Company Town … Company Nation?

Today I bring you a “guest post” from my friend and fellow activist Jaynna Sims, because she posted something that I feel is just so spot-on. Jaynna may start writing on a website soon, and when she does, I will share the link here for you so you can read more of her writings.

“Y’all know the term company town, where things are paid for with company currency and the company basically kept the town alive, where the people were dependent on the existence of that company thriving. It got me thinking about how we are a company nation, we are dependent on the companies being open to pay us money (their currency basically) so that we can go to the store to buy our food. We are not self-sufficient. We cannot take care of our basic needs of just eating and access to water.

“These calls to let us return to work so that we can take care of ourselves miss the irony of that all together. If we truly want to take care of ourselves, let us start yard and community gardening. Let us learn the wild edible plants and healing power of plants. Let us protect our fresh water and develop systems of community use in times like these. All of these should be attended to by regular community members so that there is knowledge within the people, not just some experts. Let us break our dependency on monetary exchange for basic survival. Let’s see how our values shift if we do this.”

To add my own thoughts to what Jaynna said:

“Company nation” is such an apt phrase. We might even call ourselves a company planet. The other day I stream-rented the film EARTH. It’s a stark view of landscapes around the world that have been completely transformed into vast swathes of bleached moonscape by our mining, quarrying, residential/commercial development demands.

EARTH is now available by streaming rental via Cinematique Theater (the independent cinema of the Daytona Beach area, so I’m putting in a plug for them). See the link below to rent the film.

EARTH is tough and sometimes scary to watch but I hope a lot of people will watch it (and not just because my nonprofit, hometown indie cinema could use a boost right now). The interviews with workers at mines, quarries, development site, an underground nuclear-waste nuclear storage site often reveal a thoughtfulness and tenderness even among those who love their jobs. These people have to earn a living but they recognize the impact of their industries on the land and ecosystems. I like to think that as more of our eyes are open, the people interviewed in this film, and everyone else, will be able to have livelihoods that are regenerative, for the earth and for people and communities alike.

EARTH dir. Nikolaus Geyrhalter
Austria | 2020 | 124 mins. | English
Streaming through Thursday, April 30th

“An examination of humanity’s dramatic impact on the physical state of Earth.”

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