IN THE FISH BOWL-article 1 of 2 today
Do urban dwellers consider themselves living in a fishbowl? They are living in a completely artificial environment and mostly in total view of everyone, and food is dropped in on them from a far away place. Of course, if we are being honest, even country folk are the same. They have food and gasoline shipped to them and most likely electrical power. And yet, unless you are living rurally but confined inside watching an electronic screen, at least you get out occasionally and smell reality. You are still living in an artificial setting but you at least know it. In the city, if a lawn is your only connection to nature you are in a fishbowl. In the country, you can step out of that bowl and sit on the porch and breath real air and allow your lungs a reprieve from exhaust. You are also more in the bullseye of Mother Nature, which is in fact a good thing. It keeps you attuned to your real surroundings. In the unnatural cocoon of the city you quickly forget. Sometimes getting reminded by having a board hit upside your head is unpleasant, but it beats living in a coma then being rudely awoken to a pervert humping your leg.
The one big thing that encapsulates this for me is southwesterners watering their lawn. They are so out of touch with their surroundings that they think it is perfectly natural to soak a patch of lawn, then drive by a golf course on their way to a car wash. They flush after every urination ( are we so out of touch with our bodies natural functions that a smidge of yellow tinted water offends? Evidently, yes. I live in the NOL’s house. I am a guest here. My abode awaits if ever the need arises, but in the here and now I live at another’s pleasure. The Lady of the house desires the toilet to be flushed after every use. I simply can’t do it. I can’t. I compromise and flush if her family is coming to visit, and I flush every third time or so at all times, but every single time? We live in a desert and I find it beyond offensive to waste water ). They are living in an unreality. They view Nature as completely subjugated by Man’s Ingenuity. Of course nothing could be further from the truth but they know no better. They live in the bowels of a tree in a carefully constructed nest and can’t see the trunk they are in, let alone the tree or the forest.
I’ve lived in town for two years. Prior to that I was out at the B-POD for almost seven. During the two years here I started out pedaling twice a week out to my place to deliver the ex water and food and beer and cigs ( the ex had left to go live with her daughter and while gone I had met the NOL and moved in with her. Then the ex showed back unannounced after six months and declared her intentions to resume our relationship-yeh, I had me some real doozies before-but too late! ). Luckily she wasn’t there long and so I stopped commuting out there and we just drove out there a few times a month. I got pretty spoiled. Good cooking, good lovein, central heat. Well, starting the other week I began commuting back out by bike again four days a week. I’ve started digging the hole which may or may not be a future house ( as opposed to a hovel that I have there now ). As I sit there and eat a delicious wheaten snack, I’m reminded of how quiet and peaceful it is out in the country. Plenty of birds are squawking as they have a nest atop the trailer, but that isn’t noise. Not in the sense of rude intruding sounds. That is just nature. I missed it.
And I’m reminded of how I’m now living in an artificial environment. Nevada law makes it illegal to tap into the aquifer under 100 feet. I used to think that was bull, a nod to the drilling companies who must have bribed the lawmakers. Now I view it as the same, but at least it allows trees and plants a means of survival regardless of man’s shortsighted greed in raping his environment. The city has had over a hundred years of tree planting under its belt and the place is quit green. The only issue is the number of people drawing from the deep wells, as with every other drought surrounded city the urban leaders declare growth to be a wonderful thing so as to choke the tax coffers with extra. With all this greenery, and asphalt around that, it is at times difficult to remember where we live. It doesn’t seem like a desert at all. So how are people to be expected to think about conserving water?
The generic appeal of all cities is that you get the same one no matter where you live. No city manager is going to get uncontrolled unsustainable growth if he rubs the climate into residents faces. You might as well be living in an indoor mall. That is the danger of living in the urban environment. Artificiality. You can’t survive just by factoring in natural disasters indigenous to your locale, you must also learn to live with the climate naturally. Not with petroleum and petroleum like products. Yet the city by its modern nature supplies a surreal quantity of luxuries. You forget where you are as you busy yourself wallowing in decadence. You live in climate controlled, work there as well, look out the window at trees regardless of location of natural water availability and after a time see nothing else. I’m glad I’m commuting out to the country regularly now. It’s nice to be reminded how the future will look.
I can understand the appeal of losing yourself in the artificial environment. Living in the city sucks. The noise and the people. So you pretend they don’t exist. Covering up their noise with your noise and ignoring the very sight of their blank retarded faces in your electric cocoon. The danger is that after a time you forget where you are. The immediate danger then becomes not the population but your own warped perceptions.
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