[Landline] Don't move!
Eye from Boredoms, Gary Snyder, R. Crumb, sleeping outdoors, Penda's Fen, and an anti-modest proposal
Landline No. 0040
Friday, September 23, 2022
Hope you and yours are doing ok, somehow. Following is a loose collection of things that’ve been knocking around the ol’ brain-pan lately over here that might be of interest/use/amusement. Let me know what kind of mileage you get.
1. BE FREE
Follow Eye: https://twitter.com/EYE_BOREDOMS
2. DON’T MOVE!
From the privately circulated Upriver/Downriver newsletter, Number 10, circa 1991…
“Things That Really Work” by Gary Snyder
Without further rhetoric or utopian scheming, I have a simple suggestion that if followed would begin to bring wilderness, farmers, people, and the economies back. That is: don’t move. Stay still. Once you find a place that feels halfway right, and it seems time, settle down with a vow not to move any more. Then, take a look at one place on earth, one circle of people, on realm of beings over time, conviviality and maintenance will improve. School boards and planning commissions will have better people on them, and larger and more widely concerned audiences will be attending. Small environmental issues will be attended to. More voters will turn out, because local issues at least make a difference, can be won—and national scale politics too might improve, with enough folks getting out there. People begin to really notice the plants, birds, stars, when they see themselves as members of a place. Not only do they begin to work the soil, they go out hiking, explore the back country or the beach, get on the Freddies’ ass for mismanaging Peoples’ land, and doing that as locals counts! Early settlers, old folks, are valued and respected, we make an effort to learn their stories and pass it on to our children, who will live here too. We look deeply back in time to the original inhabitants, and far ahead to our own descendants, in the mind of knowing a context, with its own kind of tools, boots, songs. Mainstream thinkers have overlooked it: real people stay put. And when things are coasting along ok, they can also take off and travel, there’s no delight like swapping stories downstream. Don’t Move! I’d say this really works because here on our side of the Sierra, Yuba river country, we can begin to see some fruits of a mere fifteen years’ inhabitation, it looks good.
2. THE STARS ARE YOUR BLANKET
3. DO YOUR PART
From Dirty Pictures: How an Underground Network of Nerds, Feminists, Misfits, Geniuses, Bikers, Potheads, Printers, Intellectuals, and Art School Rebels Revolutionized Art and Invented Comix by Brian Doherty (2022):
[Robert] Crumb and Aline Kominsky, and daughter Sophia, were living in Winters, California, through the 1980s, and becoming such fixtures in the rural northern California town (one getting more and more developed before their horrified eyes) that Crumb regularly drew marriage and birth announcements and party flyers for neighbors. …
Crumb labored for a few years in the early ‘80s on a local leftist farmer’s newsletter called Winds of Change, calling out agribusiness and developers, but being driven crazy, despite his own socialist bona fides, by the late-hippie humorlessness of his co-workers.
Still, the work helped him nurture his “good-boy, socially responsible side.” This galled him, but he continued, “Let’s face it, I’m a guilty liberal…. I gotta do my part to help save the fuckin’ world from the greed, ignorance and confusion which always threatens.”
4. A CAUTION
"But what good were fantasies? They merely fatigued the mind and intensified one's helplessness…" (Isaac Bashevis Singer)
5. AN ANTI-MODEST PROPOSAL
These very reasonable visionaries in south Minneapolis are “on a mission to turn the Hiawatha Golf Course into a cruising ground and food forest.” They are on twitter and have a fantastic manifesto available to read/download here:
6. THERE’S ONE HOPE FOR MAN ONLY
Always returning to Penda’s Fen, writer David Rudkin and director Alan Clarke’s 1974 film-hymn to liberation through (amongst other things) ruralism. So many great scenes and lines…
“I am nothing pure … my race is mixed, my sex is mixed, I am woman man, light with darkness, mixed! … I am mud and flame!”
“The Village is sneered at, as something petty. Petty it can be; yet it works. The scale is human, people can relate there. Man may yet in the nick of time revolt and save himself... Revolt from the monolith, come back to the Village."
And of course, this great monologue:
“One hope for Man only: that when the great concrete megacity chokes the globe from pole to pole, it shall have, bedded in some hidden crack, the sacred seed of its own disintegration and collapse. Disobedience, chaos, out of those alone can some new experiment in human living be born…”
All my best,
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