Sorry, this entry is only available in Dutch.
Deal or No Deal
Cunning as foxes,
In a hen house.
There’s a ruse going on. It’s part of what makes the plot so exciting, fascinating,
And the ruse is not so elaborate. It’s simple:
Flash a light in their faces while you round them up for labour. Keep them distracted
while you steal the land out from underneath them. Justify the acquisition in a foreign
dialect. Take by stealth, not siege, capture the people intact and have them do your
work. Sabotage those who resist, kill ‘em if you have to.
It’s in the killing where things get really interesting.
“The terrible thing that the Party had done was to persuade you that mere impulses,
mere feelings, were of no account, while at the same time robbing you of all power
over the material world.”
– George Orwell, 1984
“When you close your heart, then you close your mind.”
– Michael Jackson, Man in the Mirror.
Let’s not give anyone credit they don’t deserve. You can’t give it all to the guys in the boardroom. But you can
bet your bottom dollar that there are boardrooms inhabited by obscenely wealthy collectives who play the
wacky game of planning grand destinies for us all. Deluded as they may be; they have the best analysts
money can buy, pinpointing, isolating and exacerbating our weaknesses—projecting them into the future,
using them to pin us to the butcher board. They may not have created this turbulent state that we have
arrived in (we did all the work), but they are most certainly diabolically clever in maintaining, fuelling and
plotting elements within our demise. Yes they have conspired against the many. It’s not personal; they’re
doing it for the money. Perhaps we all would do the same in the same situation. But we’re not.
Money is turf and most people don’t have any. We’ve allowed it to be syphoned off dollar by dollar, inch by
inch, and now it’s gone.
There are very few free spaces left, absent any doublethink. This is analogous with very little freedom.
Almost everything comes under deed and title. You can’t sleep if you don’t own the land beneath you, unless
you’re paying. We labour as individuals to produce offerings to the banks and landowners, in exchange for
permission to live in territories which do not belong to us. Failure to produce offerings will result in eviction
from our borrowed territory. Failure to comply with eviction will result in weaponised extraction and
incarceration. The best we can do is come up with our offerings.
Our territories do not belong to us, and whatever game is being played on top of them is not of our design.
We simply go along with it all in the hopes that we can stay safe and live. But many can’t stay safe, because
there is no safe place for them to be. Industrialised human trafficking is one such example. It is the
exploitation of an ecological niche, perhaps cultivating itself within the near on complete disenfranchisement
of the masses. It is in the homogenisation of landscapes. It is in the lack of alternatives.
How did we let everything slip out of our hands, and how can we get it back?
Our governments no longer belong to us, because we can’t afford to influence them…the money elite have
been more than willing to subsidise funding/influence—implanting whoever they choose; openly knocking
off any elected members of parliament who mistakenly think they have a job to represent the common good
of people. Local councils can just shut their pie holes as far as corporate planning is concerned. You don’t
want high rises? Have some high rises. You don’t want uniformed gunmen patrolling your trains? Here’s
gunmen. Worried about your kids stabbing people? There are companies already taking care of building
more places to lock them up. Every critical issue is another money making opportunity so long the problems
stay chronic. And that is the point.
We have managed to get here precisely by ignoring our emotions—those perfectly tuned environmental
indicators that have been screaming at us all along: Wrong way, go back. Understandably, because the robber
barrens have wasted no time co-opting science, as they did religion—in order to induce us to understand that
our feelings are feeble—inducing us to ignore and drug them.
Feelings have no credible traction, only the scientific method may permeate our wisdom, and then—only
once it has been bastardised by corporate self interest. Peer reviewed emotion doesn’t mean shit, nor the
logic and reason it took to get you there. It doesn’t matter what you feel if you can’t buy the qualifications to
feel it. It doesn’t even matter what your science says if it isn’t paid for by the companies who orchestrate the
* * *
‘Globalisation’ has emerged as an ideological destiny, where all creatures shall come under the one physical
territory, dictated by economic policy, guarded by lunatics. Many obscenely wealthy lunatics no doubt suffer
delusions of grandeur—if you want to have a profound effect on the world, destruction is the quickest route,
and plenty of people will pay you. It takes so much more thought, care and effort to do something beautiful.
Our corporate dictators are not friendly—liberated as they are from any sense of guilt or empathy—they are
genuine psychopaths. They have created a psychopathic system in their image, which pays itself to destroy
things—so it should be no surprise then that good things are being ruined.
We have monetised destruction, and critically failed to effectively monetise creation. Our systems produce
money so that a person can chop down a tree but not to protect it. Our systems produce the funds to pay a
person to rape a child but not to parent him. A person has no soil upon which to protect children and trees,
but they are welcome to the temporary illusion, so long as they continue to provide their offerings.
Any persons volunteering outside of our corrupt money systems are by that very virtue—denied territory.
Without wages, any who gain territory will have to do so with social capital, and by creating autonomous
communities in which to float that capital…seizing land upon which to exist. Autonomous communities are
not welcome in the territory, seeking as they do, self governance. These communities are easily monitored
and dispatched of by intelligence agencies. Those that remain are in the process of being dismantled. Others
are in the process of putting themselves together, because liberty is an idea, and ideas never die.
People must come to understand that no central leadership is actually protecting them—in fact those who
they have elected to lead and protect them, are funnelling them into profit. The borders have all shifted and
we are no longer dealing with criminal networks hiding behind countries and flags, but criminal networks
hiding behind companies and logos. Our media, courts, police, armies, intelligence agencies and government
have all been co-opted as enforcers.
There is no room for civic representation in the new deal. In the new territory, the civic majority is overtly
irrelevant—except as a working colony. The work is of utmost importance. Nothing else matters. Whatever
the work is, it doesn’t matter. Just so long as people are doing it and giving up their offerings. The
spectacularly inane is rigorously promoted as a substitute for civil responsibility.
We are the sum total of all the numbers we have laboured to produce, we are the lonely remainder of the
scant few numbers having thus far escaped their inevitable theft and relocation into off shore tax havens.
They are the last numbers standing.
The accumulative effect of all this work is the literal meltdown of all the natural systems upon which we
depend for survival. Climate instability is only the beginning. Our leaders have no intention to get us out of
here. They are not leading us at all. They are insane, or they’re just trying to stay safe and fed, like the rest of
us, just going along with it.
People will first come to grips with the necessity to lead and protect themselves, before they embark on an
intrepid yet essential journey towards social sanity and independence. They will allow themselves to feel and
they will feel shit, and then they will do something about it.
Any centralised uprising could swiftly deliver us into fascism, so it’s not highly recommended. When we
refuse to subjugate ourselves, those who have the weapons will make it clear for us that we have already
completed the job. The services for imprisoning ourselves are no longer needed—the fences are erect. We’ll
have to leave the way we came and we didn’t get here overnight. It’s going to take time.
How did we get here? Deals. Zillions and zillions of deals. How will we get out? Deals. Better deals.
Start now. Let every deal you make—count. Let every deal take yourself and someone else one step closer to
dignity. Whether that means putting $75 into Grameen Bank instead of using it to pay for dark sex—do it.
Whether it means claiming at least the territory of your own bed—refrain from sticking the tyranny
in—make love! Whether it means going into the brothel to get your girlfriend out and having your head
beaten in with an iron bar. Whatever it takes.
Whether it’s caring for chickens and getting to know them, sharing eggs. Whether it’s blowing up TVs or
choosing a search engine that doesn’t leave cookies. If it’s annexing and cultivating land, or harvesting your
own electricity… Whether it’s teaching your daughters and sons self defence, if it’s teaching children what
heroes are, whatever it is—do it. Use your imagination. Centre your imagination in honour. Start now. Create
safer spaces around you. Set out on a hero’s path in pursuit of freedom. Trust that you will influence others
to make better transactions.
Zillions and zillions of transactions.
(Nederlands) My name is Martin Malec and I am preparing a case study of Plukrijp as part of my Graduate thesis in Psychology and Sustainability. I do mostly in-depth interviews with people at Plukrijp and former visitors targeted at the informal education process that occurs at Plukrijp. I would like to obtain also some screening data about more of its former visitors from a questionnaire. I thank you in advance for your participation in it. You can also ask for an interview if you wish. You will find more information including contact to me in the bottom of the questionnaire.
A questionnaire about your stay at Plukrijp
Should take around 10 – 30 min. to finish
Brief introduction: My name is Martin Malec and I am preparing a case study of Plukrijp as part of my Graduate thesis in Psychology and Sustainability. I do mostly in-depth interviews with people at Plukrijp and former visitors targeted at the informal education process that occurs at Plukrijp. I would like to obtain also some screening data about more of its former visitors from a questionnaire. I thank you in advance for your participation in it. You can also ask for an interview if you wish. You will find more information including contact to me in the bottom of the questionnaire.
If possible, prefer using this Google Form that contains the same questions. Thanks!
To our ripe pluckers
Happy new year
Send us infos re what you lived in 2012, please
Who, what, how, where, when ?
One page ? One image ?
We turn it into a booklet
We send it around to everybody
What are your intentions for 2013 ?
See you soon
Here or wherever
We can only share nature’s abundance
Hello, my name is Jordi Tutusaus, from Barcleona.
I’v been a helpxer and wwoofer for the last two years…
During that time I wrote many songs inspired by livings and nature,
I also wrote a book, it is called Natural Songs
And now it’s time to share it with the world
I created a video with the best images I filmed around the world, i used them to explain the message of my project, concept…
Here is the video:
While some people were taking advantage of the recent three-day weekend to hit the ski slopes or enjoy some time away from the demands of the classroom or the office, our volunteers were hard at work. On President’s Day, our urban farm in San Francisco was packed with folks eager to get their hands dirty. And they did, in fact, get dirty.
Some people spent hours ankle-deep in mud, working on the native plant restoration in our stream bed and pond. Other volunteers were in the orchard, pushing heavy loads of manure up the hillside to fertilize our fruit trees. A few spent their time carefully weeding the medicinal herb garden. At the end of the afternoon we did a collective harvest — just as we always do at the end of our community workdays at Alemany Farm — and then split up a winter bounty of cabbages, beets, turnips, collards, kale and chard.
The excitement for all things having to do with sustainable agriculture is old news by now. In North Carolina, the New York Times reported last year, a phenomenon called “crop mobs” has sprouted up: willing workers converge on a farm and spend a day hammering out major projects; evidence, according to one organizer, of the momentum of the “young-farmer movement.” The number of farmers’ markets in the United States continues to grow, and now stands at 6,000, up 16 percent from a year ago. Micro farms have sprouted in the poorer sections of Detroit, North Philadelphia, Brooklyn and West Oakland as communities dig up ways to grow local jobs and good food. As I’m sure you’ve heard, even the White House has an organic vegetable garden.
In a recent online column, Time‘s environment correspondent, Brian Walsh, summed up the strength of the sustainable food movement: “What’s amazing is how quickly the food movement has become a measurable force in American society. … Even the Department of Agriculture — usually a staunch ally of mainstream farming and the distributor each year of billions in often wasteful agricultural subsidies — has gotten into the sustainability game with its ‘Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food’ program, which connects consumers with local producers.”
But if the contours of this budding sustainable food movement have been well charted, the roots (if you will) haven’t been examined as closely. What, exactly, is spurring the trend? Why are so many people hungry to get closer to their food and meet their farmers? Why the fresh emphasis on food miles, production methods, animal welfare? Why are more people interested in starting their own gardens, or joining existing ones through volunteering? Or, as I’ve often wondered, what makes someone think shoveling horseshit is fun?
These questions aren’t just an academic concern for foodies and farmers. If the sustainable food trend is, in fact, the most vibrant and appealing element of the larger environmental movement, then the answers have profound implications for the broader effort to create an ecologically sound society. The success of the sustainable food movement — if it can be replicated and expanded — opens a path to enlisting many more Americans in the effort for a green economy. Good food politics could be a key to open up other environmental changes. The trick is how to translate popularity into real policy achievements.
The most obvious explanation for the growth of the sustainable food movement is, well, the food. Simply put, it tastes good. Ripeness sizzles — and it sells, offering a kind of gateway drug into the virtues of food produced with more natural methods. I’ve always thought the best recruiter for organic food is a locally grown tomato. Compared to an out-of-season, rock-hard, pale pink tomato, a tomato from your backyard or local farmers’ market is so clearly superior in taste that it proves the lie of industrial agriculture. The abundance and convenience promised by conventional foods are shown to be a swindle. The difference in quality is so obvious that, having tasted real, whole foods, it’s hard for people to go back to eating the ordinary.
There are, I think, other explanations for the power of the sustainable food movement. For backyard gardeners and the volunteers I’ve worked with at Alemany Farm, a big attractant is enjoying the reward of work well done. Compared to the often-abstract tasks of our information and service economy, growing some of your own food provides a tangible sense of accomplishment. The work is visceral, the spoils edible. “The work that people do — it changes the farm from week to week,” Heather Davis, a regular Alemany Farm volunteer, has said to me. “You can really see the effect, you can see the harvest.”
A sense of community spirit also acts as a lure. According to one study, on average a farmers’ market shopper engages in 10 times as many conversations as a shopper at a supermarket. Suddenly, the weekly grocery trip goes from being a chore to an exercise in relationship-building; in shopping, you get to hang out with your friends. A similar community vibe animates the enthusiasm of the young people flocking to the crop mobs. As another Alemany Farm volunteer, Sally Smyth, put it to me: “I like that I am meeting people at the farm that I don’t meet in other aspects of my life. …There is a shared common ground in terms of doing work and being useful.”
It feels good to be part of a shared task. It feels good. Therein lies the central reason for sustainable food’s appeal. A trend has transcended into a movement because it involves a clear improvement in quality of life. A home-cooked meal made from local, organic ingredients is simply better than fast-food take-out. It’s also a clear benefit to air quality, water quality, lower greenhouse gas emissions, soil health and human health. It is, in the words of Chez Panisse founder Alice Waters, “a delicious revolution.”
If the larger environmental movement wants to reach more people and fulfill its political aspirations, it needs to internalize some of this mindset. For too long, environmentalists have been viewed as self-righteous killjoys demanding that everyone overhaul their wasteful habits. In a country where the mere mention of sacrifice is a kind of political third rail, this is hardly an image destined for success. To reverse that stereotype, greens should focus on convincing people that transitioning to a sustainable economy will make their daily lives better. Call it eco-hedonism. It’s time for the pleasure principle to become one of the organizing principles of environmental advocacy.
Because it’s such an intimate part of our existence, food is the natural starting point. But the pleasure principle can easily be translated into other environmental priorities. Transportation and urban planning is a good example. The average American spends 34 hours a year stuck in traffic jams, and in some cities such as Los Angeles and Washington, the number is as high as 70 hours a year. Not only is this a waste of gas and human productivity, it’s also a major contributor to a person’s stress; local traffic congestion is a significant factor in how people rate the quality of life in their community.
Building (or, as the case may be, rebuilding) our mass transit networks and discouraging sprawling housing development can also be promoted through the pleasure principle. Yes, this would meet environmentalists’ goals of reducing petroleum use and air pollution. But to sell it to the public, greens are better off highlighting the quality of life improvements of walkable communities that foster community. The virtues of such a livability agenda are already obvious to many people, regardless of political affiliation. In the last election, voters approved more than three quarters of ballot measures involving mass transit — including in deep-red states like Georgia and South Carolina. Even in crazy-conservative Phoenix, the new light rail system has been a huge hit, far exceeding ridership expectations.
Expanding the green spaces available for outdoor recreation is another avenue for using the pleasure principle to advance environmental priorities. As with food, it’s already working. In mid-February, President Obama launched “America’s Great Outdoors initiative,” a plan to double federal spending on conservation efforts and the creation of new urban parks. When it unveiled the plan, the White House was careful to put as much attention on the recreation part of the agenda as on its conservation elements. This dovetails nicely with Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign, even as it meets up with the grassroots efforts of the Children & Nature Network, a coalition of parents and educators dedicated to getting kids outdoors. While the new federal initiative meets green’s longstanding agenda of habitat conservation and wilderness preservation, it does so through a mainstream appeal that families and communities are healthier — will feel better — if they have room to be outside. The “environment,” in these terms, becomes a playground.
The pleasure principle can even be extended to the effort to build a renewable energy system. The asthma and lung disease caused by coal-fired power plants certainly don’t feel good to anyone. There’s also an aesthetic case to be made for new clean energy infrastructure. A ridgeline of windmills is less intrusive to the landscape than a ridge that’s been blown clean off to get at the coal underneath; rooftop solar is preferable to a natural gas well in your backyard. Once again, the transition to a green economy can be shown as an improvement in our day-to-day lives.
Of course, there are some risks to making the pleasure principle a central pillar of environmentalism. A livability agenda could all too easily devolve into mere lifestyle liberalism. Already there are complaints that the embrace of cloth shopping bags, hybrid cars and organic food has become a replacement for real political action. And eco-hedonism would be especially vulnerable to corporate greenwashing, which loves nothing more than to corrupt collective action by turning it into the individual coping mechanism of retail therapy.
There’s also the danger — and this can’t be overstated — that a livability agenda could come across as elitist, a charge already leveled against Waters’ “delicious revolution.” Aesthetes, after all, are unlikely to lead a mass movement, and ideas about what’s attractive or desirable are subject to debate. No doubt some people like the look — the power and the force — of a coal-burning power plant, or would prefer to be trapped in their cars alone rather than sitting next to strangers on a train. If some people think small is beautiful, others think it’s just puny.
That truth doesn’t diminish the potential of a livability agenda — it just makes it trickier to fulfill. If ideas about what feels “good” are subjective, well, so are values. By refocusing on the quality of life benefits of a green transition, environmentalists at least have a chance to tap into one uncontestable American value: the pursuit of happiness. It should be obvious enough by now that asking Americans to give up their comfort is something of a non-starter. Rather than keep swimming against the tide of American culture, maybe greens should go with the flow and make a full-throated case that happiness is best pursued by, yes, growing some of our own food, riding instead of driving, hiking instead of watching TV. An embrace of eco-hedonism is about showing that building an ecologically sustainable world doesn’t have to be work. Rather, it’s a form of play.
My friend and co-author Kevin Danaher has a great metaphor to explain what it’s going to take to attract the number of people needed to build the green economy. The dominant system of resource extraction and human exploitation — the gray economy — is like the Titanic after hitting the iceberg. Rather than marching around the deck with a placard reading, “This boat sucks,” we need to construct a life raft. A solar-powered, wind-powered life raft with an organic food buffet and awesome gardens for hanging out. If we can do that, we won’t have to waste our breath arguing about the metrics of the Titanic. People will eagerly jump to the green economy boat: Not only will it be a lifesaver, it will look like a much better time.
Perhaps, then, the new motto for the environmental movement should be: “If it feels good, do it … for the planet.”
Jason Mark is a co-manager at San Francisco’s Alemany Farm and the editor of the quarterly environmental magazine, Earth Island Journal. He is also a co-author of Building the Green Economy: Success Stories from the Grassroots.
What you might like to know when visiting PLUKRIJP Plukrijp is a non-profit organization that was born in February 2008. We work the land with volunteers, a mix of beginners and experts in the subject of growing vegetables. The work we do is in cooperation with nature =) so we try to do things in a logical way. This is not always easy cause mostly with human beings everyone has her own opinion or view on the situation. That’s why a big part of Plukrijp is learning to be ourselves together with others in a constructive and communicative atmosphere =) yeah Keepin’ it real Whats all the work about? A small list … veggies to start with, so that’s seeding, weeding, harvesting. Then there’s the soil to take care of which means mulching, making sure to ground is covered. This has been a challenge for us lately, and luckily while we are breaking our heads on it, nature will take its course =) After that there are things to be done around the house, mending, fixing windows, sorting out old junk (we got lots of it, all with the idea to do something with it…someday ;-), and last but definitely not least the work in and around the kitchen. We harvest what we eat, and receive bread, noodles and juices from the skip (container, products from the shop that are ment te throw away). There’s more for sure you’ll discover it all =) such as the second hand clothes department that we’re creating… we’ve got LOADS of collected clothes (some cool stuff) that need to be sorted out to give away to visitors and participants. Thanks to the Magical Hat All this is payed for in a free donation by the participants. Together with the residential family Ruymen we pay for the seeds, tools, material, dry foods, … . For WOOFERS there is the woofing agreement, which means they work and receive the basic needs in return (food, wash, sleep). Sleeping zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Sleeping happens in many places: there are caravans( famil-size & private size), tents, a communal sleeping-room housing up to 10 people comfortably (no mosquitoes!) PRACTICAL Place to be : Trommelstraat 24, 2223 Schriek 015/23.35.60 (phone) 0485/92.42.12 (mobile) Welcome ! To get there: Take the train to BOOISCHOT station. There is hitch hiking, walking or a call to Frank who just might pick you up =) or take the train to HEIST OP DEN BERG, then take bus nr°160 and get off at the stop “Bollostraat”, then you walk your feet and take the second street left, this is the Trommelstraat, your destination! or take the train to MECHELEN, then take bus nr°520 and get off at the “Langestraat”, then you walk and take the second left, this is the Trommelstraat, your destination yoohooo! You can find the time tables on www.nmbs.be and fill in departure (= vertrek in dutch) and destination (=bestemming ) Bus time scedules on the website: www.delijn.be