On care packages and “self-sufficiency”

I was away from the ‘pooter this weekend, sorry. Came back this morning to post the entry below and catch up on comments, seeing one that read in part…

Just don’t pretend you are some kind of self-sufficient hermit living in the desert, because you’re not. Every time you need something you post it on your blog, and… WHAT DO YOU KNOW… it appears.

Try it without handouts and let us know how it goes.

I don’t dispute that at all and – for the record – explicitly never have. In fact I have always been extremely careful about too enthusiastically patting myself on the back lest I dislocate a shoulder, and specifically avoid ever applying the term “self-sufficient” to myself specifically because I consider it an unrealistic and even undesirable goal. I stated that most explicitly here, and invite you to read the whole thing because despite it being almost 10 years old a lot of it still holds up…

At this point I would go off on a long, self-congratulatory riff about my rugged individualism – except that there are people who will read this and know better. That self-sufficiency thing again. I’d never get away with claiming it for myself because without the kind assistance of others I’d be working a counter somewhere and happy for the work.

Let’s take a look at that Secret Lair I’m so proud of. M supplied the land, and the water, and the transport for virtually all the lumber, and a huge chunk of the labor in framing, sheathing and roofing it. Landlady and Claire provided the place I’ve lived while building it. Sure, I’ve tried to pay back in kind but self-sufficient? Hardly.

And yes it’s true that in the past five years my standard of living has improved dramatically, due to regular help from Big Brother and also Patreon and care package supporters to me personally and to this blog. I used to live on $30/week and now it’s more like $300/month. I never hid that, any more than I hid the fact that from 2009 through 2015 I lived on shit-shoveling and grunt work gigs, often detailed on the blog. Since 2015 the cabin is much improved, as are my clothing, food and weapons. I’ve also droned on at length about how when I need something it does have a habit of turning up. Search the blog for the word synchronicity, if you have a lot of time on your hands.

I’m not speaking with rancor, I’m just saying – I never claimed differently.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to On care packages and “self-sufficiency”

  1. Frank R Longtine says:

    It would appear you’ve gained your very own hater. Congratulations.
    But to be fair, NONE OF US can survive indefinitely without some sort of help.
    Your way of living provides encouragement to many of us.

  2. TK421a says:

    This made me go back and re-read the post about package deliveries.

    Hoeverse, or is it Hoeverse Gottit? Hmmm…

    Hoeverse says he’s a long time reader of the blog, but his post contradicts that or there is a serious lack of understanding about what he’s reading.

    If he was a long time reader, he would understand that everything Joel gets he’s paid for one way or another. The stuff Joel gets is paid for through his entertaining and enlightening posts or it is paid for by doing work with (or for) neighbours. As for the packages from his brother, does Hoeverse’s comment mean that he against a brother’s love?

    What Hoeverse doesn’t understand is what TANSTAAFL is all about, There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch is something that Joel believes to a fault.

  3. RCPete says:

    It’s amazing how many brand-new negative posters claim to be long-time readers of the blogger they’re attacking. I’ll use Vox Day’s term and call them gammas, the Secret Kings of the world.

    We’re not hermits, but far enough from town to get a lot of benefit from Joel’s experience and advice.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Wow, people have time to hate??? On a happier note, hows the pear tree coming along?
    Also, while I have sent a few small things to you, I am always beaming when one of your followers steps up big time and we all know who at least two of them are. And then there is BB — what a star he is. Out to the garden…

  5. A few years ago someone commented on my blog something to the effect that I make him sick anytime I post about needing some extra donations. Maybe your commenter was this same loser. Some people just want to be jerks.

    I’ve never seen you act as though anyone “owes” you any help. All the help you get is freely given, and I think people are happy to help. It’s not like you aren’t giving something of value first. You entertain and inform, and some people choose to pay for the contributions you make. That seems right.

  6. Cederq says:

    I think the “hater” is just jealous and envious of Joel. Who wouldn’t really live like Joel of us here? Out where no buddy can bother unless you want to be bothered. Go about your day as you see and plan it. I know I am envious of Joel, as I know people, I love my dog more. I would rather find companionship in my pooch then most people. Is it a harder life then most? I am sure it is. But satisfying in it’s simplicity. I actually want to be where Joel is. I know I am working on that as we speak, or type as it were…

  7. coloradohermit says:

    I hope that one snarky comment won’t put a damper on care package reports. I love care package reports. It’s like a little Christmas.

  8. Joel says:

    😀 Not a chance. I love’em too.

  9. matismf says:

    My bet on the hater is Rachel Maddow. Or Michael Bloomberg…

  10. Anonymous says:

    Love you matismf. Seriously, though, how is the pear tree?

  11. Anonymous says:

    F the haters.
    they are nothing more than miserable cretins.

  12. Robert Evans says:

    Even the early Desert Fathers of the Christian Church generally had supporters to bring foodstuffs and sell the baskets/crafts that the hermits made in their spare time. Some were better supported than others – – Saint Anthony in Egypt and Saint Cuthbert in England both suffered from ergotism after eating moldy barley or rye bread.

    Probably the most self-sufficient of all solitaries were the Long Hunters of the colonial era and the Mountain Men who came after them. These men were basically hunter-gatherers, able to live off the land, which was open and unregulated during those time periods. Joel doesn’t benefit from the same laissez-faire living conditions, and his chosen home in an unforgiving desert is a factor in how much support he requires from outside sources.

To the stake with the heretic!