Counter Friction

“Let your life be a counter friction to stop the machine,” H.D. Thoreau wrote in “Civil Disobedience.” Or at least gum it up a bit with your sabots, right?

Of course, we’re all deeply imbedded, imbricated, enveloped in a befouling system. But we do have some choices, don’t we?

Nobody makes you order from Amazon. Nobody forces you to watch television. What keeps you on Facebook now that you know you’re nothing but cattle to them to be sold to the highest bidding Nazi or Russian autocrat?

Did you ever wonder about the transformation of the word “brand”: from a mark of ownership seared into the flesh of slaves to a willingly sported symbol of attachment to corporate identity. Not such a long jump, really, except for the smell of burnt flesh in the air, and the fact that the slaves were bound.

How about “consumption”? The word means to burn up from within; it’s an old name for the scourge of TB, a horrible wasting away. Now it’s what keeps our deranged economy going by necessitating the burning of the very planet.

Sure, unless we would prefer not to, we have to eat. Yet a huge proportion of conventional supermarkets are filled with processed junk, entire aisles of pseudo-foods.

“No” is the beginning of liberation.

6 Responses to “Counter Friction”


  1. 1 mthew October 8, 2017 at 10:23 am

    Uber’s another thing to avoid: a massively destabilizing entity around the world, treats drivers like shit, while working hard to get rid of drivers completely.

    “Convenience” is a cloak pulled over the face. We’re choking on it.

  2. 4 Paul Lamb October 9, 2017 at 4:55 am

    Thanks for the Bartleby reference.

    I’d read somewhere that our economy is not based on consumption but on frenzied consumption.

  3. 5 lisa October 9, 2017 at 5:45 am

    pretty heavy words from the birding world.
    we make our own choices every day.
    the key is not to get yourself so in debt or not to want what convention tells you you need (car, house, big city life, one significant other etc) so that you can make choices that make life more enjoyable, that don’t adversely effect others and make your life more liveable.

  4. 6 oneforestfragment October 10, 2017 at 8:38 am

    Agree with your sentiments! Just found your great blog, but “subscribe” button didn’t work. More time in the woods for me means less time to consume and sit at the computer, except to write my urban forest revival blog, oneforestfragment. Even nature bloggers need to market sometimes…

    Rosemary


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