6 – Beet Manifesto

By moldyroot + uncle yam

I nstead of the beatniks of lore, the dirtbag heroin-and-sex addicts of the 50s that so many writers still adore– we are the beets. We have the same wandering feet as our forefathers, but we find ourselves in late-stage capitalism. We stand at the edge of society, both in love and infinitely upset with capitalism and technology. Unlike the beatniks, we care for our bodies and our minds, much like we care for our gardens. We are witnessing the end of the holocene, the only geological period stable enough to sustain agriculture. We are a burgeoning global community of writers and thinkers, beginning to find our voice. We are…

1. The surfers of the temporal stretch. We don’t want your expectations, at thirty or forty or fifty we can still be twenty. We can still work a job for two months, fly across the world. Give us a railroad gig and we will do it. We might quit two weeks later, work a migrant farm job, and circle back next year in constant motion. Like the beet, we only start to get wrinkles after ages in storage. What is storage if not the cubicle where a woman learns how to be a proper man? USO USO USO! United States Of… what?

2. After ten thousand years we see the end of a stable era, oh holocene! Not a big deal for us, the beet can grow anywhere in any condition, any season, any soil. We thrive on chaos, grow from messiness into… what manifestation of beauty? We are an idealistic produce.

3. We reject the binary political system, run away with our tail between our legs! Nuance is our love language. We grind up facts, roll them into philosophies, smoke them into questions. We don’t need big trucks, guns under our pillows. How many gallons of gasoline does a gun need? Beets are a gentle folk. Some of us are heirloom, saved from our grandfathers and grandmothers. Some are new eccentric roots. Come one come all, march in shamelessly, new beets!

4. In this era of infinite information, we adventure through the labyrinth of digital popcorn. The world is massive, yet small. Knowledge is infinite, but we can invite her over and talk all night. We can watch a movie, if we have a television. If not we can chop wood and read stories in tree rings. We can have a potluck with our astrobiogeodendrolocofolklorologist fellas. Just make a good argument and you can stay for dinner. We tend to our swelling heads, so our harvest can be bountiful. 

5. If you ask some old timers they will tell you that we are lucky because today it is so easy to travel. We don’t believe that. We are traveler souls and we would travel in any epoch. Histrionics of the middle age. Immigrants of colonialism. Beatniks of the fifties. Ravers of the nineties. Dimensional travelers of the future. We are all of that. Sometimes also more. We are seasonal workers. We are digital nomads. We can work in boats. We can be ski-teachers. We would still work in mines. For real. Where there is easy money there are beets. We can be everything. We can be everywhere. How to find us? You know that unique smell of soil that a beet has? Follow it!

6. Beets are not running up to the mountains to find a sacred place. Not yet. The beets know that society needs them. They can be urban hikers. They can live on the scraps of the city. Growing in pavement cracks and abandoned lots. Beets can last for months off of peanut butter or cheap white rice. Maybe mixed together. They want to eat local because they don’t trust organic. They’ve been working too much at the bottom to trust any industry. They know the way to happiness is the garden. But not yet. I told you, the beets are on a long mission. The Katastematic pleasure is our final chapter.

7. Beets are the travelers in Australia. Beets are the resistance in Greece. Beets are the trimmers in the Pacific Northwest. Beets are the grape picker in Champagne. Beets are the cherry pickers in the remote south of New Zealand. In the woods of British Columbia. Beets are the young generation of Mexico, of Morocco or Hong Kong. Not all of them. But some of them. Beets are growing among the normal people. Beets are not scared of the social network. They use it, as a tool. But not for living. Beets are activists in the oldest human form. The beets are the people that are acting to change the world. Slowly. No matter on which level of consciousness, they are doing it. Slowly yes, but constantly. 

8. The beet is underground, the beet is resilient. They love to be in groups yet they can stand alone. Beets are born beets, they can put down their roots as easily as they can tear them up.

9. Beets can adapt to technology, progress, or to Luddism. We can live in our leaking cabin with only a wood stove, or we can live as van life digital nomads. We can adapt to luxury, and adapt to hardship and austerity. We thrive in a mix. We want to live as many lives as possible. A cat has nine lives, how many does a beet have?

10. Beets can live anywhere, but we have a map marked in golden pen, x’s around the world. But Williams is the perfect soil for us. Sandy desert yet teeming with biodiversity. So many of us that we can catch water in the pockets where our roots touch.

11. We beets do not refuse the speed of globalization, of this global village. But we think that some things must slow, go back to the soil. Do you feel that is a paradox? Yes it is. Beets are a paradox and we are not ashamed of it. We are living in it and thriving in it because we know that we cannot escape it. Our world is a paradox, and to deny it would allow it to consume us. We have to work with it. Localize. Slow food, slow wandering. Barter, trade, understand where things come from. From our laptops to our ancestors, from our dinner to our cocaine.

12. Are you a beet? What’s your beet name? Oh you soil smeared friends, work for yourself and don’t call it work. Take time to talk, and really wake up. We will find each other. Anything for intellect and home cooking. No borders, no visas, no limits. If there are walls, we will take out our Persian rugs and float onwards. If the only way across is to crash through, we will fuck up the wall.