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Gustavo Arellano’s Funny “Marketplace” Commentary

September 17, 2010

I heard this commentary by Gustavo Arellano yesterday on the radio show “Marketplace,” and had to laugh. It pretty much captures what I’m self-conscious about already — my baby steps towards self-reliance are really just baby steps back towards what my not-so-distant ancestors did, just because it was how you did things. My great-grandmother who went out West in a covered wagon, for example, would have probably been appalled at my current attempts to just grow some herbs, or that I can barely handle a needle and thread, much less quilt (I have some amazing quilts she created).

Having said that, of course, it’s great that more and more people are thinking along these lines, and taking steps back towards self-reliance and a more sustainable way of life (even if they are only baby steps at this point), as he points out, although humorously:

“Self-sustainment is what made this country great. But we seem to have relegated this preservation mentality to the rubes and the immigrants, the poor and the old. And it’s annoying, because when young professionals and the socially hip raise chickens in their backyards, newspapers do articles with slideshows. When us Mexicans do it? People call code enforcement. But, whatever: Preserve, America!”

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Carmen permalink
    September 17, 2010 4:10 pm

    Every little bit counts, and practice makes perfect. A lot of the forgotten skills are due to a disconnect between generations in this country and our move towards being consumers rather than creators. If things can be bought ready made, why invest the time? You can probably buy it for cheaper than making it yourself! I find myself thinking about this whenever I knit. The materials are expensive and it takes too long. However, there is a lot of satisfaction in making something yourself and knowing that the item is of good quality because it was made with intentions and hands and not machines. The same goes for growing food and other things. Your pioneering great-grandmother I think would be proud rather than appalled that you are trying to reconnect with the way things were done in generations past while also accomplishing things that many women before you couldn’t (e.g. higher education). We still have a ways to go, but our tiny steps count towards something. I only wish I could get away with chickens in my back yard (I am certain my neighbors would burn my house down).

  2. September 18, 2010 7:52 pm

    Gracias for the kind words!

  3. September 18, 2010 11:54 pm

    Carmen, thanks for the words of encouragement! And yes, I’m sure you’re right about my great-grandmother. Thanks for putting it in that perspective.
    Gustavo, no problem! It was a great piece.

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