I just read one of the latest Monk books (written by Lee Goldberg, one of the former writers for the show. This particular book was “Mr. Monk is Miserable” and is set in Paris, the books are great they are just like the show and whenever I have lent them to friends who haven’t watched the show they enjoyed the books just as much. There’s quite a few of the books I believe he just published the 9th)
Anyways, in this particular book that is set in France a very interesting concept of life is brought about and that is “Freegan” Freegan refers to a particular person who chooses to live their life in a certain way. I’m not sure if this is a real thing, if it’s not, HUGE props to Lee Goldberg because it’s one of the most amazing concepts I’ve ever heard of. Surely, it really only could happen in Paris. Supposively it’s a movement, currently only in Paris but trying to branch out to America and around the world.
This so called way of life is a way of freeing yourself (hence the name) for consumerism. Everyone (according to the story by Goldberg) that is now a Freegan was previously a big corporate snob, addicted to the consumer world and wasting as much as they could. These Freegan live for free. They live in the catacombs below France (an entire world lays beneath the city of sewer tunnels (which is the cleanest sewer in the world by the way) and passageways for the catacombs. (Some of them are squatters and live in houses and apartments that aren’t being occupied “everyone has right to shelter, an empty building is a wasted resource.” But basically they are classy dumpster divers. Technically they could be described as “homeless who live in the sewers and eat trash.” However, this is Paris. These Freegan “shop” in the most expensive neighborhoods where people not only buy good food but have no problem wasting it. they throw away an apple from one bruise, they throw away anything that is past its expiration date (that to them is a consumer parade just to make us buy more food, which let’s face it, expiration dates are not 100% you can certainly eat food that is slight past its marking, some products more than others.) people throw away electronics for things that are newer and prettier. These Freegan have complete living rooms, televisions, computers (they do hack into the cities electric grid and get free cable and electricity, that part isn’t so honorable) but they are clean, they are healthy. They live their life not stealing, but using waste. They are essentially recyclers.
They were described in the book as looking like “an ivy league debate team.” They were all high intellectuals at one point and freed themselves of the shackles of a consumer-society. They do grow mushrooms (a delicacy in France, and sells for a good price) for real necessities in life that they can’t obtain “legally through bargain or trade” like prescription medication or the manure to fertilize their mushroom crops. It’s an anti-materialistic lifestyle, in the book, the “leader” of the Freegan said it was not intended to be a movement, a political statement or a cult (none of which it is) but it can be perceived that way, he made this chose of lifestyle on his own and he was passionate about it and anytime you’re passionate about something, you share it with others and if you can speak well your ideas can sound like brilliance and that’s how the “following” became.
Although I would never actually want to be Freegan, I like having a real home and my own personal possessions and safety and security. It’s a real a great idea and I can see how it attracted so many followers. It’s a romantic idea and if I didn’t describe it well enough read the book because Lee Goldberg explains it wonderfully. It’s such a cool idea because it’s not a political movement, they don’t do protests and riot and such, they are simply living their life on our waste, which recycles it and in a sub-minded way it helps save our environment. We should be able to waste less, I am always inspired by this thought, however I’m horrible at maintaining it.