Fireside Chat

  • January 17, 2024

It’s single digits outside as I type this – but 72 degrees inside, as I type this. The fire is keeping us warm.

But that’s only part of it.

The fire can’t be turned off (or even down) by a remote central authority – as electricity can. If you rely on the latter to keep warm, keep in mind that they control whether you stay warm. Their control can be asserted by what they call a “smart” meter – or a “smart” thermostat. Which it isn’t very smart to have in your home, if you dislike the idea of not being in control over whether you stay warm. It is psychologically interesting that they use such verbiage to wheedle people into thinking it is “smart” to accept what is manifestly stupid – in terms of their own self-interest. The same etymological mind-fuckery can be observed in the use of such words as “assistance” to describe “technology” that’s likewise used to control people.

Think about this push to power everything using electricity. Not just heat. What will it mean when everything is powered by the same thing and nothing is any longer up to you to decide whether to power (and how much power to use). Think about the kinds of people who are pushing for that control and what they have already done to us on the pretext of various shibboleths, which are all fundamentally the same in that they all serve the same purpose.

Two guesses as to what that might be.

I have a big pile of firewood sitting just outside my front door. Each log can be thought of as unit of energy – which it is – that can be used at my discretion for any purpose I deem necessary. The wood is storable energy, too – which has a value not dissimilar from that which inheres in precious metals. Each log represents – each log is – heat value that can be cashed in whenever I like. Electricity is different in at least two ways worth thinking about, the most obvious being it is only available to use if it isn’t turned off (or down). You pay your power bill, but you can’t stack up a pile of kilowatt-hours to have on hand for when the power might be turned off (or down). You can only have what they allow you to receive and they can decide to not allow you to receive it anytime they like.

And why would they want to have that kind of control over your ability to stay warm? Or to eat, for that matter? How about your being able to go for a drive – or not?

Perhaps you begin to see.

One of the reasons I left the city – left suburbia – was because I liked the idea of taking back a degree of control over what I perhaps quaintly continue to think of as my life. It is essential to assert control over it if one wishes to have meaningful ownership over it. Otherwise, it’s just a sickly (and dangerous) illusion. One that can be easily and quickly dispelled by an assertion of control by the owners.

So I traded in a suburban house on a lot measured in square feet for a country house on land – with plenty of trees. My own storehouse of energy, which is now effectively free for the taking. Having bought the house and the land, I own the trees – and I can (and do) cut some down as necessary. The power could go off for months and we’d neither freeze nor go without hot food (and water). The latter being arguably at least as important as staying warm when it’s bitter cold.

Of course, it is for just these reasons that they will probably try to outlaw the use of wood to heat a home. They have already done or are trying to do just that in some parts of what’s left of this country. Which is just the right word given who’s behind the destruction of this country.

I think they’ll fail – because it’s no longer a question of annoyance or inconvenience or background-noise increase in the cost of living. It is becoming clear to people who aren’t catatonic that they mean to take away everything, which necessarily means our lives at the end of the thing. We face, in other words, an existential threat – and when a person realizes this, it tends to focus his attention on dealing with it.

We’ve been living with it for far too long. Chiefly because we could afford to. Because we enjoyed a cushion of affluence that seemed almost an entitlement; certainly something many took for granted.

It is now on the verge of being taken away – by people whose evil motives all-too-many-of-us either didn’t understand or didn’t want to understand. When everything is on the table, such ignorance – such insouciance – is fatal.

These are my thoughts as I type by my fireside, looking out my window at the cold outside.

. . .

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