The news makes you feel terrible and guilty and ashamed. But you jones for more, popping outrage or fear or morbid curiosity like a junkie on the good shit. These dealers don’t disappoint—they even give it to you free. Brought to you by advertising. Advertising makes you feel terrible and guilty and ashamed. What a loser I am, I’ll never have this thing or travel to this place or wear this style.
Consumerism appears to be a misery-based system, a distortion of reality as unnatural as big fake boobs, yet we desperately need the what’s left of the jobs that make it happen. This polarization of principles is so ingrained we think it’s normal. Exactly how much is the politically correct amount to enjoy life? Is the key to happiness acceptance or aspiration? Gratitude or greed? Or is it just being true to our own delusions?
In an endless cycle of madness, the news stories that sicken us when exposing sweat shops, diamond mines, factory farming and all forms of human and ecological exploitation are bankrolled by the same companies that produce and advertise these products from hell. Many of us in our hearts feel manipulated. Some of us become freegans by necessity, some really try to break free, and many are just owned by the system—the cult of the follower. In some futuristic world it will be politically correct to effect a global campaign against overpopulation but until then, the planet convulses in desperate imbalance.
I took maybe a thousand pictures this year, making up blog post titles as I went, but in the end none seem worthy of more than a caption. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say, I have too much. And with the holiday season coming up, I may well augur my head firmly into the hard red Arizona sand, as I don’t wish to get caught off guard hyperventilating through some evil diamond ad or cringing at Black Friday anarchy videos. Consumerism is like a chain of mob bosses, each rung generating new predators in the midst of hard-sell hysteria.
So what is real? For me it’s a brief moment of relief from routine gloomwatch. A blink of anti-bleak. A lizard-brained lapse in my neuro-guerilla-theater-of-the-damned. Here are a few of those moments.
Alligator lizard in my driveway—looks like a snake with legs.
One of my customers throws apples out into his yard at night and they’re always gone in the morning. He got a birdcam and we are thrilled to discover who’s eating them!
What’s better than an elegant little gray fox? Two of them.
This has got to be the offspring of an adult regal horned lizard I’ve seen in my yard in previous years. I am so honored. It means I’m doing something right.
Saw this old cowboy traveling down Hereford Rd. with his packhorses.
He was a very cool guy. Just rides around the country. He gave me a paper about a Christian organization that feeds people. I gave him $10 and some directions.
Best monsoon ever this year. So many frogs and toads and critters of all kinds. Our driveway is a popular spot because the porch light attracts lots of yummy insects.
A curious leaf bug
The swallows came as they always do and had two broods on the porch lamp. The juveniles like to snuggle as long as they can, until they’re almost full grown.
In the days right before the swallows leave for the winter they are more active and vocal and close-knit than usual. Then the parents and their two broods of three (one died) gathered on the street cable beginning of October, and then they were gone.
I borrowed my customer’s birdcam and got the best pictures of the Mexican longnosed bats since I’ve been here.
I haven’t been able to record their acrobatics with my camera as well as the birdcam does. Look at the barren mulberry trees—we had a Tussock’s caterpillar plague that stripped every mulberry in town. That’s another story.
The birdcam picked up these javelinas too. Nobody really wants them in their yards though because they can be aggressive.
I’ve been going over the border more often for a couple reasons. There are so many strays, it’s so depressing. I could not walk by this emaciated, sick little guy I saw on the street. I picked him up and took him home. I thought they’d give me trouble at the border crossing but they didn’t.
Here he is a week later, healing physically and mentally. I named him Dante. I can’t keep him so when he is fully healthy he will be adopted into a loving home. Border Animal Rescue (praise them) is helping me with his vet bills. He weighs four lbs. He probably wouldn’t have survived much longer because it’s so cold at night now.
Some members of my family, Jada, Blitz, Rabbit, Mops. I don’t know why people are always saying cats and dogs don’t get along, or that you have to be a dog person or cat person. It’s a stupid myth that needs to go.
I was walking out in the scrub with Jada and met a woman who showed me her home. It’s an honest-to-god mud hut complete with outhouse. I had no idea it was there.