Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My Genius Industrial Neighbor

The neighborhood is shaping up nicely as far as residential industry goes.

The whole thing is catching on and most blocks are getting in on it. We don't care about zoning laws and no one seems to care, because they can't arrest us all! Even if they did, they know we'd just come up with our own residential jails, because we're living by the principle, "If one person [entity] is entitled to something, then we all are." I can see that residential jails would be very easy to run. Give each male prisoner a copy of Penthouse and each woman a copy of Woman's Day and they'll all be happy.

If anyone's behind in this whole industrial switchover, it's me. But because I don't know the first thing about anything, the technology stuff is a little tough for me. That's why running a jail would be right up my alley; there's very little to know. Just read them their rights, keep the right magazines, as I said, and muck out their cells every few weeks. Other than that, I can't think of a thing. Keep them stocked with chalk so they can mark the days on the wall...

But I have neighbors who must've spent their lives reading and figuring things out scientifically. It's amazing, because I always figured everyone else was stupider than me. I always think I would come out on top whatever the competition, the "Survivor" show, "Jeopardy," or "The Dating Game." But maybe not. And it could be that I just have too much reserve, whereas the other guy tends to be more of an animal. So I will be thinking of security and future viability and the other guy, not valuing his life as much, simply goes for it in the moment.

That still makes me sort of superior to the rest, because it's my genes -- if I had ever found a woman and been able to have children -- that would survive through the ages. Of course caution is a very good thing for the longevity of a species. If a species stays in its cave door and happens to have a high powered rifle and an infinite supply of ammunition, it can survive quite a while. So I don't feel so bad about myself.

But my neighbors -- intelligence brutes, I might call them -- have the edge for the moment, not thinking about their long term survival. So they're able to come up with all sorts of creative, unbelievable, scientific breakthroughs that I -- I'm ashamed to say -- haven't even got the vocabulary to describe. About the best I can do is to say it's a miracle. They've been praying, I guess, praying really hard, and so these wonderful things are happening; they're getting the resources from on high, and it's paying off dearly, so much so that, when it comes to industry, they're leaving me in the dust. Temporarily, I might add.

The guy to my south has an amazing electrical generating plant up and running. He has an ingenious system of harnessing every resource, from wind to fire to water to pedaling, and he's doing everything he can to make electricity without having to plug anything in to an electrical socket. And that's an important step, a hurdle I haven't been able to manage even theoretically. I'm scratching my head: How can you make electricity without plugging something in? It's an age-old question, "Which came first, electricity or the electrical socket?"

But my genius neighbor is definitely up and running. Another coal truck just pulled into his driveway, meaning the fires will be rising up again within the hour. There's soot everywhere and it's hard to see when he gets cranking, but if that's what it takes... And for wind power, he's got wires strung to the highest branches of his trees.

I'm even thinking he might get a wood chipper -- to grind up old trees for the reserves of wind they no doubt have. It'd be a fairly clean source of power, extracting the old wind, then burning the wood for more power, then selling the bark to dog food companies.

It's looking like I was right all along: Industry should not be left to the entrenched industrial powers. The rest of us have every right to get in on the act, and to profit.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

All The Industrial Acts Of God

With all the black smoke pouring out of my neighbor's residential tire factory, I've taken some time to think.

One, I don't especially like black smoke from industry. That was one of my biggest complaints about the monster truck tire factory on the other side of town. They have a smokestack that you can barely see, because it's always engulfed in its own output. The wind currents right through there are weird. The factory does a lot of sucking and blowing, both. So they're trying to send forth their waste smoke, yet it's consistently pulled back down and swirled around before finally saying goodbye and wafting off.

I don't care for all the smoke, but our city leaders ignorantly think more black equals more green. There's many trade-offs in this arrangement, of course. We can have all the money in the world, but if we're flat on our back in a respiratory unit -- and that's the lucky ones -- then what are we going to do with it? Plus, the neighboring communities tend to hate us, except for the ones who have lots of workers over here, and they too are captured by the almighty paycheck.

Yet I'm torn by the smoky output of my neighbor, because a lot of this residential industry push -- every man having his own industries in his own yard -- was my own idea. My own initiative. But the idea was out there for anyone to snag on to, so I shouldn't be taking all the credit. Credit? There could be other crusaders out there, fans of clean air, let's say, or opponents of industry in all its forms, who would give me the blame!

It's at that point that I would have to reassert myself. And say, I can't be blamed for all the unintended consequences of my actions. That'd be ridiculous, because then nothing would ever get done. We know that when you toss even a pebble into a pond you get tiny ripples that wash toward the shore. And at some micro level, the tiniest ripple, when it reaches the shore has some consequence. It might be the erosion of a few tiny nuggets of soil. Trivial, perhaps, but perhaps it's not so trivial to the little village of ants who've settled that shoreline. To them, they might question their faith: "Why would a good God allow this to happen?"

Then start multiplying the consequences as the rocks get bigger and pretty soon you've got people splashing around in the water. Entire villages and shorelines are being decimated. Ants, mice, and other lifeforms are suddenly out on their own and become sea urchins, with nowhere to go. Did God allow that? Did God cause that?

We've all seen the language in insurance policies, that the insurance companies are off the hook if they can demonstrate that the damage was "an act of God." And that's good, in my opinion, because anytime God causes damage, it was meant to be. Maybe we could've behaved ourselves a little more, so there's a positive push for the future. Like, let's say hurricanes are more or less a natural phenomenon in a given area. Those folks will want to behave themselves a little more so they won't get one. Because how do you think it got to be a natural phenomenon there? Bad ancestors. And you don't want something worse, like hurricanes with flooding.

If I put my garbage in the garbage can, then the wind comes along and blows it over and the garbage blows all over my neighbor's yard, that's an act of God. I couldn't foresee it and I couldn't stop it. But we could nudge this a little bit. Let's say I purposely plant a thousand acres of trees. Since we know wind comes from trees, there could be some personal liability on my part if everyone's garbage blew away. The key thing, of course, is not to plant more trees than you're going to feel comfortable paying for later.

So our industrial push goes on. The neighbor is in the right. Just because his tire factory puts forth a lot of black smoke, it's not really his fault that the black smoke doesn't stay on his property. It goes up and the wind blows it away. So that has to be one of two things: 1) Either an act of God; or, 2) The fault of some guy in the neighborhood who planted trees a long time ago.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Black Smoke Of Industry

I've complained pretty loudly in the past about the black smoke of my town's monster truck tire factory. It rolls out with force, seeming to build on itself. You frequently can see devil heads in the smoke formations, so it's something of a nasty sight.

Now I'm to blame, indirectly, for some black smoke right here in the neighborhood. It was boiling up, or billowing up, today, across the road, above the trees of the guy who lives there. It wasn't pleasant to see, but he had a good explanation for it, so I guess we'll have to let it pass.

Some of my neighbors are among my most faithful readers, and that's true about this guy. He's got his own trucking company, although truthfully he might be basically retired from it by now and someone else would be managing the affairs. But it looks like he keeps an eye on things, and probably a hand in the business. Which has to do with his interest in tires.

I was explaining to him in person one day about my idea that every man ought to be entitled to have his own industry if he wanted it. And because of the trucking company, the fact that he already owns a trucking company, he was very open to the idea. Up until a couple weeks ago, he had a normal lot and spent a lot of time grooming it. But then he decided to work up his own tire factory.

So that's cool. There's already a tire factory on our block! At least it's in the beginning stages, which, according to him requires some experimentation with rubber, looking for the right ratio of natural rubber, synthetic fibers, and various space-age polymers. I'd be the last person to know that much about making tires, although I said the other day that if I were doing it I'd definitely dissect an existing tire. Why reinvent the wheel?

But this guy went about it differently, grinding up some old truck tires from his plant in a meat grinder, then he's trying to reconstitute it all, recycling them, boiling and burning them down. That accounts for some of the smoke. Then there's other bits that are resistant to grinding, some of the parts with big road blisters and pavement cysts. You can't grind that, he says, you can only burn it.

So I looked out yesterday, and where there's normally a fairly clear sky, there were these big black plumes, complete with devil faces, coming from right there. Quite a few thoughts went through my head as to what it could be. I was about to blame it on the industrial powers, when I suddenly realized: It was my enterprising neighbor from across the road doing his part to secure industrial rights for the average man.

I went over and he explained about the cysts, blisters, and rubber tumors, which all sounded quite logical, in particular with his ability to speak a lot of scientific lingo accompanied by the appropriate gestures. Honestly, I don't like black smoke that much -- it's hard to breathe when it's around. But if it means realizing the ideals I've come to believe -- the opening up of industry for everyone -- then it's worth suffering for a while.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Industry Runs On Electricity

My big dream as a kid was to live in an all-electric home. We toured one over on the east side of town, and of course we loved the whole idea that it was all-electric.

That's been over 40 years ago, and you know what? I'll bet it's still there. I don't go up that road very often. Plus, there's been a lot of other houses built in that area over the decades, so I don't know if I'd recognize the all-electric model home now. But if I go out there and there's one that's dark during storms, that might be it.

What exactly they meant by saying "all-electric," I really don't know or remember. Most of the stuff in newer homes from then till now depends on electricity. I guess it means when you get down to the heating system, or where the washer and dryer are, that's electric too. Maybe the garage door opener.

Our own place was made before there was widespread electricity. Then they had to retrofit it to put in outlets. But they weren't dreaming very far ahead, because, like other old houses I've seen, they put in maybe one (or two at the most) outlets in a room.

Today I'm thinking of the industries I want to build on our place. And that reminds me, we're going to need a lot more outlets. I can't be running an endless accumulation of extension cords down to the house. Because I've already got more things plugged in to the wall than I can identify or safely use. And I'm spending 50 bucks a year as it is just painting over the brown spot that keeps coming from who knows where!

Industry runs on electricity. I say that like I know, but really I'm guessing. Does industry run on electricity? It probably does. I know they have some water pumping stations and a few solar panels. But getting down to it, right at the heart of the thing, somebody's plugging something in. And since industry is huge, they're probably using three pronged cords. So I'll need a few of those too.

One of my industries that -- actually a utility, which I learned from playing Monopoly -- is going to be an electrical generating unit. I just need to think of some good way to generate it, and learn how to do it. It could be something as basic as rubbing two cheese graters together. The way I understand it, any old thing, rubbing it together, keeping up a lot of repetitive movements, if you have the right cord and the right mixture of water and battery acid, you can make electricity.

The key thing, of course, is not to sit there rubbing it together, but to find some natural means of letting it rub itself. Like streaming water passing over and moving the mechanism back and forth. You attach some electrodes to the underside of it, then bring the wires up over the fan belt and plug them all in in a very particular way and you're well on your way to making electricity. If you add hops you get beer. It multitasks.

I have some reading up to do to figure out how to generate electricity, I admit it. But I'm mentally fortified for this reason: People were making electricity years ago. I've seen old books, like from the 1800s, on electricity, magnets, etc. And since we've made a lot of progress, and man has so much more intelligence now than he had then, it ought to come naturally to me. If I can just somehow patch into my native intelligence, garnered through our collective progress since the 1800s, this ought to be a piece of cake.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Pushing Back Against The Industrial Powers

As plans continue, all apace, for every man to have his own major slice of the industrial pie -- potentially a tire factory in every yard, an electrical plant on every block -- we're hearing about the inevitable push-back.

We all know there's nothing free in life, except the occasional free lunch, and when it comes to standing up to the industrial powers, that statement is twice as true. Thanks to the entrenched nature of their business, having been able to secure the whole pie, keep the whole pie, and eat the whole pie, all these years, the industrial powers aren't ready to give it up now. Their push-back is in the works.

One of the most glaring hypocritical aspects of it, of course, comes in their sudden insistence on tighter regulations. That's what I've noticed right away, with most of it being expected. If my own interests were suddenly threatened, say I'd been given massive leeway over many years and expected it to continue unimpeded, I know I'd fight back too. But I believe I'd try to keep it real.

Now that every man can have the industry of his choosing right in his yard, the potential for it being real, we're finding out what is supposedly in the heart of the industrial powers, their "great concern" for safety, standards, and "society's overall interests." Any man looking on with a jaded eye at their sudden conversion in favor of regulations would have to say, "Cry me a river!" Because, as far as I'm concerned, for one, they're a little late to that party to get their name on the dance card!

No, it's definitely push-back pure and simple. And if I may be permitted, I might say it's all a piece with their marketing schemes to this point, which has always been essentially, 'Throw everything against the wall and see what sticks.' So we've had every product from the car to the toaster, and that includes a lot of things in between, including all the variations on the chamois cloth. In short, the market's been glutted with a million and one products, and you can't tell me they've put a lot of thought into it! Or that they've had regulations seriously at the heart of their concerns!

But when they push-back against us -- every man -- what we need to do is push-back against them. And let them know, Our day has come! Saying, "You've had the field for these many years. And as far as responsibility went in your industrial pursuits, it's been a massive fail. Now it's our turn!"

No observer with his eyes open will fail to see what's going on here. And it'd be equally hard to ignore what's at stake in this struggle. It's a matter of billions and billions of dollars, perhaps more, and of course they're not going to go down easily. But we're not going to waver either. Somebody's going down.

So where do things stand as far as our prospects for having unfettered industry in our own backyard? Ultimately only time will tell. But I believe I can see ahead far enough already to know that our success is assured. It's not too early to see our success in sight, although it is equally accurate to say, and with this we will conclude, that, yes, ultimately only time will tell.

Friday, June 25, 2010

How The Industrials Bulldoze Their Way Through

When you or I try to get something done, of course it can't be done. The road is closed, the way is blocked.

You call City Hall and you can never talk to the mayor, just the underling at the front desk. But that's OK, because that's the way it should be. Keep a buffer zone. Plus, he's busy carving out a happy life for himself just beyond the veil.

Personally, I've never tried to call the mayor. But I know certain things about it, such as it can't be done. And even if you do manage to get him on the phone, it would be for about 15 seconds, till he figured out what was going on, then the phone would go dead. Really, the only way to get a mayor's undivided attention is to be a masseuse.

I've been in offices before so I know how it goes. The staff has a very 'entrenched' attitude. The desk lady has seen and heard it all. They've got down the division of labor nicely. You can't tell when their shifts begin or end, you can't tell when they're on break and when they're not, and it's all very mysterious. Yet if a total stranger showed up in my room, he'd know instantly whether I'd overslept five minutes!

One time I knew a civic agitator, a mildly crazy guy -- everything seemed to be there, just not bolted down -- and this guy the authorities couldn't stand. He went to the city and county meetings for his various causes, and right there that was his big mistake. His presence kept up pressure on everyone, but they had several built-in safety valves for this kind of problem, due to there being more of them than him (1), and (2) they had all the perks of being entrenched.

Yet the industrials don't have those same problems.

How is that? I guess it's because they take the same attitude, which is, "I've been here forever, I'm indispensable, nothing's going to get done if I am not served." Add to that their vast quantities of money used to lubricate their path and you've got some very effective obstinacy. And I could add to that even this, that they're patient enough (even detached enough) to stand back and wait, while their underlings do the hours and hours of dirty work in their stead.

What does this teach us, if we want every man to have his own industrial section in his own yard or garage? You need to have an attitude. The kind of attitude sketched out above. If you want to build a tire factory on your place, start with the presumption that you've been here forever, that you're indispensable, and all the rest. When it comes to paperwork, postpone it as long as possible. Don't fear complications. Actually, complications can be your friend, because that's what you're also up against.

We're not going to succeed in having our own industrial sections ... if ... we don't learn to bulldoze our way through, then do it!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Planning My Industrial Section

Since we now believe every man is entitled to his own industrial section -- it's only fair -- it can't happen too soon that we get it going. The time to make money is now, before every man gets his.

Before I get into it, I want to put an idea out there, more or less as a reminder to myself. I have a great idea, to be the manufacturer of vending machines for cars. Big huge vending machines where you could look at cars, then put your debit card in, or cash, and you'd drive one away. Other people have had the same idea, I know, but the biggest hang up has always been the immense amount of paperwork you need to do when you buy a car. I plan to boilerplate all that and have it on my computer, which I can then use to make quick printouts. The rest you can fill in yourself.

But if you look at the rough draft plan I have, you'll see I don't have a place for these. That might take the spot there at the north, at the bottom of the page, where I have sketched in a "Proposed Generic Industry Facility." My original thought was we would just have it set up for quick stuff, like maybe sponges one day, paperclips another, disposable diapers another, and so forth. I'd tell my workers just to get together before work and be creative, decide what you feel like making today, majority rules.

There's a couple of buildings already on the property, which I've sketched in with darker lines. These are my house and garage. Everything else has to be built around them. Because the garage can't be moved, I split my tire factory into two plants. It'll be good having the garage in the middle because I can try out the tires on my car to make sure they fit.

Probably my favorite proposal is my electricity generating plant. There's already three trees in that sector of the half acre, the two pussy willow trees and the maple. Then there's the well. So we'd immediately be set up, thanks to these, for both wind and hydro generating capabilities. There's a lot of movement in trees that we really need to harness.

I thought maybe I'd just put the whole lot into industry, but I've saved out some space for green space, calling it "The Great Lawn," with a fountain and our signage. Then there's the shrub or scrub trees off to the east. I don't mind these trees; they've always been pleasant around me and I don't have any complaints against them.

Up in the top section, at the very south of my lot, I sketched in some "Personal Space" and a place for both shipping and receiving docks. Neighbors can come and bring me goods and buy my products, and while they're browsing, I will be watching them from the personal space. I plan on guarding it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

An Industry In Every Garage

I had a real brainy idea yesterday, making an excellent point in the process: If every man can't have his own industry, why should anyone get one? The brainy idea was that, indeed, every man should have his own industry if he wants.

The way this would work, now that I've thought of it, meaning it's a little different from yesterday's description, is that every man could have the industry of his choosing in his yard or garage or wherever. Yesterday I was suggesting that maybe every man would want his own electrical generating plant, his own tire making plant, etc. Which, after further reflection, sounds ridiculous, because there wouldn't be enough room in the many individual yards for an industry of every sort. Plus, there would be no market, say, for tires, if every man had his own tire factory.

So the way my plan works today makes a little more sense. Like I said, I spent some time in further reflection, and it was after this that I refined the idea. Still, of course there's nothing about the plan that would prohibit anyone from having his own tire factory -- and a dozen of them on the block if that's what the residents of that block wanted.

But in the interest of spreading the resources around a little more, it might be good to have only one tire factory per block, then the other manufacturing concerns that would produce the goods needed for that block or section of town. So there could be a tire plant, a guy who makes chrome bumpers, another guy to make stethoscopes for doctors, another guy to make disposable diapers, etc.

I was out in the garage today looking around, wondering where I would put the various implements required either to make tires or generate electricity. Speaking for myself, I don't know much about either of those things, the processes it'd take to make one. But if I had to guess which one would be easiest to get into, it'd have to be tires. Because I could always dissect an existing tire and see how it's made, but I'd get shocked if I tried to dissect electricity, of course.

What is electricity? I'm really not sure. Sparks. It seems like it involves sparks. Plus the movement of sparks over wires. I think it's a bunch of molecules that are excited and are looking for a hot date with a cool appliance so they can release their pent up energy. How you make it precisely, that's something I don't know yet. I know I've heard of it being made by wind, coal, and water, so there must be more than one recipe, meaning it's probably quite easy once you've whipped up a batch or two. Maybe if you put a wire in your hand and sloshed some water around in the sink, you could come up with a jar full at least. Like Ben Franklin. But I'll worry about that if the whole tire factory thing doesn't pan out.

I'm really on to a great idea. But look at the irony. This whole thing started with me hating all industry and the industrial powers. I still hate them. But the irony is that I would like to multiply industry now, so that every man would have his hand in the business. That's a great idea. Because the more of us doing it, the lower the prices would be, for one. Think about it. If we had a tire factory literally on every block, no one would have to pay big bucks for a tire, because there'd be a glut anyway.

It's all very brilliant. And I'm proud that I refined my idea as I did ... after further reflection. I just concentrated very very hard, and that's what came out. An industry in every garage!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Why Can't We All Have Our Own Industrial Section?

Here's an ethical dilemma for you, say you're a supporter of the industrial powers:

Why can't we all possess our own industrial section? See how ridiculous that would be? Let's say every man wanted to own his own electric generating plant, or every man wanted to have a factory making cars, or every man wanted to have his own monster truck tire factory!

Obviously we would be overrun with industries, if every man had his own anything like that. Then the government would most certainly step in and say, 'We have to have some limits on industry, because, quite frankly, there's nowhere left in the world with all these blasted factories and generating plants!' My point would be exactly! If all of us can't have them, why should anyone be allowed to have them?

I'm a big pusher of the idea of fairness, of equality, and of "what's good for the goose." If it's good for the goose, in other words, it's good for the gander. So that cinches it.

There's nothing equal about saying this one rich guy, like Warren Buffet, can own his own electricity company, but we can't all have one. There's me and Grandma, that'd be two electricity companies right here on our little half acre. There's the neighbors to the east. And I know they have anywhere between four and 10 people who live there, so that would be four, maybe eight, maybe 10 electricity companies on their land. And so forth, as far as the eye can see, electricity plants, each churning out its own sparks, night and day.

Or let's take tires. There's companies like Firestone and Goodyear. But why should the privilege be limited to them alone? Why can't we all have our own tire factory? Again, that would make two tire factories on our half acre, then four to 10 for the neighbors to the east, then one for every other person in town, the county, the state, and the country! What are there? Something like 220 million people in the country? And in this little picture of mine, that'd be around 220 million different tire factories and 220 million different electricity generating plants. After all, fair is fair!

You say it's unrealistic? Well, many years ago it was very realistic. Once upon a time, every man could be a cobbler, a tinkerer, and a craftsman. There wasn't just one little section in town as the exclusive domain of some rich industrialist or faceless corporation. You not only knew who your neighbors were, but you went over and personally bought shoes from them, then stayed around while they bought shoes from you. And the same with everything else.

We could get back to that again if we see it as a fairer system. I'll sell you five tires, then you'll come to my place and you'll sell me five tires. Or we could just trade even up if that's what we chose to do. It's simple.

My point is not that we're all going to have our own industrial section. My point is a question, Why should these industrialists, these certain ones, get their own industrial section, while the rest of us are left sitting high and dry? We're suffering at their hands while they exploit us. But turnabout is fair play. How about we all manufactured tires? That'd take away some of their security, wouldn't it? That'd be one way of cutting some of these clowns down to size.

This is really something to think about. If we can't all have our own industrial section, why are we allowing anyone to have one?

Monday, June 21, 2010

An Uneasy Truce With The Industrialists

I'm doing my best to keep my truce with the industrial powers going, but it's an uneasy truce to say the least.

I've been getting away from it all, taking it easy, traveling the countryside trying to put this whole matter out of my mind. That's great when I'm seeing rustic barns, idyllic fields, old wagon wheels, and goats standing around innocently. It's then I can really revel in the pre-industrial age, thinking back to a bygone era, a time gone by.

But being in unfamiliar places -- surroundings that are different from my normal place -- means everything I see is new, unusual, and fresh. So occasionally, despite my best efforts not to see anything industrial, there something will be! A factory, a big manufacturing complex of some sort, or a bunch of utility grids and frameworks. That's what happened yesterday.

I literally saw an old farmer on a buggy with two horses pulling him. I was thinking, That's so rare you don't even see it on Road Bingo games. But there it was. I quick got my phone out of my pocket, did all the button punching it takes to get the camera up and ready to go, when he crossed over the interstate and out of sight, so I didn't get a picture. But it was a two horsepower rig. If he would've only had one I would've gotten the shot! Still, it did my poor, bedraggled heart good to see another guy like me who eschews the modern ways. I do drive a car, of course, so this guy shamed me to a certain extent.

That guy passed out of sight and I kept going. I entered a large city and passed through without seeing anything rustic. Drat. Instead, I saw about a million cars, each one going faster than the last. By the time I hit the city limits on the way out, they had sped up quite a bit, on average. I had my foot on the gas too, trying to keep up, cursing my luck.

Then I went on a back road, yet still a double highway, so it was relatively a back road, and slowed down to enter a different mid-size town, when what do I see over to my right? A big old industrial section that was completely new to me. But because of my truce -- and this is what makes it uneasy -- I only looked about half the time. The other half I watched the road ahead of me, hoping to see something rustic to balance it out.

In the time I was glancing over at this industrial section, I was memorizing the facets of it, including a bunch of rusty stairways, ladders, and external crawl spaces. I saw more stainless steel pipes and spigots than any industrial section could reasonably be using. Who turns them on and off? I felt some restlessness in my stomach as I imagined a careless worker failing to turn off the right spigot. There he'd be, eating a vending machine sandwich in the factory dining hall while oil and crap would be draining all down the side of the pipe, leaking into the water system.

I looked a little bit, not going for my camera because of my truce, but making a mental note of where all this stuff was in case my truce ever comes to an end. In that event, and barring any prevention of me by the industrial powers, I will definitely be out there nosing around, looking for evidence.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My Patience With The Industrialists

My truce may be succeeding perfectly, or it may be a bust. A smashing success or a complete bust. Only time will tell.

Time does tend to tell a lot. I was spending some of my "time off," my truce time, last night walking through a cemetery. I took the opportunity to reflect quite a bit on the beginning dates of people's lives, then the ending date. Many of the stones revealed both dates.

I saw a few that I couldn't understand at all, like with no dates. Just their stinking name, that's it. Making me think, If you just have a generic name and don't bother to put your dates, no one's ever going to care about you. It's like looking for your friend John Smith on Facebook. You see so many without a picture or any other information, so old John's always hiding right in plain sight!

Some stones were more up my alley, not only the beginning and ending dates exactly spelled out, but they even figured up how many days that would've given them of earthly life. And as for information, they're the son of so-and-so and the father of so-and-so, and according to the pictures in the corner, he was a carpenter who did a lot of water skiing in his spare time. Probably died on skis or in a power nailer accident.

When you have a beginning and ending date, it tells a lot about you, such as the era in which you lived. Since the world always gets progressively worse, each generation thinking that the days before it were more innocent, it pays to get it over with as soon as possible. Just walking around the graveyard, I saw very many who had the foresight to die early in time and spare themselves the guilt of more modern days.

Of course looking at the stones, with plenty of people having lived about the same amount of time as me so far, then dying, it made me start thinking about my own impending death, likely to happen within the next hundred years. It really puts everything in a context of some sort to think about your mortality, not as something simply theoretical but as something real, right under your feet.

So ... time will tell, how things will work out with this truce with the industrial powers. Like I was saying yesterday, maybe they'll reward my good faith effort by canceling a few shifts. I'd love it to see a few industries completely shut down. If they'd just tell the people, "Our company is going to do the right thing and close down, so we thank you for your service," that would be the ideal solution. If I could get a few of those as a reward for my good faith effort, I'd be happy. Not entirely, though, of course, because that would leave a lot of industry still running. And I sincerely think that most of them need to go.

We see these big places out there and it just makes you sick. Take the big smokestacks they always seem to have. I saw one yesterday. I guess they're stupid enough to think if they make the smokestack a thousand feet high that it gets rid of the smoke. But of course the smoke takes the path of least resistance, going patiently up the stack until it gets to the inevitable hole, at which point it spills out. They don't know this is going to happen? Then they put big sparkling light bulbs on the smokestack. Or maybe they paint it with red and white stripes. It's still the same thing, people! It's a source of pollution, no matter how many layers of red and white you layer it with! Sheesh!

But please, don't get me started, or my truce will never hold. As it is, just driving by the place tried my patience. I was thinking, Why couldn't this place have rewarded me for my good faith effort? But no, they were still churning away. It was along a river. The light bulbs on the stack were blinking, making a perfect reflection in the water, spoiled and deformed only by the swirling of the water. That's pollution!

Anyway, my patience can't hold forever. It might already be almost at the breaking point. Time will tell.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Crickets From The Industrial Powers

It's been 24 hours since I agreed to a self-initiated truce with the industrial powers.

In that time, much like the half hour of silence in the book of Revelation, 8:1, very little has happened. Except a little silence is nice once in a while. For me, the truce has given me some important time out, time to reflect on some of the other things in life.

I've used the 24 hours for several things. I went and got something to eat. All this time I've been taking my notepad and writing down thoughts and ideas about industry, the industrialists, the industrial section of town, and the industrial powers who run it all. Today I left the notepad home and just sat there eating. (Long John Silver's). Frankly, I didn't know what to do with my hands, except to pick up my Fish 'n' More. I looked around and noted that no one else had a notepad. So what I was doing by not writing in one was actually normal.

I watched a little TV. I tuned in the local channel to see if there was any report on my truce. Of course there wasn't. The so-called "journalists" in my town are hopeless. I've noticed there's a definite pattern: The radio station depends on the newspaper, and the newspaper depends on the radio station. They report back and forth the same news, which initially appears on one or the other ... no one knows how. Really, though, it'd seem like a major truce would warrant at least a mention. Like this, "Local Man Lets Up On Industry," then a few of the details, like where I went out to eat today.

As far as hearing from anyone, the industrial powers themselves -- who weren't shy about dog-piling on me a month or so ago -- I haven't heard a peep. It's been nothing but crickets. It seems like they'd show some kind of relief. They were demanding an apology out of me for a month or so, which they'll never get. A truce, it seems, would be at least a step in the right direction from their point of view. But there's been nothing.

So who knows? Maybe it's a positive thing, maybe not. Maybe I'll stick to it, maybe I won't. I just want to see what the next few days bring.

What would be a good faith sign from the industrial powers back at me? They could see my positive gesture, then decide to suspend all their operations. If they didn't do that completely, which would be asking a lot, maybe they could cut an entire shift. Or maybe they could close down three days a week. The silence would be welcome in my town, I'm sure of it, which hasn't had a wink of sleep in decades.

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Clean Slate For The Industrial Powers

I'm a fair person, probably the fairest person in the world. It was always that way even in school. If the ball hit the foul line, even if it was for the other team, I'd tell the truth. I'm not going to say I lived a perfect life or always did the right thing, because I know I didn't. But I had a sense of fairness somewhere in me that, once stimulated, just wouldn't quit.

I'm always dealing with the same thing today, wanting to be fair. The other obvious dimension of this trait is the general sense of unease I have, that then builds to an irritation, that then grows to an abiding annoyance, that then mounts to a feverish protestation, that then feeds on itself and becomes genuine anger, and that then fireballs and becomes the rage of a bear. I hate injustice in all its forms, from the bully taking someone's lunch money all the way up to the industrial powers making mincemeat out of the earth.

That happens and naturally I lash out. I've done that repeatedly in the last few months, so much so that my rage has become a kind of super rage, with lots of red hot aspects involving also white heat. I've spewed enough lava in the last few months to win the science fair. The landscape all around shows signs of molten rivers having flowed.

But today -- being reminded of my sense of fairness, having looked at myself nude in a full length mirror and realized that in every way I'm the full package -- I'm pulling back and taking stock. I need to reevaluate, to see if maybe my ire is justified or whether I'm simply feeding on it.

To that end, I'm declaring a temporary truce in my crusade against the industrialists and industrial powers. How this truce will go, I don't know, of course. It could very well be that something will set me off again. Or it could be that I will see things from their point of view and realize that I've been all wrong. I just don't know. It might be five minutes, five days, or five years. Then I could keep going like that, or I could suddenly erupt and try to make up for lost time.

So, starting right now, I'm declaring a clean slate for the industrial powers. They have this time right now, this respite, to show me that they're not as bad as I've said they are.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Industrialists Aren't So Big

I'm a creature of perspective, like most of us. If something is right in front of me, it's size can overwhelm me. But if I'm a hundred miles away, of course it's very small, if you could see it at all.

One thing that is critical for our perception of size -- and this is an important teaching that I believe it is necessary for everyone to get -- is our proximity to the thing in question. Just to give an example. If you have an apple pie on the table, then you stand across the room, it looks very small. But if you hold it up to your face, so close that you block out other things including your peripheral vision, and all you can see is apple pie, it looks very big.

I use this principle all the time. My mind is like a computer, or a calculator. It's able somehow, perhaps in unconscious ways, to discern whether a building is far or near. Like a lot of kids my age at the time, when I was around nine, I used to lay on Grandma and Grandpa's bed and look across the way at the school. I could clearly see the school had some size; it had to have. But being the better part of a mile away, I could fit the whole thing in their small window. That would be a small school, one that wouldn't hold even one student, if it could fit in that small window! Yet if you drove by it, being closer at this point, it was quite a bit bigger than a car window, which was about the same size as the window at the house!

I haven't forgotten the lessons of those days. I use the same truths I discerned back then today, recognizing size and distance. For me, this is something that is invaluable, like when I'm driving, so I'm not slamming on the brakes for something that's still a mile up the road. On the other hand, I don't want there to be a cow on the road 50 feet in front of me and think it's a mouse a mile away! A lot of this has to be handled by the brain right on the spot, with there being very little time to cipher it out with a calculator, a protractor, and a pair of binoculars.

My eyes, I'm happy to say, are pretty accurate. Since I've field-tested them many times, I know they're generally accurate up to a mile away. And it's not such a stretch to say they're more or less accurate for as far as I can see.

Having said all that, though, even I can be depressed by what I see, as to its size and distance away. I've been taking on industry and the industrial powers. But sometimes I lose my perspective, then I start seeing it all as bigger than it really is. A factory the size of several football fields, with big huge trains dwarfed next to it, can appear pretty big and depressing. But a lot of that, obviously, depends on how close you are to it. If you're a hundred miles away, again, you can't even see it, so that's definitely small!

Notice what I said there! I said "big huge trains dwarfed next to it [the factory]." How can something be big and huge and yet be dwarfed? Again, size in relation to something else, in this case a larger factory. But put the same train next to, say, a bag of peanuts, and you've got yourself a big huge train indeed!

These are truths that are a lot of fun to play around with, the way we perceive and judge distances, size, and relations. I might put together a show about it and visit the State Fair. I know there's a lot of little kids (themselves big compared to an ant) who could afford to learn some life lessons.

When it comes to the industrial powers, it depresses me how big, looming, and hulking they are. But if I just back up -- physically or mentally -- it all takes a different perspective, and I can see ... they're not so big ... things aren't that bad!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

No Inspiration For The Industrialists

Note: Today's post is channeled from above, i.e., it's inspired.

But there's no inspiration for the industrialists. What they do is uninspired.

The biggest proof for this, and my main point, is that everything for them, and everything from them, is second hand. And being second hand, it's second best.

The way I see it, from a point of view which is inspired, is that their ideas are stolen, in the sense that all they are doing is working with adaptations of existing products, naturally occurring shapes and things that match the same. For example, they are constantly exploiting the natural shape of, say, our hand, by making mass-produced cups that are easily accessible to the hand as it is.

One sign that this is so, again with the example of the hand and the cup, is that odd shaped or cups made in exaggerated sizes are sold in specialty shops, as novelties, being part of a niche market. So much for the cup!

What they've done with the wheel, to take another big example, keeping it the natural round shape, is criminal, in my opinion, as they have taken much benefit and profit from claiming it. Make room for the rest of us!

In short, what I'm trying to get at, is that inspiration, being the faculty of seeing past what is, then being truly creative "from who knows where" is distinctly not their gift.

Now, I've been sticking up for cobblers, tinkerers, and craftsmen. In this case I will draw a contrast between them and the industrial powers, but not a strict contrast. There are similarities. However there are also differences.

The similarities are probably obvious, that with them generally as well, form followed function. The differences were in the surprising variations that came from the lack of mass production, making each item a variation on a common pattern but nonetheless different. The industrialists standardized things, taking some of the fun of life away in the process.

But I like to see it as more subtle than just that, the thing about mass production. I'm an old romantic at heart, as well as a realist, so I think it's realistic to believe the cobblers, tinkerers, and craftsmen also found their shapes -- their circles, squares, triangles, etc., and the accouterments -- within, patterning them on inner dynamics (realities), and less on callous imitation.

One big reason for this would be the fact that, though they produced items for profit, being able to produce less in a span of time, they had less of a crass profit incentive than do the industrialists. That, in my opinion makes them better.

The old timers were truly inspired. The industrial powers of today are not inspired. For them, it's all derivative.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Widespread Anger Against Industrialists Sweeps Nation

The anger I feel against the industrialists and the industrial powers, documented at this blog over the course of the last few months, is great.

To say my anger is great is something of an understatement, because it could more accurately be called rage. Outright, total, veins popping out, neck straining, fists clenched, teeth bared, hair bristling, eyes flaming, jaw setting, red faced rage. A rage that cannot be contained or encompassed. A rage spilling out, going everywhere.

All things considered, it's hard for me to sit in my chair. I'm a raging inferno, ignited, blazing, burning out of control. It's no exaggeration to say I'm beside myself, questioning the fates, unsure of my own sense of well being, struggling to make some sense out of something that would elude anyone. What do I do next? Is my life to be given over to this struggle, to the point that I become a wasted cinder?

If the struggle is to continue, it's understandable. My anger, my rage, is something that is understandable. The issues at the heart of my struggle are serious and must be addressed. I have society's interests and the interests of the world at the center of my thoughts, taking on the industrialists and industrial powers after careful consideration of their crimes.

My anger has built, starting out a few months ago as an indefinable thing. It was piqued when I started nosing around the industrial section of my town. It was nurtured as I continued nosing around, gathering evidence of the industrial powers' crimes. It was sustained as I nosed around even further, and as the evidence mounted, the seriousness of it becoming clearer all the time. It erupted sometime after that, and perhaps became more of a conflagration the more the industrial powers responded to me, and that in an excessive way. Life and limb were threatened, and my response has been one of obstinacy.

Now, today, this minute, just writing about it has had something of a calming influence. But between sentences, in those brief spaces, my anger picks up again. And if I pause a little longer, trying to gather my thoughts as the intensity mounts, it all gets very bad again. At this very moment, pausing very briefly between the last sentence and this one, things are tamped down nicely. Then if my pause goes a little longer, as it just did, I feel my ire stirring more vehemently, so much so that even now my right hand is shaking a fist at the window, and it's all I can do to bring it back down to type the keys that involve the letters that it most typically handles.

With increasing experience dealing with this rage, I know that when I get done tonight with this post, I'll be standing, facing the industrial section of my town, shouting epithets and vowing vengeance. All this is certain.

So, that's it for tonight. My anger is widespread, it's against the industrialists, and it is sweeping the nation.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Industrial Arts -- Say What?!

I've been laboring in the pits, lo these many months, in a kind of single handed mortal combat against industrialists and the industrial powers.

It's been a thankless job in many ways, although a few of you have written in to thank me, but despite that it's also been tremendously rewarding. Really, I thought I knew it all when I first got started, but as it turned out I didn't know that much. I've been getting an education, that's for sure ... but more about that later.

Following me daily, as you have, you've been with me when I discovered certain terms, then discovered their prevalence in modern social discourse. It's been an eye-opener to hear the terms "Industrial Park," "Industrial Drive," and "Industrial Way," just to name a few. The common theme is the shameful word "Industrial" paired with something that is completely benign or good by itself. And yet I've learned, like discovering pornography the first time, this is the way of the world. It's a shame.

Now, even with all that, you still have to be prepared for what a new day might bring, what new assault there might be upon my sensibilities. Well, I heard another one today, right when I thought I had put the whole topic of the industrial section out of my mind for a few minutes, maybe an hour. Because it's really been something; this has been all I could think of, nosing around, tending to my viability, scouting out incriminating information about the industrial powers.

But today, there I was, being shown around by a guidance counselor at a university, all quite innocent, when my eye fell on a placard accompanying an historic rundown of the school. As it caught my eye, the word "Industrial" popped out -- I guess I'm simply trained at this point to see it -- and in terms of something I'd never heard before and would've never expected to see: "The Industrial Arts."

The Industrial Arts?! Is this what it has come to now, that even the arts and artists have been hijacked by the industrial powers? It's not enough that they've claimed a large section of real estate at the nasty edge of every town in the country. It's not enough that they've attached their shame to the names of streets, byways, gravel roads, trails, ways, and drives, even coupling the word with "Park," as referred to above. No, none of that is enough! Now they're taking over the arts! This I wasn't expecting, although I suppose it really is too much to ask to ask these clowns to leave something alone, something unsullied by their touch.

I felt immediately very dirty, with the university's dirty little secret exposed before me. The guidance counselor, intuitively sensing my disapproval, gave a nervous little chuckle and seemed like he was getting warm under the collar. He obviously wasn't expecting that placard to be there, on display for the general public, no more than I would expect my family to sit around the table at Thanksgiving and talk about shameful family history. We simply wouldn't ruin a family holiday with scandal. No family in its right mind would!

But instead of turning away, I looked it over. After all, I'm hardened to these things by now, even if, as I said, it came as something of a shock to me. But I let the term sink in, "The Industrial Arts." I felt like I had a piece of rotten fish on my tongue, or maybe a spoiled tomato. That's so nasty! How far we've fallen!

The guidance counselor wanted to get me away from the scene. He couldn't keep his composure with such a revelation before us. But I stood my ground, like one of the prophets of old bravely surveying the sin of the people of God; the prophet hates sin, but there's something of steel in his spine, something that's inured him to the reality of human nature. The prophet is man's ultimate realist. That's what I am.

So I looked over that placard, looking it up and down, taking it in, and seeing what they meant by "The Industrial Arts." As it turned out, it didn't have much of anything to do with what we associate with the terms "arts" and "artists." Instead, it referred to various occupations more or less of a hands-on nature, such as farming, wood shop, mechanics, sewing, herding, well-digging, making mortar, and so forth.

But seriously, why we would want to put a derogatory term on decent occupations like that is beyond me. I was a little mollified, although only a little, by the fact that the placard was referring to something from the distant past of the university. These days, it's probably accurate to say, we wouldn't be teaching those subjects in a university, so the old terminology is more irrelevant.

I agree we need to forgive the past, but that doesn't mean we have to dredge it up and put it on display for all to see today. I only regret my part in writing this post, thus putting it on display all over again. It's ironic. But I wanted to call attention to it -- seeing that my blog is influential and has a tremendous reach around the world (I've had a visitor even from the unheard of land of Mauritius) -- that we might dispense with such terminology today in a complete way.

Is it agreed? Can we get rid of the term "Industrial Arts?"

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Industrial Powers Destroyed Mayberry

Anyone have any idea what happened to the town of Mayberry, where Andy Griffith used to live? They razed it to make an industrial section out in California! This is no joke.

I was just watching a couple episodes of Andy Griffith yesterday. It's a good old show about the good old days, with lots of folksy, warm stuff happening. Admittedly it is set in an era after the Industrial Revolution sometime, meaning the industrial powers already had their finger in society's eye, but it seemed to be less pronounced and not nearly as egregious, especially in Mayberry itself.

One of the episodes I saw was the one where Opie finds $50. Then he has to wait a week or so until time runs out for the rightful owner to reclaim it. Then when he gets to keep the money, Andy and Barney discover a want ad in which the owner is trying to locate it. Suddenly there's a moral dilemma. Opie is doubted by his dad, but does the right thing, which is to get the money back for the guy.

There are some important life lessons we want people to learn from all that. One of which is something about "finders keepers, losers weepers" not always being applicable. And that you should not keep money that doesn't really belong to you. Which of course doesn't apply to the sharks in the investing, banking, and payday loan companies. The government ably assists these scoundrels to keep skinning people alive, but that's another story for another day.

So I'm reading a little about Andy Griffith, and what do I come across? but this little detail about where they filmed the show. Mayberry in part had some of its sets at a place in California called "RKO Forty Acres." They also filmed some Star Trek scenes there and even some scenes from the old Superman show. You can often spot the old church at "Forty Acres" in old shows.

Well, enter the industrial powers! As always, they're the thorn accompanying every rose!

According to Wikipedia, here's what happened to Mayberry: "In 1976 it was razed for re-development and is known today as the southern expansion of the Hayden Industrial Tract." In other words, Mayberry was destroyed by the industrial powers! Andy and Opie's fishing hole is (likely) now swarming with one eyed experimental fish, as well as other toxic creatures! They've torn down the church and put up a vat with bubbling slag!

Mayberry! One of the most legendary, most beautiful towns on earth, where Barney Fife did all his funniest bits. Destroyed, demolished, bulldozed under to make a place for -- what? -- an "Industrial Tract!"

Wake up! If the industrialists would do that to Mayberry, what plans do they have for your town?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Industrialists In Continuous Violation

I was nosing around on the internet today -- in my ongoing quest to find incriminating evidence against the industrialists and industrial powers. Thanks to the internet, you don't even have to leave the comfort of your home to have your every sense and sensibility assaulted by these clowns.

It just took a little nosing around today when I found this recently hatched fact. Someone said the Harper's Index for July is out, and that it tells us that there are 2000 industrial facilities found by the EPA to have been in continuous violation of the Clean Air Act since 2007.

Since 2007! Continuous violation!

I don't have the list of these facilities or really any other information on them. I just have the bare fact as it's been laid out in front of us. There are 2000 industrial facilities "in continuous violation" of the Clean Air Act over the last three years.

That could mean that there was another 2000 in violation up through last year, but somehow they learned their lesson and decided to clean up their act. But I seriously doubt that. A few of them could've been in continuous violation, then went out of business when the air around their facilities became so polluted that the workers couldn't find their way in to work. Or it could be that numerous of these may have left the country, thus taking them out of the purview of the U.S. EPA.

Whatever else could be, we have what is, that these clowns, 2000 of them, are "in continuous violation." What does that mean? To me, it means they've been polluting without pause and with impunity for at least the last three years. Around the clock, 24/7, every day of the year, including the leap year day of 2008, they were "in continuous violation" of the law.

WTF? Is this something that's allowed? Can't we get in there and tell them to put a filter on the outtake valve? Or a filter on something in the terrible works of their facilities, so at least one day in a three year span they wouldn't be "in continuous violation"?

I know one of the companies, the monster truck tire factory in my town. They have to be one of the ones guilty of this. Because on a clear day ... there aren't any clear days!

OK, industrialists ... clowns ... it's time to clean up your act! Now!

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Industrialists And Conspicuous Consumption

If you don't already hate the industrial powers as much as I do -- and you would really have to be working very hard at it for that -- I have two words that will generate pure hatred in your soul for them: Conspicuous Consumption.

No one in his right mind has any good feelings for the concept of Conspicuous Consumption. And no, I don't think Hugh Hefner is in his right mind, no matter how many lovely babes there are who are willing to drape themselves over his feeble body. The man should be acting his age, which would mean prune juice enemas and a quick wheelchair trip down the hall.

We were warned away from Conspicuous Consumption when we were children, since one of the first lessons they taught us had to do with sharing and having your own little portion. They didn't heap our plates up in a Conspicuous Consumption way for many reasons, such as there are starving children some where, who have to be about dead by now.

Grandma and Grandpa Slump went through the Depression, which meant they couldn't consume in a conspicuously lavish way back then, and they remained people of modest means right up to the end (in Grandpa's case, death; in Grandma's case, life, if you want to call it that.) They had one car at a time, one house, one bathroom, quite a luxury after decades of outhouses. Very modest outhouses.

But such scruples seem to have bypassed the industrial powers, which is to everyone's detriment.

Like I said yesterday, I found myself briefly nosing around an industrial section in a nearby town, and the Conspicuous Consumption was very conspicuous indeed. One place remains forever in my mind, a building several times the size of a football field. Just go down the line, it's building building building ad infinitum. Inside, no doubt, it's full of merchandise or whatever they make.

Plus, it'd be true of this place as it's true of countless other industrial complexes, they need a gigantic train traveling by just to carry their smaller items! Then you have the ones with so much freight, they're still packing it, at least in a parallel universe. It's ridiculous! They need so many trains doing their dirty work, you figure something's gotta give.

I'd say it's time to cut back. If you're going to manufacture stuff, find something smaller and go with that. Then you can fit your entire inventory in a relatively large box and strap it to a pick up truck. I don't know.

The thing today is that they're totally into Conspicuous Consumption, something we all hate. Therefore, we all hate them.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Another Day, Another Industrial Park

Like I've said before, it's one of my biggest pet peeves that we have sullied the word "park" by calling the industrial section an "industrial park." There's nothing park-like about them! Unless you're going on the theory of counterfeit things that sort of half way resemble the real thing, such as big electrical scaffolding that vaguely resemble a jungle jim, etc.

And another thing I think I've hammered into everyone's heads well enough is this, that my current viability levels are extremely low, too low to be adequate for me to be out nosing around the industrial section of my own town. They've been on to me for months. My car's flagged, the whole works. They've even been out to my house, shooting fireballs over my roof, that's how bad it's been; it's not that bad now, though.

So what I took to doing, with this whole viability thing in mind, is to moderately nose around other industrial sections in other towns if I ever happen to be in the area. And somehow, like a stalker, I guess, when I'm in these other towns, my car always seems to find the crappy section of town, right where the industrialists are most at home.

It's funny, though ... yesterday ... I didn't have that whole stalker mentality ... I was just out cruising in my car ... feeling bright, sunny, and gay ... I was traveling ... road trip ... mentally lounging ... somehow I had managed to put everything out of my mind about the industrial section and the industrial powers ... it was a welcome break from something that's consumed me ... zeal for thy house hath eaten me up ... I'm buzzing along, breezin' along with the breeze, wandering like a butterfly ... when -- wouldn't you know it? -- I came to a place that said "Industrial Park"!?

At first I thought, Nahhhh, you've seen enough of these sore thumbs; I've taken enough big fingers to the eye; just keep going ... go go go ... which I started to do, then I pulled over and backtracked. The only camera I had was the one in my phone. So I started to get it ready, to take a picture of the "Industrial Park" sign, as evidence, then I slowed down to a crawl, then I stopped to try to get a picture. But the traffic was so great, especially trucks trying to get in with their burden and to pick up another, that I was almost mowed down. Out of self preservation I skipped the picture ... so you're going to just have to take my word for it that I saw one. It was there!

After a little bit, past the "Park" sign, I came to the inevitable "Industrial Drive" sign, then maybe an "Industrial Way" sign. The only thing missing was "Industrial Villa" and "Industrial Pre-School"! I mean, it's ridiculous! Don't these clowns know any other way besides the word "Industrial" and something else?

I passed some of their typically bloated buildings. That's a given. You could fit several football fields in these places. I just hope they have beams and supports in there or the roofs, being massively flat, will totally collapse the next time we have snow.

I saw all the usual rusty metal, including some gigantic beams that require a top down railroad track and several hooks and chains as thick as a five gallon milk jug to hook on to the girders to transport them in to the building. What precisely they're making out of these girders, that's anyone's guess. Whatever it is, I wouldn't want to be paying for it by the pound! Unless they're making clothes hangers, which, purchased individually tend to be fairly lightweight.

I found it all very disgusting, the whole scene. But then I thought about all the cars in the parking lot, representing the poor souls with jobs who work there. There they are, day after day wasting the potential free time they could've had, all for the sake of being able to buy a six pack of beer when they get off so they can go home and get drunk, then get up in the morning and do it all again. These are the lives the industrial powers callously consume.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Industrialists Can't Compete With The First Cobbler

How is this for an awesome story? They've found the oldest leather shoe, still setting there and in decent shape after over 5,000 years! It was found somewhere in Armenia, a far off place that we've never been. 

The story says it was well-preserved, stuffed with grass maybe for lining or insulation or maybe to keep its shape while it was in the owner's closet. What happened to his other shoe, the article doesn't say.

I'm thinking this shoe must've been made by the world's first cobbler. The first cobbler lived in a village over there, saw everyone walking around barefoot and said, "By George, I think I've got it: I'll make shoes."

Of course this was thousands of years before Dr. Scholl and the other industrial shoemakers got into the act, so that's why it was able to stand the test of time, due to the quality of the cobbler's work. He didn't make it out of cardboard or wood particulates or plastic. It was sturdy, all leather, designed for the foot and a good day's walk.

Perhaps it was owned by Enoch, who walked with God, then was taken. That would explain just one shoe being left behind.

Try that, industrialists! Try coming up with a shoe that lasts 5000+ years! And I don't mean one in a freezer somewhere, but one right there in an everyday cave, being used all this time.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Versus The Industrial Powers: My Frenetic Pace

You've come to the right place, you've hit the jackpot, if your desire is information on the industrial powers, the industrialists, and the various industrial sections of our cities and towns. I'm zeroed in on it to such a degree that there's no room for anyone else at this point in the field. I own this territory.

That's not to say I couldn't use help, if someone else out there were to pitch in and help get the job done. We need to bring these guys down before they bring us down. Note, I'm not asking for competitors in the field, but perhaps a few franchisees, anyone who might want to put up a few bucks for the cause, that we could double our energies and perhaps our output.

After all, wouldn't it be great to see 40 or 50 blogs conferring on a daily basis, putting our heads together, nosing around the various industrial sections, looking for facts and evidence, something we could use against them? It's definitely true that they have banded together, so it's disheartening to see myself as alone in this bitter struggle.

Frankly, I don't know how much longer I can keep up this frenetic pace. I'm up with the birds every morning, combing the newspaper and the internet, looking for all the evidence I can muster against the industrial powers. And that doesn't include all the effort I put into monitoring my viability for continuing this work, or the thoughts about nosing around the industrial section. It's all a lot, but I do it because I'm just that opposed to them. I would gladly give up a few hours of sleep if it meant helping the world as a whole in the long run. I'll relax when we win! And win we must!

Yesterday, or the night before last (technically), you might recall, I was going to post something I discovered about the industrial powers on the international scale. I want to mention what it was. Now, because of copyright restrictions, I can't duplicate the photograph here, but I will put the link to it. Please click that link, look at the photograph, then come back and get my commentary.

Are you back? Good. That was truly a horrifying picture, wasn't it? It's of a young man in India, and it seems like it was on a day called World Environment Day. He's in a body of water, taking a dip. But all around him is, what the caption calls "froth from industrial pollution."

Of course we're terrified when we see that picture. As for me, if I saw froth from industrial pollution a mile away I wouldn't be swimming in the water! Yet this guy is surrounded by the stuff. How he managed to find a clean spot to swim in, that's a big question. Unless, and this might be a good guess, his being in the water moved some of the froth over to the side. That's terrible! This guy will very likely die. Maybe he's dead already. That's no good!

That's one of the horrors of India. If you saw the movie "Slumdog Millionaire," you know they go to the bathroom over there right on the railroad tracks. No, wait, I think I saw that on "The Amazing Race." But in "Slumdog" they were going to the bathroom right in a shack and the kids were falling in, bobbing around. Then everything else about India, as seen in the movie, was disgusting. They're crazy over there.

But we're really not all that better! We relegate the industries to the industrial section, and this is the sort of thing that's going on all the time over here in the United States. They're belching out pollution, they're draining it off, they're polluting the seas, and driving their trucks in such a speedy and careless way that they literally suck the grass and weeds down in to the mud. I've seen it firsthand.

So I'm working, working, working, trying my best to stand against these guys, the industrialists. I'm keeping what I call "a frenetic pace," which I don't know how much longer I can stand. As long as it takes about has to be the only answer.

As long as I have life and breath, which if these guys have their way won't be long, we will oppose them and the destruction they bring on a daily basis. They themselves are working at a frenetic pace. We also must!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Industrial Powers Take Down Blogger

I missed posting an entry yesterday, through no direct fault of my own. But access to the Grandma Slump blog was completely interrupted and denied to me. I only managed today, by persistence, to get it back.

They must've really known I was on to them, that I was preparing something big, a big scoop, and indeed I was! Yesterday I was all set -- my viability reaching some good pre-May levels -- but something about it must've been discovered. I'm thinking they must truly be keeping good track of my comings and goings, the things happening here at the half acre.

The truth is, yes, I had prepared yesterday a fierce salvo I was preparing to lob, throw, or detonate. If I get fully recovered, I might put it up tomorrow. It had to do with the industrial powers on an international level, so we'll check into that possibly tomorrow.

But then, I go to post it, and wham! Everything was suddenly offline. Blogger was unavailable, which stretched well into today. These guys are good. Good at being bad! Through the night, I lost some of my fervor. I'm not afraid to admit it. The truth will set you free. In the middle of the night I woke up, thinking I'd rather have my sleep than take these guys on. I put it off till morning, at which time I was so mellowed out I could've spit marshmallows. With that, and with the lingering day, my viability levels went way down, meaning the industrial powers won the day.

When it's to their credit, I will say so. Because I know there will be more confidence for me in the future, that I will be able at some point to really take these guys to task. They're powerful, to be sure. They can take the entire blog down, to be sure. But if I sit tight, if I bide my time, if I wait for just the right time, then, believe it or not, the knife will go in, and then I'll give it a little twist. How's that feel?

I'm back tonight, announcing that I'm back tonight. Yesterday was tough, but when things get tough, that's when I get going!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Industrialists Vs. The Cobblers -- Part 3

[This could very well be my last "The Industrialists Vs. The Cobblers" post. I probably didn't need to write it, but I sincerely believe that any series ought to have at least three installments.]

One of the place to see the cobbler's work, how they plied their trade, back in the days when it was a matter of ply and demand, is to visit an old time museum.

Of course most of the old time shoes have been discarded from people's homes. Way back when they weren't "old time" shoes yet, nobody had any sentimental (or collector's) value attached to them. They'd wear out to the point that the sole would be flapping and your feet would hang out the bottom. By the time they worked up to your knee you were tired of them, and so out they'd go.

I remember Grandma used to put the old worn out shoes under the posts of beds to keep the beds from working their way across the room. Why a bed would be moving around the room if all you did was slept in it would be anyone's guess. But since new family members were periodically born, it could've been that they were doing more than sleeping.

Then we had all the world wars of the 20th century, and along with them the "drives," getting all the old rags, bottles, and shoe leather for the war effort. So that was where a lot of our old time cobbled shoes went. They're floating around the Pacific Ocean somewhere, or maybe they're buried in Europe, like under the boot of Italy.

Anyone with any patriotism at all gladly sent their old shoes to war and would not withhold as much as a sneaker. But there were a few who were unpatriotic, who kept their shoes, or maybe they were too lazy to look for them when the call went out. So their shoes were the ones that remained, with a small percentage of these eventually finding their way to museums. Think about that, if it wasn't for these few deadbeats, we wouldn't have museums today!

Anyway, to see the old time shoes, the ones the cobblers came up with way back in the day, you go to a museum. And you see the way it was, no two pair of shoes the same. And they had some really quaint styles back then, because a cobbler might get up in a bad mood one day and just make a bunch of tiny tight shoes, like for women. Or he might be going through a 'wood period' and make them out of wood!

To make a pair of shoes back then was a real experience. They'd start out with a piece of leather that looked like a pizza crust, always in a weird shape, kind of like an elephant ear. Then he'd mark out the places where the holes would be, the laces, the stitching, the little slot for the penny if they were penny-loafers, and so forth.

It'd be interesting, I think, to have been a cobbler. I can imagine myself coming up with some innovations, like little pouches of polish built in, connected to a model car motor and the laces. Then when you tied your shoes they'd automatically polish themselves! It wouldn't entirely put shoe polish guys out of business, because they could provide a filling station service for the pouches, and, going the whole nine yards, rotate your shoes for you every 50 miles.

But the industrial powers came along and took away all this heritage, and that's what we're lamenting.

Let's say we had another world war today, and we needed to send our old shoes. They'd never make it, being made out of plastic and some kind of cork board. Even the 'wooden' shoes are made out of that particulate stuff that Walmart uses to make their furniture. Peel off the veneer and the whole thing falls apart like Cream of Wheat! So the industrialists are making us less safe if we were to have a war.

A lot of the "progress" we've made ... really sucks.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Industrialists Vs. The Cobblers -- Part 2

Yesterday I sketched out some of the relevant information concerning the industrial powers and how they drove cobblers out of the shoe business. All of that is true and indisputable.

Today I decided, since I still haven't got sufficient viability to nose around the industrial section, instead to nose around various shoe stores. My purpose was to see the quality of the shoes they sell, with the idea that once I saw how bad they were I could come back here and lament the demise of the cobblers.

My purpose in doing this is not to bring back the cobblers. They already committed suicide sometime after the Industrial Revolution, and even if they hadn't they would've been dead by now anyway from other causes. No, the cobblers are gone for good. So all we can do is lament their demise, and maybe -- who knows? -- inspire a new generation of cobblers if we're successful in bringing down the industrial powers.

My first stop was Target. I went to the shoe section and looked at their mass produced shoes. I didn't see anything I liked. The selection at Target sucks, not just for shoes but almost everything else too. I don't know what their problem is, unless there's a shortage of stock men to stock the shelves. When I go to Target to get something, I end up going to Walmart afterward, because they invariably don't have it.

So I made the predictable visit next to Walmart. Their shoes have the famous Dr. Scholl's name, some of them. Dr. Scholl was a guy, I believe, who made his mark in selling shoe inserts, meant to make non-cobbled shoes more comfortable. Right there is an indictment against mass-produced shoes. I myself have on a pair of these Dr. Scholl shoes, which in my opinion aren't comfortable. I'm forever taking them off to let my feet rest up before putting them back on.

Next I went to nose around the Famous Footwear store. I'd never been to a F.F. store before and probably won't be going back. Their staff are all wired with headphones and microphones, with electronic devices on their belts. It's Al Bundy for a new age! I don't know what they were saying to each other, but every time I took a pair of shoes off the shelf to check out the (lack of) quality, there was a lot of conferring amongst them. They seemed to know I was there to dis their shoes.

Finally I went to Payless Shoe Source -- is that their name? "Source"? I think of the word "source" as being reserved for big important things, like "The Source of the Nile," not a cheap, two-bit shoe place. This is the place that always has BOGO on the brain, a perpetual Buy One Get One Half Off "sale" they have. So what do you get for shoes? In my opinion they don't look good! Plus, what a crazy way to arrange the store ... all the shoes of a particular size are accumulated together, with no distinction between sandals, high heels, or thongs. That's what you get when the cobblers are gone, a shoe store that's simply going through the motions.

Buying shoes, browsing for shoes, or just nosing around a shoe store, is a sad experience. I pity anyone in the modernized, mechanized shoe industry. Not just because they surely have it on their conscience somewhere, the demise of the cobblers of the past. But because it's extremely boring, their whole presentation. And their shoes, again, in my opinion, are terrible.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Industrialists Vs. The Cobblers

One of the most charming of characters from history, the history of shoes especially, is the cobbler.

I used to hear the story about the cobbler and the elves, and I always thought it was great. I'm trying to remember how it goes. Something about a cobbler, and I guess he's having a hard time making enough shoes quickly enough. Then some elves make them for him in the middle of the night, and it's a very happy thing.

A cobbler is a man who cuts out leather from an animal hide. He has to cut it a weird shape, because once he starts snipping it and folding it, then sewing it, it's going to resemble a shoe, before he puts all the final touches on it. First the left foot, then the right.

There's a lot to the cobbler's tradition, I believe. I remember there's a character right at the beginning of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar who's a cobbler, making shoes for the poor soles of Rome. They're such a great bunch of guys they later even named a dessert after them, peach cobbler.

In the days before the Industrial Revolution there was a cobbler in every town, and two or three of them in major cities. They kept track of the styles of shoes that people wanted, tailoring the shoes then to match feet in a very pedestrian way. A cobbler was a romantic character, pounding nails into leather and hoping somehow it would all stick together.

In the '60s I had a nearsighted shoe repairman take apart a pair of shoes of mine that needed fixed. He got them back together, but barely. The thing about his incompetence was this, that industry had ruined the shoe business, and those of the cobbler tradition no longer were any good.

But it wasn't always that way. At first they were very good. Then industry stepped in. And the cobblers tried to keep up. But of course industry, with their mechanical arms and nail guns, could spew out shoes like weeds. Suddenly every town had an excess of shoes, so many that people could pick and choose, and of course the shoes became cheaper. But the human tragedy was the demise of the cobblers, who eventually killed themselves in large numbers. Industry had shoehorned them out of the business.

I wish we could go back. I wish we could get rid of the industrial powers and the way they make shoes, and get back to the days where a cobbler might make you a pair of shoes according to the old ways. Those were the days when a shoe was a shoe, whether your foot was a standard size 10, or one of the oddball sizes, like a 6 or a 13.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I Fillet The Industrial Powers

All kidding aside, I'm really in a bad mood tonight.

As you probably know very well, I'm something of a life coach on topics like self-esteem, personal pride, and confidence. I've long been a student of the various lifestyle sciences, etc., as well as a teacher. When I'm a student, I'm hoping my teachers will go easy on me. When I'm a teacher, I go tough on my students. My big aim is to master everything, thus dispensing with all teachers, giving me a free shot at the others.

OK, I'm all that ... self-esteem, pride, confidence, lifestyle sciences, human environmental studies, and so forth ... but tonight it's strictly a case of "Physician, Heal Thyself," in that I am hitting bottom ... personally, emotionally, psychologically. I'm overwrought, wrung out, and really feeling crabby.

This is a dangerous place for me, psychically. Because I know as well as anyone the psychic price that goes along with moods, acting out, and lashing out. They used to say at the local Ford dealer, "It only takes a minute to get a better deal," and I know it only takes a minute to bottom out. Having to do with my emotional life and not in buying cars. Except buying cars would make anyone mad.

All along -- the last month and more -- I've had it in for the industrial powers. They've made me periodically blow my top. It hasn't been a good ride for me in terms of taking care of myself, even if the sacrifices I've made for the sake of the world and my own town have been my privilege. There are those times I've gotten the job done, and I've felt a corresponding pride -- Who wouldn't? Then there have been those other times when I've felt a certain frustration and have bottomed out. My mood swings would make an interesting horror film.

So, tonight, I need to work through some of these feelings, which I know are spurred on by the industrial powers, those blasted industrialists, and all my concerns over the industrial section of my own town and other cities.

Today, driving along, I saw a road called "Industrial Lane"! I was thinking, "Good grief, isn't it enough that we give these filthy industrialists access to great tracts of our precious land -- any picture from space proves that real estate on the earth is a finite commodity -- but do we also have to name our streets after them?!" Industrial Park, Industrial Lane, Industrial Drive, etc., there's no telling where it will end!

Also driving along today, I was in a smaller town, much smaller than the one I've grown used to. And there was a railroad track, and there was some dinky wannabe industrial section. It was small, yet it still took up a good chunk of the very small town. I could only shake my head ... as well as let my anger simmer, smolder, and it finally erupted, resulting at me shaking my head in sorrow.

And so it goes. The world goes on, rolls on on its merry way, oblivious to the danger, the very clear and present danger. A few of us know ... too few ... and of those, how many of us are getting downright mad? I for one am.

I think of the fat cats, sitting in their offices, just sitting there with a cigar and a smile on their face. They hate me and I hate them. My hatred is pure. I would love to lash out and fillet them. Dress them down, like a big moose hanging in a tree.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Industrial Powers: Too Much Baggage

Jerry Springer has a classy new game show, where bachelors or bachelorettes on the dating scene are presented with a few possibilities, potential partners who all have "baggage." Their baggage are embarrassing or potentially embarrassing details from their lives. It's represented and exposed inside small, medium, and large cases, the bigger the case the bigger the baggage.

The one I watched today had this very mild baggage from one guy: That he didn't know how to swim. To me, that's "so what" stuff. But then the next guy had this item, that he still sleeps with his baby blanket. It turned out he was the guy the lady chose. But then he rejected her, simply for the fact that her own baggage was that she just so happens to still live with her ex-husband who is a bounty hunter. To be fair, she described her new love's prospects very poorly, that he would have to sneak in because her ex-husband gets jealous, then also that he would have to sneak by a major dog and hack his way through a lot of underbrush.

There's certain things left unsaid, such as, "Would it be possible for you to not live with your bounty hunting ex-husband?" The baggage is just taken as an unchanging given, and in this case he couldn't accept it.

While I was watching the episode I was thinking about something, and admittedly this is a far out fantasy: What if I was on there being wooed by the industrial powers, you know, those blasted titans who savage our world and society, making a royal mess of things in the industrial sections of our cities and towns?

I would see three blasted titans standing there representing the industry, industrialists everywhere. They have their baggage, items like, "I love pollution" and "I've defrauded millions out of their health insurance." I can barely stand to look at these puffy, cigar chomping suits. It becomes a total melee when I reveal my own baggage, that I like to horsewhip industrialists, and I proceed to chase them around the studio with a whip and a war cry.

Jerry Springer steps in to prevent society's revenge against this scourge, and I go off to sulk. "I cannot accept your baggage!"