Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Back out at Camp now, Monroe, Washington. Rain, rain and more rain. Yay.

Wouldn't be so bad if there was dry firewood and a covered fire pit to chill at, but the entire place is waterlogged...including the logs, and Chris, the camp director, sold the metal car port shelter that made such a nice covering to have a fire under last time I was out here three years ago.

We worked on the dock at the lake, had a few conversations about things.

Last year a few interns had left at the last moment and he was high and dry for help with camp for the summer, his counselors working over time.

"Those interns just got frustrated, they needed my attention constantly, like I was their daddy."

I wanted to sympathize with them. I too had had similar feelings the first time I had come out to camp. The way Chris' web site made it seem, he was highly organized and structured. He even professed that structure was important. How could one blame the interns for feeling gypped? Going back to the land and practicing earth skills is a difficult and trans formative process. Chris set himself up as a sort of guru to guide people on this journey then complained when his students complained about him falling short of near perfection.

My perspective is entirely different. To me, the first order of business is fire. When I am in the wilderness, at a summer camp, or just hanging out on some dudes property as is more accurate in regards to Chris' situation, I don't feel much implored to do anything until I have a nice stash of firewood.

Firewood wise, the situation at camp is abysmal. Basically it's all wet, none chopped. I find myself asking over and over, how can we have a summer camp if the only dry wood we have to burn is left over 2x4 scraps from different building projects?

That Chris is disorganized is acceptable. That he is disorganized and simultaneously seeks to establish himself as an authority is absurd. He once told me, "Teaching is about manipulation and control." Gee thanks Edward Bernays. Sure, if one wants to argue that the only way to keep throngs of people from turning on each other as if they were chickens in a crowded coup then perhaps manipulation and control of them is in order. But speak to any individual with their wits about them and they would hardly feel free to submit to such a course of action. I guess all robots should not become self aware. Maybe I should keep my anti authoritarianism to myself, as a nation of critical thinkers would be essentially leaderless.

Leadership can accomplish things much more quickly than a mass of bickering independent thinkers seeking consensus, but 90% of everything is crap, including politicians, teachers and cops. Due in part to my lack of good parental guidance, I spent much of my extended adolescence seeking that difficult to access 10% of leaders that is not in fact crap.

Back to the fire, I am all about it. Fire is my element, perhaps because I am an agent of change. Earth, wind/air, and water all change slowly. Fire can change the landscape within between minutes and hours given certain conditions. So it is a nor brainer that being in the middle of the forest, in the Pacific Northwest, during rain season, without dry firewood, is not a very comfy situation for me. I need fire like I need food.

But here I am again. It seems like all I can do is criticize. What about me? Am I immune to criticism? Well, I am a hell of a lot more immune than people who attempt to assert authority over others. And no one anywhere can challenge my pragmatism. I am more military minded than just about anyone.

"One day you're going to need to learn to accept authority Gabe." I remember Chris telling me years ago.

My only retort is, what revolution was accomplished by people who accepted authority? What significant change has occurred due to people who do not question authority? More often than not it is rebellious people that do all the leg work in progress. So I decided not to salute Chris when he asserted that I was in dire need of structure. As if he could provide it anyways.

Nevertheless Chris is a good guy and I do consider him my friend. And he deserves to have me speak my mind freely regarding my assessments of him and his authority.

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