Thursday, October 12, 2006
Anyway it's a beautiful day so I'm going to go work out and work on some basic parkour stuff.
Friday, August 18, 2006
the day i bought the jounral... Mc Pherson, Kansas
June 10th, 2006, 5PM
"Five minutes per user per day;" so apparently I can't get back online on one of the three Windows 98 200 Mhz machines to continue blogging. I'm sitting at a round table which sieats four, and the man next to me is perhaps about 75. He's doing a word find in one of those little journal rags you get at the grocery store. The library is a small one-room building, and I'm the only person here under 40 - out of about the six of us quietly milling about or reading. The town itself is small and quiet - with a beautiful park sided by glowing red fire trucks and a pre-school - but modern. I see and experience and more and more of that as I travel: interesting and functional idiosyncrasies - as a bum with a cell phone, in a small town with a Wal-Mart and Braums, with police fully modernized but missing the hardoned bent of racial prejudice and class war. I got a ride from a Mennonite truck mechanic with an 8th-grade Biblical education. So far, the trip has been really fantastic and lots of fun, with a large dose of hard work and a bit of frustration and pain. [This brings to mind the frustrating incident on my first night out where I attempted to set up my tent in the settling dusk in no less than a SWARM of mosquitoes.] Word. 5:20 PM
June 11th, 2006, 1:31 PM
"Well fuck me in the ass runnin' backwards!" - Tom the drunken hick. I just got a ride from two drinking smoking hicks somewhere in between McPherson and Lindsborg. They pulled over, "Where you headed!?" shouted Tom, slurring and grinning with a beer in his hand. "The next town north of here, I can't remember the name...-" "Lindsborg!" "Yeah." He thought a bit, consulted drunk and dumb Dave, then this: "Aww fuck it! Get in!" And on we wen. Those guys were fun. Tom's a biker and ex-hippie, and he looks just like Beetlejuice [Michael Keaton!]. But scratch the bag about Dave: he's a good, smart (and coherent to boot) guy. God, the people here are amazing. I'm listening to a song here in the music festival ... or I was, it's over. It went like this, though: oh hell, it doesn't matter, I can't remember anyway. But several of these songs are about travelling and Teas, and that's good enough for me. Just one thing: the Good ol' Boy hick image is some measure of bullshit and earnest ignorance. Smalltown doesn't mean stupid, and this confirms a suspicion first raised with discussion I had stumbled across concerning radical peasentry (in 18th century United States, in 20th century central * South America, in Russia and the Balkan states at the turn of the last century) and their very intuitive uprisings against tyranny and misery in various guises. Anyway, never under-estimate the country folk, 'cause they're on top of shit, just like you [comrades?] or me [..?], they're just more relaxed [or fatalist..] about it. The Vieth Minh were mostly peasants, you know. Makhno's army, the slave uprisings since the earliest times in the US; Western ship mutinies -
Let's hear it for the workin' man...
and nothin' keeps a good man down,
n' he's the man that makes the world go 'round,
so let's give him a hand ... let's hear it for the workin' man ...
just a song playing now: case-in-point. Everyone's got their hang-ups, and these Kansans [sp?] aren't without theirs: a continuous but earnest dedication to irrational, unempirical religion; as well as probably continuous unwitting sex [gender*] bias and racism. But, like pretty much everyone, they know what they want and have the capacity to be very intelligent. :) [My meaning was that they are more than capable of understanding theirs and others' social conditions, class relations, etc.] I hear the cops in McPherson are real pigs, front-line class-war ass-heads. The area south of there, around Hesston and such, is full of Mennonites - I got a ride from one! [Redundant; apologies.] - and apparently Mormons and Jehova's Witnesses. Lindsborg itself, I heard from Dave and an old lady in the park back in McPherson that this town is a Swedish community of Orthodox somethingorother religious folks who left Russia (presumably after the October Revolution sometime) to escape religious persecution. They came to Kansas specifically to keep groing the same kind of wheat as they had back in the Ukraine or wherever. Just a bit of interesting history that I've picked up [and likely distorted beyond all imagination] mixed in with the personal stories, ideas and religions. Tom's from Chicago. "I done every sorta' drug, drank, smoked, wore my hair long [?], eckcedra..." Dave "went to the machine shop right out of school, went into marriage while still in the shop, left marriage, y'know ... n' yeah." He was also in the Army. There's a lot of families and trees here, and probably more than a few family trees [what the fuck am I talking about here?]. Lots of elderly and little kids. Not but a few teenagers. I'm propped up against a tree, there's cute harmless little and huge ants crawling on me. The sun is shining through thick old evergreens, it's about 80 degrees here, and smells like fudge and lemonade and freshly cut grass. The next band is getting ready to play. I'm going to go find a place to piss. Girls! [I never spoke to one.] more later. 3:55PM
June 14th, 2006, 10:28PM
I'm in a Wal-Mart parking lot with some radical [not quite, I found quickly] hippy chicks (April and Emma), three hippy dudes (Joe, Lotus, and some other guy whose name I forgot [John]), and a 40 year-old hobo named Kevin, whom which resembles the blonde guy from Dumb And Dumber to an extraordinary degree. It's really fucking windy, so I'm sitting against the car to stifle it. I was in Salina, Kansas for two days, no: three! I spent yesterday at the library, reading and relaxing as the day before that I had been walking for about ten hours from Lindsborg to Salina. I ran out of water, got stopped and searched by pigs (for dope, I consented), and finally got a ride into Salina by Rick the former hitch-hiker. Once there I made my way to the library and thence to a park by a train depot, where I slept - very comfortably, I might add, with a good deep sleep and not one interruption. Today I mozied down to I70 , met Kevin ...
More later. People are pissed and want to use the computer.
"Sorry," a sentence which he began and then interrupted with an amusing nervous laugh, "I thought you were the cops." He explained to me that a ranger told him he was not allowed to sleep there overnight, and so he'd in-turn blocked off all of the windows and had slept or read all night. He was still kind of whimpering over his wound from my combat knife. (A day earlier, we'd decided to cut up a watermelon and eat it before we went up the mountain. My knife being the only one we had, I started to cut it, but Lotus interrupted; "Please, let me do it, I'm a trained cook, you'll hurt yourselves." Indignance from condescension turned to an air of pitiful hilarity when the knife slipped after just a few slices and gashed open his hand.)
It was still early in the day, perhaps about 10AM, and so we were there for several hours until early evening when they returned from the mountain. In the mean time, we'd managed to watch two of the worst films ever as well as play a few minutes of GTA: San Andreas. Joe, John, and Yoav returned, Yoav carrying my pack. (I'd left it up there on the "DELICATE TUNDRA ECOSYSTEM - PLEASE STAY ON THE PATH" hidden under some rock a few hundred feet from the path, where we'd huddled together the night before to make a gulash of sorts and camp overnight in defiance of the biggest rules in Rockie Mountain National Park.) As soon as they'd returned, we loaded into the van and proceeded down off the mountain and back to Boulder/Denver. That night or the next - I don't remember, really - we spent the night at Cameron's.
Isaac, the young cigarette-smoking anarchist from an appartment down the way from Cameron's. Cameron, the guy I met through the CrimethInc. forums that invited me to stay at his place. Yoav, the Kibbutzim-raised socialist travelling abroad. I also forgot to mention that Emma and April had both left before we rode to the mountain, perhaps the day before. There's also a great story about me and Yoav, a foreign national, being disarmed in a Wal-Mart parking lot. The morning after we left the mountain (before we'd gone to Camerons', then), me and Yoav had both awoke early and decided to, after buying some cinnamon rolls at the store, go to the corner and fly a sign, "NEED GAS". We got a few dollars, but shortly a cop identified us from across the street, and sounded his horn to draw attention to him. I put down the sign and he pulled up along-side us. At first, he was extraordinarily friendly, and it appeared as though he was going to help us with money or gas, and I do suspect he would have had it not been for slight absent-mindedness on the part of Yoav and I.
"Woah, stay back!" The cop had noticed Yoav's (relatively small) knife on his belt, and began the process of disarming and identifying him - an indispensible safety precaution for a member of an institution so uniformly and violently hated - when he notice my knife. "Jesus Christ! Sit down!" I sat down and put my hands out in front of me, trying to comfort the clearly young and inexperienced cop. To Yoav he said, "Yeah! Just like that guy's doing! Hands in front of you.." Another cop pulled up, whether on a call or the beat it was hard to discern. We stood up, hands behind our back, one cop holds us while the other slides the knife out of the sheath and hands it away back to the second cop. He'd said, "What the hell do you need that big-ass knife for?" The only thing I could think of was the truth, so I just told him I was wearing my knife - we both were - because we had just been up camping in the mountains. The cop was a little frustrated than his benevolence had been side-swiped by a combination of his own (not entirely invalid) paranoia and the fact of Yoav n' I carrying weapons. They patted us down and took most of the rest of the stuff out of our pockets. The cop was really angry when he opened Yoav's wallet and found hundreds of dollars. "Why don't you buy gas with this!?" I tried explaining that he's merely riding with us for a short time, and that that money is for more urgent personal needs as he travels around and he's not obligated to do us any favors, and though the cop understood he was still angry, probably feeling tricked. They gave us our stuff back (and it's an absurdly illegal knife!) and we woke up John, Joe, and Lotus and took off, to fly signs for most of the rest of the morning and find food and fun (and beer, apparently) in the evening.
We were on our way - after a stay at Camerons' and a brief get-together with his friend Hillary and his girlfriend, whose name I forget - to the Rainbow Gathering, hoho!
Left: Cameron and his girlfriend in his appartment.
Leaving the mountains was really amazing, but I wasn't able to take a photograph of it. The vans wound around the mountains hugging the interstates' asphault, and the rain was pouring down, the sun shining, cliffs and peaks on either side, cars on the opposite side of the road throwing up huge mists to sparkle in the sunlight, among the raindrops. It was just REALLY AMAZING DUDES Z0MG.
THE RAINBOW GATHERING
This was very interesting and I'm glad I held no expectations about the nature of the Gathering, what I'd read about on their website. Incidentally, I'd never until writing this post bothered to look at the Wikipedia entry. *rubs chin methodically* The expectations I did have, were implanted in me by April and Lotus, both of which had been to many previous Gatherings and both of which held the Family very high in their hearts. I was warned that, for appearing to be a cop, I would be dosed (given LSD, for people like me who never would have suspected what the hell that meant) and duct-taped to a tree. Incidentally, no one at the Gathering ever even remotely implied that I was or could imaginably be a cop, and no one treated me differently than they did anyone else. Other than a vague fear of mobbish authoritarianism, I had no real idea of what to expect, and it was just as well because I don't think I could have expected the eclectic yet, inexplicably, near-homogenous mass of people. They were the kind of people who I'd been attracted to at first, repeatedly, periodically, throughout my life; and then repulsed after "getting to know" them. For some brief intermediate period, I'd teeter on the edge of friendship, "open-minded" enough to explore their positions, and then slide back after seeing irreconcilable differences of theory (of any number of things) and approach to life. These people are, for me, initially and superficially platonically attractive because they are different, because they are sure and steadfast and proud. They are consistently rejected as friends, much less comrades, because I always find this kind of person - whosoever falls into this category I've set here - to be fundamentally repulsive to real goodness and actual societal change. Not just "hippies", but individuals ranging the whole gamut of pre-conceived categories. None-the-less, I got on and had several interesting conversations, and many frustrating and idiotic ones (many involving science, religion, and anarchism.) It's hard for me to recount the days, but I do have several journal entries from that time which will (again, at some foggy, mysterious future point) allow me to attempt to fill in the gaps of my memory. The journal itself is clouded with "I think"s and "probably"s, but it should at least help. Here, though, is my best account of that approximately week-long period between the end of June and the beginning of July.
"If you surround me, I WILL shoot you."
Bacon was prolific. The state had turned Routt National Forest into a veritable sty. Okay, so that's an exaggeration. Certainly there was many fewer cops there than there usually are at National Gatherings. Still, it was interesting observing and participating in the dynamics between un-witting anarchists ("Anarchy can never work!" proclaims the hippy at a decentralized and directly-democratic 'gathering' of no less than 20,000 people in the middle of a forest...) and witting police officers ("We should just arrest all these fuckers", from a smug cop...). At first the police were confused and probably more than a little scared, fuelling already inherently reactionary measures. As they learned about the kind of people they were dealing with - "WE LOOOOOOOVE YOUUU!" - they started to relax, putting away the tasers and truncheons and spending more and more time milling about the camps, enjoying the free food and flashing peace signs instead of firearms. This was largely due to the overwhelmingly, glaringly obvious contradiction between their actions and the supremely relaxed, peaceful context of the Gathering. They came in once or twice a day down "Main Trail", on horseback or foot or some combination, and would go into camps taking photographs of hippies (many of whom are also social activists in their communities) and handing out tickets for posession, exposure, etc. (Everyones' favorite, of course, is the ever-present "Illegal Gathering", apparently a real crime and a very difficult one to repress.) At some point, apparently early in the Gathering before me and the crew had arrived, cops needlessly blocking a trail into the Gathering were ran off by a throng of hyper-patriotic, peaceful, chanting idiots. Err, hippies. Err, Rainbow Family. At some point a cop got hit with a rock (can you imagine!? a rock! the only thing worse than that would be ... fully automatic rifles, perhaps like what Nebraska state troopers tote around, or what the cops and Forest Service had for themselves!) and this triggered outrage, somewhere, probably, or something. But they came in the next day crying and asked us to please help them find a bandaid. When some Family told them perhaps maybe they shouldn't march around the Gathering with shotguns and assault rifles, they started foaming at the mouth and beating people. Well no, this is a lie. They came in the next day or a few days later and marched to the valley to arrest whoever they decided threw the fateful rock (I think the cop got hit on the shoulder or something). The Family heard about this and the decision was made to form "Main Circle", an impressively large ring of people out in the valley, with the intent of protecting the cops' targets from ticketing or arrest. I was not there to see that, as I was busy building a bridge with the all-topless, self-appointed "Beaver Bridge-Building Crew", but I did hear about it - ("Siix-uuuuuup!!!!!") - and ran to get my camera and photograph as many cops as I could in case evidence was necessitated for some irritating and protracted court-case over police violence and civil disobedience. It was around this time that, walking along side a group of two or three police officers with an apparent hippy guide, the very nice officer above told me that if I - all one of me - surround him, he'd shoot me. There was also hear-say of cops brutalizing a Krishnan monk for no apparent reason, as well as other various heard-though-not-seen (by me) instances of police brutality. BUT ENOUGH OF COPS.
I waited at Oz camp for several hours, missing a wedding I'd been invited to, in order to have a slice of pizza, which was the best slice of pizza I'd ever had in my entire life. I was offered pot and acid (declining both of course - I'm quite pleased with the way my brain works, and please, I'm sorry, I was only born with two eyes). I marched around and slept alot and listened to some really great music every night around campfire. I had several frustrating discussions, as I've already mentioned, about topics that most everyone excepting me in the discussion knew almost nothing of - "anarchy is chaos", "science has nothing to do with the real world", etc. I was even made-out with by a recently-"saved" Christian whom which I was not at all attracted to. Blegh. I finally managed to get her to leave me alone by a combination of avoidance and aggressive, frank argumentatry. That's all that is particularly relevant about the rainbow gathering. Its' essence was camping in the woods, hunting for free food, and enduring the absurdly stupid and confused ideas of others. The Christian camp "Bread of Life" had the best toilet, complete with tarpaulin walls and a wooden seat, hoHO!
Nothing more can be said about my experience at the National Rainbow Gathering which would provide any further insight, except perhaps that marijuana and acid were ubiquotous, and that I plan on going to next years' national to see new and different things once more...
In other news, personal highs and lows of the past week end in a gleeful yet sober stance on the next period of my life.
"No matter where [you] go or what [you] do I know [you] will do good things [for] those around [you]. I believe that David. You already have. [You] don't understand how much others love [you]. How drawn to [you] others are. Truly." - teh momz, Kayla sitting next me nudging me with her elbow as I read it aloud from my cell phone's screen, expressionless. Later, me and Kayla went for a walk, and we kissed. As I suspected, kissing is quite nice - really, incredible - when it's someone you really get on with, and not so much when it's some Christian you don't know
Yes, yes quite nice indeed.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
We'd gone back to Cameron's appartment, they sat around and smoked and drank and I lamented being around people who, while fun and nice, were not particularly intellectual - and my idea of fun is of course something different that theirs'. We spent the next few days wandering about Denver, flying signs for money and exploring the town, there's a story about a great old church in the middle of the night - John, beer-in-hand - and a story about a cracked-out waitress. We went to Boulder and met some hippies, we rode around and ate free food and flew signs, we climbed a mountain. I don't remember the exact order of any of these events, but in any case I can at a later date - when I have more time - transcribe my written journal to this one, so that y'all can see the written counterpart aside from my limited vagrants' access to the Internet. The mountain we'd climbed, (we being Joe, John, Yoav, Lotus, and myself), was Longs Peak, the tallest mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park. Lotus gave up within the first 15 minutes, being extraordinarily out of shape despite his healthy appearance due to an unfortunate back disorder and his chronic smoking. I made it through the night and into the first 45 minutes of the next day before deciding that I couldn't make it to the top. It wasn't a pleasant decision. It was a realization that although I could, physically, summit, it would be at the expense of actually enjoying the process. So I decided to balance out and go back down after a brief, heated exchange with Yoav. I heard later that they got much closer, then Yoav gave up, then Joe, and only John summited, where then he promptly smoked a bowl for some or another spiritual reason. I sprinted back to the van, listening to Styx...
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Religion is stupid and I've had enough of everyone's irrational, illogical, un-empirical bullshit. Quit having faith in a bunch of fucking nothing and start thinking about reality, because you're really pissing me off and it's hurting a lot of others, most of all the people you're exposed to most often. So quit it. I had a girl tell me yesterday that science is stupid. Does she even know what that means? Of course not, because she's ignoratnt - militantly so - and lets her emotions control her intellect, rendering it useless. And she had the audacity to tell me this over the Internet, on a computer, wearing synthetic, factory-made clothing in an air-conditioned house made entirely out of scientifically-inspired technology. IF you want to argue that science is "stupid", please do so in a consistent way, perhaps by being dead, as that's the only way you'll be making any sense. The entire universe so far as anyone can tell is entirely materialistic. There is no supernatural, no spiritual, and so forth. So close your damn holy book, wipe the drool off your chin, and go outside and think.
And I don't much want to write any more because I'm getting really fucking pissed off about this slow-ass piece of shit.
Friday, August 11, 2006
Anti-gentrification march, grandparents, haircut, NEW SOCKS ZOMG, connections with Michigan capitalists and government officials (z0mg), and MYSTERIOUS HAPPENINGS WITH REGARDS TO A PARTICULAR OHIO INDIVIDUAL. :[
SO perhaps I'll fill all this in when I FEEL like it, as in NEVER.
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Thursday, July 20, 2006
We rode for several hours, randomly stopping for swimming or, once, for Dairy Queen. Eventually we made it to Colby Kansas ("Don't forget Colby Kansas!"), where after flying a sign for a while and hanging out, Joe, John, and Lotus showed up. In THE VANS (John's van being Christened the next day as The Time Machine!!!). We hung out there and they all got high in Joe's van and had a stupid discussion about nothing while I sat there debunking what they were talking about in my head. Then I slept in Joe's passenger seat. I didn't know it at the time, but at some point the girls had communicated to the guys that, yes indeed, I was a cop: just look at his boots! And of course it was completely impossible that I bought them at the Army Navy Surplus store. We also paraded around the Wal-Mart parking lot that we were in, and bought plenty of food in the store. Also some drunk kids told us not to forget Colby Kansas, which consists of a Wal-Mart and probably a house, though I didn't see one.
The next day we spent riding through Kansas toward the Colorado border. At one point, I remember, we pulled into a truck stop to bum for gas. I was set on bumming a sandwich from Subway but I ended up giving up and going outside to see what the other folks were doing. Well they were talking to a cop. I strolled up toward April and proclaimed that I couldn't get a free sandwich, and April shusshed me angrily. She didn't want me talking about trying to get things for free. Because we needed gas, and had no money. And so obviously if you have no money, it looks bad if you also have no money for a sandwich. I didn't really get along with April from the start, primarily because she's stupid, and also because she's very proud of that. The night before was my first exposure to this, and it made me really uncomfortable and upset. I had been talking to April or aloud to myself or something, and was mimicking the stereotype of the crazy evil pirate ("I'll cut your face off! I'll sell my dad! I'm a pirate!"), inspired by a book I had read about pirates, where one individual had threatened another that he was robbing that he would in fact sell his father as proof of his ruthless pirate-ness. This really offended April becuase verbal depictions of physical violence are not funny but mean and upsetting, because there's no humor whatsoever to be had in absurdity, because we all know that all humor derives from puns and being high. Me, Emma, April, and Lotus were all walking down the street together, and I decided to try and explain that this is just how I'm used to talking. I tell people, jokingly, to shut up. We make absurd references to pirates. That's just how I was raised, that's how me and my friends talk. And Emma says, "That's real sad." And April, stupidly, announces, "They're not real friends then." I gave up trying to explain, because it was obvious that none of them could understand how one could be best friends and still tell each other things like "die" etc. Blegh.
I called Cameron and, chaotically, managed to get directions to his house. I rode in Emma's car, with Lotus, and Lotus was throwing a little fit when we couldn't find the place immediately. Eventually we made it there and met up with Cameron and his very pretty friend and decided to get food and booze. I went with April and Hillary to the store to get food. April used her food stamps card to buy the food. She couldn't figure out how to use the self-checkout machine. It's very simple, and I understand how that can be frustrating, but she acted like a real idiot. She thought the machines were stupid and useless expressly because she didn't know how to use them. April is dumb and frustrated me to an extraordinary degree.
I'll have to do more later. Deuces.