Archive for July, 2007

Happy attitude

Well, Gene Logsdon does it again, this time with an entertaining and thoughtful piece on “bootleg” raw milk. You just gotta love this. Mr. Logsdon pokes fun at the “Milk Police” whose mandate has nothing to do with public health.

Selling raw milk, or bootleg milk as I call it, is a crime in some states, if you can believe that. If you break the law, the Milk Police will come knocking at your door. Mind you, they don’t care if you drink it or give it away. You just can’t sell it, which leads me to believe that they are more worried about protecting the monopoly of the pasteurized milk industry than protecting health.

As most of you probably know, dairy farmers who want to sell raw milk to people who want to drink raw milk, get around the prevailing power of the Milk Police by what they call herd share agreements. Customers buy shares in the cows and so as part owners, they are actually drinking their own milk. This subterfuge gives the Milk Police conniption fits. They issue woeful press releases that lead one to believe that civilization will collapse if people are allowed to drink raw milk, even though 28 states now allow it to be sold. The Milk Police try to take producers of herd-share milk to court like they were moonshiners.

Now, I’ve talked about this attitude thing before, but Mr. Logsdon’s blogpost has me thinking about it in a new way. I can’t even really explain how so, but it has to do with the sustained, cheerful humor and the simple choice not to grant the “Milk Police” any legitimacy. It’s a gentle, knowing, thoroughly enjoyable (and enjoyed!) laugh in their faces.

And somehow, it leaves me feeling renewed. Because it’s too easy for me, I realize, to become angered, outraged, offput by the actions of the various Police around today, mushrooming as they are. Mr. Logsdon (and others like him) offer delightful reminders that it doesn’t have to be so.

Hell, no. On the contrary, he gives me a friendly nudge as if to twinkle, “You’re free to dance through life even if ‘they’ expect you to cringe and crawl.”

And it occurs to me that the sustained twinkle is a result, and a function, of long practice and of endlessly repeated acquaintance with the tactics of the other side. It’s grace, born of great wisdom, repeated effort, and formidable patience – with a dash of Outlawish aliveness to spice up the mix.


July 29, 2007 at 12:26 pm 3 comments

Still in dependence day

Hi, guys and gals. I’m glad to be back from several weeks of business travel, and I offer my apologies for the dearth of posts while I was away.

First on the list this morning is a linky to Gary North’s wonderful long article, Shorn on the Fourth of July. Incredible. I haven’t ever seen history written like this. Some friends and I were wondering recently what happened to the “original” Declaration of Independence. I mean, if it was sent to King George III, why is it in the National Archives? Wouldn’t old George have tossed it in the fire or something? Besides, the one in the Archives is signed by the 55 “traitors.” But the signers didn’t really sign the engrossed-on-parchment version until August 2, so did the Founders really wait that long to send it across the pond?

Anyway, Dr. North hits one out of the park – even accusing the usual Founders of the old “Those are my people – I must find out where they are going so that I may lead them!” trick. A great read for today…somehow its detailing of the history of taxation on these shores dovetails with my ongoing feeling of unavoidable encroachment. It’s the nature of the beast, especially since that’s how this particular beast was built from the beginning.

And that leads me to the title of this post…I’m still in dependence, and yet it’s still Independence Day. This year I’m feeling differently about it all. I’ve got this sense of “Enough with the self-deprivation and delayed gratification – I want to enjoy what freedom I can scrounge!” Like Debra over at Wolfesblog recently decided, there’s freedom to be enjoyed in various permutations in various situations. For her, a corporate job (one she likes) brings the freedom to earn the bucks faster, to work a reasonable schedule, and to provide the medications needed for her loved ones’ continued well-being.

The decision I’m struggling with is somewhat the opposite: I’m ready to start my own business doing what I’ve recently been trained to do (with solitary time for creative work and space for doing art – neither of which I currently have – on the side). But in order to do it, I need a (home) office in a clean, attractive place, preferably close to or right in town.

(In other words, the RV I’ve been sharing with Thunder for a year, parked in the middle of nowhere, won’t cut it.  😉  No offense to my dear sweetie. It’s just the nature of an RV and of where RVs tend to get parked. Wow, has it really been a year? Well, just about.)

Now, I could take my new skills to someone else’s shop and be paid roughly half the amount I’d make freelance. And I could continue to live in the camper. But I’ve tried, and I just can’t take the idea of myself sucking up to anyone, just to land or to keep a job anymore. I can’t see doing it someone else’s way with a fake smile on my face, when I can see a way that’s better for the client and for me.

Plus, the commute would be up to an hour each way, with a gasoline bill to match, and it would definitely take longer to pay down the debts I have remaining. Having crunched the numbers, I do know that paying more in rent will be worth it in terms of the greater income possibilities – if I can develop the clients. And I think that I can.

Paying off those debts is my main priority now, and when that’s accomplished, then I’ll feel comfortable making the leap to a gulch situation. But can I really trust myself to do that? Honestly, I know that I’m like Debra – I want, at least for a while, to live in an upscale place, to be able to walk to a nice little coffee bar or health food store, to impress my friends and family. I have to admit that I’m weak in these ways, I’m dependent because I want these things I haven’t had before.

And if I get them, will I ever be willing to leave them behind?

Which is the path of freedom for me now – a high-rent place (available only through a background check, of course), that allows me to build my own business and reputation, to pay down my debts faster, and to enjoy a spacious, inviting home and the days I spend in it, alone and with company…or a low-rent, low-profile, low-autonomy lifestyle that puts my eventual gulch farther out in the future?

I feel lately that freedom for me, at this point in time anyway, is about taking calculated risks, too. Especially when they seem calculated to bring more happiness – and real personal growth. So maybe the answer for each person lies in the types of freedom she’s most wanting or needing at any given time.

July 4, 2007 at 11:46 am 3 comments

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