Greetings from Calico Blackie!
Lower your expectations. Less is more. War is peace. Freedom is slavery.
I’m old enough to remember the first early 1970s gas shortage when oil company profits skyrocketed and the American consumer took it in the shorts.
Oh, we grumbled alright.
Then we paid up and went about our drone-like lives.
Different times back then? Yeah, right.
Times were tight and we were getting squeezed tighter and tighter. Soldiers were returning from Vietnam to no jobs and people were having to figure out how to make ends meet.
We were painfully aware of the 1% manufactured need to “keep up with the Joneses”, so where could we make a big cut in the budget and still come up smelling like roses?
Japanese cars sold to us through clever marketing!
Back then, we were in love with high performance big cars that guzzled gas and you just weren’t doing as well as your neighbor if you didn’t have one of those big engined screamers in your driveway.
Along came the gas shortage and we began to hear: “Those little cars get great gas mileage, they’re cheaper and besides, they’re built better than the cars built by our lazy American workers.”
AND , they’re good for the environment because they produce less emissions.
Plus, they last longer! (Notice how many “classic” 1970s Toyotas and Datsuns you see running around today?).
So, the average American began to parrot the marketers. They were able to feel good about the fact that they could no longer afford to drive a full-sized sedan.
They were able to feel great about buying cheap imported goods right up until it was time to offshore their jobs.
They used the same sayings and slogans when their neighbors came over to look at their cheap little car and watch their tiny television, and it worked.
Soon, everybody was driving Japanese cars (except for the rich people and yuppies. They stuck with Volvo, Mercedes and BMW) and berating our American workers.
We were told “Less is more” and we believed it. Never mind the fact that we were forced into economic corners and had to economize. Don’t protest.
You asked for it. You got it!
So, now there’s a new “Less is more” campaign afoot. Have you seen this?
Tiny homes hit the big city
“Hari and Karl Berzins decided to build a tiny home for their family in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains to free themselves of the financial burden of owning a large home.”
“They knew that moving two children, a dog and a cat into a 168-square foot space would be a challenge, though it would also eliminate the need for a mortgage and cut their utility costs.”
“But they didn’t expect it to completely change their lives, Hari Berzins said.”
“The savings allowed the 39-year-old mother to scale back her hours working for a nonprofit and spend more time on the family’s 3-acre hillside property in Floyd, Virginia, she said. She now has more time to pursue her passion for writing, gardening, raising chickens and, most importantly, to enjoy her kids.”
“Her husband, a chef, was able to leave a stressful restaurant and take a pay cut to work in a more creative environment.”
‘The perks go beyond saving money or having a smaller environmental footprint, though both are huge benefits, Hari Berzins said.”
“There’s also the intangible delight derived from cooking in a kitchen where everything is within arms’ reach, or eating off the beautiful china set that was locked in a cabinet when they lived in a 1,500-square foot home, she said.”
Calico Blackie says:
BULLSHIT. Cooking in a little tiny kitchen is a pain in the ass.
The article continues…….
“Living mortgage-free has given us the freedom to make decisions based on what will make us happy, not what we have to do to pay the mortgage.”
“The things we have are beautiful, enriching our tiny space. We got rid of so much and kept the beautiful things,” she said.
“Freeing ourselves from consumer debt and living mortgage-free has cleared the clutter to help us see what is truly important: our relationships, our happiness, each moment.”
“The Berzins are part of a small contingent of homeowners who have found solace living in less than 500 square feet.”
“Many of them live in homes built on trailers they can move around”
(Calico Blackie says: You know…HOMELESS!);
…….others, like the Berzins, live on property they own.
“When humans can do everything in the sheltered enclaves of our homes, we rarely venture out; we become isolated. Our small home encourages us to go outside and talk to the neighbors, go on hikes and meet people, go to coffee shops and restaurants, the library, the gym etc., etc. The list goes on.”
Calico Blackie says:
Less is more.
Great if you can afford the 20 acres of land to go with your tiny house, but what if you’re restricted to a small lot for your tiny house?
Plus, I wonder how these people will feel after being inside with the spouse, kids and pets for most of a long harsh winter in the woods?
Get the wood chipper cranking, Lou!
But, if you like this “tiny house lifestyle” by all means, go for it.
It’s a great alternative to a McMansion and it’s built better and better for the environment.
Just don’t give me the same bullshit that the buyers of Japanese cars gave me in the 70s as a justification for their lower standard of living and lowered expectations.
If you’re doing it to “stick it to the man”, then that’s great…..
But, if the real reason is:
You can’t afford the big house anymore, so you’re settling for less and convincing yourself the tiny house is GREAT, because clever marketers told you so….
Then, you’re an idiot. MAKE THE 1% SETTLE FOR LESS!
I ain’t falling for the marketing crap, and it will be interesting to see if these “tiny houses” catch on with clever marketing and big-city urban renewal projects.
Moving along to England….
Suicides In Middle-Aged Men Hit Record Numbers
“Middle-aged men are committing suicide in record numbers because they feel they cannot live up to society’s expectations, a new report has warned.”
“The Samaritans said national statistics show 3,000 men in their 30s, 40s and 50s commit suicide each year, with men from deprived areas 10 times more likely to take their own lives than those from better-off backgrounds.”
“And the experts concluded that men feel shame when they fall short of what they see is a “gold standard” of masculinity.”
“Professor Stephen Platt, report author and health policy researcher at the University of Edinburgh, said middle-aged men are the “buffer generation”, caught between their strong, silent fathers and more carefree sons.”
“And the changing labour market has destroyed their masculine identity.”
“He told Sky News: “The decline of heavy industry and manufacturing jobs has left a lot of men in a position where they don’t feel the jobs on offer – particularly service jobs – are ones they feel comfortable with.”
“They feel there is a set of expectations about how to behave.”
Calico Blackie says:
I read this quote right after reading the above article:
“historically, the traditional solution for an excess and problem male population has always been launching a war of conquest.“
I know that, and it scares me.
Don’t kill yourself just because you can’t live up to the expectations a society dominated by profit and greed has set for you.
They’re not YOUR expectations. They’re the brainchild of slick marketers.
Don’t kill yourself! CHANGE THE WORLD!
PROTEST IN SOLIDARITY WITH OTHERS WHO REFUSE TO BE DUPED.
Calico Blackie @kidakita