Category Archives: earth hour

Earth Hour Unplugged with a Mad Family

My son was walking around the house saying ‘hippy…hip…eeze, hippies…hippies, you’re all hippies’, shaking his head in disgust and disapproval.  My daughter, became enlightened at about age three and fully understands compassion, caring for others and the world around us. 

My son was watching Joe Dirt, a ridiculous movie with an actor that had the best/worst mullet I’ve ever seen and the dilemma was it fiinshed at 8.30 wheras Earth Hour, or Hippy Hour as my son would call it started at 8.

One hour no electricity, no gizmos, no gadgets, lights out, a challenge to say the least.  My wife was clear that we need to do such a thing. I had a strong argument against it, so I thought, not that I didn’t care. I knew the ‘Truth’, the hidden truth and I started rambling on about free energy invented by Tesla and other patents owned by the power mongers.  At that point my daughter said, “Dad no conspiracy theories”.  I said, “they are not theories”. She said, “I don’t care, we are doing it anyway”. 

To fill you in I have always been cautious of the world around me, and was so mad and extreme at  certain times in my life that I never even picked flowers for 32 years because I didn’t want to hurt them.  Well not quite true, I had read a book by D T Suzuki on Zen, and he pointed out the difference between the Western mind and Eastern mind.  He said that in the West we pick the flower and put in a vase and say ‘how beautiful’ and in the East they watch it grow in the garden and let it live out its life there. He used an example of two famous poets, I think Yeates and Basho. 

Being an acoustic guitarist there was a simple solution, if need be I could play guitar for an hour, no amp required, no PA just the sweet sounds of an unplugged guitar.

The hour was getting closer, my wife starting running a bath and I was calling out to her that she would use more power running the hot water system than we would just leaving the lights and other gadgets on.  To no avail, she had her Self Development mp3’s on her ipod ready.  “Oh by the way, the ipod uses voltage that came from the computer that was plugged into a power point, you’re cheating”.  The door closed the candles were being lit.  The lights went out, my son and I  were running around the house looking for one of his Motoxcross mags.  It’s interesting how little light a candle puts out when you ar looking for an object.  He cheated twice, he flicked a light on and off, environmental sacrilege, but still didn’t find it.

I’m not sure what came over me but it only took about three minutes before I was sneaking around the house making ghost noises ‘woooo,  woooo,’ and scratching my finger nails down the doors create a creepy effect.  A voice came from the bathroom…quiet. The poltegeist had to retire.

 Oh no, my son opened the fridge door,  it was still on, quick turn it off, no we can’t, the food will thaw.  We pretended it never happened, he was hungry, he hadn’t eaten for 23 minutes and it was urgent.

Meanwhile my daughter was revving up her ipod for what I assumewd would be an hour of head bobbing and foot tapping in the dark. What I hadn’t realised was that she had set it up for me to listen to her favourite tunes.  She played me a couple of songs by Angus and Julia Stone, very acoustic, very nice and I made an agreement with her to teach her the tunes, there’s only a couple of chords but it’s nice material.  Another tune I liked was by Via Audio, it reminded me of Prefab Sprout and Everything but the Girl, very musical, sort of light Indie pop, but I liked their harmonies and they don’t rely on volume to create sound.  After a while my wife emerged from ‘deep space’, she said something that I couldn’t hear but I assumed it was ‘what are you doin’, right at the moment I was repeating the words of the song ‘ I’m wasted’, ‘I’m so wasted’…she wandered off up the hallway into the dark looking very puzzled.

It was almost time, an hour was up, we opened the curtains, I went onto the balcony to watch all the pretty lights come on, I was ready to shout “HAPPY ELECTRICITY” as the neighbourhood lit up, but alas, 9 o’clock went by and not a flicker; a few blue lights shining through the windows, the teles were on.

Just then it happened, my son picked up an acoustic guitar and starting playing the riff to Black Sabbath Iron Man, I hadn’t listened to it since 1973, well I may have but I would have probably filtered it out.. I couldn’t help myself,  I ran to the kitchen, picked up the broom turned it upside down to use as a mike stand, there I was channeling Ozzy Osbourne, “Has he lost his mind, can he see or is he blind, is he live or dead, has he thoughts within his head.”

I can’t wait for the next one.  Are other houses like mine?

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