"The world does not reward honesty and independence, it rewards obedience and service. It’s a world of concentrated power, and those who have power are not going to reward people who question that power."-Chomsky

"The trouble with self-delusion, either in a person or a society, is that reality doesn't care what anybody believes, or what story they put out. Reality doesn't "spin." Reality does not have a self-image problem. Reality does not yield its workings to self-esteem management." -J.H. Kunstler

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."-Dylan

Saturday, June 21, 2008

6/21/08: Highway 1-Santa Cruz

A rather lazy day. Not alot done other than laundry, updating & expanding the trip diary, and uploading pictures. It takes a long time! I downloaded the Picasa program onto Florian's laptop and that made all the difference...when I got stable Internet from the KOA laundry room.

I tried to let them have as much space as I could, feeling a little guilty that I've been tagging along with them so long. The all took the RV to have dinner at a seafood place in town and I was glad when they came back and said they had a great time.

Florian and Veronika also gave me one last piece of great news. They said they'd not only take me to San Francisco tomorrow, but across the Golden Gate Bridge if I couldn't find a Couchsurfer to stay with in the city. This was my biggest concern about this trip: dealing with the Bay Area Sprawl. San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco... no avoiding it except by means of public transportation...the BART. I sent off 10 Couchsurf requests but I'm not optimistic because of the short notice. Either way I'm covered, but it seems like a waste to just jet through San Francisco. I've been there before, but only as a tourist. It would be nice to see it through the eyes of someone living there.

Mentally I was a bit agitated today, mostly from the landlord folly, watching this particular KOA extort money from the guests in every way they can, and updating the story about Pat from last week.

On TOP of charging $90+ dollars a night for an RV hook up, and the tiny cabins running something like $100, this KOA has this little train that drives me batshit every time I see it because they charge $1 for every passenger. I believe it runs on electricity and holds 20 people, and is full of kids most of the time. Pure profit, and you KNOW that the kids go bananas when they see it! Reminds me of this sign near Canon City, CO for this little out-of-the-way fun park that puts up signs about a mile apart saying: 'Scream 'till Daddy Stops!' The signs are funny though!

I spent alot of the day thinking about the economic predators, and those that use law and policy as weapons to separate you from your money. I thought alot about Pat. And the Parking Lot Nazi...I'm really disgusted with this culture and it's definitions of worth and success. More so now. We're all defined on a scale and it's called the dollar. 'The Landlord' is a very successful, sold-out, bourgeois liberal, 60's hippie who told me once that he believes strongly in changing things, but only within the system. Thus the sold-out part, eh? It occurred to me that he told me this inside of his very opulent home, and perhaps he was so beholden to the system because it's rewarded HIM handsomely. His 'system' bought and paid for him.

It goes back to Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent. Stay within the boundaries and don't upset the establishment and you'll prosper. But look too deeply beneath the surface and question the tilted game, and you'll be punished.

Rush's 'Subdivisions': '... In the high school halls; in the shopping malls...conform or be cast out'

I prefer Thoreau's idea that the only place for an honorable man within corrupted society is 'cast out'. When that system provides the powerful with the means to use the law as a bludgeon to extort from the poor, that system is illegitimate and as Thoreau said '... but I will still make what use of her I can...'

The good part of all of this is that it was a stark reminder of why I set out in the first place. The honeymoon period is ending and I believe now I'm starting to focus more on the bigger picture; playing the part of the observer rather than adapting survivor.