Because we are not entirely off the grid, we make a regular payment for electricity. At one point I thought we could go solar, but I use a lot of power tools and we have come to depend pretty heavily on our small chest freezer to limit the need for weekly excursions to the grocery store. If we have to, we ought to be able to stick it out for the better part of any the warmer months before having to head to town.
Paying for the electricity gets you an automatic subscription to a magazine doubtlessly produced by otherwise unemployable sons and daughters of the board of the energy cooperative. Despite my aversion to pap that needlessly wastes trees in order to sell Dr. Brush Trimmers and encourages customers to stack their homes with mountains of “efficiency rated” electrical junk, my wife puts them in the reading rack by the toilet. Judging strictly by the depressing uniformity of content, Paul Harvey either isn’t dead, or he’s just selling his feeb corporatist dreck to the top inbreeding states from beyond the veil (If anyone knows where that fun-factory tube of feces is buried, could they please cut the downed phone line that’s straddling his grave?)
Usually it’s inoffensive stuff, because this particular cooperative happens to serve a number of out and proud communist enclaves in central NC. Most of the Birkenstock phalange don’t mind a little edifying Andy Griffitude. After all, It’s Fife who’s the counterrevolutionary buffoon, and all the decent shows back then were written by blacklisted heroin snorting Soviet agents anyway.
But in the leadup to teabagging governmental efforts to begin the slow process of curbing greenhouse gas emissions, our local cooperative has begun to tap the unwholesome energies of its blood and soil constituency.
Right between the ads for homeopathic erectile dysfunction control and groundbreaking recipes for vegetable beef soup is a little war porn. Specifically, a gruesome trophy picture of dead Iraqis. It’s scattered across the top of the page with a fucking montage of postcards. Holiday fare.
This gets to me. I had two uncles who were in combat in WWII. One was a sort of crazy commando guy they’d drop behind German lines with a pocket knife and a book of matches and tell him to be careful. He survived the war, but was stonily silent about it, save the people he told at his deathbed that it filled him with inconsolable grief and nightmares. The other one was the sunny kid who wanted to help the family purchase the farm, who joined the army and passed an aptitude test for flight school, and wound up in a Spitfire over the compressed Anzio beachead on February 7, 1944, when you couldn’t really distinguish between the allied or axis flak, and the new Focke-Wulfe 190’s were opening a brief window of possibility for German air superiority. He was about 23 years old. His flight officer said they got bounced hard and they saw his plane drop. Disabled, but no fire, no chute, and the immediate assumption was he’d tried to land in one of the bogs in the forward area.
I wonder if the Germans took a picture of his corpse and mailed it to a photomagazine to be published between pictures of ruddy North Sea swimmers and new gelatin recipes. Or if the SS just pulled the plug on him with a burst from an MP3 and were just in too much of a torpor from the volume of the day’s execution-style killings to bother capturing it on film.
Mostly, these days, I wonder just what the fuck we’ve become.

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