Guest blogger (also a farmer and an artist) Gerard Oosterman tells it like it is…
Stock up on lentils, the end is nigh.
It must be clear to all of us. The good times are now beginning to fade rather seriously. For far too long we have complained about the over-indulgence of the wealthy, their utter ignorance of what life ought to be about.
Some of us knew that waste was bad. We grew up with that. But, the promise of limitless and endless supply of better and bigger things is what blinded many, especially those born in the late eighties, early nineties, not ever having known to do without, to save up, to delay instant gratification.
The call of the credit card was irresistible. Spend and spend more. The lure of consumerism was calling them up endlessly from somewhere deep within their primitive and fledgling conscience. They barely had the time to grow up into savvy financial adulthood. The debt card (let’s be honest, that’s what it is) drove them on relentlessly. The era of frugality had not yet arrived.
The last few weeks world markets are again heading for seismic shifts. The financial tectonic plates are grinding against each other yet again. Billions are being wiped off every day. On the (flat-screen) TV we watch anxious faces watching the tumbling numbers on computer screens. Nervous Wall Street floor traders are running again, shouting, throwing arms up in utter despair and wiping sweaty foreheads.
It might perhaps not be as voluntary as we would have liked, none-the-less, it is something that some of us had prayed for. Surely, wanton over the top shopping till we‘re dropping was never supposed to be the goal for most of us to strive for. Aiming for endless growth surely is hardly the stuff of any enlightened person, while millions still have to walk for miles to fill a bucket of water?
Of course, growth in girth did happen and how? With over 50% obesity here in Australia we can only watch in awe the Danes, who have put a limit on girth growth by taxing fat. But, get a load of this; The Danes just have a mere 10% of obese people. Talk about nipping it in the bud!
Here in Australia we just feel that it will all sort itself out through some kind of reliance on the magic of … wait for it…”the market”. We are adult enough to understand kilojoules, carbon hydrates, and we are not in the business of interfering with big grown-ups. The same with pokies: we are all mature and the sport clubs all support gambling, boozing and brawling afterwards. It’s good for ‘the markets’.
But getting back to our tumbling (western) world economies, has anyone noticed the eerie emptiness of electrical, furniture/ white goods emporiums, the likes of the (euphemistically called) ‘Good Guys” or those screaming ‘get it now’ Harvey Norman shops? What happened to the shoppers?
Has the Age of Aquarius arrived again, the age of frugality, of making do? Our world politicians seem as always frozen in some kind of eternally stuck vinyl recording, in the ‘economic growth’ groove. Entire countries are being bailed out, staving off the inevitable.
The question is; if economic growth is the cause of depleting our world, damaging our world, making the future more and more unlivable, should we not accept, perchance by hook and by crook, and even welcome a stop to this manic obsession with endless growth?
Was it last night’s ABC Four Corners telling us that in the UK 1% of the population own 20 % of its wealth?
Of course, no one has to walk anywhere to get a bucket of water. We might just have to get serious about stocking up on lentil beans. Looking through the acres of rubbish food on super-markets shelving, those little lentils are rather elusive. Strange how good wholesome food is now even harder to get.
Yes, definitely time to stock up the larder. Get your lentils NOW.
Gerard blogs at Oosterman Treats Blog