McClurg Jam

McClurg Jam

Saturday, March 19, 2011

New things out of old things

What I am doing in my pursuit of things Old Time in Music is similar to other interests I have had in my life. Being a history buff/fanatic, I found something of great value in looking back on different periods of time in history that were worthy of preservation.

Our current pop culture is pretty hollow and meaningless and you hope and pray much of it dies a fast death.

For whatever reason, I am one of those person's who has always had great disdain for the mass movement popular things. I could never stand Barry Manilow or some other such performers.

I am the niche person personified. If your reading this blog, you probably have a similar bent. Let's face it. Old Time Music is not going on American Idol anytime soon. I hope it never does.

As a young adult, I read every Foxfire book I could find. I devoured anything I could get about traditional Ozark crafts and practices. I learned a lot from my Father in law on the farm in Ponder. I soaked up a lot of the ways things were done from one who grew up farming with mules as a boy in west Tennessee on a sharecropper farm. I owe a lot to Franklin for my basic skill sets on such matters.

We are in a time when we can really use those skill sets again. The politicians in Washington have abandoned us and it's up to us now. It really always was up to us.
They were never really helping us anyway. They just lied to us about it. All the while the jobs left us and our debt's increased.

We had embraced a world of processed foods, plastic wrapped everything made in China by slave labor wage serfs under the control of a Communist dictatorship. Yes, they still call themselves Communist. Of course it's not Communist anymore. They are calling it Corporatist these days.

In any case, it's time to remember that all these things that used to be common among the little people of our land are still there to be recovered and used yet again. We can grow our food and raise our own stock and weave our own wool and cut our own wood and make our own way again. It's a hardscrabble way to live but you can live.

In the past city people reading Foxfire books were being caught up in romantic notions about traditional living. Well, if you don't know, it's hard work. Nothing romantic about it. I can tell you that it beats working in a factory as far as I'm concerned but people I knew who grew up poor in the Ozarks got to St. Louis and went to work in those factories when they could.

Now many of those factories are gone. To China. To Vietnam. To India. To Indonesia.

A number of us have been left behind by all this. We are on our own. It's up to us to reform our lives in ways that change how we do things.

Traditional things take getting used to after all this urbanized processed way of getting and using. Milk is not homogenized. It even tastes a bit different. Meat is not full of chemicals and hormones. The vegetables are superior beyond belief and you realize what crap you have settled for in the past.

Homegrown wool items are vastly superior to that cheap cotton Indonesian stuff you bought at Wallymart. They last longer and keep you warmer than polyester.

If there is an ice storm you have heat because you use wood stoves now. No utility can turn your heat off.

I also think it's time to unplug....and plug in.

It's time to wean yourself from endless devices that waste your time.

It's also time to take advantage of the connections that online communities can offer. Now you can discover new networks or build networks of like minded people who can help you as you can help them.

It's time to form networks that can revolutionize your area. Networks that can nurture economic communities and interests. Networks that are not driven by huge corporatist interests but are driven by real needs. Not driven by advertising but by what you really enjoy or want and not by psychological manipulation.

I am not talking hobby farming. I am talking about getting what you need by your own efforts and with the assistance of like minded folks.

I am not talking about some kind of communal subsistence thing either. I am talking about individuals helping themselves along life's way. No ideology but freedom to help yourself and others and to stop being a serf for some Corporation that wants to own you.

If your like me, stuck in the city, there are other things you can do to wean yourself from the economic cycles you were in before but are no longer available to the unemployed.

Don't worry. I will keep the blog focused on Music primarily. But I will be posting about some things being done by others to do just what I have been talking about.

Photo of Susie Smithers of Rollicking Hills Fiber Design of Ohio.

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