Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Is the Frugal Gracious Living Challenge Political?

(Restored from Blogjob, where it was tagged Carter Family FoldCat SanctuaryFrugal Gracious Living Challengeme me me me meNatural Tunnel State ParkTour de Possum CreekTrail of the Lonesome Pine.)

Thanks to the Blogjobber known as Jessica for asking: How political is the Frugal Gracious Living Challenge?
(Here are the fundraising links, for anyone who may have missed them:
Or, if you'd like to see this happen, you may use the Paypal button on the left-hand sidebar of this screen.)
The most obvious answer is: no, it will not be either political or religious. If I'm promising content that young working parents can use, it would be cheating that audience to lay a lot of philosophy on them. Frugal Gracious Living Challenge posts will be nitty-gritty practical stuff. Each will contain a report on my income and expenses, and a more detailed discussion, with photos and/or video if possible, of something fun and affordable that I'm doing on $1000 a month. Facts, not opinions.
If you visit the Indiegogo (professional fundraisers') page in aid of this project, you should see a tab marked "Updates." That tab should open some lists of possible topics I'll discuss. Menus and recipes, cooking, gardening, home improvement, shopping, research, free/cheap books, free/cheap music, free/cheap entertainment...
I happen to live in a town that's sort of famous for offering, for having developed, some of the world's best free and cheap entertainment. Gate City is not precisely the home, but it's within walking distance from the homes, of the Carter Family (and the genre of folk/pop music they developed), of the Clinch River (and its famous Natural Tunnel), and of the Tour de Possum Creek (a serious cycling event, with a spin-off Family Fun Ride). If you're training for a marathon you can even walk to the home of Trail of the Lonesome Pine.
What I do obviously won't be what someone else might do within the same budget, but it will verifiably work, within budget, and that should give other people ideas. Readers will get to watch me restore the house (after the fire and the cyclone), rewire, replace floors, clean and mend the chimney, choose the most efficient stove and refrigerator, etc.; they'll meet other people involved in these processes, in real life and online, and they'll see me doing my share of the heavy and dirty parts of these tasks.
All of which should be as free from either religion or politics as a bird in a tree. The inconvenient truth many Democrats in the U.S. don't want to face, however, is that in a deeper sense all of this has become "conservative."
It wasn't like that when I was born. Nothing I'm proposing to do in a Frugal Gracious Living post would have clashed with anything President Kennedy said or did. In the FDR era the problem with marketing this idea to Democrats might have been that Eleanor Roosevelt would've wanted to do it herself (she was a famous frugal fanatic).
I've known and loved several Democrats, beginning with my "Aunt Dotty," who lived frugally and graciously for eighty-seven years, with only about a month of disability at the end. She would have had no problem with the Frugal Gracious Living Challenge. Neither would my husband, who was doing graduate work at Georgetown when Bill Clinton came in as a freshman; he and I lived frugally and graciously in Washington on approximately $1000 per month after the house and car payments. Real, lifelong Democrats like them see nothing "conservative" about the Frugal Gracious Living Challenge and may think my Republican-oriented post about it was a mean joke. (If so, I apologize; I may be desperate, angry, snarky, or grumpy but I never intend to be mean.)
However, the left-wing greedheads within the Democratic Party are likely to hate the Frugal Gracious Living Challenge...because, although it's as apolitical as the bird in the tree, serious greedheads and control freaks want to stifle the bird and saw up the tree, too. Mark this well, readers who feel like Jessica ("I agree with the project but not the politics"). People who work very hard at being "influencers" within your party aren't going to come out and say "We hate tough, independent, frugal old ladies."
All they're going to say is probably something like "Wouldn't it be more relevant to focus on what young working people, preferably blackandhispanic types, are doing in the inner city?" Obama's Department of Housing and Urban Development are the ones who are still hung up on head counts of "blackandhispanics," as if the year were still 1966. Me, I'm legally White with enough visible Cherokee genes that people ask, I have first cousins once removed who have both Black and Hispanic ancestors, I think the one who shares my legal name is an especially cute child, and I reserve the right to leave the Cat Sanctuary to her or to all of them...and I still think your town council should vote no, if it still can, to grants to slap up more instant-slum housing projects and fill them with quotas of "blackandhispanic" welfare recipients imported from inner cities.
But what those Democrat "influencers" mean is "We hate tough, independent, frugal old ladies...who aren't generating work for social workers in our welfare schemes, who are living in their own homes and not selling out to 'preservation' groups that will sell out to us, who've never had abortions or needed medical insurance, who don't owe us any favors and aren't likely to do us any in any foreseeable November." You may notice a bit of a disconnect between their way of thinking and that of ordinary private "liberals" like yourselves. The more attention you pay to them, the more you're likely to notice that.
Anyway, long story short...there are many posts on this web site that aren't about religion or politics; Frugal Gracious Living posts will be like those. They'll be hated for religious and political reasons, but they'll consist of facts that can be equally useful to people of any religious or political affiliation, or none. For the majority of people in all parties and denominations they'll be a straightforward fun read.