Friday, August 24, 2012

culturally speaking

CULTURALLY SPEAKING
Culture is formed by many things, from history to topography.  That’s the main reason NOT to move out of the country at the last minute.  You won’t assimilate into the local scene.  And, yes, I think this is already the last minute.  Fred, over yonder at Fred On Everything ( dot net ), was a hillbilly back in the day but chose to go to Mexico and make it his new home.  Two things he did right were moving back a long time ago and having a local bride.  It also didn’t hurt he was bringing in income from GringoLand.  Altogether he should be safe and comfortable down there.  I don’t think Mexican peasants, baring a drought, will much feel the global implosion.  Now, you can translate these criteria to moving to another state here in the Union.  If it is last minute, you won’t be accepted.  If you suck off the locals, you won’t be accepted.  And, if you don’t do something to blend in, like marry a local girl, you won’t be accepted.  And not being accepted will in time be a death sentence.  So, before you blindly move to the American Redoubt, ask yourself if you are culturally compatible.  In effect, you are buying into the Western culture.  And I can relate to the Western culture.  But I think what is meant by the American Redoubt concept makes THAT culture a sub-genre that has heavy religious fundamentalist undertones.  Beware that difference.
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I don’t pretend to understand all the cultural undertones here.  I was born and raised Californian, but once I escaped out to the West I felt more at home than when I was a wee lad.  It felt right.  Because The West ain’t California ( it also ain’t coastal Oregon and Washington ).  But I think one of the major influences here was the fight over water rights.  You of course had the issue of Spanish land grants, fenced ranches verses free range, cattle verses sheep ranching, states rights verses federal control and even Commons verses private property.  But over it all you had the fight over water.  California was not as shaped by this as you had, early on, massive irrigation projects.  The water was imported, and the average citizen wasn’t affected by water scarcity.  The coast north of them also had abundant water ( the effect of the ocean conveyor belts ).  But the rest of the west was all about fighting for water.  It was scarce and the fight was bloody.  As a result, the survivors were naturally inclined towards acting antagonistically.  The different here was that it was more of an individual fight.  Clan warfare as typified by Scottish immigrants settling the Appalachians was group based.  As was defense ( I’d wager a deep fried Snickers bar that Texans attitudes towards guns were shaped by being involved in a nastier warfare lasting far long than was typical elsewhere ). 
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So, just from the one example above you can see where there is a huge gulf culturally between Westerners and Southerners.  Looking back at Friday’s article at The World’s Premier Yuppie Survivalist Blog, our Southern gentleman visiting the American Redoubt was identified immediately by his accent.  Westerners don’t really have the same “friendly towards a stranger” attitude that most Southerners have.  In short, we are rude asshats.   I guess we figure there ain’t enough water to go around and we don’t need another mouth at the trough.  And it wasn’t just the rattler incident ( I love how our intrepid site owner compared the benign rattlesnake danger to the South’s cottonmouths and water moccasins.  I agree that a snake on the ground in plain site in the sun is much preferable to one of Satan’s minions swimming with you.  I’m pretty sure they have tree snakes that leap at you too, although I could be wrong ) that was a shock.  The weather here sucks in its back and forth too hot and too cold.  Although better than the South’s constant bathhouse.  Geography is just as important as culture.   
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Every swinging dingus out there compares firearms laws and tax rates and gives you a “perfect” survivalist location.  But people and places are far more important.  You need a place you feel comfortable.  Where people share your values, the religions aren’t weird ( I think one of the great things about the Mormons is they pretty much leave the gentiles alone to be damned to eternal hellfire.  They stay clannish and ignore others as much as possible.  Which is why a sinning place like Nevada, with its whore houses and casinos and 24 hour a day boozing, can house so many Mormon settlements ) and your way of thinking is mirrored.  Which is something the California bastards don’t understand.  You screw up your own state then colonize the rest of the West, trying to vote with your numbers to turn our state into another private revenue stream for your free lunches.  It has worked so far, but beware that cultural and regional differences are making a comeback.  The Feds might have effectively homogenized the country after WWII, but it is now moving back the other way.  People are re-embracing their differences.  As the Empire crumbles the old cultures reappear.  Because tribes are the historically proven survival grouping, not the nation state.  Be careful you aren’t picking the wrong tribe/clan. 
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There is nothing wrong with the South ( ignoring Kunstler’s demented rambling to the contrary ), just make sure you fit in.  And don’t move to alien territory just because some survivalist guru told you to.  That is his prejudice.  You must pick culture before a generic list of desirable attributes.  Who cares if the gun laws are better, if everyone gives you stink eye and babbles in foreign tongues on Sunday?  There are NO perfect survival locations applicable to everyone.  The West has plenty of issues, from overpopulation to California colonization to a massive historic drought going on.  So does every other place.  Sure, if you live in the big city, go to another area less densely populated.  But do so within your comfort zone, not in a foreign land across the country.
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7 comments:

  1. James;

    Praise and Glory to your magnificent Coiffure may it last a thousand years; This being said Fred is too cool, except he discounted the obvious fact that in a land of zebras, he's the wild horse with a pale coat; hence if it gets real bad down there, especially if the Banana War era Marines go and annex Cantrell, then Fred no matter his local connections, his native spouse and his absolutely beautiful step-daughter, is going to save him from the hungry maw that is dispossessed hispanics, that have the grudge of centuries of mistaken rage towards all things American. On that note, while I've made extensive overtures towards the female population here in the Desert Southwest, the situation here is untenable (ethnically speaking)therefore like Hana-Barbara's famed 'Snaglepuss' it's time for a "Exit Stage Left!" most Riki Take and quick. However the Redoubt isn't for me since water is a huge issue, and of course why go somewhere the opposition knows is a hotbed of popular resistance, hence the likely implementation of repression towards the residents of said Redoubt. I can appreciate Northern Nevada, but I can't appreciate the idea of those goons releasing what fun nastiness they have lying in wait at Dugway Proving Ground on all you fun-loving dissenters. See You in the Promised Land James!

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  2. The advice I give to anyone who asks, is either stay where you're at, or go home. If you're familiar enough with a place to consider it "home", then it might be worth moving. Otherwise, yeah, I agree, there's no place that has such great advantages to move to at this late date that overcomes the disadvantage of having to adjust.

    Myself, I'm definitely a western Pennsylvanian. (Okay, some people accuse me of being a Martian, but it's definitely too late to move there.) The woods, the climate, the wildlife, and the culture are all part of who I am.

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  3. One of your best.

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  4. If you call home where you are, you should stay where you are. Thru thick or thin.

    City dwellers, keep repeating this mantra.. Especially in hard times

    -DSM

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  5. This post hits home. Half my family moved to Tennessee, and as much as I like it it did feel like I was a fish out of water having grown up in inland central california. You're hitting some excellent themes lately, especially compared to kuntsler's dreams of convention unrest, or even Fred On Everything. Your writing is showing signs of seasoning, but then again I've only been reading you for about four years.

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  6. When I was a kid my dad was talking to a friend of his. The guy had been on the school board and was active in civic and fraternal organizations and his church. He said, "Joe, I've lived here for more than twenty years and at the meeting last night they called me a newcomer." It will be worse for someone who moves in during a crisis.

    One thing I don't get about the "redoubt" or "citadel" people. If people don't live in a place it is because it is not liveable. There is not enough work, or not enough resources, or there is some other reason that keeps people away. Moving there won't change that. The idea that they could live on small farmsteads presupposes that they have the skills and equipment to live on small farmsteads. The yuppies don't and even those of us who grew up in rural areas don't have the same skills that our grandfathers and great grandfathers had.

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