Independence Daze

The Anarchist Cabinet

“SOS Liberty” by cetrobo on deviantArt

“I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy sh*t we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place.”

Tyler Durden, Fight Club

In 1999, Tyler Durden’s mishap gang of violent revolutionaries fore-shadowed a lot of upcoming trends in the decades ahead. I admire the plethora of note-worthy quotes in Fight Club. (Thanks to that warped manifestation of neo-noir film, people finally started paying attention to the Pixies!) Viewers were drawn to Durden’s criticism on modern culture, on “the system”. Current extremist protest groups like Anonymous and Occupy were most likely super devoted fans inspired by this character at one point. Unfortunately for them, Fight Club also taught audiences that folks who had unorthodox ideas like Tyler Durden’s were probably portraying figments of their delusional schizophrenic alter-egos. (Ah, the conditioning of society to blame disruptive behaviors on mental illness – at it’s finest!) In all seriousness though, I am not here to shove anarchist rantings and media down your throat.

Setting aside, those words above have always resonated with me. In a book I am reading was an excerpt from a February 1989 Reader’s Digest: A couple took early retirement from their jobs in the Northeast five years ago when he was 59 and she was 51. Now they live in Punta Gora, Florida, where they cruise on their 30 foot trawler, play softball and collect shells.

Picture them before Christ,” the author said,”‘Look, Lord. See my shells.’ That is a tragedy.

For a moment when I read those words, I felt a sinking feeling. At times I too have wanted to display my life like the quaint collection of seashells on my windowsill. Living essentially two thousand miles away from the only place I ever knew for twenty years, all I have wanted since being here was to show my old friends the things I have done. Except I have more than shells, more than mere trophies. Sharing recipes for good health is one thing, but recipes for good life experiences is the real deal.

Why waste precious hours and energy finding ways to pay for things we have the ability to do for ourselves, together? Imagine for a moment the kind of individuals we would be without our luxuries, our hygiene products, our xanax and our Vitamin Water. What is life? Liberty, happiness? Being capable of purchasing lots of convenience? What if we could trade our energy earning diplomas and paychecks wasted paying off  these trivial things, in exchange for an opportunity to create them with the people and at the places we love the most?

In our consumer culture there are international industries of the most powerful and greedy nature. If I could blog about building a house, I would, because in developing relationships with the objects we use for daily purposes, we curb the materialistic urges to consume and contribute to corporate powers. Stimulating an interest in seasonal and organically grown foods while sticking it to the major food corporations is the responsibility for my Tuesday’s recipe blog. On Fridays I am officially beginning a new series: The Anarchist Cabinet.

At the end of every week, I will present my readers with an item or an ingredient that will come in use in one of three categories: your medicine cabinet, your cleaning cabinet or your beauty cabinet. Begin caring for the quality, the origin, chemistry  and the ethics that went into the purchases you make. Analyze your personal belongings. Learn to appreciate the effort and hard work that goes into craftsmanship. During the process think about how you can direct more support and attention to people who, unlike large industry leaders, have relationships with what they sell and to whom. Feed a family with your purchase. Quit objectifying your possessions, acknowledge the lifestyles you endorse. Treat your buying habits like casting a ballot, like charity.

“And I hated everything I’d accomplished and accumulated on this earth. I can’t take it with me – no, I have to leave it to whoever comes after me. Whether they’re worthy or worthless – and who’s to tell? – they’ll take over the earthly results of my intense thinking and hard work… Smoke.”

– Ecclesiastes 2: 18-19

Funny how God can sound a lot like Tyler Durden.
Ever truly your favorite prairie muffin
❤ Nellie Ann

P.S. I will not write this particular series once a week anymore but mainly when I am just inclined to do so.
Look forward to seeing you tomorrow!


7 thoughts on “The Anarchist Cabinet

  1. Well written. As a society everywhere we look we’re urged to consume–we’ve been conditioned to be super consumers. But on the flip side, in this day and age, I believe we are more empowered than ever to be creators/contributors.

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