The week in Sloov #4 – first week in February 2016

I broke ground on a garden yesterday. The soil seems really good. Easy to work with, not too much sand or clay. Tomorrow I’ll probably walk up to the extension office with a soil sample so it can be tested. All my farmer friends know I’m too late in doing all of this, but I don’t care, because it’s not my job any more. garden

I’m remembering things about when I was a farmer, like how much fucking seed potatoes cost. I still get seed catalogs from the old farm. Was looking through one and the cheapest 5lb bag of seed potatoes cost $17.30, which I guess is fine if you’re selling some or you’re a rich hobby farmer. You’re supposed to grow potatoes from seed potatoes, not just a sack you buy at the store. But this year we’re trying it from a sack you buy at the store. One point of growing for personal consumption is to save money. All the farmers used to get together and bulk order seed potatoes from some company to save money, and we’d all drive to one farm. And a semi with 18 bald tires and an angry underpaid black woman driving it would show up, pull to the side of the country road and get stuck in the mud, and we’d all take our four or five boxes of seed potatoes.

We also bulk ordered feathermeal for a nitrogen source. Feathermeal is ground up chicken feathers, a byproduct of the meat chicken industry, so it satisfied organic standards, which I no longer care about… though in gardening, because of the small scale, it just makes more sense to hand-weed and try some home remedies for bugs. People who are all against organic farming think the food is grown in raw shit and it causes salmonella and ecoli, but it isn’t. It’s even written in USDA organic standards that manure has to be composted, meaning it’s sterilized by the sun and the composting process. There were news reports about some conventional farms spraying sewage sludge on their fields for fertilizer, because they don’t have rigid standards. The point is, I never knew an organic farmer in North Carolina who used raw manure for fertilizer. And we weren’t certified organic anyway, because it was turning into big business, and we didn’t have the extra $100 a month it costs to get certified.

We’ll start off with all kinds of greens and stuff, then try some onions and potatoes, then have a summer garden. I hate telling people what I’m going to do instead of doing it, then showing them, so I’ll shut up now, because I’m cursing myself to failure by announcing tentative things.  We are probably going to get chickens too though. I used to raise a shit ton of chickens when I was a farmer. I know more about them than I do raising produce.

Back in 2008, everybody was all hopeful about Barack Obama. They thought he was Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren. I knew that was bullshit, because I saw where his money was coming from, and I listened to his rhetoric. He wasn’t going to hold Wall Street to account for the financial crisis, and he wasn’t going to end the war, he was going to continue it. And he proved that 3 days after his inauguration, when he was responsible for the death of his first child, and 8-10 other adult civilians in a drone strike in Pakistan.

Bernie Sanders is an actual anti-war, pro-economy option with an actual, viable candidacy for the first time in my lifetime. The last time this happened was when Senator George McGovern won the 1972 candidacy for president. He lost against Nixon in a landslide.

Ted Cruz reminds me of Nixon playing a televangelist. Very ugly, bland, and puppet-like. Everybody hates him save for the rubes who prop him up. His college roommate, who has a hilarious Twitter account, says Cruz was “the least authentic person I’ve ever known,” mentioned that he never got laid the entire time he was in college, and that he left a slime all over everything his dorm mates called “cruhz”.  So it shouldn’t be a surprise that Cruz is the current front-runner of the Republican candidacy for president.cruz

Bernie will win on Tuesday in New Hampshire, but Hillary’s war machine will just keep cranking up the attacks. I hope Bernie can pull it off, and I’m voting for him in Oklahoma’s primary on March 1st, but I’d be surprised. And should Bernie pull it off, will we have a repeat of the ’72 campaign, the last time a genuinely good man ran against a slimy evil fucker and lost big? Who knows. Bernie’s youth know how to vote for him in online polls, but do they know where their polling place is? I have hope, why not?

As I said, I didn’t buy Obama’s hope. While he was a far better president than either of his Republican opponents would have been, he still played establishment politics domestically and abroad. Yet on that snowy inauguration day I walked around the quiet farm where I lived and became emotional at the simple fact that a black man became President of the United States. As much as the pragmatist in me knew that it didn’t mean much of a change in real-world empire politics, I am a sucker for poetic symbolism and its long term implications. I also liked Obama, which is a bullshit reason for voting for someone. I dislike Hillary Clinton, which is a bullshit reason for opposing someone. However I imagine I’ll feel the same way I did on Inauguration Day 2009 should a woman be elected President this year.

 

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