31 December 2011

New Year's Resolutions for a novice subversive

Woodie Guthrie's New Years Rulin's for 1942

I'm not a big resolution maker - even less a resolution keeper, but I thought I would share some of my resolutions this year. While looking for an image for this post, I found this excerpt from Woodie Guthrie's notebook. It turns out that Woodie and I have a lot of overlap in our resolution lists except that I'm already pretty good at number 3 - "Wash teeth if any" so I left it off mine. Here are some others:

1. We've been using credit cards for practically every purchase for years, but this year I'd like to stop giving the credit card company a cut of every transaction. I'm pretty addicted to the convenience, but I'd rather not enrich a huge corporation while at the same time giving them all kinds of information about my spending.

2. On the same theme, this year I'm going to seek out places to do business where credit cards aren't even an option - the farmer's market, freecycle, the local classifieds, the local charity shop etc. I'll be looking for opportunities to support the underground economy through buying used and super-local. I admit, I've been a bit of a tax snob in the past: saying I didn't mind paying taxes because I appreciated the services we received, but now I'm so disgusted with how the government spends money that I will do my best to ensure they don't get any more of my pennies than strictly necessary.

3. I will work harder to grow, prepare and eat local food. This is really a no brainer and there's always room for improvement. I really want to increase the number of calories I produce.  I'm planning to grow a lot more potatoes.

4. I'm going to use my bike a lot more this year. I take the car to run errands because it is easier than riding and it's hard to carry groceries on a bike - but that's a problem that others have solved so not a very good excuse.

I could sum up all of my resolutions in one: I'm going to think a lot more about who benefits and who gets hurt from my activities. And I'm going to be less likely to do something if the one who benefits is a shareholder of a corporation or the one who pays is someone in a sweatshop or someone drinking polluted water or someone vulnerable to extreme weather or someone not yet born. Or, as Woodie so eloquently put it: "Wake up and fight".  This is the year of more undermining and less enabling the incredibly damaging industrial capitalist system we've been told is the only way.

Here's to a happy and rebellious 2012!


  1. Best of luck with your new year resolutions, I'm not much for making them either but your #3 is on my list. Happy New Year.

  2. Happy New Year to you and yours as well!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...