The man with the hoe

It’s a comfortable 68F./20C. here, at 8 pm, with the doors and windows open on a still evening. Tomorrow we’ll go walking the hills, it’ll be 70+, the warm low 20’s of an early summer’s day. But there’s a chill wind forecast for monday – and it won’t be just a leaf-storm blowing:

” . . . we are witnessing the two stages of a tsunami. The current disappearance of wealth in the form of debts repudiated, bets welshed on, contracts cancelled, and Lehman Brothers-style sob stories played out is like the withdrawal of the sea. The poor curious little monkey-humans stand on the beach transfixed by the strangeness of the event as the water recedes and the sea floor is exposed and all kinds of exotic creatures are seen thrashing in the mud, while the skeletons of historic wrecks are exposed to view, and a great stench of organic decay wafts toward the strand. Then comes the second stage, the tidal wave itself — which in this case will be horrific monetary inflation — roaring back over the mud flats toward the land mass, crashing over the beach, and ripping apart all the hotels and houses and infrastructure there while it drowns the poor curious monkey-humans who were too enthralled by the weird spectacle to make for higher ground. The killer tidal wave washes away all the things they have labored to build for decades, all their poignant little effects and chattels, and the survivors are left keening amidst the wreckage as the sea once again returns to normal in its eternal cradle.
So, that’s what I think we will get: an interval of deflationary depression followed by a destructive wave of inflation that will wipe out both constructed debt and constructed savings, scraping the financial landscape clean. There’s no question that stage one is underway. But we can be sure the giant wave of money recklessly loaned into existence, in just a few weeks time will wash back through the global economy leaving a swath of destruction.”

That’s my favorite doomer, James Kunstler, writing the other day. Ilargi on  TheAutomaticEarth is no less worried. And then this is from the Mainstream Media:

The financial crisis gripping world markets is “the worst in human history” and we are only just beginning to feel the fallout, the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England has warned.

Do our rulers know enough to avoid a 1930s replay?
Events are moving with lightning speed as the global credit freeze evolves into something awfully like a classic trade-depression.
The commodity and emerging market booms are breaking in unison, leaving no more bubbles left to burst. Almost every corner of the world is now being drawn into the vortex of debt deflation.

Shipping is slowing as fast as it did in the grim months of late 1931. “The crisis is now in full swing across the entire world,” said Giulio Tremonti, Italy’s finance minister. “It is hitting the real economy, the productive forces of industry. It’s global, it’s total, and it’s everywhere.”
The world stole prosperity from the future for year after year, with the full collusion of governments, regulators, and central banks. Now the future has arrived.
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard Daily Telegraph Oct 20 2008

I feel profoundly shaken by all this, transfixed and aghast – and simultaneously stirred into action. These momentous upheavals are being played out far from here : meetings in Washington, London, Paris, and the People’s Great Hall in Pekin. Millions are being spent on the American election – and thousands on wardrobes and makeup. Drama and melodrama, tragedy and farce, anger and pathos – all on an epic, on a global scale.

But I certainly don’t feel helplessly apart from it all. I have not been standing by in dumb incomprehension these last few months, waiting like cannon-cattle for my call-up papers. I signed up some time back – possibly 30-odd years ago when I dropped out and ‘Went Back to the Land’ leaving my teaching job in London to join a small commune in south-west Ireland.

The Phoney War is over – billions of dollars have been thrown onto the wrong fire -and soon the real damage will become apparent. What does the ordinary foot-soldier do? Well last weekend I armed myself with a mighty weapon – the heaviest forged-steel hoe I’ve seen around.

heavy hoe and new acacia-wood shaft

heavy hoe and new acacia-wood shaft

I bought it from my antique tool-seller friend, Monsieur Sargatt, at another vide-grenier. It weighs in at a whopping 4 lbs./< 2kg. and has a thickened cutting section. Paired with the extra-long shaft I trimmed from a local Robinia tree, it is a murderous weapon – capable of separating the head of any Wall Street pirate from his well-tailored torso.

old tools at a vide grenier

old tools at a vide grenier

But as is usually the case, when Great Events of History become just too much to digest – the simple action of shaving the wood to fit, and hefting the tool to do its job was enough to dispel my maddened frustration with the folly of our Leaders.

new hoe and new bed

new hoe and new bed

This hoe is just the job for breaking new ground – look right to the Hoe Page for more examples of this versatile tool at work in the world – and in history and art.

This entry was posted in crash, financial crisis, hand-tools, survival and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The man with the hoe

  1. I finally decided to write a comment on your blog. I just wanted to say good job. I really enjoy reading your posts.

  2. skye says:

    Don’t overlook a stirrup hoe; much easier to cultivate with by a long shot.

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