Commonly known in the blogosphere as Argentum Vulgaris, AV is a prolific contributor to multiple blogs, including the awesome They Say It’s In the Genes and Eco Crap. I first encountered his writing via a guest blog post on Reduce Footprints and completely dig how his honesty shines through in everything he writes, from the philosophical to the environmental to the global community at large. Based in Brazil these days, he’s got a unique perspective on the world and something to say about, well, just about everything! Cool. Oh – and today’s his birthdayyyyyyy!
What or who inspires you most?
The what, life; the who, the thinkers of the world, the people who are free of prejudice, the ones able to think without the crutch of religion.
What do you turn to when you need strength?
Coffee. I have faced a lot in the world, I have never sought succour from anyone nor anything, certainly not alcohol nor drugs, prescription or otherwise. I rely on my inner strength in times of stress which are rare. I cannot fathom the need for psychologists and their ilk. My attitude is, ‘Deal with it, and move forward’.
How can women best support and/or empower other women?
That’s a tricky one for me being a male, I’m damned whatever I say.
I believe that women have rights, no problems there, but I do think the current paradigm of feminism is off track and needs serious changes to become effective. Women need to support each other, shrug off their natural cattiness and get down to business. Men do it over a beer, commonly known as ‘mantime’, but there isn’t really an equivalent ‘womantime’.
What do you love to grow? What would you like to try growing someday?
Vegetables and livestock, we are entering a phase of the world where we will need to return to self-sufficiency; if you can’t grow veges and meat, you will not survive. The golden years of plenty are all but over, the bludgers (Wall St, etc) have seen to that with their greed. It will not be long before there is no gasoline, supermarkets are empty and people will be fleeing the concrete jungles for the subsistence of the country.
What are your creative outlets? Is there anything you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t?
I am creative. Apart from writing, I have painted, worked with leather and clay as an art form, I can use a sewing machine, cook more than mashed potatoes, I find gardening creative, I love getting my hands dirty (it’s the poo smell, see next answer). I would love to be musical, but already know that this eludes me, I have a sense of rhythm similar to an elephant crashing through the jungle; and the same elephants cringe when I try to sing.
In what environment(s) do you feel most in your element?
Rural, the solitude and peace of the countryside, on a farm with the smell of cow poo in my nostrils. Those who have read my blogs will understand the importance of the agricultural ‘aroma’ in bringing peace of mind.
Who are your top three nonprofits you support and/or volunteer with and why?
I don’t. I am involved on several levels of blogging (non-profit) covering much of the ills of the world. I consider that to be my contribution, making people think.
What recent “green” change have you made in your own life? What’s next?
I have always been greenish, I was brought up greenish unknowingly, or at least not lavishly. I have made some changes in the last years, but basically they have been extrapolations of existing beliefs.
Where in the world do you consider a sanctuary? Why?
The rainforest, the most peaceful time in my life was in the rainforest in Peru. I lived for some months 15 hours walk from the nearest town (Pilcopata), no roads, no electricity, no mod-cons whatsoever; not even a lock on the door.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Study, don’t cruise through school, even though you can. Stay away from university, earn an honest living. Avoid credit like the plague (it is one). Travel as soon as you can out of the First World, because it will be the making of you. Education is not the be all and end all of life; I am a high school dropout, and I’m still around. That sounds contradictory but study is not always education, and vice versa.
How can we as a society be more radical in supporting a healthy planet?
Get rid of the bludgers, the politicians, bankers and executives, for they are the virus damaging the planet. John Smith talking to Morpheus (Matrix) was right.
Get rid of all appliances, we don’t need them.
What sparked your interest in environmental issues? What’s the first “eco” thing you ever did?
As I said above, there was no real ‘first’ green thing, because I have always been so. So my ‘greenness’ wasn’t sparked as such.
How do you live simply?
Stay broke. I have no savings, I live frugally and work to survive. I have no need for material things, most of my furniture came from the street, discarded by others. As long as I have my necessities, food, roof, etc and a little extra for beer on the weekend. I do like fine dining (a remnant of my past) and do so when I have a little extra, as I have a modest wine selection at home, also bought when I have a little extra (it’s not there to drink, sometimes I do). I drink sparkling mineral water at home, I do not have soda or Coca Cola in the house. I cook with natural fats and avoid TV type dinner products. Generally, my health is fine, I haven’t had a medical complaint that requires paying a doctor in 20 years. I support technology in as far of the internet because it is the best method to disseminate information at the moment. I do not have a coffee machine, I do not have a microwave, I do not have a dishwasher, nor a washing machine, nor a dryer. I can’t abide the banality of ‘reality’ TV nor video games.
Could you leave us with a favorite quote of yours?
As an atheist I hold one of the 10 Commandments above all else, “Do unto others…”; that is the one rule I live by.