A Travellerspoint blog

Rambling

Joe:
There is nothing like riding on a road trip. You ride a motorcycle. It’s like the roller-coasters at an amusement park. And then, it’s also like taking the skyline or a gondola. Everything is more powerful and in your face, but at the same time calming. It’s all so open.
On the other hand, you drive a car. It may get farther, but you are so much further from everything. Always driving; Always trying to get somewhere. You think all these comforts and conveniences make things easier, but they only do so in the short run. At the end of the day your back hurts even more in your lazyboy seats, you’re car sick and feeling stuffy even though you were watching movies in the back, falling into the window with every turn. You have no idea where you are or where you’ve been. Mindless. You see things, but they’re dull through your little window or windshield. It’s the same old same old.
It’s like a microcosm of everything that is wrong with modern society and why everyone is so depressed. You work hard and spend all your money on the expensive toys that take you further away from truly living. It’s the same in every place and every industry. We watched the movie Fresh when we Stayed with Jim Rah at his little farm. It talked about how U.S. farms all make miles and miles of corn and Soybeans. Every processed product is full of corn and soy products: High fructose corn syrup, corn starch, corn oil, soybean oil, soy sauce. Everything is simplified and efficiently productive. The government only gives subsidies to farmers who grow these two products. But the farmers can only sell the stuff to one company that processes it and they have to sell it for next to nothing. The food companies get the corn and soy for amazingly cheap and the taxpayers pay the farmers just enough to stay alive.
Also, nature doesn’t like when an area gets populated with only one species. The microorganisms, and little pests that feed off of the one species will multiply out of control and take over everything. We try to spray pesticides, but that creates super powerful pests that are resistant or we use so much pesticide that the people who eat the food are being poisoned. We tried to create this overpopulated efficiently productive single species farms with livestock too and now these farmers have to spend a fortune on tons and tons of antibiotics to keep these animals alive shoulder to shoulder 10,000 pig to a building or 100,000 chicken. The movie was amazing and eye-opening. It gave all the answers too. It’s so simple. Duplicate nature. Keep everything happy and varied. Keep the animals moving with the smaller animals trailing behind and cleaning up. Then, plant crops behind the chickens and make sure you are growing lots of worms. The big animals mow our lawns, the little animals pick at droppings and leftovers behind them and the land is beautifully fertilized as opposed to our current crisis where our soil is dying.
This type of organic farming is also very cheap and profitable from all the savings on chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and antibiotics. The farmers make ten times more money, they just have to stay away from government subsidies and this crazy unsustainable system. It just takes a lot of know how.
Well, that’s enough political crap. I love seeing little details while riding. I love this vine that has red leaves, but climbs up green trees. It looks like Christmas decorations. I enjoy seeing adversity; something odd in a sea of the same. An unusual house; a rock bluff; a dead tree; an interesting person. I also like seeing the patterns in the sameness of everything. I see a lot of oneness. Everything whizzing by. I’m transient. Not just being transported, but floating through things in my perfect chi gong posture and breathing. I’m vibrating with energy and I have nothing but a smile on my face.

Posted by - Rain 19:51

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More like your motorcycle is a microcosm, hippie.

In that it is a smaller version of a regular vehicle...? I don't think either of us are using this term correctly.

Also, who is Jim Rah, how did you meet him, and where can I buy some of the little that he's growing on his little farm?

by ndwitkin

More and more people are thinking in your direction, Joe, especially concerning sustainable farming and healthier food. Nate's right about the connection with 60s-70s hippies--the organic farm I worked on in western Michigan did something you'd love, allowed researchers from the University of Michigan to use the farm to test putting insects that feed on the insects that damage the fruit trees the farm grew. That farm was purchased by "hippies" from a family of Italian immigrants who had resisted using pesticides, so it had always been organic. Anyway, the difference now is that such ideas are going mainstream. Look at the popularity of books like Eat This Not That: Supermarket Survival Guide, that tells you how to find and avoid the foods with the most high fructose corn syrup and so on. You might also be very interested in Margaret Atwood's new book (just came out) The Year of the Flood, which looks at the issues that interest you in a dystopian, futuristic fictional way. Also, it seems what you're enjoying, along with patterns, is anomalies ("anomaly" is a great word). As for whether the car is a microcosm of a larger unsustainable, mind-numbing system, I don't know (microcosm: "1 : a little world; especially : the human race or human nature seen as an epitome of the world or the universe
2 : a community or other unity that is an epitome of a larger unity.") But the word fits your search for unity and seeing all our choices as potentially an epitome of how we fit into or deviate from larger systems and communities, including the communities of the slow food and buy-local movements. Really enjoyed considering your thoughts, Joe. Do tell us more about Jim Rah!

by Sheryl S

wow, that was poetic. I can see that there are going to be many more entries like this when you guys start working on organic farms. At the museum the other day, one of the guys asked me if I wanted one of his home grown tomatoes. I said no thank you-because I wasn't hungry and honestly my idea of a snack is not a plain tomato. He sort of took it the wrong way and explained that his wife is an environmental scientist and he is not aloud to use pesticides or any of that crap. So he explained that it was all natural. I just thought it was interesting that he would jump to explain that-it definitely shows times are changing.

by BritterBee

1. totally agree...i remember the first time i rode my bike on pearl and looked at the road and felt more connected...i know a bicycle is different..but i know that tint of dirtiness that separates car windows from the world

2. fuck factory farms! the world was not meant to be that way...we need simple small microcosms to live in to keep things balanced...you already eat healthy but it's amazing how many people do the majority of their shopping in the center aisles at the grocery store...all that processed crap...that's why i'm working towards locavore and raw...some balance...some day...watch the future of food on hulu...it's awesome...I'm going to have to look up your movie!...

...Joe you should have your entries punctuated with these theological ones...in the words of britterbee...so poetic...

by CoreyAnn

Here is a link to the movie Joe was talking about:
http://www.freshthemovie.com/

Also, Jim burned us a copy, and I'd like to mail it around, so email me your address if your interested and I'll mail it to you.

by Van-essa

Alan and I are very interested, but mail to Canada is expensive, so let us see if we can find it at the public library first.

Can't wait to hear more about Jim!

by Sheryl S

I totally want to get a vespa and this totally helps.

by buddy-JC

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