Going off the Grid

Okay, I’d have to admit that I have that romantic (probably German) streak that kind of gets a kick out of the idea of getting off the grid. Sadly, I’m not too much of a handyman, so I guess that possibility is somewhat far fetched, but still. The documentary linked to above is about and by Les Stroud (see here for his official website), building a house and self-sufficient system in order to get ‘off the grid’ and on the – well on what? It’s a great docu anyway, so try to catch it as long as its available.

What tipped me off to post this was this announcement of another movie called, aptly, “Off the Grid” on Techyum. Here’s a synopsis from the San Francisco Docmumentary Festival, which will be screening the documentary:

Look out the window while you’re driving through the rural American Southwest. You’ll see the stark beauty of the landscape, but what you won’t see is the underground community a few miles in the distance. They inhabit this stunning, yet unfriendly territory. The Mesa has no access to the electricity grid and it’s not patrolled by a police force. There is no official rule of law. However, many residents are extremely patriotic and believe in the basic tenants of the U.S. Constitution. This post-modern wild west is a haven for American Veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Gulf War Syndrome. Teenage runaways are also drawn here for the sense of anarchy, anonymity and freedom. Fueled by the growth and distribution of Marijuana, the Mesa has developed an underground economy all its own. But marijuana’s legal status has brought increasing government surveillance. A recent police raid solidified anti-government sentiment. Anti-establishment beliefs are tested when a group of rebel runaways called “the nowhere kids” begins to stockpile weapons and steal food from neighboring residents. The community is challenged to find common ground in order to protect themselves against this dangerous faction. Residents form a council, and hold a hearing to deal with the thieves. This self-imposed government is the very thing they have come to the Mesa to escape.

I’ll try to watch it, but chances that it’ll come out here are slim… ‘Off the Grid’ also has a MySpace page, so you can get more info and watch some trailers there. For more info on ‘Survivalism,’ the Wikipedia entry seems to be a good starting point.


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