Farewell, My Subaru

I just finished reading “Farewell, My Subaru” by Doug Fine.

I don’t like his writing style at all. He mixes exaggeration, humor, and supposed facts such that you can never tell what is true. He’ll be narrating about what he is doing, standing working on a project and then mention someone that has apparently been standing next to him for the last hour, only we did not know.

He throws in these stupid “facts” all over the place in pull-outs that piss me off. For example on page 139 he is talking about that toxic purple PVC cement used to join water pipes and he interjects

A Finnish Company called Uponor makes a piping material called Aquapex that “doesn’t leach toxics into your water”…

That’s wonderful except that the pipes are made with polyethylene which might be less toxic… or not. So he is implying that there is a better, safer product only he’s not using it. He doesn’t explain why.

On page 152 there is another pull-out

Farmers in Virginia are testing poultry waste as a biofuel.

Of course what he is trying to imply is that chicken crap should be used as fuel instead of oil. The trouble is, they can test all they want, until those Virgina farmers make a viable, affordable fuel, he’s not saying anything.

Like most wide-eyed, staunch liberals, he puts a lot of blame on others. He talks at great length as to how WalMart is the enemy but his reasons come down to, “Because it’s WalMart, man!” To be fair, he also talks about the long distances the products travel to market and the Chinese people employed in their manufacture. I’d say that 1-Transportation fuel is currently relatively cheap, otherwise we wouldn’t import from China. 2-All those Chinese would be out-of work if we didn’t buy their products.

I was happy to see that at the end of the book, his suggestions for a better future didn’t come down as if from a manifesto but from a heartfelt desire to do the right thing. He gave some useful, if obvious suggestions to help keep local economies local.

Farewell, My Subaru paraphrased:

Live on a farm, it’ll be an adventure. Drive a vegetable oil powered car, while I know it won’t go too far to saving the world, it’ll be an adventure. If you have the space, getting a solar powered water heater works pretty good (and it’ll be an adventure). Solar electric is expensive but works pretty good. Owning goats and chickens is an adventure. Buy local, make what you can local, you’ll be better for it.

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