html xmlns="" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: Margie calls it P.O.R.A.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Margie calls it P.O.R.A.

I first heard the phrase “after the revolution” in undergrad. I’ve been using it ever since, in sentences like “After the revolution, Daddy, driving that SUV is going to earn you some self-criticism.” I’m not part of a revolutionary cell or anything, but I’ve always been confident that the insurgents would recognize our shared ideals during the uprising. Since I am fantastic at logistics and organizing, I would naturally find my role during the aftermath and reorganization.

A couple years ago I began to be afraid that I would never see the revolution. I started to think that the apocalypse would come first. Between the natural disasters, famines, plagues and omens, there's a real possibility we’re in the end times. The apocalypse is shakier ground for me. I certainly don’t qualify for the raptures, with immediate transfer to heaven. The earthly fall-out is going to be grim, but again, a large base of friends and good organizing skills should stand me in good stead. If I can avoid getting hit by comets and stuff, I should be able to make it through until the earth dissolves into a fiery holocaust.

I’ve been hearing a lot about Peak Oil recently. Peak Oil is probably my favorite alternative, because I have misplaced fantasies about returning to an agrarian utopia. It would totally be like the 30’s, without the racism and sexism and with antibiotics. I would wear those flattering dresses, and get up at 8:30 to gather eggs from the chickens, and then maybe stop by the garden to pick vegetables for lunch and flowers for the porch table. We all would! With artisan cheeses!

Margie and I were talking about what lifestyles we can reasonably expect to earn. We both know that we can never expect to live as well as our parents; I think they lived through an extraordinarily wealthy time. So that’s not an option. “But,” said Margie, “I never thought we would skip back to our grandparents' quality of life.” The funny thing is that I live remarkably like I imagine my grandparents did. I live in the part of Sacramento built before cars, so I walk everywhere. My house is little by today’s standards, but families were raised in it. I have one stereo, no tv, and not a lot of appliances. I garden and eat local truck crops. My friends and I visit on each other’s porches. Peak Oil wouldn’t necessarily impair my standard of living much. The revolution would be gratifying but I hate to think of the violence. We mostly have to avoid the apocalypse.



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