replies are almost word for word. I would be bored out of my head endlessly repeating myself like he does. He has enough stuff out there now where he could back away but he is relentless in what he does. Passionate or obsessive?

“What’s the point in blowing up bridges with those who could & should be allies?” Who wrote this? You did Ria!!!

Voice shouting for Ria to come to the door, “Ria, there’s someone at the door and asking for you.”

Ria says, “Ask who it is.”

Voice says, “He says his name is Derrick Jensen.”

Ria says, “Tell him to fuck off!”

“Do the benefits of civilization outweigh these situations? Do we have a natural right to continue destroying the planet for these benefits?” Natural rights? Where do natural rights come from and who has them and why and who says they have them and how can these rights be enforced and…

“This is the problem I have with permaculturists and intentional communities, etc. They don’t do this recognizing that this is just a step in the transition back to wild. Otherwise I could find it almost appetizing.” Have you ever tried to persuade them to go further mentally, in that mass industrial society could be the problem, their problem too? Do you think they believe, rather like Quinn, that mass society can exist alongside a simpler face-to-face mode of existence? Again, the intentional communities don’t like the idea of themselves each having to be the energy source and they don’t want to chance it to nature to provide either. Control, baby. We are like to be in control. Anxiety is often caused through lack of control.

I am half-way through ‘Herland’ and I’m not finding that interesting. For me, it is way too much of a novel based on imagination and not thinking. There are holes in it all over the place and I am just expected to go with it. Well, anything is possible in that case so why fuck about too much with creating problems in the first place. Why, indeed, bother writing such a book where big chasms are a must for the story to exist?

“Do you not think it’s possible to partake in civilization holding an anti-civ agenda?” I believe people do hold an anti-civ agenda and do, at the same time, partake in civilisation. Holding an agenda (having thoughts of) is different to actual behaviour. The reality is people, by and large, are still partaking in civilisation. I include myself in this. What you do is no different to many living in intentional communities. Indeed, some may be doing more than you in trying to bring about change although they are not anti-civ or primitivist. One has to declare themselves anti-civ if they believe mass industrial society is the cause of so many problems today. Many people may be anti-civ and not know it and so, I suppose, aware-raising is of use. Likewise, many people may be vegan and know it. Maybe people may be anarchist and not know it. Maybe, awareness raising also flushes out people who think they care and actually don’t!

Do you think rewilding is being commercialised? “Totally! That’s where KT & his ilk are getting all these newbies. It’s a fucking fad.” Fred Pearce is in total agreement with you on this. He also says that rewilding is actually about species management and so, is the antithesis of rewilding. I assuming eco-system and wildness are the same. Given the amount of global movement, for him, rewilding will depend on constant human interference. Arguably, he contradicts himself in that, for example, he cites Chernobyl as a place where wildness has returned: it has returned despite the pollution and it has returned because there are no humans! He also claims that Ascension Island has its eco-system due to human interference. Take your pick!

Cramped living conditions produce particular behaviours. ‘Research’ carried out in labs isn’t research in my opinion. It is sadism. How can natural/typical behaviours be observed in an unnatural/untypical environment? People will become more and more antagonist as personal space is reduced. We know how it feels already when we feel our personal space has been invaded. It is one of the reasons virtual communities are popular in my opinion: because physical personal space remains intact always. I can understand how people feel empowered online. I can see the appeal. I also understand when people claim to feel connected online. Clearly, people did not feel connected before (the internet) or at least, didn’t feel as connected as they do now. This is yet another paradox. There isn’t the physical connection. There is the mental connection. We are mentally connecting with technology more and more. Of course, this mental global connection depends on there being an interface which has to be maintained. There is also the issue of very powerful entities eavesdropping on 100% of all interactions! Control. Control.



One thought on “Watts-Montana Snippets #4

  1. There is lot of very interesting ideas in these ‘snippets’ but is hard to know who is saying which sentence. Could you add in the names so we know each side of the argument? Thanks.


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