It’s official, I am now a Bendor. Two months ago my spouse and I bought a house in Bend, Oregon, and as of today we have all of our books and other not quite so essential stuff totally within the doors. Tomorrow the web will be hooked up and the TV, but at the moment I am in the local Barnes and Noble coffee shop writing this post on my little Eee PC. Moving has been very tiring for this 75½ year old body! But now that most of the stress of moving thousands of books and tons of junk collected over the years is over, the hope is that the Easy Life will be ours to enjoy.
The people of small city Bend are amazingly friendly compared to Berkeley and the surrounding big city of San Francisco and the Bay Area. So far in Bend, unlike Berkeley, never once has a friendly hello been followed with a request for some helping hand or some sort, either money or a signature for a worthy cause followed by a request for, you guessed it, a donation. This subtler kind of panhandling is even more insidious because if you fall prey to their kindly words you will, likely as not, be requested to sign a petition, and if you go for that then they will want a little of your time, just a little. And so it goes, until you are a total pawn tied to some hirsute guru. I went the full route a couple of times, and it was sort of fun, but there went your time, attention and life.
There is a desperate need for The EarthArk Project to flourish, as it is the only realistic way to restore the Earth after the present ongoing predations have run their course. My problem is that this kind of movement requires a guru with idealistic leadership abilities and those qualities I don’t have. I am far too sceptical, and I value other people’s rights to self direction too much to try to impose my thoughts upon them, even though it is obvious that the present humanity is predating upon the rest of the species of the world to the point where there will be little left of the wild world we love. Some of us.
On our move, while driving a rental truck from our old home to our new one, we were struck by how many people were obviously on a recreational trip. There were lots of fast driving vehicles with bicycles on them. Apparently there was a racing event to which all of the ecological bike riders were driving all day to attend. The irony, or is it hypocrisy, of such behavior was apparently lost on them, but not on me. The ecology movement devolves to almost totally words, while what really changes people’s behavior is the market price of their real world choices.
Market money purchases talk louder than panhandlers and good cause solicitors.