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Saturday, April 10, 2010


a good year for daffodils

There appears to be some kind of manhunt going on. Sheriff drove slowly up the road a few hours ago. A deputy has been up and down the road. The guy who caretakes the adjoining big spread of land was talking to a deputy a long while. A helicopter went flying around the land and a single engine plane was flying around there at the same time. Somebody parked a pickup by the road here and was gone an hour or so and came back to the truck and left. I'm wondering if I might do well to get my hogleg loaded in case of surprise. But I also suspect the sheriff might have told me if it had been that kind of deal. It will be in next week's paper. Or not.

I'm wondering if anybody else noticed the absence of birds this spring. I am ready to allow that the spring came early before the birds had a chance to start their migrations. In the morning I hear a few birds, not many. During the day, none. The phoebe is back. I've heard starlings. No song sparrows.

I heard the helicopter flying low over the house. I went to the door to look out and heard the sound of tiny pellets on the roof and saw them dancing on the ground like eighth inch hail. He's fertilizing the Christmas tree fields and everything within a half mile of the tree patches. This is why the rocks in the creek have fluorescent green moss growing that is the sign of a dead creek. I heard the helicopter flying over that great expanse of wooded land and thought his business was there. He was swinging a turn over that land. Once a few years ago I saw this operation from the woods across the road. The waste of fertilizer is unfathomable. The expense of the helicopter, the fuel, the pilot as well as the extra amount of fertilizer needed for all the waste is evidently the economy way to go. It turns out there is no single engine plane. The helicopter carries the sound of both.

Tom Pruitt saw all the mountain people leave Air Bellows and all the city people move in. I get to see what the city people do to Air Bellows. It's now an exurb of North Carolina cities and Florida. Plus some from Georgia and a few other places. I can't keep up with all of them. I never get used to anybody's car, except Allan's, because they all change cars every year or 2. For the most part, I'd say they're middle class with their sights on upper-middle. I'm not interested in tv sports and they're not interested in foreign films. We don't like the same kind of liquor either.

The country way of thinking and the city way of thinking are very different. I'm watching the transition in the mountains from the country way of thinking to the city way of thinking. I'd guess in 20 years or so the county commission and town council will be dominated by people of city mind. I can't say it will be better or worse, but I can say it will be different. More beach music concerts and less bluegrass. And you can be sure when the city people take charge, they'll be making it difficult to buy property in the mountains. They'll want it exclusive. They'll let some of the mountain people go on living here, like cities have their working class neighborhoods too, for mowing lawns and varieties of mechanic work, taking care of grocery stores and other low paying jobs.

But all that is changing. And while it's changing, it's in stasis. Nobody much can sell anything now because nobody much is buying. People who lost huge amounts of money to bank deregulation are licking their wounds about now. When money starts flowing again, we'll return to the flow of the economy with sights lowered a great deal. We're joining the global economy by reducing our standard to the third world's a step at a time. 35 years ago $6 an hour was the standard wage. 2010 it's the same. I heard a statistic that said if wages increased at the same rate that CEOs increased their own incomes over the last 30 years, minimum wage would be over $25. While wages remain the same, grocery prices have increased 3 times what they were in 1980. One reason we need public health care now is that poverty is closer and closer to the norm for working people. We don't help our poor, so they become junkies, criminals, people to be afraid of that make everyplace potentially dangerous and gated communities fashionable.

That's not all that comes back to bite us. I've wondered about all my life over the karmic debt where building a nation on land taken by the gun, killing from coast to coast, intent on genocide, and killing every living thing in sight. We have the highest murder rate in the world by so much it's a joke to all the rest of the world. Guns have become an American pestilence that may yet delete the Constitution. Every city is dangerous for anyone to live in. White or black. It's the same. Americans are obsessed with guns and killing somebody. Killing animals is fun, but killing somebody is the ideal. I think it's called reaping what we sow. What little bit of Democracy we have could easily become another victim to guns. Television is guns and killing. Movies are guns and killing. Why? It's what audiences will pay to see. That's the only reason.

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