Friday, November 28, 2008

Fuelled by unshakeable idealism

When hawtness collides-->

(Hopefully Mark has one of these--->)

Top of a frosty Gingerday to you and yours. Cold ain't it? It must be, The Marklar has forgone his usual morning gadding about the garden and is now buried under the Paramour's bear at the end of the bed. Most unlike him- I'm never fully convinced he feels things like cold and heat. Especially now as he seems to have added a lot of poundage. He's rather like a one-eyed tabby seal.
Money, or the lack of it seem to be one everybody's mind at the moment as those ghastly words 'Credit Crunch' do the rounds. So when I learned that tomorrow is 'buy nothing day' I genuinely thought, 'my, that's not the worst idea I've ever heard.'
Observe, from the Times.
'IN TODAY'S BRACING economic climate, there's a renewed interest in the austere pleasures of frugality. Buy Nothing Day is tomorrow, and we are all encouraged to take a "global holiday from consumerism" and have a 24-hour break from any kind of shopping. It certainly has an added resonance this year."
Well quite.
But of course no sooner does someone come up with a relatively good idea, some other person has to take it and evangelize it to death.
Here's the rest of the article, take a gander see what you think.
I've never understood the 'glory' of living a hand to mouth existence/back to basics. Let's face it, it's only well off educated Westerners who seek it out. Everyone else already KNOWS the hardship of eking out living and most other folk would kill for a warm home and access to education and running water and what not. I sometimes imagine what a genuinely poor person would make of a genuinely well off person rejecting their privileged lifestyle on a principle. 'Nutters' they must think.
It's easy to be self sufficient to the point of nuttiness when deep down you know if you run into real trouble you can place a reverse call to your parents and they'll bail you out.
If watching that annoying whiny man child film, Into The Wild, has taught me anything- and it hasn't- burning embers and book reading gets a bit dull after a while. You might suddenly find yourself hankering after a McDonalds Big Mac and a long hot shower with real shower gel. Not going out, not socializing, not going to movies, eating out of bins and so on will probably get very wearing after a month or two.
Anyhoo, I'll be sort of interested to see how this all pans out for master Mark Boyle.Introverted folk think they can go it alone, but solitude by choice and enforced solitude are not the same thing. What will he take away from his year of scavenging? Will he learn to appreciate the luck he already has for being born where he was? Will he crack?
Who can say? Now I must go stock up on some goose fat ( for roast potatoes) wine and duck for tomorrow's 'no buying of stuff'.
It really should not be a hardship at all.



Anonymous eva said...

"The wood-burner is placed facing my bed, so I can watch the embers glow as I read a book on those cold winter evenings".
That sentence made me laugh.
Ok so good intentions and all that, but to me it sounds like taking it too bloody far.
Come on...

11:11 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

When he starts reusing the same teabag over and over, then we'll see!

11:15 a.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

I'm all for being as independent as possible but come on.

Speaking of "buy nothing day" i've got to head to tescos to get a shedload of booze and food.

I'm quite the rebel.

PS: the fuckers upped the hummus from 1:59 to 2:59 overnight. they do make the best hummus though...

11:38 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

That's a hell of a markup! What gives?
Superquinn have these 'roll back the price' weekends of late, you can stock up on all sorts of goods for the equivalent price from the 1970s. If that's happening tomorrow I man have to rethink 'Buy Nothing Day.'

11:46 a.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

Have you ever been to the laughter lounge?

Some decent comedy and they have 1980s nights where the drinks are nice and cheap.

11:58 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I have heard of this 'laughter lounge' of which you speak. What I had not heard of was the 'cheap' hooch part. I must investigate further.

12:03 p.m.  
Blogger The Hangar Queen said...

Not the worst idea I've heard.Pity it's utterly useless.People just buy all the same shit a day early or later and get the warm and fuzzies from thinking they have "done something".

You're spot on regarding wealthy westerners being the only ones afflicted with this hypocrisy (Let's call a spade a spade here)

The vast majority of the world's people would cut throats and cheerfully murder to live as we do.Doing your shopping on a Sunday instead of Saturday does what exactly?

There's no fucking need for this eejit to live out of bins etc.Just make better informed cosumer choices and use your buying power to make sustainble,sane and equitable trade profitable and attractive for those seeking business models.

It's very possible to live simply AND well.

12:11 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

"There's no fucking need for this eejit to live out of bins etc.Just make better informed consumer choices and use your buying power to make sustainble,sane and equitable trade profitable and attractive for those seeking business models"

But Darling gal, where's the smell of patchoolie in THAT?.

12:25 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

I used to know a few freegans some years back and ended up living with one for a few months.
I'm not sure its really a hypocrisy as their lifestyle was chosen as a form of protest - would you call an ethical vegetarian a hypocrite?

12:32 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I don't think I am calling him a hypocrite per se, I'm just not following his line of reasoning to its fullest. If he was really a full on freegan he'd live that way full time, not just for a year.
Ethical vegetarians are okay in my book. They've made a conscious decision over what to eat based on how they feel, but if say a person decided not to eat anything at all because some poor people in the sudan can't eat, well, I might think, 'nutter.' If you see what I mean.

12:46 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Sorry, my previous comment was more addressed to Hangar Queen than yourself FMC.
I believe what he's proposing is a valid form of protest, if you dig beneath all the romanticised shite about "the beautiful simplicity of life".
All the best forms of protest are instigated by nutters.

12:58 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Ah! Okay. Oh Sheepie, will some kind of alcohol o'clock ever come round? This day seems so long for some reason. I have ten pages of illegible crap to sift through and only so many hours before kickboxing.

1:06 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Mulled wine o'clock beckons, FMC!
Off I'll trot to the xmas market at city hall in T minus 3hrs 15mins for some sweet, sweet beverage action.

*cue 24 style countdown*

dink beep dink beep...

2:02 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

That sounds delightful to me.

2:09 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Icedcoffee has some great pics of it. It's lubly.

2:19 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Aw, it really looks so festive.

2:34 p.m.  
Blogger gimme a minute said...

Festive November.

Bah humbug.

2:54 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I know, but mulled wine Toots, I'll take my jollies where ever I find 'em.
I miss beer {:-(

3:10 p.m.  
Blogger The Hangar Queen said...


I wasn't calling him a hypocrite.That was directed at those who think they're doing something by participating in a 'buy nothing' day.

But lets look at how this fella plans to live.Essentially off of the flotsam and jetsom of a throwaway society.That's my problem with this escapade.If everyone lived a more sustainable existence he'd starve.

As would the millions of people how are compelled to live like that and have no choice in the matter.

3:11 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

"I wasn't calling him a hypocrite. That was directed at those who think they're doing something by participating in a 'buy nothing' day"

I get what you're saying, Hangar Queen, but it's still better than doin feck all - at least awareness is raised, however momentarily, of the gaping holes in our society and general 'westernised' outlook that people tend to ignore the other 364 days in a year.
Babysteps first.

3:30 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Hey ho, have a good weekend everyone, off to kick the crap out of a heavy bag.

3:54 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

"off to kick the crap out of a heavy bag"

Run Mary Harney, RUN!

3:59 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

I've no use for asceticism whether it comes in the form of freeganism, or from monks or some other religious strain.
Fuck that.
I don't buy that we were born to suffer or deny pleasure or comfort.
This quote from Virginia Woolf's "A Room of One's Own" popped into my head:
"The human frame being what it is, heart, body and brain mixed together, and not contained in separate compartments as they will be no doubt in another million years, a good dinner is of great importance to good talk. One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. The lamp in the spine does not light up on beef and prunes."

The starving artist just dies in the garret. Poverty is not a fucking vocation and it doesn't absolve you of your privilege.

4:44 p.m.  
Blogger laughykate said...

Ten bucks says that people actually spend more as a result of 'buy nothing day'. They should also have a 'buy not as much as you normally would day' and compare how much is spent over a three day period around both days.

I remember reading something about Bono being in Africa and how the (poor, starving) people would get their heads a guy who owned houses, cars, boats etc etc. And one of the aid guys said something along the lines of, 'In these people's eyes Bono is in the uber wealth category because he has a washing machine.'

That line made me think that, as a team of people (i.e humankind) we really have fucked it up along the way.

6:44 p.m.  
Blogger daisy mae said...

i haven't read the article (yet), but this brings up something i encountered yesterday - the 5K i was in was a charity run. the primary purpose was to bring non-perishable food items that were donated to the local food bank. our local food bank is at the point where they actually have to limit the amount they give away - to one box of food per family, per month (used to be per week).

but how many people do you think bothered to even bring a can of soup? almost none. if everyone brought 1# of food, they would have donated well over 2000# of food - but barely made it over 500#.

there are other ways to live the simple life and help others - volunteering, donating items, serving as a mentor. from what i gather from this guy, it seems more of a self-serving ego trip than anything else.

7:17 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Evening laydeeees! Some excellent points re Bono/garrets(pfft)/and jesus christ on a pogo stick, not even a single can of soup? Wow, that's harsh. Well done on your run though.
It's all a bit faux eco warrior for me, I just can't bring myself to take anyone who would willingly live out of a dumpster like Oscar the grouch seriously.

I wish the paramour would come home from football training and make dinner, I could eat a small pony. I've been to KB, fed the cats, cleaned out litter trays, bought two 20k sacks of coal, cleaned out the fire, filled a scuttle, lit the fire and I am now eyeing up some French wine in a fierce but quietly determined manner. If he doesn't arrive back soon I fear I will open a bottle and wine on an empty stomach is NOT good.

7:52 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

Don't do it, FMC!
Or at least eat a cube of cheese to go with the vino to keep you from passing out.

10:32 p.m.  
Anonymous Pinkie said...

icanhascheeseburgers is a great website! they have loldogs now, you know?! not just lolcats!

11:39 p.m.  
Blogger Chris said...

Hi Fatmammycat,

I’m a big fan of roasts!
One thought though – have you considered replacing the goose fat with hemp seed oil, such as Good Oil:

Not only does it have a slightly fresher taste (in my opinion), but it’s also a good healthy alternative to goose fat, dramatically reducing the calorie count in the dish, while not compromising on taste.

I should disclose that GOOD OIL is a client of mine, so feel free to get in touch for more information, I can also send out a sample for you to try if you like.

All the best – keep the recipes coming…


8:41 p.m.  

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