I’m a Millennial. A Gen-Y-er. I was raised in relative comfort, but as the years tick by, things like new clothes, food, gas, and rent seem to just get more and more unaffordable for some reason.
For some reason.
In the last iteration of my ‘About’ page, I said that Millennials are the first generation to truly have less than their parents – but that’s wrong. What I should have said is that we’re the first generation of the last century of Americans to have less then their parents. It helps, I’ve found, to be specific.
This blog is my go-to dump for all thoughts regarding politics, economics, biosphere collapse, resource depletion, and my ardent loathing of business as usual – social media, freeways, advertising, consumerism, smartphones. If you’re still on Facebook, I think less of you.
In my years blogging here, I’ve undergone what I can only describe as the Kubler-Ross model of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. I started off being in denial that the environmental problems were too vast for us to fix, and then I became angry at all the people in the world who were unwilling to do the work to fix them. Once the anger sunk in, I moved onto bargaining: maybe if we environmentalists phrased things differently, appealed to people’s comforts better, we could save the planet. Then there was depression at realizing that nothing was going to change, that people would literally rather commit ecocide than give up their cars or their internet or their out-of-season produce, and once I arrived there, I came into acceptance. We’re doomed, and that’s OK. We won’t be the first to face a painful, uncertain future and we won’t be the last. And if you can’t beat em…?
Still, this hasn’t stopped me from being a hippy in the smaller, day-to-day things. I still avoid food and whatnots packaged in plastic, I’m still a vegetarian, I still recycle and turn off the lights when I leave the room. They’re more zen habits than anything else at this point, or a kind of showing respect for the dead and dying – the dead and dying being the Earth, that is.
But I’m not an environmentalist anymore. I’m not a sustainability advocate, I’m not pro-renewable energy, I see Elon Musk as the emperor without clothes, I feel that world politics are going to get much, much worse before they get any better, and the status quo makes my mind and body literally ill so I avoid it whenever possible. I’m a survivalist trying to navigate not a post-apocalyptic wasteland, but an increasingly expensive panoptic urban hellscape. I drive a mid-90’s Jeep instead of a Prius or Smartcar or hybrid because I figure that if I have to pollute to survive, then I might as well be doing it with something that makes me enjoy being alive. And unless they can make cars out of tree bark and hempcrete, they’re all going the way of the dodo at some point anyway, electric or not.
And yes, I’m a hypocrite – just as much as you are.
PS – Please don’t nominate me for any more Liebster Awards. I don’t read hardly any other blogs – most small-time bloggers are just failed entrepreneurs anyways, shilling for pennies from their Amazon referral links – and writing lists of things I’m about gets old fast besides. Still, thank you for the ones I’ve gotten so far.
Some rules to live by:
My 5 R’s for Getting Rid of Stuff
- Reject: Just have less crap in your life from the get-go. Less material and emotional crap.
- Reduce: Cull the crap you already have. It doesn’t contribute to your life anyways.
- Reuse: Make do with the crap you already have. It’ll probably get the job done.
- Recycle: Turn that crap into something else before it falls apart.
- Reclaim: Replace the crap with something good. Reclaim your time by turning off the TV. Reclaim your health by taking the stairs. Reclaim your soil with compost. Something. Anything.
My 4 B’s for Getting New Stuff
- Barter: Trade something you don’t need for something you do.
- Borrow: Don’t go buy the thing you’re only going to use once. That’s silly. Find someone to borrow it from instead.
- Beg: Asking someone to give you the thing you need is still better than going out and buying a new one.
- Buy: Buying, with money, should be the last resort.
The ZWM Promise:
- This blog will never be lifestyle porn.
- This blog will never be marketable.
- I will always support my claims with the facts that I have.
- I will not stop talking about biosphere collapse, resource depletion, and peak energy.
- This blog will not shy away from difficult discussions, but it won’t be afraid to have fun sometimes too.