Us British are such a reserved lot. Maybe even more so in the Chilterns. Every now and again, for a laugh, some TV program will try to give away free money in the street. Of course it doesn’t work. People are simply too suspicious. This is a considerable barrier because sometimes there really is such a thing as a free lunch; but is it free buffet or snake oil? Continue reading
ISBN 978 1 84694 671 4. “No Local – Why Small-Scale Alternatives Won’t Change the World” by Greg Sharzer as published by Zero Books in 2012. This is a small book by a relatively unknown author. Its cover and title attempts to ape Naomi Klein’s “No Logo” but there is no comparison. At first glance the concept was very attractive to us: a critique of re-localisation. Yes, it is a critique but one by a devout Marxist. As such it is tortuous reading. It is like studying the work of an 18th Century Catholic theologian who argued that Buddhism was the work of the devil because Buddhists didn’t care how many angels could be stood on the head of a pin. The critique only makes sense if you are a Marxist.
Jay Rayner (restaurant critic for The Observer newspaper) recently blogged about how much he hated dishwashers (http://t.co/BQgkBFUf): “At dinner parties, guests who had offered to help clear up find themselves standing in the middle of my kitchen, paralysed with fear when they realise helping means “washing up”.” In an era where kids think that what happens in a kitchen is the cooking portrayed by the TV show “Come Dine With Me” it seems the art of washing-up-by-hand is dying.
ISBN 978-0-86571-609-4. “The Long Descent – A User’s Guide to the End of the Industrial Age” by John Michael Greer was published by New Society in 2008. Well over two years ago we reviewed Greer’s “The Ecotechnic Future” and generally quite liked his work. “The Long Descent” is essentially the same book reworked into a new form. If you read one you pretty much get the other. In his last book Greer challenged the ‘sudden collapse’ beliefs of the Peak Oil crowd. For him it would be a drawn-out descent of several hundred years. In THIS work Greer spends more time unravelling the cultural origins of both the ‘sudden collapse’ & what he calls the “myth of progress”.