This is a movie about a man trying to build a house. The man being a senior, and familiar with a time when things were much simpler, had many encounters with an overzealous building inspector. The inspector insisted on many things, such as blueprints, that were foreign and unnecessary to this veteran builder, whose knowledge of sound building was passed down through the generations from master shipbuilders.
One of the things that stuck with me was the fact that the authorities could come and bulldoze the house for discretions to the building code. And since the man was seen as a trouble maker, the authorities seemed to relish the opportunity. The fact that the man was well respected in his community, and knew more than most about building held no credence. He either complied with the regulations, whether they made sense or not, or they would come and destroy his work.
I suppose I was naive about the role the government played in a land owner’s life. Living in Alaska, I have always dreamed of buying some property and building a home. I had no idea of the regulations and red tape that might entail. In my antiquated mind, I pictured a community barn raising type of event, but these things just don’t happen anymore in “civilized’ society.
The movie has me pondering whether I need permission to build a greenhouse or a chicken coop. I just recently moved to a place where the landlord is ok with these things. But is that enough? We live across the street from a river. Will I need a permit to take my boy over and teach him to fish? It makes me aggravated to think of all the ties my governing bodies want to keep on me.
I personally feel our lives are over regulated under the guise that it is “for the good of all’. The government has branched itself with agencies handling the smallest details of our lives. Each department blind to what goes on in the others. It probably looks good on paper, according to demographics and all, but what it creates is a lack of communication and trust with its constituents. Even in small towns, where everyone used to know who handled this, and who to talk to for that, no one is so sure anymore. Many people have to drive a great distance to meet with regional representatives that have no personal ties with their community; no sense of familiarity with the people they represent.
I will be really upset if I have to get a building permit for my proposed greenhouse. But what is sad, is that I know the day is coming when this will be the case. And because of the splintering of departments, turning out more and more regulations to define the field, this change is happening right under our noses. If we speak up and try and stamp out one injustice, there are a hundred more that slip our sight.
“Still Mine’ was an insightful movie on the plight of the government overtaking our civil rights to do as we please on our own land. It has awakened in me the reality that even lands far from the big city suffer the stranglehold of an encroaching government.