Duck! and Gather

Duck! and Gather

Posted on: October 10, 2005

Lately, I realized that this blog is shrouded in a bit of doom and gloom. And certainly, I do see some doom and gloom in our immediate future. Heck, that’s why I named this blog “Duck!”. But lately I realized that Duck! is only half the issue. The other half asks: What comes after Ducking? My answer is: We Gather. We pull together. We help each other out. Now I had ben planning to put some of these “Gather” ideas in a different part of my site. For example, I have some incipient thoughts about setting up a “PeoplesWiki”. The idea of that Wiki would be that maybe we could collectively work on redefining life in America in a self reliant way. In other words, this Wiki would ask: What can I do, by myself and with my community, to live in a self reliant way, independent of Government and Corporations? Now, of course, such ideas don’t seem to fit in a dark and danky “Duck!” blog. Yet I’m too lazy to start a whole second blog. (Sheesh, I’m too lazy for just this one.) What to do, what to do, … . And then it hit me! Simply rename “Duck!” as “Duck! and Gather”, and presto, we’re there.

7 Responses to "Duck! and Gather"

Your blog and your analysis of the People vs. Corporations issue has been a great inspiration and a great thinking point for me since I discovered it a month or so ago. I’m glad to see you back at it putting some energy and time into this. I totally agree that without some sort of positive gameplan, doom and gloom scenarios are innefective in creating any sort of meaningful change within society. By all means: Duck! and Gather… then Counterpunch…

Well I have just found your site today and spent a few hours reading the background and history from Duck and just now on Duck and Gather. It’s really wonderful and scary at the same time to see these ideas and theories here. I have been thinking on and off for years about the exponential aspect of so many things, like time speeding up, corporate giants taking over as well as environmental issues and their neglect by those in power, elected by the people!….and how does this all relate and make sense to me…now that I’ve been able to see your writings it’s making me more determined to act on ideas that I’ve been circulating, mostly in my head. Why haven’t you put a book out? I guess you may have and I haven’t looked into it yet actually! But regardless. In my line of work I have been in an odd way, supporting corporations as they profit and exploit the people in my community and obviously all over America. How do I know that what’s happening in my community is going on across our nation? Because when I travel I can see that each community is losing it’s unique qualities. In every town it appears that the same chains are taking over and every consumer is shopping at them, trying to save money and protect Number One (themselves) by using their dollar, which is indeed their vote, to support these corporations. I realize the people shop and thus support large corporations because they might feel like they can trust that they’ll get the same in every store, whether it’s in their own town, another state or another country. You see a WalMart and you know that you’re going to get the same kind of value for your dollar, just like going to Olive Garden when you’re out of town, you get the same meal and the same quality and taste that you expect and know. And people don’t like change, they want something that they’re used to. It struck me as I went to Europe and joked about eating at McDonald’s. So while their intent is to save money and get the kind of quality (or lack of quality) that they’re used to, therefore avoiding the shock and occasional disappointment of change, consumers are supporting the corporate giants who are sucking us dry.

Yes, we need to be proactive and take some preventative measures, not wait until there is a wound and just attempt to band aid. I have been thinking for some time now about what I can do to act. I can’t understand why so few of my friends and colleagues care to brainstorm with me! They don’t take it seriously and continue to give their dollars to the corporations as well. Promoting small business is the only issue that I’ve really looked at so far and am trying to do more to brainstorm there. Really looking at our communities and being responsible as citizens for how things are going, development and corporations versus small business. In particular, as far as environmentally, we need to look outside of America for inspiration on planning the development of communities much like Europe, which encourages walking and thus less consumerism from driving and such. Actually, traveling through Europe and Australia has made me realize how serious this issue is. Seeing KFC all over the world, an American corporation that other countries are embracing. What these first brought up in my head was how sad it is to see so much of the same around the world. Where’s our unique qualities, as a country and in our own communities. We have to have some grassroots involvement, we have to do something instead of sit by. But now comes more thought and work.

Thanks for the comments Andy and Michelle. Not only were they thought provoking and well written, but they were the very first on this blog! Both of your comments, plus some emails I got from others, makes me excited about the idea of creating a “PeoplesWiki”. The idea is that, in addition to sharing our observations with each other, we could collectively work on a new vision of a self-reliant, responsible life. Anyway, your comments got me thinking:
(1) Andy posted his thoughts on which drew some “kudos” from others. This makes me suspect that andy and his commenters were born sometime around 1980 or later (i.e. the “Millenial” generation). Strauss & Howe say that this is the generatrion that will pull us though the coming crisis. So it’s exciting for me to read such things on what otherwise seems to a “Gen-X-er” to be a huge teen, hormone-fueled, flirtation clusterf*#$.
(2) Michelle’s comments about traveling through Europe and noticing differences made me think of my last trip to Greece. I go there often. One thing striking to me about Greece is that, try as they might, the American fast food companies are having difficulty blanketing that country. Why? I think it’s because there is an indigenous, healthy, centuries old, Greek diet. There is something called “Greek food” and everybody there knows what it is. Fast food can’t compete with that. In America, in contrast, there is no “American food”. So into that vacuum has rushed our fast food poison peddlers. Actually, that dynamic goes beyond food. Just think about our national holidays. But I digress … and this is only a comment …

[…] This blog is now attracting comments. Check out the comments to the previous posting. Not your run-of-the-mill commentary, eh? Andy and Michelle, my first two commentators, are obviously observant, clear thinking, well written sorts. Now I’m not saying this just because they find agreement with some of my positions. Hey, we can all disagree. Hell, I disagree with myself often enough. No. What I’m talking about here is stating your positions lucidly, and with emotional balance. Now that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t post the sort of infantile crap that fills the web. That’s the beauty of the web. It’s just a reflection of us. That is, the web is a mirror. So given that, throw in a comment! No need to login or anything. […]

[…] In the comments to my “Duck! and Gather” post, commentator Michelle wrote: “I can’t understand why so few of my friends and colleagues care to brainstorm with me!” Hey, me too. That is, the whole reason I started this blog was that my own various friends, for one reason or another, simply weren’t interested in these subjects. So if they didn’t want to hear it, I figured I’d throw it out there on the web. And then I find that the second commenter on the site has had a similar experience. So that got me thinking about friendship. Friendship seems to me to be a relationship between people who share a common interest. That my current friends are not interested in this blog doesn’t mean they’re not my friends anymore. It just means I don’t bring up this stuff when I’m hanging with them. Instead, I post my thoughts on the web. But then realizing that others are having similar experiences suggests to me that maybe we need an open “meeting place” where any of us can share his or her thoughts. But maybe something more than that. Something more constructive. Like a shared place where we collectively build something. But build what? How about building a self-reliant life — one that seeks independence from Corporations (including Government). It will be a life that asks: How can I do that solely by myself? Or, at least, with only the help of my friends? Such a site might be called a “PeoplesWiki”. When I get the chance, I’ll try posting something along those lines. Your thoughts? […]

To me it seems what’s missing in the world is simply love and brotherhood. Sounds cliche’ I know but it is true. I don’t want to rely solely on myself. The ideal would be the ability to rely on others as well. “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” (I can quote scripture, but rarely quote book and verse.) Isn’t it possible that the idea of self reliance helped to proliferate capitalim and the corporations of today? No doubt, the system is definatley broken and it will take the people to fix it. It has to start with a redefining of “community.” John Coltrane said “The whole globe is our community.” Let’s get to that. It will necessitate an abandonment of the idea of white supremacy. No ethnic group should be considered better or worse than another. There are no minorities and no one is considered white trash. In short, I believe that “with brotherhood there would be no more poverty and also with brotherhood there would be no war.” John Coltrane.

Hi Makeda. Great to hear from you. I certainly agree with your take. I guess the phrase “self reliance” falls short in describing what I’m referring to. As you observe, self reliance can seem close to selfishness which describes the Corporations today. What I mean by “self reliance” here, however, is relying on ourselves, and our communities, as opposed to relying on Corporations and/or Government. An example is this coming, predicted avian flu pandemic. Government and Corporations are active right now on this topic, and most all news coverage I hear or read has the same unstated assumption. That assumption is that we individuals and our communities must rely on Government and (Pharmaceutical) Corporations to save us from the pandemic. I’ve heard no one in media say what I’m saying. That is, maybe through “self reliance” (i.e. reliance upon ourselves and our communities), we can pull through this. A couple of weeks from now I’m going to attend a regular meeting of a group called the “Smart Life Forum”. These are well educated, generally older folks who have come to distrust conventional medicine. The topic of the next meeting is the coming avian flu and what to do about it. I’m sure we’ll be discussing mega-Vitamin-C therapy as well as other natural therapies (e.g. ozone). These natural therapies are not provided by the Pharmaceutical Corporations. We believe the reason they don’t do so is that there’s no patents in these therapies, and thus no money. So when it comes to these therapies, we’re on our own. And when I say “we”, I’m referring to Mr. Coltrane’s sentiment about the “whole globe of us People”. Take care.

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for the money has gone too far

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