Friday, September 9, 2016

When Machines Don't Work
Can't Happen?

Maybe in the mythos of the "exceptional" nation, low tech only occurs in the pages of National Geographic--those urns of water balanced on long willowy necks.

This morning, first all-day-sun in ages, I stripped the bed to wash and line-dry the flannel sheets, cozy bedding for cool mountain nights. 

The joke's on me: the washing machine sat mute and did nothing. I muttered about electronics and Mercury Retrograde and hauled out Plan B.

I now have available a more sophisticated low-tech than my childhood summer at camp--a washboard was part of required equipment!

(You've got to be kidding, right?)

I did put-upon impersonations with my mom who remembered the Great Depression. She raised her eyebrows, gave me a withering look, and packed the washboard.

It actually turned out to be fun, though I was suddenly scrubbing dirty socks in the lake shallows at age ten.

Washing clothes in a city gutter or muddy irrigation ditch would be a different matter, and the reality in much of the world.

But this morning, I hauled out the non-electric, hand-crank washer and two-minute spin dryer from
The Laundry Alternative: Portable Washing Machines

The Wonder Wash "machine" is useful for camping, or for a 21st Century reality check. I've used one for a year at a time when I had no in-house access to a utility room.

Does this strike you as lunatic fringe equipment? 

In the breathless doom-porn community, sudden loss of "power", i.e., of electricity, is a hot button topic. 

How exactly might that happen? Beyond the familiar of hurricane, ice storms and lightning... what about a blast from the sun? 

There's precedent in the aurora-rich Carrington Event of the mid-nineteenth century, which fried telegraph wires:  1859 Carrington Event - YouTube

Or, what about rogue government, including one's own, taking down the power grid?

What?! Why? 

That may be a psych question, but it could mean chaos and civil war. With martial law and dictatorship--To solve the problem. 

In any case, various lies are being exposed, including BigBroGov insolvency.  

Historically, war and chaos save the day. Beat the drums, wave the flag... to cover malfeasance.

All rather big and gruesome, and possibly far-fetched. But if there's no power, how will we accomplish daily tasks, like eating or washing clothes, without machines? How might life and community change?
washboard musician

Four, Unusual:

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