I like this little series. It reflects an ongoing debate I have with myself. And with others. I’m sympathetic with Arlo’s position, but I appreciate the moderating skepticism of Janis. When I was young, the age of Arlo in the first panel, stepping back from an increasingly materialistic and complex society for a simpler time was a youthful fad: more precisely, it was faddish to talk about it for most of us. As things played out, my generation indeed “folded like a lawn chair” when tempted by shiny toys. Even before that happened, those who truly “dropped out” for a simpler existence were the exception, exception enough that, as a young newspaperman, I occasionally wrote human-interest articles on the local specimens. I would give my stories the obligatory spin, incredulously emphasizing the hardship and deprivation to which they willingly subjected themselves. However, there’d always be an over-arching tone of approval and well wishes, for I admired them. I thought they were on to something. I still do.