Thursday, 10 September 2015

This Is the End

This will be my last blog post.
Three/four years ago, when I told people what we were going to be doing with our lives, lots of them said lots of encouraging things about our decision. A lot of these people suggested I keep a blog and/or post lots of stuff on facebook because they wanted to see what we’re up to. This, I have attempted to do.
There were others who were less than positive. People who couldn’t understand why we would give up our “comfortable” existence for a life of, what they saw, as uncertainty, financial insecurity and not “normal”.  A lot of whom weren’t very good at disguising this fact.
We want to live a life where we take more responsibility for the consumption of Earth’s resources, our food, the materials we use for construction etc etc. It has not been easy and living in the part of the world that we do, it is not entirely possible to be as self sufficient as we would like. We still consume. We still buy things harder-core followers of our life style would disapprove of. I probably should have whittled my own copy of Battles of Westeros out of bamboo or knitted my pants from nettles.
Now we’re here and living our chosen lifestyle, I have become increasing disillusioned with modern society and its wilful ignorance. We seem content with the banal, the deliberately thick, the unquestioning status quo and selfish wants. Choosing to ignore or even deliberately work and argue against those who find themselves in less fortunate circumstances than us. The current refugee crisis, for me, has extenuated these issues. I frequently find myself in online discussions with people using “national pride” as thinly veiled racism. I am constantly amazed at the amount of media (social and otherwise) time given over to “celebrities” whose sum total of their achievements appears to be a bikini shoot, sleeping with someone else’s partner and/or sex worker or just generally being an unlikeable twat. I could go on and on and on. My wife and I have actually conducted a bit of an experiment on facebook. Noting how many people show some form of interest in our various “shares”. Put something up like some new ducklings and or a picture of Isaac doing something cute and people are crawling over themselves to “like” and comment. Put something up uncomfortable like fois gras production or pig farming, one possibly two “interactions”. A symptom, I feel, of the mass media fed world we now find ourselves in.
Something that I have also grown to dislike is the self congratulatory social media presence. Look at me. Am. I. Not. Great. I baked a cake. I bought a new phone. I went for a stroll. I got up this morning........and so on. (Only mildly less annoying than the “I’m angry/upset but I don’t want to talk about it. But, please everyone ask me about it so I can feel something” status) Then, I realised, I’m just as bad. I have pictures of things I’ve made/done online. I keep this blog solely for the approval of others. Are we just doing this to seek approval for the life choices of which we aren’t sure we should have made? I’ve shared a funny dog. Just yesterday I shared something I saw about being at university in the 90s. It was funny and I think I “got” most, every single thing on the list. Why did I share it? I don’t know. Perhaps for some reason hoping to engage in some sort of nostalgic conversation with old friends. But why? My engagement with FB and the content that is frequently on there is a source of discourse in my own mind. Were it not for the fact that it is the only source of communication between me and a small number of friends and clients I would have closed my account a while ago. I still enjoy it as a way of keeping up to date with some of my interests (films, ASOIAF and general board gamery) but I am increasingly failing to see the point in it. I will, in complete contradiction to everything I’ve just said, share this new post on the aforementioned site! What a hypocrite.

The keeping of this blog, for me, is merely an extension of the issues above. I have not posted anything for a long time here because of this and this is the last hoorah. I feel that I wasn’t keeping it because I had something valuable to share with the world. I wasn’t going to start some form of lifestyle or political revolution. Like everyone else I’m probably just looking for some form of reaffirmation of my own decisions. However, this stops today. I’ll leave the blog up. If someone wants to have a go at pallet furniture or rearing their own meat because of something on here, then great. But doubt that will happen. This isn’t a cry for help. I’m not after a whole load of people to give me a self esteem boost by self pitying fishing for compliments. It’s just a statement of intent. Perhaps I’ll change my mind. Who knows? For now it’s goodbye. 

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