Once in a Blue Agave Moon Chapter three: Diversity

Diversity is a critical component in the evolution of anything.
So is adversity.
Without adversity from within or without the species or subset, there would be no provocation for evolutionary processes to be instigated.
External threats or hardships winnow and cull the weak from the herd.
The strong survive and thrive. The weak become one with the food chain.
Natural selection promotes incrimental improvements in the species in order to better adapt to its microcosm.
The strength of adversity is much like an alloy of a metal for improved tensile strength, shear strength, hardness, density or weight.
In a society, common purspose and mutual support provides flexibility, adaptive abilty, and resilience to external threats when there is cooperation amongst those diverse members.
On the other hand, from a purely Machiavenian standpoint, when one group opresses another group, there is potential for strengthening the opressed group, although it produces a degree of factionalism and tension or stressors to the group as a whole.
There is nothing inherently Humanitarian about evolution.
As the civilization of a society develops, It is more capable of sustaining and caring for the mentally and physically infirm.
As long as a society is wealthy enough and affluent enough it can easily support and nurture and portion of its population that is not capable of caring for themselves for any variety of reasons.
As long as someone is willing to pay someone else to care for these unfortunates, others who provide the care will make a living out of it, and the prosperity of the entire group is enhanced.
It takes a very enlightened, tolerant affluent and altruistic society to develop a culture that is inclined to care for all of its citizens humanely.
It would be easy to make the incorrect assumption that the members at the colony were a homogeneous group.
The stereotypical generalization of the ultra right-wing, violent, Christian, alcoholic, heavily-armed, home-schooled, racist Florida redneck comes to mind when most people think about hunting in the Everglades. Fifty years ago, that notion might have had a little more validity, but Florida is more of a melting pot than most other areas of the United States, (unless of course, you are a Seminole or Miccosukee Indian).
Most of Florida is a mixture of a space-age frontier town, Disney World, a smuggler’s paradise and tourist trap where every imaginable ethnicity and social strata rub elbows on a daily basis.
In less than an hour you can drive from the center of almost any city to west bum-fuck Egypt or Timbukthree. Similarly, in the same amount of time you can go from Miami Beach (aka little Tel Aviv) to Little Havana, or Little Haiti, although the distinct boundaries of one ethnicity or another is rapidly blurring.
Similarly, Kosher, Hispanic, Asian, Continental, or Caribbean cuisines are everywhere you look from South Florida to the Keys, Orlando, Tampa, Daytona or Jacksonville.
This has a tendency to produce a more eclectic atmosphere than one might suspect in Florida, and it is reflected in the residents’ tastes and comfort zones.
Religion (or the lack of it) remains the singularly most divisive influence no matter where you go, and of course, most sexual mores and customs are dictated by religion.
Elliott’s older son was introduced to what became known as The Colony several years before by one of his high-school classmates. His father was a welder from upstate New York who had lived in Florida for more than twenty years. His son had a blue mohawk and listened to Heavy Metal.
Although the expression “safety in numbers” has a distinct ring of validity to it, because no one lifestyle or religion was of any preponderance within the group, most of the residents minded their own business as long as no one was forced to confront any specific behaviors, beliefs,or customs and as long as they did not impinge on the privacy or comfort of any of the others.
The cowardice of numbers lies at the heart of bullying; there was no real preponderance of any lifestyle or belief system at the colony. Because of this, there developed an enforced tolerance of all opinions and beliefs that was not seen in previous societies.
Drug store cowboys and self-proclaimed rednecks are no more prone to prejudice or narrow-mindedness than Northeastern members of the “Intelligencia” or passive-aggresive Southern Californians.
Group-think mentalities need to have their prejudices reinforced by other fearful sheep of the same mind-set before they can be too much of a pain in the ass to anyone else.
The term “rugged individualist” best described most of the members of the Colony. There was plenty of insular space for all of them, and as long as everybody minded their own business, they neither took nor gave any grief to anyone else.
Peaceful co-existence had been the prevailing mood within the group long before they had decided to eschew urban un-civilization.
Their most common interest was in each other’s safety and well-being. The collapse of western civilization had leveled the field for everyone.
It was no longer a zero-sum game.



10 Responses to “Once in a Blue Agave Moon Chapter three: Diversity”

  1. There was a reality tv show called the colony a few years back. It was a progressive trip down this self-supported and self-protected lane but the people weren’t as many, as skilled or as established as your characters. The idea is fascinating, hopeful and scary all at the same time.

    • I watch a lot of movies, but not much in the way of television shows or series…I really should call it The Fourteenth Colony…more along the idea of where this is headed.
      We live in an almost cashless society that is based on everything from bitcoin to bullshit…eventually all infrastructure could collapse.
      I am fascinated by the idea of what would happen if the world monetary system collapsed…what would remain, and who would survive.
      Just trying to do the research may end up getting me locked up yet, what with security programs like PRISM in place already.

      • Bitcoin documentaries can give you a peek at how banks could disappear. Regulations and identity being unimportant to the Bitcoin wealth in Bitcoin currency. The threat is real but banks would put up fights any way they could if it became popular enough. I think we’d go back to bartering and I like to think we’d help just to help. I’m idealistic but I’d have weapons / protection. xoxo, J

      • I’ve been wrestling with the direction this next novel will take because I don’t want to just continue in the same direction in the same voice, but with all the attention that TV has given to the Alaskan frontier, I keep thinking how everything that they do is DIRECTLY connected to the quality of their lives.
        Most of us are disconnected from our lives by way of dependence upon a job to get money to pay someone else to provide something we think we need.
        Money is one of the fundamental illusions that prevent us from living authentically.
        Perceptions of value or worth are often driven by envy and covetousness, leading us to become hypnotized by greed and lose our way in the pursuit of real and lasting happiness or satisfaction.
        You can’t eat gold or silver or diamonds. They won’t keep you warm or provide shelter unless you trade them for the things that will, and that is dependent upon other people being similarly hypnotized as to the value of those things.
        Whether there is even any gold in the federal reserve banks or not is inconsequential to our economic systems.
        Money and laws are inventions of civilization. Without them, bankers, lawyers, “life-coaches” and event planners would become part of the food chain.
        Despite the fact that so much of the “wealth” of our collective economies is created by our mutual illusions of worth, less than seventy-five of the world’s wealthiest people own over fifty percent of the entire collective economies of the entire world, and more than forty of them live in America despite the fact that America is seventeenth on the list of places where you are likely to be able to realize the “American Dream”.
        We take it for granted that as Americans, we are pretty much at the top of the food chain, safe and secure, but if that were to change, many of us would be forced to realize just how useless and helpless we are.
        “Once in a Blue Agave Moon” will most likely be a mental exercise in what role self-determinism and self-sufficiency would play in our survival if the infrastructure of our civilizations were to collapse; not just in terms of simple survival, but also in terms of what might happen to our social norms without the tyranny of the majority.
        I seem to be nearly lost in introspection and epiphanies about what really constitutes an authentic and well-lived life, but just the same… it beats the hell out of reality TV.
        I haven’t been on this site much lately (for a variety of reasons), but I need the dialogues and intellectual intercourse (as opposed to masturbation) that stimulate and inspire me to stay on track and focused, and you have always been a source of provocative discourse between consenting adults…
        I haven’t been able to read much from my “favorites” lately, but once I regain my balance, you will hear more from me…I miss that.

      • Where do start an answer? You cause me to be serious and gather my thoughts as if they were my clothes strewn all about. (I’m just playing) First of all, I see how the masses of which I am a part of just follow and follow consumerism like an addiction. What of the inner voices that say something is in need of attention? I don’t think many people hear those calls to align within themselves. Honestly, sex can be such an enthralling distraction, especially if it’s secretive, no? (This could be my own tried and failed experiment to distract myself) That’s a side thought because we are in the mature section and I do believe that sex, consumerism, a career of high demands and prestige or self importance, kids and societies iconic pedestals they have been placed on for parenting are all intoxicating to a point of deferring our inner truths to retirement puzzles… I don’t know. I have siblings who don’t think very deep at all about what stirs, grows, or even bothers them. Ignore it, move on. It’s a scary prospect to think of those things but if you don’t – don’t you implode or begin to die? I understand the tiresome hamster wheel that all of our inner meanings can feel like but if you realize something is not aligned with you, that’s the sign to do something to make it better or accept it. Honestly though, I’ve done some of that alignment and I’m still not fully aligned. I understand the allure of indifference and not caring. I have to stay away from hiding in my own distractions… but that just doesn’t feel as good and it’s difficult terrain to traverse. Ultimately, I see our consumerist society, especially Costco as blind allegiance toward the end. Bitcoin on the other hand, put everyone on a seemingly level playing ground only because identity isn’t associated with it. That currency would possibly disappear with electrical outages. Ha! An Energy Baron. You need a hoarder of generators / an engineer / a similar character as one from the industrial revolution only now, they’re ?helping? surviving by generating electricity.
        Poor Tesla. What a genius idea he had for electricity available to everyone only to be shut down by greedy bastards. Can you have a secret society that is actually “good”? Ok, I’m messier in thought than when I started. It’s after 4am. that’s what happens sometimes. I couldn’t leave your comment all alone. xo, J

      • My parents grew up during the depression, my dad on a farm and my mother in the city of Baltimore.
        They had to use different methods just to survive, I grew up learning how to fix almost anything or convert it into something at least equally useful.
        They also instilled that awareness that it cold all happen again, which did almost happen in ’08.
        I have also taken more survival related education than most.
        My skills and technical abilities are fairly wide-ranging because of these preoccupations.
        Mutual self-preservation is possible when people networks these kinds of talents, knowledge and skills.
        In this case, this hunting lodge on the edge of the Everglades brought them all together because of their common interests. Of the people I know of that mindset, survivalism is an unspoken common thread, and virtually all of them know how to DO and MAKE.
        …And by the way…I do CARE deeply about many things, but I am no longer hypnotized by television advertisements or envy.
        It is one thing to CARE and another thing to let that caring spirit cause you to think you have to suffer for it.
        I love these dialogues with you Jayne. You keep me thinking, and give me a perspective I walked away from a long time ago.
        In Kaizen, you are supposed to ask “Why?” at least five times…that’s a good place to start.
        What about the Knights Templar? They at least started out “good”, but let’s face it…nothing lasts. We must be dillegent about our own personal responsibility for our current condition.

      • Did you read “Into the Wild”? In my opinion, he was an idealist who faced harsh reality and IF he only had known the difference between 2 plants ( I beleive I’m remembering correctly) he may have survived. Chance is on our side or it isn’t. There is no planning and that is the element of life that IS chance. Chance favors the prepared but chance also threatens the scared… It’s always at this point that I head for the rooftop.

  2. “Into the Wild’ does not sound familiar, but there is such a thing as being prepared…not that we don’t live on the grid as much as we can for as long as we can, but I LIVE on the roof…in terms of my perspective, but like Zellig, I blend in as much as I can.
    My “Cabin in the Woods” is a little of both perspectives…but you are welcome to come dance on the roof anytime.

  3. There is a great similarity between challenging dialogues amoong consenting adults and being undressed…you’re welcome.

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