Monday, October 30, 2006

How Codgerism Can Save the World

Codger-style living is at heart a values shift–away from status and power toward freedom, mobility, and creativity. Millions are slowly discovering the happy truth, that these are what really satisfy.

A side effect of this value shift is that it can save the world from its greatest evils.

Homelessness: This is a ridiculously easy problem for codgers to solve, because we know the difference between shelter and status symbol. What we know that others don't is that cozy mobile accomodations can be had for peanuts. Almost as importantly, we know where we can park for less than peanuts. To approximately quote one of the great codgers, Thoreau, the cause of most homelessness is not so much a lack of money as a lack of imagination.

Global Warming: Our low consumption, off-the-electrical-grid lifestyle adds almost nothing to CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Factories and power plants can scale way back when millions of greedy, insatiable, munching caterpillars transform to codger butterflies fluttering about the continent, powered by sunlight and tiny sips of nectar. Codgerism heralds the great slowdown.

Overpopulation: Mindless, reckless reproduction will cease when the codger value of sustainabilility takes hold. Codgers generally pursue values of rational self-interest, which is incompatible with a bunch of needy kids. Overcrowded, clamorous cities quickly inform his mind on the subject.

Water shortages: Codgers use from 2-4 gallons per day. Settled householders use 150 gallons per day. Need I say more?

Land shortages: Codgers do not desire to own vast tracts of land–just to use a tiny piece for a brief time.

Job shortages: The codger lifestyle is so cheap that they can retire early, opening up jobs for others. When the world adopts our low-consumption lifestyle, careers will be as short as 10 years. Drudgery is the enemy of the good life.

Fuel shortages: Confirmed codgers need 3 good reasons to go to town. They travel in short hops, consuming only a fraction of the fuel of a commuter. And all sensible codgers go south in the winter, where they hardly need any heating fuel.

Religious and Cultural Conflicts: Codgers travel and become acquainted with many cultures and religions. They soon discover that no one has a monopoly on truth. Dogmatism, chauvinism, and jingoism are abandoned. Tolerance, openness, and agnosticism become common attitudes.

More: You Might Be a Codger If....

...You have not tended a lawn in 20 years.

...You haven't slept inside a house in years.

...You would make Solar Panel Day a national holiday.

...You don't pay rent, mortgage, income taxes, water or electric bills.

...You regard camping fees as tyrrany.

..."Big Rock Candy Mountain" is your favorite song.

..."Moving On" is your motto.

...Walmart is your home base.

...Quartzsite, Arizona is your mecca.

...Tumbleweed is your favorite plant.

...You haven't used a china plate in years.

..Your address is General Delivery.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

You Might Be a Codger If...

...Your dream house has wheels.

...80% of your wardrobe came from thrift stores.

...Your picture of Heaven looks a lot like the Slabs.

...Some of your teeth were made in Mexico.

...Your family has forgotten what you look like.

...You haven’t slept inside a house in years.

I’m sure there are many more. Any ideas? Post a comment.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


We’re hearing from folks all over: Van Dwellers, Freeroaders, and solitary codgers. Thanks to all those making suggestions. I look forward to meeting fellow adventurers. Our agenda is filling up with interesting subjects.

Big picture discussion topics:

Places to go
Things to do
Rigs to live in
Clubs worth joining
Dealing with authority

Equipment and Gadgets:

The new 12-volt fridge
AGM batteries
Satellite TV and radio
Cell phones
Internet access

Here are some quotes that intrigued me from a book on nomads by Morris Berman:

"Nomads are committed to movement and fluidity as the key to life and consciousness."

"Nomads have neither past nor future, only becomings.
They have no history, only geography.
They don’t sow, they forage."

"Without a destination, I am never lost" — Zen master Hakuim

"Movement diminishes anxiety — Travel is inherently therapeutic."