Friday, March 18, 2011

Can't Restart Baby

Last year we went to see Joel Salatin, again. He had so much to say in so little time. I've had buzz words and phrases zooming around my skull all winter like Mason Bees stuck inside in the spring with plum trees just outside in full bloom. So many way to get out....
One thing Joel talked about was the thought paradigm of the video game generation. If the game doesn't go as planned, or if you die, or if you lose a battle just Restart and try again at the beginning. Take farmville on facebook - my kids played for awhile - plant crops and minutes later harvest time If harvest is forgotten and the vegetables all wither and die, you can "unwither" them. Now put these kids out in the garden plant some seeds and then, well, wait. Hope a frost doesn't hit, hope it stays warm, hope the chickens don't scratch out the seeds, hope the cutworms don't nibble the seedlings.....There is no restart except from scratch, sometimes not until the next spring. Now plant something that takes 3 or 4 months to our instant society with instant dinners, instant pizza, instant Kraft Dinner for goodness sakes.....Do people get it that it takes 2 months for a pickling cuke to grow and another 6 weeks to pickle??? A tomato plant has to be started in early March for fruit in July?? A strawberry plant has to be nutured through spring, summer, winter and spring before harvest.....and then all might be lost with a frost at full blossom? There is no restart. One thing goes wrong and it's done. No redo, no do-overs, no try again.
Earthquake, Tsunami, Nuclear Disaster, Radiation.
Earthquakes and Tsunamis are nothing new in the Pacific Rim of fire. In fact in 2004 (?) the huge tsunami in Asia should have been a wake up call. The level of readiness in the nuclear facilities in Japan was shocking. The damage to the environment, to people, to food, to our ocean, to the heroes battling the fires and overheating is frankly unthinkable.
Life is not a video game, we can't just punch RESTART when we mess up. This is it. This is our chance on this planet. We are an eyeblink of the gods. The dinosaurs, who always seemed such a big failure to me, were dominant for millions of years. We as a species are not going to last that long because as a society we have lost sight of what is important. We have become too big for our britches. We have huge cities filled with people who don't know carrots grow in the ground. What would happen if another asteriod hit? Can you imagine the armegeddon? Agribusiness no more, food - planting, growing, preserving, storing becomes our way of life again. If we haven't poisoned our planet so much that it is too late.
I just feel sad.


Jane said...

I am afraid we are past the point of no return. I think the masses see a forest or the blue ocean and think that everything is ok. They don't realize it is the things you can't see. The contamination is so widespread in the land, air and all water on earth. I watch as my friends open their hives this spring to dead bees, or how the local farmers feeding GMO feed are having cow after cow throw still borns.The local gas drilling operations have destroyed the water table and are illegally dumping toxic sludge daily, but the state has made them unaccountable for their actions because of greed. Our rivers are full of pharmaceuticals. How would you even begin to clean that up? I agree with you, it is beyond sad.

MamaTea said...

Excellent post. I really like ho wyou talked about dinosaurs. The boys and I have talked about that a lot. "Do you realize how long the dinosaurs were here?" And people just talk like they were a blink of an eye.

The boys play Farmville sometime and in the beginning I was so crabby about that game. It is so unrealistic. But we actually sat down and made a list about why it was so unrealistic, and the boys understood it. (In kind of a "Don't you think we get it, mom? Jeez." kind of way.) I do think there are a lot of kids (and adults) out there that are living like its a video game though. GREAT comparison.

Dana said...

It amazes me though still that you can take a child raised on video games outside and see eyes full of wonder as they hold a chick, get dirty in a garden or get a look in a beehive.

Instant gratification may well be the norm of our culture, but even for those raised with it, it does not produce wonder, satisfaction or a sense of wholeness.

Why growing carrots does, I have no idea, but somehow it does.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with Dana. The moment, the exact moment a human connects with nature, it hits. Those of us connected will survive. I have to believe that.