Real people of the earth (was Re: Permaculture/Christianity)
gil at landmark.iinet.net.au
Thu Sep 14 20:24:46 EDT 1995
I do not want to enter argument here about the internal pros and cons
of Christianity, nor indeed to front catholics on catholicism.
What I am saying is that in Western Australia, a society dominated by
fundamentalist and other Christian denominations all stating plainly
enough that newcomers are simply not welcome, and their families not
accepted until they have lived here for at least five generations, I
was warned off bluntly from joining the Permaculture Association.
Subsequently, on quite a number of occasions since whenever I have
attempted to approach directors of the Permaculture Institute here to
make enquiries about Permaculture, they are either simply unavailable
or, when I do finally get one of them on the phone, are hostile and
abusive in no uncertain terms.
Since going ahead with it anyway, obviously becoming a damned nuisance
in the process for some reason, it appears that unless one goes and
kowtows to the local committees and party hacks, the same fate is in
store. I tell you, a grown woman going purple in the face, howling and
crying because I would not go out and do a farmplan for her for free,
is not a pretty sight. It is not one person alone. The experience is
repeated time after time.
I know I spend a lot of time with Aboriginal people here. I know I
am not Christian. But surely that makes neither me nor them tainted
in any way. We don't go around with bones through our noses (well some
of the old blokes still do, out in the desert), nor are we cannibals
seeking human blood sacrifice on some pagan altar.
The reason I keep company with the blackfellas is that they are such
delightful, fun-loving company, especially out in the bush. We all of
us tend to stear clear of these white power brokers who run the show,
but that is only because every time any of us shows up on the scene
they go heeby-jeeby beserk.
I even have Mr Lawrence London after me every time I make the mistake
of stumbling onto one of his mailing lists or newsgroups! The same
happened on the Homestead list, unfortunately for them at a time I
had become thoroughly weary of such unrelenting hatred and crap being
posted against farmers . . . farmers . . .
Yeah . . .
We are from farming stock, eh? Polluters of the earth and destroyers
of the planet. Uncivilised hicks from the bush who actually eat emus
and kangaroos, and worse run mobs of sheep, who are responsible for
all the wildlife becoming extinct. Is that it?
Hey, relax eh? Surely anybody is innocent until proven guilty, allowed
to join any group, to speak and be heard even right here on this silly
Internet thingy, as anywhere else on earth (except Western Australia
What the heck! Maybe if any of you want to listen, some of us evil
farmers might actually be able to teach you something about ordinary
farm work that has to be done anyway. Like putting in a half decent
strainer post, or tanning a sheep skin, or finding fresh water with
a dowsing wire, or maybe just killing a chook . . .
Maybe we could teach you something very real about wildlife too while
we are at it, and about the skills necessary to survive in the bush
should the need ever arise. Instead of running around with your silly
firearms shooting up the place half-starved for something to eat when
you run into strife, why, maybe one of us could show you how to call a
wallaby right up to you, and take it for your lunch so peacefully and
respectfully you would think you were both meditating . . .
Permaculture or no Permaculture, in the end if you want to husband
the planet you have absolutely no choice but to negotiate a sound
working relationship with all the other species sharing it with you.
Of all people on earth, these blackfellas here, like the bushmen and
some others we could name (as Bill Mollison himself knows full well),
can teach you that sort of thing like nobody else.
Assuming some of you are able to get off all that googly-eyed panic
stricken, I must add paranoid, ranting ideology over the state of the
planet, and get real for just a moment.
To the remainder, who I do understand have their sleeves rolled up and
are doing a good job, I apologise.
"I consider the class of artificers as the panders of vice, and the
instruments by which the liberty of a country are generally overturned.
. . . the long succession of years of stunted crops, of reduced prices,
the general prostration of the farming business under levies to support
the manufacturers, etc., with calamatous fluctuations of value in our
paper medium, have kept agriculture in a state of abject depression."
Thomas Jefferson, 1826
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