Enjoying a Fine Recession

As Election Day approaches, one could be forgiven for thinking our country has never seen a harder time than now, nor faced a bigger threat than the wrong man being elected on Tuesday.

This is a triumph of salesmanship.  It is the power of vast stacks of cash that political speech can build a different world on top of the one we know and make us believe in it.

But to the point that we may not, in fact, be the richest people in the richest country in the history of humankind, I say thank God for that. It is a blessing, not a curse, that we have failed so far to completely equate value with money or finally replace our native wealth with container ships of stacked boxes.

I’ll grant you that our native wealth may be easier to see in some parts of the country than others.  It may take a different set of tools and understandings to realize its worth.  But it is there, waiting for us to find it; waiting to be made into something good like spun hay into gold.

Tuesday morning I’ll be standing in line at the polling station with my aggrieved and downtrodden neighbors.  I’ll probably drive there, even though it’s less than a mile away.  I may bring coffee from home, but there’s a three-dollar cup at Starbucks if I don’t want to bother.  I’ll read a Kindle book on my iPhone as I wait.  And when I vote, I guess I’ll vote my conscience.   

But Tuesday afternoon, I’ll be hunting rabbits in a nearby field.  Chances are good that by day’s end I will have slept, voted, worked, hunted and eaten three hot meals within a five mile circumference.  I will have enjoyed all the wealth of our Great Recession and some of the wealth that has not yet receded into history.

Part of the neighborhood deer herd, a healthy population that lives well on our landscaping.  My friend Tyler took a doe from this group last week by bow, shooting from a blind he set up near the swing set. He keeps several families in meat.  I put part of this one in a John Folse recipe for venison and vegetable soup.    

My friend Jeff from Chackbay wouldn’t starve if the power went out for a year.  Chances are he’d be shipping meals up to us from the bayou, none of them short of delicious. Here’s one of the daily rabbits his good redtail, “Alex,” puts in the bag and where they often go from there. 


Bon appetit, my fellow Americans!


11 thoughts on “Enjoying a Fine Recession”

  1. Best writing this morning.

    Best writing this week.

    Thank you Matt. You said it well, and it neeed to be said.

    A country that has come out with a BEER FOR DOGS is not in too bad a shape.


    People are bitching about unemployment levels that are the same as they were under Reagan, and they are whining about tax rates that are the lowest in history, and not even noting that the American car industry is roaring (largest in the world), and that the stock market is in the stratosphere even as interest rates are in the basement.

    The Internet and 24-hour television have made us a nation of Fat Perpetual Whiners with Too Many Broken Toys.

    A few floods, hurricanes and snow storms may be what we need to re-find what used to be the best part of America: an attitude of gratitude.

    As WC Handy, father of the Blues, put it: "You'll never miss the water 'til the well runs dry."


  2. Most thoughtful post about this state of humans in the US. I will take from this and make myself and others a better day. We all forget to appreciate how good we really have it.
    Karen Bodio Graham

  3. Right on, Matt! I'll be voting Tuesday, then hitting the OFA phone bank for a shift, and on Wednesday finally leaving on my much-delayed bird hunting trip to MT, with four EPs and a falcon in the back of the truck. And we're damn happy to be able to do so.

  4. I've had friends who have, since the '70's, predicted the return of the "great depression" as a motive for self reliance: home defense, gardens, hunting, bomb shelters etc. Is it really happening now?

  5. Getting in this a bit late but…..Yeah, people in the U. S. are getting increasingly spoiled. My sympathies for folks having real difficulties, but there are ALWAYS folks having difficulties, regardless of the time or place in history! We got it purty darn good here in the U. S. A., even in the worst of times. I think it should be required(kinda like some countries have MANDATORY military service for everyone) that all high schoolers have to go live in a 3rd world country for a month or so–mak'em appreciate home! "8% unemployment?" Hey, I thought that sounded purty good! Now 50%, or 75% unemployment might be something to worry about….. I have ZERO sympathy for the jobless whiners that have "given up" looking for jobs–do they give up EATING as well? Sure, sometimes you have to take menial crap jobs to get by, but you can ALWAYS find some kind of work, if you TRY hard enough–take it from someone who has plumbed the depths of degrading, menial labor most of his life! And yes, I do have one-a-them college eddikashunz! I have acquired more than one job going door-to-door in person and just asking if anyone needs any help–ANYTHING to feed the dogs! "Will Work For Dogfood" would be my begging ploy, if I ever stooped to begging(which I have never had to–I have poached, but I've never begged….)). For many years, a job that lasted me 3 months(before I got fired or quit–I consider all whiteman jobs temporary)) was purty average! Yet I've gotten by, been very happy(on my own time, at least), and got quite an education on people, life, and survival, while remaining peripheral to the rat race, and never becoming a slave to material goods and the little green frogskins(as Lame Deer would say). I have worked for some VERY wealthy people, too, in my long, varied, and infamous career, and I have been happier and freer by far than any of them! I don't WANT progress and development and to be "#1"! I want enough to eat to stay healthy, enough clothes(but they are necessary only in cold weather) to keep me warm–preferably in camoflouged colors, if possible– nobody shooting at me because of my religion(or lack thereof) or ethnicity, a decent shelter, some good dogs and some forest to roam with them in. That's what's REALLY important!….L.B.


Leave a Comment