Friday, April 29, 2011

Off The Grid...

Took my normal walks with the dogs the past couple of days. Walking along this "off grid" community and all the characters that inhabit this place. The past couple of days I've also read Nick Rosen's "off the grid" with the long subtitle of: Inside The Movement For More Space, Less Government And True Independence In Modern America.

The book is readable; mostly it is a travelogue of Rosen's travels across America, visiting "off grid" people. Rosen also was looking for a place to settle down himself. A place to live "off the grid".

In many ways, the book isn't very satisfying. Some of the folks he writes about don't live off the grid. Some of the characters are downright weird. Many "off griders" didn't allow him to write about them (seems to be an inherent paranoia amongst off griders).

Rosen states 500,000 Americans live off the grid for various reasons. Rosen attributes much "off grid" living to the marijuana industry. The growing and cultivating cannabis in remote locations led to the movement (in his eyes). And Rosen is quick to share a joint with those he visits.

But how does his experience compare to my own? Frankly, he is pretty right on. In this neighborhood we have the pot growers, religious zealots and Rush Limbaugh lovers. People do want to be left alone and government is something to be hated, despised, feared. This ridge is no community of Eco-Socialists. No.

From my experience, Rosen's visits with the pot growers, religious fanatics, rednecks and Birther/Truther Paranoids is right on. Something I didn't expect when we bought this cabin in the woods.

Two chapters stand out and are worth reading. His chapter on the development of the Grid is noteworthy. His last chapter where he gives a defense of "off griders" also is worth reading. Although Rosen does amble into the climate change denier club for a bit within the last chapter, his defense of rural, off grid living is both eloquent and poignant.

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