Here in the US we are currently drowning in levels of hysteria not seen since the Second World War when people had to make cakes out of powdered egg and condoms out of shoe leather. Everywhere you look people are screaming about the price of gas being up to $3.60 per gallon!!!! Oh yea Gods the price of food has gone up 41% since October!!! Oh gosh the world is going to end right now.
Obviously I'm not panicking. I'm enjoying myself. There's nothing like a crisis to give me a reason for living. In fact, when the BSE crisis hit England ten years ago I was so pleased that all the beef was at rock bottom prices that I ate cut price mad cow beef for many months. And it hasn't done me any harm!
Basically, many people have started freaking out and making their own laundry detergent and even breast feeding instead of formula feeding to save money! They are becoming what I realize I have always been, self-reliant and a Freeganist! And that it looks dangerously like Freeganism is going to become fashionable. For years people criticized by work-shy work ethic, dubbing me a 'Slacker'. But I'm not a slacker. I don't have the stomach/temperament to be a true slacker, you know, someone who sits around for several weeks smoking huge bongs and talking out of his arse like the Freak Brothers:
And as my experiences with weed are that after smoking half a joint I fall asleep in the corner of the party/engage in dubious sexual experiments/vomit if I have been drinking, I believe I am not a fully paid up member of the Slacker Party. Also usually the next day I get massively paranoid and think that there are people watching me through the ceiling. So no, I am not a Slacker. So it was with something approaching a religious awakening that I realized that I was a Freegan!
What is freeganism? Well, freeganism is basically an anti-consumerist lifestyle whereby people employ alternative living strategies based on "limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources. Freegans embrace community, generosity, social concern, freedom, cooperation, and sharing in opposition to a society based on materialism, moral apathy, competition, conformity, and greed."
I was particularly interested in their theories on work:
Working Less / Voluntary Joblessness
How much of our lives do we sacrifice to pay bills and buy more stuff? For most of us, work means sacrificing our freedom to take orders from someone else, stress, boredom, monotony, and in many cases risks to our physical and psychological well-being.
I hear you brother!
Although I have to say, their theories on running cars on cooking oil strike me as just plain daft: Some freegans find at least some use of cars unavoidable so we try to eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels by using cars with diesel engines converted to run on “greisel” or "veggie-oil" literally fueling our cars with used fryer oil from restaurants.
But that said, I hate cars, I hate the pollution they cause. I wish they could at least be run on ethanol or some alternative fuel. I hate packaging for products. I hate thinking about all the stuff in landfills.
The only way in which I am not a freegan is that I am not a vegan. I would be, only vegan food is pretty hard to make tasty and there's only so many cashew nuts I can take.
I do think the future is freegan though. I think most jobs suck balls. Hairy balls. Freedom from satanistic bosses is worth its weight in gold.
I am not totally freegan though. Even though I think fashion is stupid and exploits third world people, consumer goods are nuts and flatscreens should be banned, I do enjoy the occasional luxury holiday and I don't think I could ever wear a potato sack.
But generally I am so pleased that food is getting more expensive and gas is going up, because maybe now people will wake up and realize that the consumerist lifestyle is just utter utter bollocks!
This is it. I'm going to make freeganism the new black. What about you? Are you currently making clothes out of dryer lint and making laundry detergent out of old bars of soap to, you know, save a few cents? Do you embrace freeganism or shun it?
Going off now to knit myself a jumper from the hair of my neighbor's dead dog Pinky. All money saving/recycling tips will be gratefully received. However, keep in mind the long arm of the law. For example, digging up a human skull to use as a bong, while an ultimate freeganist idea, is also illegal.
More Manhattan Memoirs
1 day ago