Fuzzy wuzzy ……share the road
A brushcutter is essentially a mechanical scythe. It is a great heavy piece of machinery that needs to be operated with both hands and requires its user to dress up like Darth Vader in order to swing it through the grass. It roars like a motorbike, belches out fumes, and requires a regular diet of fossil fuels. It hacks through the grass instead of slicing it cleanly like a scythe blade. It is more cumbersome, more dangerous, no faster, and far less pleasant to use than the tool it replaced. And yet you see it used everywhere: on motorway verges, in parks, even, for heaven’s sake, in nature reserves. It’s a horrible, clumsy, ugly, noisy, inefficient thing. So why do people use it, and why do they still laugh at the scythe?
To ask that question in those terms is to misunderstand what is going on. Brushcutters are not used instead of scythes because they are better; they are used because their use is conditioned by our attitudes toward technology. Performance is not really the point, and neither is efficiency. Religion is the point: the religion of complexity. The myth of progress manifested in tool form. Plastic is better than wood. Moving parts are better than fixed parts. Noisy things are better than quiet things. Complicated things are better than simple things. New things are better than old things. We all believe this, whether we like it or not. It’s how we were brought up.
from Paul Kingsnorth, 'Dark Ecology' - first published in Dark Mountain: Issue 3darkmountainproject)
1. We live in a time of social, economic and ecological unravelling. All around us are signs that our whole way of living is already passing into history. We will face this reality honestly and learn how to live with it.
2. We reject the faith which holds that the converging crises of our times…
Finding something wild and unexpected in the city.
Portland Road squirrel and acorn by artists Boe and Irony who paint giant urban birds and animals (raven, pigeon, magpie and fox) on the walls of North London.
Visual contributions to Dark Mountain 5 are now welcome (firstname.lastname@example.org). Deadline 6th January 2014.
My daughter getting a “stitch”…. Aerostich is the best outfitter in town for your motorcycle needs. I could spend all day there ! Its going to be great sickle season.
"Volcano" illustration by Charles Burns.