Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Surviving through our stories

What would you take?
a fairytale, by Niki Raapana

I grew up making lists. Did you? For my family it was a prerequisite for any plan we made. We learned to do it at a very young age. I've wasted thousands of pages for just lists alone. Lately, I can't open a binder without finding one of my daughter's lists. List making is one the traits I've obviously passed down to her. What else can I pass down, I wonder.

My grandson loves it when I make up stories for him. Next time I see him, maybe I'll tell him about making lists. We can play a little game starting with the words: If I had to walk out the door tomorrow and survive without any services provided by civilization, what would I take?

Then, if he likes the game, I'll tell him what grandma would hope to have packed and ready to pick up and go. I'd tell him what I'd want waiting for me in a pre-planned and already prepared secret spot. I'd make it exciting and tell him I'd build underground, into a hillside or deep inside a clean cave. He already knows that up here we'd have to run the bears out of the cave first.

I'd wish I could recite my fairytale list to him as if it were a poem. Cadence is easier to memorize and music helps the stories find a home in our hearts.

To my literal readers who choose to take this fairytale seriously, please note the big "if" in the game Q. I have by no means collected all of the things on my list. I'm too poor. But who knows, maybe you can afford it. Plus, this is an Alaskan winter list and people in warmer climates will not need some of these items but will need other things not on my list.

Lists are personal. Everyone has a different set of priorities. I'd like to be prepared for mountain living, as that may be all that's safe and available in many places. High mountain streams provide fresh water, glaciers provide summer ice, volcanoes and high wind areas discourage helicopter flyovers and landings. In the worst fairytale possible, we may not only want to be off the grid, but also choose to remain under the radar.

My "What I'd Want To Take With Me" Fairytale List:

1. Firearms, heavy ammo, birdshot and long range bullets, my preferences being a hefty sidearm, a 12 gauge shotgun, and a 270 rifle with a detachable scope. 50,000 rounds. Maps. Snowshoes, dogsled, skis, traps. Dogs. Bicycle, cart, shovels. Metal storage bins with tight lids. Crossbow, arrows. Slingshot. Frisbee. Softballs. Bat. Mits.

2. Shelter, 10 to 16' wide, able to hold an inside fire, waterproof matches, all stored inside 1 gal zip up plastic bags with 2 dozen of Kathy's egg carton/wax firestarters. Sharp knife, toilet paper, garbage bags, can opener, flashlights, headlamps, spotlight, tea lights, batteries, portable generator, fuel, kerosene lamps, stove and lights. Oil lamps, lamp oil. Folding table and chairs. Folding sink table (bakers rack). Coolers. Fishing pole. Tackle box. Dipnet. Bug dope. Buckets.

3. Tarps, various sizes and grades, rugs, blankets, sleeping bags, bed pad, hammock, pillow, sheets and pillow cases, which can double as insulation and bags when traveling. Wood/coal stove. Wood bag. Pot holders.

4. Down coats, windbreaker, rain gear, snowpants, wool pants, wool socks, bootliners, rain boots, snow boots, leather boots, muk luks, slippers, longjohns, under wear, coveralls, carharts, jeans, t shirts, turtlenecks, wool and fleece sweaters, all kinds of well fitting hats and gloves, gloveliners.

5. Water jugs, water pitchers, towels and wash rags, body soap, dental floss, toothbrushes. toothpaste, shampoo, body soaps (can double as dish soap) conditioner, nail clippers, nail file, Q-Tips, body oils and lotions, perfume (not in summer).

6. Axe, sledgehammer, machete, knives, saws, nails, screws, hooks, staples and gun, scissors, hammers, screw drivers, wire cutters, rolls of copper wire, ropes of light twine to 500 lb line.

7. Metal water pots, metal and cast iron frying pans, non-electrical coffee and tea pot, metal and wood kitchen utensils, dishes, 1 to 5 gal clean and slop buckets, metal dish pans, cases of soap, cases of scrubbers, rubber gloves, rags.

8. Bleach, iodine, rubbing and drinking alcohol, Balm of Gilad, Teatree Oil, first aid kit, coffee, tea, Tang and Lemonade Mixes, hot chocolate, rice, dried black beans, red beans, white beans, pinto beans, lima beans, split peas, white, wheat, rye flour, brown sugar, yeast, molasses, brewers yeast, salt, pepper, spices, herbs, dried peppers, oatmeal, nuts, grains, syrups, jams, peanut butter, canned fish, veggies, meats, and poultry. Olive oil, vegetable oil, Mongolian fire oil, sesame oil, almond oil, peanut oil and Crisco. Big metal mixing bowls, ceramic jars, baking utensils, cheesecloth, small bread pans, muffin tins, cookie cutters, cook books, organic garden seeds, worms, bees, garden tools, drying racks, metal cooking racks, metal tongs, Amish Granny's Oven stackrobber, smoker, folding metal fireside tables and shelves, and 2 rabbits.

9. Sewing kit, heavy needles and thread, fabric scissors, bolts of wool, cotton, silk and sheer, swatches and notions, tapered and long burning candles, candle holders, beeswax, canning jars and lids, spinning wheel.

10. Personal items, hairbrush, hair ties, combs, family photos, pens, paper, blank books, favorite books, crafts, small office items, projects, tobacco, rolling papers, pipes, screens, Valium (just kidding).

Many people have written to me over the past decade asking the same thing: What can we do? I spent the past five years camping in Alaska, devoting my quiet time to considering the best answer to that question. In the end, I never did answer it; I couldn't come up with one thing to recommend everyone do, or try to do. I always felt I had failed the readers in that aspect of my ACL work. Indeed, many people accused me of only identifying the problem. They were disappointed that I did not also have a solution to the problem I identified. My weak response to their complaints was always: I think all of us have to contribute original ideas to the solution.

I am not alone in my observations of current events or what I think could possibly happen. But I'm not one who hopes for it, on any level of my being. I'm one of those wackos who hoped and prayed it would never come to my having to escape to the real wilderness. I still never want it to become my reality. I know I would probably die if I had to do it. The "accidental" lesson I have learned here at Camp Redington, throughout all these final years of my written opposition to Amitai Etzioni's communitarian plan, is this: surviving without the benefits of modern civilization is almost too hard to contemplate.

My every waking moment I am grateful for my grid electricity, a phone line so I can talk to my daughter, for the internet, connected to the phone line, so I can talk to my son in real time, a U.S. Marine stationed in Hawaii and heading for Afghanistan. Every day I thank the Good Creator for our being alive. Then, for having a refrigerator for cold milk, a chainsaw and the gas and oil to keep it running, my pile of wood, and the clean fresh water from our community well. I wouldn't want to live without my electric espresso machine for my morning latte.

I never, and I mean never want to see us lose what our fathers, mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers left to us. They hoped but we know life can be good. Modern things are wonderful, they enrich our lives and without a doubt make it easier. We will all be much better off finding a way to keep all of it available and accessible. It would be complete neglect to not pass our accumulated human achievements down to future generations. The survival of our progeny depends on it.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Civilization is in and of the heart. It's not civilized if it is laced with lies and manipulation. That's like yearning for a donut that looks nice on the outside, but you know it's filled with dung.

An appropos news article, on this day the Dalai Lama steps down from political power in Tibet...

“Zombie Ants” Discovered in Brazil

Scientists say a fungus (Communitarianism) takes over the insects’ brains and makes them move to an ideal location before killing them.

Formicidae beware! Scientists believe they have discovered four species of fungus in the Brazilian rainforest that colonize ants’ miniscule brains and then eat them from the inside out. The researchers, who hail from the U.K. and U.S., released their findings in the journal Plos ONE last week, and described how the fungus manipulates an ant’s brain so that it will die in an exposed place, which is where the fungus likes to grow, often forcing the insect to cling to plant structures with its jaws. The fungus then kills the insect, and begins growing out of its head.

joe said...

The new President of your Alma mater will rake in about $600K a year.

College Presidents are glorified Sales Professionals.

Higher education is a money-making machine operating under a favorable tax status.

It pains me that you're educating the freedom-loving public and not fairly compensated for it.

Americans are angry. Lost. Disenchanted. Irrational. Hungry for resolution. Ignorant. Led like Cattle.

Glenn Beck and others in the Disinformation game are filling their heads with lies, misdirection and nonsense.

Step in and produce a "How to Survive Book" using your list here as a starting point.

Your methods are proven.

-Serf in Boston

Rusty Mason said...

Very helpful, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was the pre-eminent political and ideological leader of India during the Indian independence movement. He pioneered satyagraha. This is defined as resistance to tyranny through mass civil disobedience, a philosophy firmly founded upon ahimsa, or total nonviolence. This concept helped India gain independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.

Marcas said...

"Scientists say a fungus (Communitarianism) takes over the insects’ brains and makes them move to an ideal location before killing them.

Formicidae beware! Scientists believe they have discovered four species of fungus in the Brazilian rainforest that colonize ants’ miniscule brains and then eat them from the inside out. The researchers, who hail from the U.K. and U.S., released their findings in the journal Plos ONE last week, and described how the fungus manipulates an ant’s brain so that it will die in an exposed place, which is where the fungus likes to grow, often forcing the insect to cling to plant structures with its jaws. The fungus then kills the insect, and begins growing out of its head."


If you can spare the Bandwidth and the time, check out Dr. Joe's Mind Control Video's:

http://www.drjoesvideo.com/

He goes into this, except the intruding agent is a bug and he describes it from a human perspective.

He has a PhD, so we should listen to him, shouldn't we?


And remember, Gandhi was inspired by reading Thoreau!

Niki Raapana said...

I ended up changing my major from Theater to Journalism because of an essay (blue book exam) I wrote about a quote of Thoreau's. :)

I hate bugs. I have a lot of bug dope stashed away.

When I was 16, I read a book about Gandhi, and told my father I was never going to fight again. He beat me up. The point stuck.

And I keep thinking of all kinds of things that should be on this list. I already have to make a new one! One reader emailed me he thinks it's interesting I put soap, lotion and perfume ahead of axes in my priorities. It's one of those women things I guess, and there is no real order to my list. I want ALL these things. But this lifestyle is very dirty and there's nothing more beautiful than taking a shower with nice smelling soap and feeding your skin and hair luxurious natural oils, especially after a long hard trip or days work. I need to add large horse feeding trough to my list, they're the same size as bath tubs.

Wonder how much you could get for a bath after the "end"? In the old West it was 5 cents. In the new world order, it could be 5000 yen.

the pilgrim soul in me said...

O, I love your posts! There's so much to respond to. But as I scanned the comments I saw your comment about hating bugs. I loathed science as a student, but when homeschooling my children I became the "bug" lady. For many science kills their belief in God; it cemented mine.

Growing up during the Cold War, I would have dreams of being part of the "underground". Thoughts like that have never left me, though my ability probably has.

Like you, I have been "preparing for the worst" but hopeful that the worst can be averted.

Lists! I have been labeled anal for what I thought was demonstrating good organization skills. I can't force myself to be so disciplined now; I am lost without my lists. Is that freedom?

Anonymous said...

If you do not understand or practice the principles behind satyagraha, you are really also failing to grasp the principles (and power) behind Christ's simple message of 'turning the other cheek'.

This is just the principle of 'reciprocity', the 'Golden Rule', that is central to all Great Faiths (most of which are then disempowered by all the growing clap-trap associated with them as they become systems of wielding power over people, rather than empowering them).

Of course, during our recent 'Era of Gross Materialism' - 'me, me, me', many philosophers have doubted this 'Rule' and this has been very hard to see, or experience. What did they know?

Such 'self-sacrifice' is central to Nature and all systems of Power, the Qaballah for example; it's just how you use it that is important, for good or bad. Just observe a tree and how it grows. Be like water, just flow round obstacles, become unstoppable.

Such treatment by a parent at an early age would likely 'blind' a person to these principles. You will end up lost in a wilderness of the mind if nothing else.

Your work is too important to be lost.

(And this 'message' describes the only way we can escape this unfolding & growing 'Age of Darkness').

Anonymous said...

When you do things
from your soul,
you feel a river
moving in you,
a joy.

When actions come
from somewhere else,
the feeling disappears.

Don't let others lead you

They may be blind
or, worse, vultures.

Reach for the rope ...

And what is that?

Just put aside self-will.

Because of willfulness
people sit in a jail,
like a trapped bird's wings are tied,
a fish that fries in the skillet.

The anger of police is willfulness.

You've seen a magistrate
inflict visible punishment

Now see the invisible.

If you could leave your self/willfullness,
you would see how
you've been torturing your soul

We are born and live inside
black water in a well.

How could we know
what an open field of sunlight is?

Don't insist on going
where you think you want to go

Ask the way to the spring.

Your living pieces
will then form a harmony.

There is a moving palace
that floats in the air
with balconies and
clear water flowing through,
infinity everywhere,
yet contained under a single tent.
____________

Its called LOVE. (We need your help, your work is very important, but you can only be effective if you can understand, or maybe even experience this).

Niki Raapana said...

Yeah, I'm too jaded to be effective, so I'll let you lead people to the water and show them how to love. One cannot give away what one does not possess.

Every article and research paper I've ever typed about this ripped out a piece of my soul. I've been fighting a "quiet" war that most people still don't know is coming. No matter what the battlefields are, all war requires that some us become soldiers and we hope others will save our souls. I'm just a soldier in a paperwork war. Pray for me at the hour of my death.

I do love. Take my work and use it to do good things. That would make it all worth it to me in the end.

Anonymous said...

Everyone, every single person, has something vital to contribute here,some (like yourself) perhaps a little more. in the future there will be no leaders. They are the problem.

the meek shall inherit here

the times are a changing, only now can we move forward, this is your time.

your hard work is not in vain ... you really should be explaining it at RIO+20 - can we work towards that ?

in haste ... lots ripping open here, exciting times, its time to 'go over the top'

poor japanese today ...

must dash ...

XXX

the pilgrim soul in me said...

Niki, it's never one person's job to do it all. You have done your part. I had to learn this too: I have only been asked to deliver a message. I am not responsible for the response. The responder will answer to someone other than me.

You informed of a problem, the solution to which, as other commenters have indicated, comes from inside each one of us, individually.

The correct answer has to do with "turning the other cheek" and not responding to violence with violence. The answer is the inverse of everything that is happening to us. It is going to be a difficult row to hoe to get enough people to understand this to make any kind of a difference.

When I am most discouraged and feeling alone, I like to remember the story of Elijah, I think it is, who is lamenting to God that he alone is standing, to which God responds that actually there are thousands that Elijah does not know about. This is my hope. There are more people that you and I can know that are aware and would be so encouraged if they knew we were here.

Kevin Eggers said...

Niki,
Your last few paragraphs about what we won’t have (choice, privacy, etc.) when the communitarian plan is complete is the reason it needs to be exposed and stopped.
Over the last few years I’ve been reading quite a bit about collectivism. I found some great books written by Ogden L. Mills during the 1930s. Mills, who served as Secretary of Treasury for a couple of years in the Hoover administration, wrote about how the “whole New Deal” was a collectivist plan. In his book “The Seventeen Million” (referring to the seventeen million who voted against Roosevelt) from the chapter “The Collectivist State” Mills quoted famed journalist Walter Lippmann regarding Nazi collectivism:
“It is one of the most curious experiments ever undertaken; this attempt, in an age when the means of communication have been stupendously magnified, to control by government bureaus all the organs of intelligence in order to remake man, character, faith. The German experiment, except to those who are its victims, is particularly interesting and, like the offer of a strong man to let himself be vivisected, a great contribution to political science. For the Germans are the most gifted and most highly educated people who ever devoted the full strength of the modern state to stopping the exchange of ideas; they are the most highly organized nation which ever devoted all the coercive power of government to the abolition of the intellectual life of its people; they are the most learned people who ever pretended to believe that the premises and the conclusion of all inquiry may be fixed by political fiat.”
It can’t help but think of communitarianism when I read this Lippmann quote.
I just received an email (through Facebook) from Brian Sussman, who wrote Climategate. He told me his entire next book will be devoted to Agenda 21, and will be put out by a major publishing company. I met Sussman at the Tea Party event in Marin. He’s a “conservative” radio host in the Bay Area. I’m going to try to get Sussman some of your material on communitarianism and Rosa’s perspective on Agenda 21. Otherwise, I’m afraid it will be played as a right versus left book.
Keep up the good work,
Kevin

Anonymous said...

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a differant drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away." Thoreau

I wonder what Thoreau would say in this day and age Nik? Jimmy P.S. Dad didn't want you to lose that "tiger" mentality, and you didn't :)

Anonymous said...

Very important to 'step to the music' that oneself hears and be wary of all others - who may be 'blind' or, 'vultures', or simply daft. (This is precisely the sort of sovereign right of individuality and free thinking that we are trying to protect here.)

We should also clearly understand the 'music' we hear ... we should recognize that this world, of a mess upon a mess upon a mess - is largely created and perpetuated by people who are themselves - a mess. That includes me & you too, as we all carry a lot of 'baggage'. But times are changing, always have, and so must we all. A lesson the dinosaurs didn't learn.

Yes - 'spare the rod & spoil the child' is a sound sentiment, sadly overlooked here in Europe where many of our kids lacking such guidance grow up completely out of control; but verbal reasoning or removal of privileges should suffice; not widely appreciated 50 years ago to be fair. A literal, violent, interpretation of the 'rod' is rarely necessary, for what is generally a failure of intellect (child or parent) but never say never of course. Yet we now have laws against this in europe, which is equally outrageous. But for a father who beats a teenage girl for this, oh, I think a sound & public beating could now be considered for him ... maybe just tarring & feathering him would be best. Of course, who ever knows about such things behind closed doors.

Certainly any parental sanction is misplaced where applied simply for a child exploring other cultural views, that's usually called bigotry, think that's what the Taliban practice and is one of the stated reasons for invading Afghanistan.

Besides, such a repressive response (in any context, let alone disciplining a child) always has negative consequences, as violence always begats violence ... its the 'Law of Unintended Consequences', not a law invented by humans. Something military planners consistently fail to learn, from long before Hitler, to the present day. And also applies to most human laws - just another form of violence or repression upon a person.

There is an evolution going on here, the monotheistic desert originated faiths, of which of course Anglo-Saxon Christianity is one, are no different in this respect. We Christians don't stone adulterers anymore (shame, saturday nights just aren't the same anymore), but we do allow usury - giving Taliban types much encouragement (as usury in contrary to their sharia law) as such practices now 'rot' the West, from our financial centres outwards - and if we had read our history, we would have know this to be always the general effect here, that's why it was first banned in Christendom.

No - we don't need any global sanctions imposed in Law - but we do need to grow up and move on, and learn better from each other & history, if we are ever to assert those individual sovereign rights we correctly aspire to.

It's one thing to be a 'tiger' - but if its stuck in a 'cage', and with 'blunted claws', what is the point ... ?

Anonymous said...

So your brother wants to romanticize your getting beat up by your father? Hey he would go to jail these days for that. What assholes the men in your family are.

ahampton said...

What is the problem? Exactly what entity is infringing on freedom? In both cases is it not government with its laws enforced by government police and courts?

What can Americans do about their government?

Did not the Founders answer that question with Article I, Section 2 of the 1787 Constitution?

Allan - ahampton@suddenlink.net