She sounded genuinely puzzled.
Leaving our bonnaroo camp… and I am sad. I could live here, in this surreal world of music and community of strangers who are suddenly friends. I’ve fallen in love for this place.
Our neighbors and I had had the conversation earlier: What kind of society would develop here, if we all just stayed? What we produce to live?…what would different people choose to provide, to trade with others, something that others would want, something that is uniquely you.
That’s how you win….by how special, how different, how YOU, you are. Waiting on others is not an option.
So be different…by being yourself. Evolve as things evolve. Don’t camp. Because camps stay the same. There is no growth in a camp, no change, no search for new things, new people, or new interaction.
But we like staying in our camp. It’s comfortable, being with our side, our party, the left camp, the right camp, the Trump camp. Whatever.
I regretted leaving my temporary home on that farmland. But it wasn’t my home. It was one kind of place. And the world has many different kinds of places. The festival life was an outing that was just one station on my journey.
Our mistake is that we make a mental home, of values and beliefs, and then we set up a defensive perimeter of our camp to protect our identity, an identity which somehow becomes nested in our temporary beliefs.
But if we’re constantly evolving, we don’t make a home in anything.
Because, like the crab growing out of its shell, or the snake from its skin…we grow into something bigger and better as we learn and experience things. We find a new home as we push out from our current confines and organization. And as a result, we live more meaningful lives.
Stay in your camp too long, and your shit stops smelling…but only to you.
She sounded genuinely puzzled.
I was shooting heroin
and reading “The Fountainhead”
in the front seat of my privately owned police cruiser
when a call came in.
I put a quarter in the radio to activate it. It was the chief.
“Bad news, detective. We got a situation.”
“What? Is the mayor trying to ban trans fats again?”
“Worse. Somebody just stole four hundred and forty-seven million dollars’ worth of bitcoins.”
The heroin needle practically fell out of my arm. “What kind of monster would do something like that? Bitcoins are the ultimate currency: virtual, anonymous, stateless. They represent true economic freedom, not subject to arbitrary manipulation by any government. Do we have any leads?”
“Not yet. But mark my words: we’re going to figure out who did this and we’re going to take them down … provided someone pays us a fair market rate to do so.”
“Easy, chief,” I said. “Any rate the market offers is, by definition, fair.”
He laughed. “That’s why you’re the best I got, Lisowski. Now you get out there and find those bitcoins.”
“Don’t worry,” I said. “I’m on it.”
I put a quarter in the siren. Ten minutes later, I was on the scene. It was a normal office building, strangled on all sides by public sidewalks. I hopped over them and went inside.
“Home Depot™ Presents the Police!®” I said, flashing my badge and my gun and a small picture of Ron Paul. “Nobody move unless you want to!” They didn’t.
“Now, which one of you punks is going to pay me to investigate this crime?” No one spoke up.
“Come on,” I said. “Don’t you all understand that the protection of private property is the foundation of all personal liberty?”
It didn’t seem like they did.
“Seriously, guys. Without a strong economic motivator, I’m just going to stand here and not solve this case. Cash is fine, but I prefer being paid in gold bullion or autographed Penn Jillette posters.”
Nothing. These people were stonewalling me. It almost seemed like they didn’t care that a fortune in computer money invented to buy drugs was missing.
I figured I could wait them out. I lit several cigarettes indoors. A pregnant lady coughed, and I told her that secondhand smoke is a myth. Just then, a man in glasses made a break for it.
“Subway™ Eat Fresh and Freeze, Scumbag!®” I yelled.
Too late. He was already out the front door. I went after him.
“Stop right there!” I yelled as I ran. He was faster than me because I always try to avoid stepping on public sidewalks. Our country needs a private-sidewalk voucher system, but, thanks to the incestuous interplay between our corrupt federal government and the public-sidewalk lobby, it will never happen.
I was losing him. “Listen, I’ll pay you to stop!” I yelled. “What would you consider an appropriate price point for stopping? I’ll offer you a thirteenth of an ounce of gold and a gently worn ‘Bob Barr ‘08’ extra-large long-sleeved men’s T-shirt!”
He turned. In his hand was a revolver that the Constitution said he had every right to own. He fired at me and missed. I pulled my own gun, put a quarter in it, and fired back. The bullet lodged in a U.S.P.S. mailbox less than a foot from his head. I shot the mailbox again, on purpose.
“All right, all right!” the man yelled, throwing down his weapon. “I give up, cop! I confess: I took the bitcoins.”
“Why’d you do it?” I asked, as I slapped a pair of Oikos™ Greek Yogurt Presents Handcuffs® on the guy.
“Because I was afraid.”
“Afraid of an economic future free from the pernicious meddling of central bankers,” he said. “I’m a central banker.”
I wanted to coldcock the guy. Years ago, a central banker killed my partner. Instead, I shook my head.
“Let this be a message to all your central-banker friends out on the street,” I said. “No matter how many bitcoins you steal, you’ll never take away the dream of an open society based on the principles of personal and economic freedom.”
He nodded, because he knew I was right. Then he swiped his credit card to pay me for arresting him.
This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.
Life is no “brief candle” to me.
It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
-George Bernard Shaw
“Take for instance the phrase, corporate slave,” I told him.
“That term slave is really strong. It means something quite clear. Slavery, real slavery, is were the person is threatened by physical force for not following direction.
The corporate slave is restricted by circumstance, but not restricted by physical force. And the circumstance they are in is economic. Using the word slave for people who have choices is sort of disrespectful to the slaves we had in America and we have today.”
Resist. Stop the persecution.
These are powerful words. Actually all words are powerful. Which words we choose to describe a situation make a big difference on how we view a situation:
Viva la Resistance
It was the rallying cry of the underground rebellion of the French against the Nazis. The Germans had occupied their country, and were proceeding to round up and kill anyone who wanted to protect their freedom from the Nazi dictatorship. Nazis who detained people, took their property, and even killed them, sometimes for nothing more than their race or ethnicity.
Today we are progressive. Because we are privileged.
The right to be free to do what you want without harming others is no longer sufficient. Enslaving others is now the charge against you when you don’t help enough.
Meanwhile, many others seek out the white collar of slavery and wear it with pride. Blue collars, too. They’ve been victimized by capitalism, or victimized by China, or both.
We are progressive. We have progressed to some point.
And it’s a point I’m unsure of.
When I retreat, I am alone, not lonely.
But it began as loneliness, in youth, when group popularity was sought after. It was all about me, getting into the group, being recognized as one of many.
Before maturing, I deserved everyone’s attention. I wasn’t receiving enough. The world had not seen me properly, or clearly: I was not feeling loved.
But after a time, the love was unnecessary and I realize the feeling of liberation that comes with being alone, and that lonely feeling fades away as an inner strength takes over.
I disconnect the lifeline from others, and whatever reality exists out there, I create a reality that, right or wrong, centers on me.
And when your life is your center, that is the most freeing feeling in the world. This is where you begin to reconnect to the world, from your true, uncompromised, confident self.
Quote credit: Germaine Greer
From the institution of commerce.
It’s easy to try for something when you know you can’t fail.
It’s so easy, in fact, that it becomes insignificant. It becomes part of the background, a regular thing, and therefore less appreciated.
Always do something you fear, because when your fear goes away, the reason for living goes away.
“If you pay close attention, you will see that the most masculine man has a feminine soul, and the most feminine woman has a masculine soul.”
Masculinity is a trait of strength. One that leads and solves.
Femininity is a trait of strength. One that nurtures and creates.
Judging one as better than the other is a lost cause. Both spirits are necessary.
And a life without either is a life that is devoid of beauty.