I'll get right to it for this 2011, and today's amusingly one-tensive day (1/1/11): oil prices are going up, and hence, gasoline prices are going up. The Global Recession [TM] kept a lid on things for a while, but China ain't getting any less industrial, and it needs to buy oil, and it is. So some time during this calendar year, many if not most Americans can expect to pay over $4 per gallon for gasoline... which is only the beginning, as virtually all relevant commodities-- from heating fuel and electricity, to food, to all goods that have to be trucked somewhere (that's pretty much everything), will be more expensive, during a time when national non-super-rich income is flat or declining. All I can say is... if you haven't yet started growing some of your own food and getting around by means other than your private gasoline powered vehicle... this would be an excellent year to start.
I suppose I should trot out some New Year's resolutions (I'll-- somehow-- qualify for the Boston Marathon this year, I'll write that long overdue book, I'll quit smoking... oh wait... I don't smoke...)... but my view is there's nothing magical about these annual calendar turnovers: you either live your life in a way that you find fulfilling, or, like nearly all Americans, you do not; the calendar is simply a tool for an artificial partitioning of time (kind of the way fences and other assertions of private property rights are simply a tool for an artificial partioning of space).
And so, as we come to yet another calendar turnover... there's no point in telling you about my profound disappointment with politicians, headed by my college classmate Barack Obama now-- I do that the rest of the year!
I will continue to try to live more "consciously" via this blog; I'd like this year (and the rest of my time here, however long that is) to increase my own level of consciousness, and help you increase yours, in whatever way is available to do it. That's really the best we're going to do. What we have to recognize is that the dissonance we feel from a world in which people we don't like or respect nonetheless get to tell us how to live our lives, and are increasingly aggressive in doing so... stems from a fundamental lack of consciousness on someone's part-- including our own, if we don't realize that in most cases, we can simply chose not to submit to self-defeating conformity, be it of rampant consumerism, or belief in "American exceptionalism," or belief in the integrity of politicians or even that there is any relevant difference between "the two" political parties (and we can thank The One[TM] for disabusing all of us of that one, and in world record time), and we can, at least to some extent anyway, simply "opt out," and live our own lives on our own terms.
And so, I'll try to begin (for a change) a little optimistically, in this world racked as it is by economic and environmental unsustainability, creeping totalitarianism and despair and other not nice things. We're Americans. We're not stupid: after all, we generally don't vote, and we don't like soccer. That's something, at least. Now, to use our traditional versatility and "can-do" spirit (the kind that won World War II, and built
the Pyramids the Great Wall the interstate highway system, but which has been missing for a while) to do something constructive... like... growing our own food and getting around without our own internal combustion engine...
Happy new year, everybody!